Viking River cruises - Mississippi River cruise

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I took a short (two hour) cruise on the German Rhine several years ago. Its quite a sight to see those long boats maneuvering through sharp curves and heavily populated areas. Of course, the Mississippi is much larger, and easily accommodates 1000' barge tows. I suspect the currents here are much, much stronger, though.

I wonder how they deal with passing through locks? Do passenger ships have the right-of-way over barges?

Here's an interesting article describing navigating a large barge tow through a set of locks (including "average" delays of 54 hours):

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5653695#.W8FGTWhKjIU
framer wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:22 pm
I wonder how they deal with passing through locks? Do passenger ships have the right-of-way over barges?

Here's an interesting article describing navigating a large barge tow through a set of locks (including "average" delays of 54 hours):

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5653695#.W8FGTWhKjIU
Wonder, I believe it is literally first come first serve and I can't see any tug/barge company giving up their spot in line.

The other aspect is that their is no fees on the lock system so no basis to pay premium to get first in line and or optimum times as is with the case of the Panama Canal where you can literally pay a premium to move up in line. The Feds due charge a separate fuel or excise tax for tug boats to help maintain the lock system but barely covers upkeep and some dredging here and there.
It is worth noting that the delay was, per the article, during a period where the primary lock at Chain of Rocks was out of service for repairs, thus forcing a ton and a half of barge traffic to break tows to use the smaller lock next door. I expect Viking could avoid the delays easily enough most of the time with smart scheduling. Stay away from the construction projects, especially during the harvest. Keep to the lower river during the troublesome times. (Pretty much the same thing every other cruise company did in the past, I think.)

Both Chain of Rocks and Alton already have the long locks, while still also having shorter secondary locks. Are the short locks typically in service in parallel with the longs ones? I could easily see that they could be useful for getting pleasure traffic out of the main locks to keep those free for freight traffic. And the short locks are big enough to fit anything shorter than a battleship, and even most of those until you get to WWII. Of course they'd hit every bridge north of Memphis. (And probably quite a few sand bars south of that.) But getting back on topic . . .

Assuming the Viking boat is less than 600' long (a fairly safe assumption) and the second lock is available then skipping the line might well be an option, at least as far north as Alton. And I believe there's a lot less traffic north of that most of the time anyway, since quite a lot comes off the Illinois River.