City of Dubuque Looking to Expand River Tourism

DUBUQUE– At a city council meeting last week, the council voted unanimously to begin accepting proposals for a dock expansion in the Port of Dubuque. The dock would likely be available for other boats to use, but the project comes as a response to a proposal from Viking River Cruises.

The Swiss company plans to begin cruises on the upper Mississippi as early as 2021. But for Dubuque to be one of the destinations on the tour, the city would need to expand the docking facilities to accommodate the larger boats.

Though plans are just getting started, this is a project that Assistant City Engineer Bob Schiesl has been involved with for a number of years.

“Viking River Cruises approached the City of Dubuque,” says Schiesl. “They [Viking River Cruises] were very excited about it because of all the amenities the Port of Dubuque offers… it’s an ideal destination.”

Supporters of the dock expansion believe that tours from Viking River Cruises could bring in additional revenue to the city, and provide support for local businesses. Due to a rise in popularity in excursion boats coming to Dubuque, Schiesl is excited for the economic benefit this would bring to the city.

“It would just be amazing if we had that type of riverboat traffic along our riverfront,” he says. “The economic impact from a tourism perspective and retail stores would be amazing for the community.”

Schiesl hopes that more information about the project will be available by the end of the calendar year. The proposals will help to confirm a timeline, cost, and exact location of the project.

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