Fort Madison takes step toward Mississippi cruise ship dock project

A steamboat on the Mississippi River at Fort Madison, Iowa on November 1, 2009 (Wikimedia Commons / Chris Light / CCA-SA 4.0)
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FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - A southeastern Iowa city council has taken a step toward making the city a future stop for Mississippi River cruise ships.

The Fort Madison council approved further talks between city staffers and Viking Cruise Lines representatives. The Swiss-based company is planning seven-day cruises that would start in St. Louis and end in St. Paul, Minnesota. Viking also has talked to Dubuque about building a dock.

Viking would conduct its 11-stop cruises from July until October, with two weekly stops in Fort Madison where passengers could get off to see the local sights.

City Manager David Varley and Mayor Brad Randolph told the Fort Madison council last week that Viking has agreed to contribute $500,000 toward dock construction. The city would spend $1.2 million more.