You are currently viewing How Climate Change Is Changing the Mississippi’s Cruise Business

Though operators are building ships, and towns are investing in landings and other infrastructure, fluctuations in the river’s flow, exacerbated by climate change, are hampering sailings.

Tom Trovato and his wife, Trish, paid more than $20,000 and waited two years to experience Viking’s inaugural cruise up the Mississippi River. Leaving in September 2022, it was supposed be a two-week excursion from New Orleans to St. Paul, Minn., a trip of some 1,800 miles.

They never got past Memphis.

Low water levels, caused by drought, narrowed the river’s main shipping channel to allow only one-way traffic, first stalling their boat, the Viking Mississippi, and then ultimately aborting the trip.

Though they got a full refund, the Trovatos, who live in Surprise, Ariz., have no plans to try again.

“If I live to be 125, it might be on my bucket list,” said Mr. Trovato, 79.

The Mississippi River is central to American identity, with all the contradictions

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Business.

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