River, boats offer history, nostalgia to downtown Cape

Friday, September 8, 2017

Cape Girardeau's existence and the Mississippi River are inseparable.

So much of Cape's history is based on the trade and commerce made possible by the river.

Today, Cape is known as much as a regional hub as it is a river town, so for many it can be easy to forget or take the river for granted.

But entrepreneurs have made river boat tours appealing and Cape Girardeau is becoming a more popular docking spot for the tours.

Three of the stately riverboats docked here last week; two were docked on the same day.

The latest docking occurred Saturday when the American Duchess, whose suite-style accommodations can house up to 166 passengers, made a stop on its maiden voyage, Mark Bliss reported.

Nearly 18 dockings are scheduled this year, which is seven more than last year.

The tourists stop downtown; they visit local shops and museums, and spend money here. It's always a great reminder of our history when we see one of the boats docked at the downtown riverfront.

Later this month, on Sept. 28, The Pinta and Nina replicas will be stopping in Cape. They are replicas of two of Christopher Columbus' historic ships, and will be open for public tours from Sept. 29 through Oct. 2. This should be a fun opportunity to get an up-close history lesson, especially for children who are studying Columbus in school.

The river is still a place for commerce and tourism. The old boats and replicas offer a sense of nostalgia and history, along with tourism dollars. We're glad the operators find Cape Girardeau a worthwhile place to pause on their journeys up and down the Mississippi.

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