Starting next year, cruise ships from American Cruise Lines will dock in Alton, which could mean a $2.38 million economic impact and more than 18,200 potential passengers expected to come to the city for the length of the five-year agreement.
The city of Alton recently reached an agreement with the company, which is headquartered in Guilford, Conn. They operate 12 cruise ships, and four of them will dock in Alton, including the Queen of the Mississippi, American Harmony, America and American Jazz.
In 2020, 11 cruises are scheduled to dock in Alton. In 2021 and 2022, the number increases to 23 cruises.
The cruise line will use Alton hotels and lodging for people who begin a cruise there, which means up to 80 percent of passengers could spend a night in Alton before leaving for a cruise. The cruise line will also arrange for tours in Alton and shuttles between the boat and shopping along East Broadway.
American Cruise Lines also stops in St. Louis, and regularly operates several Mississippi River itineraries.
The agreement gives the cruise line the right to dock ships on the Alton riverfront for five years with options to extend the agreement for additional five year terms.