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Viking Cruises Mississippi tour in Davenport delayed by federal law

DAVENPORT, Iowa - It was this year the European-based company, Viking Cruises was set to dock in Davenport as part of the company's Mississippi River tour. That plan may have run into a problem.

Viking Cruises, based in Switzerland was set to expand to the U.S with Mississippi River cruises this year. It would launch in New Orleans and dock in Davenport 19 times a year.

However, it's unclear if the company can dock in the U.S at all.

"They`ve said don`t plan on anything right now because there`s still work to be done, there`s no boats that have been built, there`s no routes or anything that have even been determined," said Mayor Frank Klipsch.

A federal law dating back to 1920 prohibits international companies from setting up shop on American waterways. The Jones Act requires any boat be owned by an American company, vessels be built in the U.S and crewed by U.S citizens. Viking Cruises is working to find a way to comply with law.

"They`ve said they`re still committed to do cruising in our u-s waterways in particular the Mississippi river but there`s obviously work to be done before that can happen," said Mayor Klipsch.

"You know the law may have served its purpose back at the term of the 18th century but I think maybe it`s time that we modernize that law and allow people to come and visit us," said Karl Rhomberg, member of the Levee Improvement Commission.

City leaders say as long as the company keeps showing interest, they will keep working to prepare the riverfront.