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More big boats heading to La Crosse this summer, after one company shut down



The Viking Mississippi makes its first-ever stop at La Crosse's Riverside Park on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022, as part of its maiden voyage (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

La Crosse will see nearly two dozen visits from big riverboats this year, despite the shutdown of the company that owns the American Queen paddlewheeler.

Jim Flottmeyer manages marine operations for the La Crosse Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. He told the park board Thursday that his staff has been talking the American Cruise Lines.

“We’ll have 10 stops of American Cruise Lines, and 10 stops of Viking, which gets us 20 stops this year,” Flottmeyer told the board.

FILE: In this 2022 photo, the American Queen made a summer stop in La Crosse. (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Flottmeyer added that there won’t be any double stops here by American Cruise Lines and the Viking line on the same day, but boats may occasionally stay overnight.

American Cruise Lines may also stay late in the evening on Thursdays during the summer, when the Moon Tunes concerts are held at Riverside Park.

The American Cruise Lines website says its boats will mainly stop in La Crosse on the trips coming from St. Paul.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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