Viking to upgrade waterfront at its own expense

Published 3:58 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Viking Cruise Lines and the city of Vicksburg have developed an agreement that will allow other boats and tourists more access to the waterfront.

Under the agreement approved Tuesday by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Viking at its own expense will install the moorings along the waterfront south of its docking area between the Clay Street and China flood gates to secure its vessel and “any boats, vessels or ships subject to the approval of the mooring sites by Community Development Director Jeff Richardson.”

“Viking said they will upgrade our existing facilities at our city waterfront,” Richardson said. “They want to add some moorings in spots so they don’t have to go on the lease area.

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“This will improve our waterfront,” he said.

American Cruise Lines, however, questioned the move.

“We believe that the new mooring points are a violation of the City’s obligation to ensure safe navigation and recreation. Yet, we are very happy with our new Vicksburg landing and remain committed to working this out with the city,” said Alexa Paolella, public relations manager for  American Cruise Lines. She added American remains happy to let other operators use its landing.

The board on Nov. 16, 2020, approved a 20-year ground lease with Viking USA LLC at a rate of $1 per passenger to use a 600-foot section of Vicksburg’s riverfront along the Yazoo Diversion Canal. The site is located behind the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot on Levee Street and goes north to build a docking facility for its cruise boats.

At one time, American Cruise Line subleased its docking area to Viking to serve as a temporary landing until Viking’s facilities are built. American Cruise Line’s 500-site area is south of and adjacent to Viking’s area. Paolella said American is no longer subleasing its site.

Viking’s boat, the Viking Mississippi began making stops in Vicksburg on Sept. 29.

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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