The Commercial Appeal reports the American Queen steamboat, which began its trip on Aug. 3, started experiencing navigation problems due to the very low river levels in the Memphis area on Wednesday.
Tim Rubacky, senior vice president of the American Queen Steamboat Company, said low water levels and navigation problems mean it wouldn't be wise for the Queen to go any further south than Helena, Ark.
Rubacky says the decision was made after consulting with the Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers.
The Queen steamboat was carrying some 300 passengers when it was halted.
About 58 passengers remained aboard Thursday night. About 240 others went on to Vicksburg by bus.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been hard at work dredging the river to keep the channels flowing. There have already been dozens of incidents of barges running aground.
The Mississippi River at Vicksburg was only at 1.48 feet early Friday afternoon. The river is forecast to continue to fall to 0.60 feet by next Wednesday. The record low flood stage here is minus 7.00 feet, set back in 1940.
A widespread significant drought ongoing across the Midwest and Ohio Valley combined with several intense heat waves have been contributing to the record to near record low Mississippi River.
This is one year after the opposite extreme on the river resulted in historic rises and flooding all along the Lower Mississippi River Valley.
Now the river is at its lowest levels since 1988. The Lower Mississippi River drains 31 states and two provinces in Canada.