Mississippi cruises on delayed status
Viking River Cruises, the Switzerland-based company known for its extensive list of luxury European and Asian cruises, has hit a snag in its plan to offer cruises on the Mississippi River.
Mayor Frank Klipsch of Davenport, Iowa, which was supposed to be one of the cruise line’s dock sites, told WQAD news outlet in March: “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.”
Viking announced its plan to expand into North America in February 2015, with a tentative launch this year. However, in March 2016, the company issued this statement:
“At this point in time, we do not have any details to share, but we are actively working with relevant authorities to launch on the Mississippi River, with a projected maiden season that has been adjusted to 2018 in order to accommodate an updated timeline.”
While the cruise line has made no comment to the reasons behind the change, there is speculation from industry news outlets such as Travel Weekly that the culprit is the 1920 Jones Act, which says boats sailing from one American port to another must be owned by U.S. companies, built in the United States and have a U.S. crew.
Viking would have to buy and retrofit American-made boats or build new ones.
In December, Viking issued a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
“We are actively working with our partners to launch on the Mississippi River, but at this point in time we do not have any details to share regarding product specifics or a launch timeline.”
As of press time, Viking River Cruises did not respond to requests for comment.
— Jennifer Nixon
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — Southeastern Michigan’s Cranbrook Art Museum hosts the U.S. debut of an exhibition featuring the work of an influential modernist designer who was less well known than many of his contemporaries.
“Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe” runs through Oct. 8 at the Bloomfield Hills museum. It features hundreds of examples of Girard’s work, including furniture, textiles, graphics, architecture, drawings and sculptures.
Organizers say Girard embraced and helped shape a midcentury modernism employed by Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and others. Museum Director Andrew Blauvelt calls Girard “the secret sauce” in a movement that embraced whimsy, color and decor — things European modernists had earlier rejected.
The Italy-raised Girard, who lived in Michigan from 1937 to 1953, was furniture maker Herman Miller’s director of textile design for 21 years.
— The Associated Press
Viking River Cruises, known for their luxury longboats plying European and Asian waters, has delayed plans for Mississippi River cruises.