American Duchess stops in Cape Girardeau

The American Duchess river cruise paddlewheeler docked on the river walk in Cape Girardeau on Thursday, April 8, 2021. It is the first ship that has stopped in Cape since the pandemic began, according to Emily Hagan of Visit Cape. She said that passengers left the boat to take a tour of Cape Girardeau on the American Queen Steamboat Company's tour buses in small groups. She added that to her knowledge, the company running the cruise highly suggests for their passengers to not explore the places they stop in to reduce the possible exposure to COVID-19. Hagan said there are currently 20 dockings scheduled for Cape Girardeau this year, most of which are set for the spring season. Cape Girardeau mayor Bob Fox was there to greet the passengers and crew. He acknowledged their precautions and efforts to keep themselves safe while having the cruise experience. "Its great for our community. Even though [the passengers] can't get up and walk around, they're here and thats what counts," Fox said.