BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Baton Rouge leaders and members of the Downtown Development District are evaluating ways the city-parish could accommodate Viking River Cruises, according to the Baton Rouge Business Report.
The Capital City could see a huge increase in tourism thanks to a new partnership with Viking River Cruises. Davis Rhorer, executive director for the Downtown Development District (DDD), says the cruise line is expected to begin stopping on the riverfront in downtown Baton Rouge in 2020.
“It’s just one of the dynamics we have. We’re fortunate enough to have the great Mississippi River on the banks here in downtown Baton Rouge,” said Rhorer.
Davis Rhorer, the Executive Director of the Downtown Development District, told the magazine it would likely take over a year to create a space to accommodate the large vessels.
He expects the cruise ships will bring several hundred more tourists per year to the downtown Baton Rouge area.
City-parish leaders are considering several options to house the vessels, including using the existing City Dock. However, Rhorer says they would have to expand the dock to fit two boats at least.
“We certainly want to accommodate this industry as best we can. It is a bit of a challenge just because we have a dock that can hold one boat at a time right now, but there are other potential sites out here,” said Rhorer.
He says another option would be to use the docks currently occupied by the Belle of Baton Rouge and Hollywood Casinos. However, one of the paddle boats would have to move on land, which state gaming officials say could cost up to $100 million, according to the Baton Rouge Business Report.
“We’ve been working and trying to accommodate them. Again, it’s a little less than two years away, but it’s important that we get going on it right now,” said Rhorer.