Mark Twain once described Hannibal as a “white town drowsing in the sunshine of a summer morning.” That was a fairly apt description of Hannibal in the summer of 2020, as the COVID pandemic silenced pretty much all activity along the Mississippi River. Hannibal is hoping those tourists come back in droves, and that some of that action is driven by an award in a national travel magazine.

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River Travel Magazine has announced its Best of the River winners for 2021. It has listed the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum as a top must-see cultural site along the Mississippi River. The magazine highlights the all the best sites along the Mississippi’s Great River Road, from Lake Itasca to New Orleans.

Hannibal has a brand new, revitalized riverfront to greet visitors in 2021. As it turned out, it was a great time to revamp the area since river travel of the cruise ships shut down in 2020. Now Hannibal has a new docking station for those big passenger ships that bring thousands of visitors to town, where they stroll Main street and visit historic sites and spend money at the shops and restaurants there. Downtown merchants are hoping for a big rebound after a very trying and dismal year.

A brand-new riverboat will stop in Hannibal this season. The American Steamboat Company has added the ship “American Countess” to its fleet. It will join other paddlewheelers, the American Duchess and the American Queen. Viking Cruise Lines is expected to launch a new luxury passenger ship in 2022 that will also dock in Hannibal. Those excursions are already sold out on the Viking line website.

For daily sightseeing and dinner cruises, check out the Mark Twain Riverboat. It’s the local choice for a relaxing ride on the Mighty Mississippi River.

 

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