Evansville will see its first cruise ship dock Monday at the former LST location just off the Downtown riverfront.

The boat, American Heritage, is an American Cruise Lines Mississippi riverboat that will carry 150 passengers.

This is a part of Visit Evansville's initiative to expand tourism in the city, Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Alexis Berggren said.

The bureau has been in conversations with multiple cruise lines. Berggren said they have also talked with American Queen and Viking Cruise Lines (which mostly operates on the Mississippi River), though negotiations with other cruise lines have stalled as the relationship between the tourism office and ACL has grown.

American Cruise Lines currently has five riverboats operating 10 routes along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers this year, according to Alexa Paolella, a spokesperson for the company.

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The American Heritage riverboat cruise will stop on its 11-day journey between St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The boat will dock in Evansville's Inland Marina dock for four hours, and passengers will be able to disembark.

These types of boats, Berggren said, usually dock for between four and six hours. Motor coaches will take passengers on different excursions when they dock in Evansville: one will go through Audubon State Park, one to the Evansville Wartime Museum, and one will travel the city loop and pass through the businesses along Main Street and in Downtown Evansville.

Berggren said the CVB and American Cruise Lines are interested in a long-term arrangement that could include up to eight stops in Evansville in 2023.

"We are excited to expand this so all businesses that want to be represented will be," she said.

The tourism board has completed a lot of physical work (such as cleaning, staining, painting and power washing) to prepare the dock for Monday's festivities. Passengers will be greeted upon arrival by community representatives, as well as a band.

In addition to their efforts to expand cruise line visits in Evansville, Berggren said CVB officials are currently working to secure a permanent boat for Evansville's dock.

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