*VIKING RIVER plans & reality*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues:
Thanks, Carmen, for 'insights' on your end. VIKING did send company representatives here to the states to visit our Mississippi, Ohio etc. river systems for a first-hand look along with talking to one or more veteran rivermen we know who are also grounded in business. Reports were direct to me that VIKING had their eyes opened as to the differences, dynamics, issues in constructing vessels here for service following the same design as on European rivers. Apparently, from my reports, it came rather as a shock to them seeing, hearing what they did. Requirements by our U.S. Coast Guard for construction, operation were also pointed out to them. VIKING's expectations of river towns and cities here building docks like the quays on European rivers for 'side loaded' not workable along with their not understanding the varying river level variations here, lessen the vessel weights, install larger fresh water tanks, use bow swinging stages and not side loading as in Europe. Also NO passenger cruise cabins at the water level below the main deck so close to the river water. I could go on and on but won't. I do wish them well as they have a fine cruise product as you know. No doubt this runs counter to the support of the DELTA QUEEN for exemption and eventual operation. I only know what I see, hear, read. Who knows?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.