River Parishes become official destination for American Cruise Lines

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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VACHERIE – On Tuesday, July 26, Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourist Commission held a special press announcement in Vacherie at the St. James port revealing a new partnership with American Cruise Lines that will make the River Parishes an official destination on their New Orleans cruise line.

The press announcement was opened with a performance by a traditional brass band with celebratory speeches by Louisiana’s River Parishes Executive Director Jay Robichaux, St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and Director for City Partnerships and Special Projects at American Cruise Lines Frank Klipsch.

“The River Parishes experienced some of the worst in Hurricane Ida and in the pandemic and has caused tourism to slow down and decline in the River Parishes,” said Robichaux. “We want to thank American Cruise Lines for adding the River Parishes as an official destination on their New Orleans cruise, where guests can enjoy and learn about the rich history of the Louisiana River Parishes through excursions, trails, tours and more.”

The new cruise line will not only increase tourism in the river region, but will also help businesses in the area.

“The partnership will provide a much-needed economic development for the River Parishes region by increasing tourism for the river region by increasing tourism for River Parishes attractions, local and small businesses and increasing job opportunities, income and overall economic growth,” Robichaux said.

According to Robichaux, the idea for a cruise line has been in the works for several years and was thought of by Paul Aucoin, former executive director of the Port of South Louisiana, but executing the idea proved to be challenging.

“Frank Klipsch called me a few weeks back and said let’s get this done. Let’s quit talking about it, let’s get it done,” Robichaux said.

The cruise line will introduce the River Parishes to a new population of visitors and give them the opportunity to see what the River Parishes has to offer.

“I’m really excited about it and I’m looking forward to introducing St. James Parish to the country and to the world and to every visitor that stops here,” said Parish President Pete Dufresne.

The cruise line will ultimately play a big part in furthering the goals of Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourist Commission and help the region heal from the damages suffered in COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida.

“As the driving force for tourism in St. Charles, St. John and St. James parishes, the Louisiana River Parishes Tourist Commission continues to stimulate the region’s economic growth and development and our new partnership with American Cruise Lines will help us to advance this mission,” Robichaux said.