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Passengers on a Viking river cruise from New Orleans to St. Paul found their trip shortened due to Mississippi River levels, while travelers booked on the return journey have seen it canceled.

The river is at its lowest point in 10 years after prolonged summer droughts, and this has been having a knock-on effect on shipping traffic.

A 15-day Viking cruise to Minnesota was due to leave New Orleans on Saturday but low river forced the departure to be moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

The Associated Press reports the trip got as far as Mississippi where it was stopped again due to grounded barges blocking the river. On Wednesday Viking told the 350 passengers they were canceling the rest of the trip and would be making alternative arrangements to get them home and give them refunds.

What's more, Viking River Cruises told Bring Me The News that because it's not able to get its ship back to the Twin Cities in time, the scheduled Oct. 15 departure from St. Paul for New Orleans has also been canceled.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to deepen the shipping canal in some sections, but the closures have caused delays that will prevent the Viking Mississippi from completing the sailing underway and from reaching St. Paul for her next scheduled departure on October 15," the cruise line said.

The company said that as of Wednesday, it expects all future departures of the Viking Mississippi to go on as scheduled. The Oct. 15 scheduled trip from St. Paul to New Orleans was sold out, according to its website.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told Bring Me The News the agency has seen some grounding happen in the Mississippi area as recently as Sept. 30. Traffic is flowing again as of Thursday.

The Viking Mississippi embarked on its first river cruise from St. Paul to New Orleans this past July.

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