HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Riverboats are back in the Ohio River, and the American Duchess arrived in Henderson on Thursday.
Last week, the tourism vessel made a stop in Paducah.
The riverboat is at 50% capacity, and tourists weren’t able to get off and shop in downtown Paducah.
Riverboats took a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While passengers on the boat weren’t be able to enjoy their normal “hop on, hop off” tours, tourists still got to enjoy Audubon State Park.
“The fact that we are welcoming these folks back so early in the season, it is not what I expected,” Tourism Director Abby Dixon said. “And to have visitors, regardless of what they’re experiencing, we’re just thrilled and it’s a sign that we’re moving int her right direction. Tourism is a very important part of our full economic recovery, and it’s kicking off today here in Henderson.”
Despite the restrictions, small business owners see the riverboat’s return as a sign of things looking up.
We could see the American Duchess in Henderson several times this summer.
Officials say the riverboat will stay at 50% capacity until at least July.
Meanwhile, tourism officials say the riverboats will require passengers to be fully vaccinated in July, so tourists will be able to shop downtown again.