While it is slow going on the Mississippi due to low water levels, the two cruise operators on the river claim to have been minimally affected. According to a spokesperson for the Coast Guard, an 11-mile long stretch has been reduced to one-way traffic with northbound traffic during the daytime, and southbound during the night. At press time, there were 45 vessels waiting to go north and 50 waiting to go south – mostly tugs with barges.
The Army Corps of Engineers is dredging affected areas, but the Coast Guard could not say how long the one-way traffic would remain in force, pending water levels.
American Cruise Line said it has not been affected as it has been operating on the lower Mississippi and added that it does not expect to be affected.
American Queen Steamboat Company had to modify an itinerary, stopping in Memphis instead of going to Vicksburg, bussing passengers there instead for a shore excursion. Also turning around in Memphis, passengers were transported to and from. At press time, a spokesperson said the American Queen was on the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers where water levels were said to be fine.
New Orleans has not been impacted and does not expect to be, according to a Coast Guard spokesperson.