Alton to become focal point for riverboat tourism in 2020

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ALTON, Ill. – Mark Twain once wrote there were two ways to see a river. Well, next year in Alton, people will have 11 new opportunities to observe the mighty Mississippi River.

“Starting off, there will be 11 arrivals of our different vessels. There will be 11 next year and 20 the following year and increase each year after that,” said Brett Stawar, president and CEO of Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau. “So, we are looking at this being a portal for the entire world to experience our Mississippi River.”

Last Wednesday, the city of Alton approved a multi-year agreement with American Cruise Lines.

“We’re very excited to welcome American Cruise Lines to the riverfront again. We put an agreement to make the point of entry for the Mississippi River.”

Alton will be a hub for trips north to St. Paul, Minnesota and south to Louisiana.

“The agreement is five years and extendable up to 16 years based on the tenants’ rights,” Stawar said. “We’re excited to welcome what we think will be continued growth. Each cruise line will bring 200 passengers into hotels and attractions.”

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