I'm on a Boat!

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mulad
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I'm on a Boat!

Postby mulad » February 25th, 2015, 1:22 pm

Viking River Cruises is planning to start operating on the Mississippi River starting in 2017. They'll be based in New Orleans, but the PiPress says they'll have 60 trips a year up to St. Paul. Presumably there will be a ramp-up period -- this article explains that they're planning six ships which will be built and launched over the course of three years, so it'd probably be 2019 or 2020 before they're running that often.

mattaudio
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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby mattaudio » February 25th, 2015, 1:34 pm

Nice! Pretty soon we'll be seeing advertisements for Cruise to St. Paul at the beginning of Downton Abbey?

I'm curious what they'll use for their port in St. Paul - Lambert's Landing right in downtown? It's so crunched up against Shepard Road that the current configuration leaves basically no shoreside space for loading/unloading.

How about this idea: They privately fund an extension of the St. Paul Union Depot concourse over Shepard Road, to a new (but slightly moved) Lambert's Landing. This would make SPUD truly multimodal (CRUISE SHIPS, BABY!) and leverage existing facilities (parking, LRT, etc). It would also provide a stronger public connection between the riverfront and Lowertown for residents, visitors, and other users of SPUD.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby mulad » February 25th, 2015, 1:39 pm

I've never really looked at the available docks in St. Paul. The PiPress article said they were looking at Upper Landing, Lambert's Landing, Raspberry Island, and Harriet Island. Here's a quick map -- I think this is right...

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... 4JehzEGzJQ

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby Silophant » February 25th, 2015, 1:40 pm

I love that idea, but it doesn't look like they're even putting that much money into their home port in New Orleans, much less their other ports.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby mulad » February 25th, 2015, 1:43 pm

Yeah, the wheelchair ramp for Lambert's Landing leads straight up to Sibley Street anyway.

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MN Fats
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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby MN Fats » February 25th, 2015, 1:44 pm

"Never thought I'd be on a boat"

Ballpark how much would a ticket cost? A river cruise down to the big easy sounds like a great time!

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby acs » February 25th, 2015, 1:48 pm

In my fantasy scenario, when Holmen Field is redeveloped into an inter-modal road-rail-barge terminal the city would be able to shift the industrial buildings of the west flats over towards the east, thus making room for a new cruise port surrounded by new commercial and residential.

It will be interesting to see how this works out with the barge shippers, because from what I've heard from the army corps the port of St. Paul is pretty much at capacity on top of the fact that Minneapolis is closing.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby mattaudio » February 25th, 2015, 1:51 pm

MN Fats wrote:A river cruise down to the big easy sounds like a great time!
Pshaw, you don't need a fancy cabin on a riverboat for that! Some college buddies of mine canoed down the river, pitched tents for the overnights, wrote songs about it, and won a grammy. http://www.amazon.com/Can-Canoe-Okee-Do ... ref=sr_1_1?

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby Ottergoose » February 25th, 2015, 2:09 pm

Cool!

For what it's worth, American Cruise Lines has been offering long-distance cruises here for a while now, I think. I know I saw them show up on the SPUD Cam a couple of times last summer. Looked like they disembarked directly into a line of coach buses at Lambert's Landing(?) when they were here; not exactly a great way to arrive in St. Paul, IMHO, but, would be a cool experience.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby froggie » February 26th, 2015, 8:34 am

Spent 12 years on a boat. You guys can have this.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby ProspectPete » February 26th, 2015, 11:17 am

Redwing spending $5 million to accomodate viking cruise boats.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_ ... ury-cruise

fehler
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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby fehler » February 26th, 2015, 11:23 am

I had to giggle. The phrase "Viking Boat Cruise" can mean so many, different things.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby Anondson » February 26th, 2015, 11:41 am

The Viking cruise on Lake Minnetonka didn't end well... ;)

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby acs » February 26th, 2015, 11:47 am

I'm sure a Vikings cruise to NOLA will be much more successful and full of family fun.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby mulad » February 26th, 2015, 2:29 pm

Interesting to see that Red Wing has something of a plan in place already. Looking through older articles from before this week's announcement, I saw that some tourism officials from Red Wing had mentioned Viking back in 2013, but the company wouldn't confirm anything at that time. Last year, the head of the company made some more official noises about Mississippi River tours. Sounds like they'd been shopping the idea around for a while, and it took them a few years to line up all the financing for the new boats.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby MSP » February 26th, 2015, 3:27 pm

Stillwater wants in on this as well
http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_ ... ury-cruise

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby Mikey » February 26th, 2015, 4:06 pm

mattaudio wrote:How about this idea: They privately fund an extension of the St. Paul Union Depot concourse over Shepard Road, to a new (but slightly moved) Lambert's Landing. This would make SPUD truly multimodal (CRUISE SHIPS, BABY!) and leverage existing facilities (parking, LRT, etc). It would also provide a stronger public connection between the riverfront and Lowertown for residents, visitors, and other users of SPUD.
A skyway extending straight out from the SW corner of the concourse (mirroring the Amtrak extension) to a vertical circulation tower along the river would be cool. Of course, you'd have to flood-proof the tower base.
Urbanist in the north woods

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby talindsay » February 26th, 2015, 4:30 pm

I wonder who the audience for this will be: Europeans vacationing in the Midwest? Older Americans? The Mississippi honestly seems like an odd choice to me: the only big city on the upper river is our fair city, and places such as Winona, Dubuque, Galena, and Keokuk don't have a lot of awareness outside the upper midwest. The lower river has some more major cities: St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans; but down there the river is wide, straight, and heavy with barge traffic. The boat itself would need to be a major draw, I think, and given that paddlewheel (and fake paddlewheel) cruises already operate on the river I would think Viking would be relying on crossovers from their established, successful cruise businesses.

Of course, I suppose there's a certain mystique around our river, and that may be enough to drive sales. But the most similar European river in my opinion, the Rhine, still has much higher density of cities and towns along it than the Mississippi. Clearly this could be a boon to the quaint river towns, so hopefully it succeeds.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby Anondson » February 26th, 2015, 4:36 pm

It could be a boon to the Upper Mississippi River small cities and towns just because it raises their profile that people will visit them on road trips. Driving the river road is seriously amazing.

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Re: I'm on a Boat!

Postby talindsay » February 26th, 2015, 4:48 pm

Anondson wrote:It could be a boon to the Upper Mississippi River small cities and towns just because it raises their profile that people will visit them on road trips. Driving the river road is seriously amazing.
It's even better on a motorcycle!


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