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American Cruise Lines joins city’s riverfront redevelopment vision

A second riverboat cruise line has leased waterfront property from the city.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Wednesday approved a 20-year lease with American Cruise Lines Inc. involving about 500 feet waterfront along the Yazoo Diversion Canal from the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot on Levee Street south to the China Street flood gate.

The site is just south of property leased by Viking Cruise Lines.

American Cruise Lines will pay the city $2 per passenger under the lease. It will pay  $3 per passenger if the lease is extended an additional five years. In the past, three American Cruise Lines boats have made stops at Vicksburg.

Under the agreement, American Cruise Lines will develop its area to duplicate a “park-like setting” with benches and other amenities. The company will also extend the existing concrete ramp and repair damaged areas on the leased property.

“This is the second lease agreement we’ve gotten from a cruise line coming to Vicksburg, which is going to greatly improve the waterfront at no cost to the city,” Mayor George Flaggs said. “This is a game-changer.”

He said the city plans to clear the waterfront property along North Washington Street “and make the waterfront a lot more appealing to visitors. I want to commend American Cruise Line and Viking for being the first two (companies to lease property).”

“We’re so excited that has been completed and it will add to our riverfront,” Laura Beth Strickland, executive director of Visit Vicksburg said of the lease. “We’re just looking forward to more partnerships with these companies and making our downtown as vibrant for visitors as possible.”

The American Cruise Line lease comes about nine days after the city approved a lease with Viking Cruise Lines.

The board on Nov. 16 approved a 20-year ground lease with Viking USA LLC at a rate of $1 per passenger to use the site, which is located behind the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot on Levee Street and goes north. Viking will build the dock.

Viking is leasing a 600-foot section of Vicksburg’s riverfront along the Yazoo Diversion Canal to build a facility for its cruise boats expected to dock at the city in 2022.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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