ALTON - The Viking River Cruise Line visit to the Alton riverfront was just another part of a beautiful event weekend as the crew and those aboard were welcomed with open arms to the river city.
The Viking made its inaugural call to the city with a celebration and ribbon cutting Saturday morning.
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Alton Mayor David Goins, Cory Jobe, President/CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau and other dignitaries were on hand to greet Viking Cruise Lines.
Mayor Goins said this was a historic visit and he very much enjoyed the inaugural docking on the riverfront and looks forward to more in the future. He said he is very excited with three cruise lines each now visiting Alton’s port.
He said the visits bring tourists into the area and help generate not only goodwill, but income for local businesses and city tax revenue.
A brass band welcomed passengers who will be able to take their pick of locally grown apples and pears before they board for their cruise from Alton to St. Paul, MN. Local re-enactors dressed in vintage clothing also greeted passengers, including a few from the Lewis & Clark State Historic Site.
“This is the first of many port calls to Alton for Viking and we look forward to being involved in pre-and-post-cruise tours and providing passengers with great shopping opportunities in Alton’s vibrant downtown district,” Jobe said.
The Sept. 10 docking is the first of four visits by Viking to Alton in 2022. Additional and extended port calls are planned for 2023.