Viking Cruises to sublease docking area from American Cruise Lines along Vicksburg riverfront

Published 4:12 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Viking Cruises is expanding its docking area along Vicksburg’s riverfront through a lease with American Cruise Lines.

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday approved a written request from Eric Dussault, senior manager of port operations and development for American Cruise Lines Inc. seeking to sublease the cruise line’s site to Viking.

According to the letter, American Cruise Lines will collect per passenger fees from Viking along with a sublease fee and submit the third-party passenger fee to the city, along with the $2 per passenger fee American Cruise Lines pays the city.

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American Cruise Lines leases a 500-foot section of waterfront site along the Yazoo Diversion Canal that is adjacent to Viking’s site.

Cody Sellers, Viking’s director of charter operations for Mississippi, said Viking will sublease the site while stopping in Vicksburg. When Viking expects to initially visit Vicksburg has not been determined.

Sellers said June 23-25 was the original launch date for Viking, “But we’re looking at potentially changing things; nothing’s confirmed yet. Everything is TBD (to be determined).”

Viking in November 2020 signed a 20-year ground lease with the city on a 600-foot section of Vicksburg’s riverfront along the Yazoo Diversion Canal behind the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot on Levee Street to build a facility for its cruise boats. Viking will pay the city a $1 per passenger fee once it begins to use the site.

“Our area’s (landing) not going to be developed for some time right now and it’s depending on the water stage,” Sellers said. “It’s tough to get into our landing so we sent out a request to (American Cruise Lines) for permission to land at least for a certain date.”

He added plans for Viking’s landing are still being developed.

Viking was the first river cruise line to sign a lease with the city, signing its lease on Nov. 16, 2020. American Cruise Lines signed its lease with the city on Nov. 25, 2020. American Queen signed its lease in August, allowing the company to temporarily use a portion of the riverfront between Clay and China streets for one year until company officials can select a permanent docking site at the riverfront.

Under the agreement, American Queen agreed to pay a docking fee the equivalent of $2 per person embarked on the boat on the day it visits.

Under the leases, the cruise lines will develop and landscape docking areas as part of the city’s riverfront beautification project.

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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