Ship part

The first cruise ship of the tourist season stops in Hannibal

HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) – The first cruise ship of the tourist season docked in Hannibal on Friday.

Many tourists aboard the ship stopped at downtown businesses, which gave them a financial boost.

Alison Coventry-Black was one of the guests on the US cruise ship Melody which stopped at Hannibal.

“I was very pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the city,” said Coventry-Black.

She and her husband spent hours shopping downtown.

“There’s a store that has little souvenirs but a great book section in the back and we shopped there,” she said.

Jon England is a musical artist on the ship who has also spent money on local businesses.

“I especially love coming to Hannibal, it’s a wonderfully diverse place,” England said. “There are a lot of things to see, there are a lot of businesses to visit. Lots of different ice creams and flavors, soaps and all sorts of things. You can get just about anything,” England said.

The American Melody has 146 guests and 52 crew members on board.

Native American Trading Co. clerk Donna Hemme said every time a cruise ship stops in town, it reaps the benefits.

“They usually buy expensive items, where most locals can buy them, but not like people getting off cruise ships,” Hemme said.

Hemme said out-of-town guests bought big-ticket items like jewelry and pottery.

England encourages everyone to buy local.

“It’s the hometown of Main Street, America. It’s a unique opportunity to bring some of where you are back to where you are,” England said.

The new Viking cruise ship is scheduled to dock at Hannibal on July 17.

To see when other cruises stop at Hannibal, go to American Cruises and Viking River Cruises websites.

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