By Michelle Baran

The American Queen Steamboat Co. (AQSC) is moving its 436-passenger paddlewheeler American Queen to the Ohio River for the remainder of July due to high water levels on the Upper Mississippi River.

Torrential downpours in recent weeks in the Midwest have resulted in flooding along stretches of the Mississippi River.

Consequently, the American Queen is moving to the Ohio River for its next three sailings, which will impact the originally scheduled July 9 sailing between Cincinnati and St. Louis and the July 15 and 23 sailings between St. Louis and St. Paul, Minn.

“Sometimes river conditions are outside our control,” AQSC President and COO Ted Sykes said in a statement. “We recognize the need to cruise on the Ohio River for our July 2014 itineraries and will then return to our regularly scheduled itineraries.”

The new itineraries will sail between Cincinnati and Paducah, Ky., calling on Cave-In-Rock, Ill.; Henderson, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; Madison, Ind.; and Augusta, Ky. Guests on the July 9 voyage will travel by motorcoach from Paducah to St. Louis at the conclusion of the sailing and resume their return home as scheduled. The July 15 pre-cruise hotel stay in St. Louis remains, and guests will be transferred to Paducah to join the American Queen.

The July 23 voyage will now depart Cincinnati, replacing St. Paul, and details on that itinerary will be available shortly.

Guests booked on the July 9 or 15 itineraries have the option to stay on their deviated voyage and receive a $100 onboard credit, per person, and a $500 future cruise credit per stateroom. Guests preferring to book an Upper Mississippi River voyage in late 2014 may roll forward their booking with a one stateroom category upgrade (subject to availability), noted AQSC.

The Mississippi River continued to gradually rise on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported, but overnight rainfall wasn’t as severe as predicted.