ALTON - Cory Jobe, President & CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau, today responded to the Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, announcement that American Queen Voyages has discontinued operations for 2024. Please see the attached media statement for Mr. Jobe’s remarks.

The following is a statement from Cory Jobe, President & CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau, in response to the announcement that American Queen Voyages will no longer operate cruise ships in 2024.

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“The loss of American Queen Voyages dockings in Alton this year is unfortunate but doesn’t represent the overall health of the cruise ship industry in the U.S. and Southwest Illinois,” Cory Jobe, President & CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau remarked. “In fact, the cruise industry, as shown by American Cruise Lines and Viking River Cruises, remains strong and is surpassing pre-pandemic levels of popularity.

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“In 2024 alone, we anticipate 27 Alton cruise ship dockings from American Cruise Lines and Viking bringing thousands of passengers to the city’s riverfront who will be shopping, spending the night and enjoying the charms of the community.

“In 2023, Alton hosted 23 cruise ship dockings which brought 4,321 passengers to the region. Over half of those passengers took part in shore excursions which showcased the attractions and shopping available in southwest Illinois. Those 23 dockings were responsible for $366,862 in economic impact for Alton.

“We anticipate another banner year for Alton and the region with river cruises along the Mississippi River.”

(The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau is a certified Destination Marketing Organization serving Madison, Jersey, Calhoun, Macoupin, Montgomery and Greene counties. The bureau is dedicated to educating visitors about the region by providing information regarding the area’s history, unique landmarks, recreational opportunities, leisure attractions, special events and scenic marvels.)

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