Monday, January 5, 2009

A dirge for a barge -- RiverBarge Excursions packs it in

RiverBarge Excursion Lines, which operated the 196-passenger River Explorer, a set of connected barges that sailed on American rivers and inland waterways, has ceased operations for 2009.

A statement on the line's website blames the economic downturn -- "rising costs and very soft bookings" -- for the decision.

The 10-year-old company announced that all prospective passengers who have put down deposits will have their money refunded once funds are made available from a special escrow account overseen by the Federal Maritime Commission.

If you need more information, you can try calling RiverBarge at 888/GO-BARGE (888/462-2743).

With the historic Delta Queen very possibly having taken its last cruise, it's starting to get awfully quiet -- or at least far less picturesque -- out there on American rivers.

-- Clark Norton

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