NEW ORLEANS -- I
dont see why I oughtnt to like it. Does a boy get a chance to
whitewash a fence every day?
Sawyers words to the hapless Ben Rogers, who soon pleads for a
chance to do the job himself.
Steamboat Co. borrowed a page from Mark Twains The Adventures of
Tom Sawyer by letting kids on its Delta Queen Riverventures cruise
literally whitewash a fence at Toms home in Hannibal,
the companys president, said the chore is part of an offshore
excursion to Toms literary Mississippi Valley home and just one way
to get kids to bond with their surroundings.
cruise company said it is actively pursuing the multigenerational
market this year. The concept involves taking children and teens
out of the video-arcade environment via such alternatives as
kite-flying and board games, of which there is a room
play board games, you could sell tickets, Nierenberg said. You get
four people around the table, and they have to talk, and all the
juices start flowing.
The concept is
somewhat backwards from most cruise programs for kids, where the
goal is to separate active kids from their weary parents. And, of
course, Delta Queen offers that option, too, with a kids-only
program that breaks down into age-appropriate groups and kids-only
travel is on the rise at other river-cruise companies like American
West Steamboat Co., even though, said Sales Vice President Joel
Perry, American West hasnt done anything specific to promote kids
cruises or foster multigenerational groups.
Like Delta Queen,
American West offers a no-frills, no-video game environment for
families to reconnect.
typically attracts a more mature market; thats true in the U.S. and
in other river-heavy destinations like Europe.
Eddie Conrad, the
CEO of RiverBarge Excursions in New Orleans, said the number
of younger passengers has remained
fairly constant over the years.
promoted our product as being an opportunity for families of
multiple generations to experience a vacation together, Conrad
Well have some
people who come year after year, a grandmother bringing her
granddaughter, and we watch the little girl grow up. Its not a big
big portion of our business, but it always has been a
reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].