With their cultural or historic appeal, cruises along the Mississippi River itineraries will be tempting options for a vacation for travelers who enjoy old-world glamour instead of all that charm of modern liners.
About Mississippi river Cruises
Cruises along the Mississippi River are quite different than regular type of cruises, which will normally take place on board big luxury cruise ships. Knowing what you can expect for a cruise on the Mississippi River may help guests have an idea of what unique characteristics they may experience on that type of voyages.
Among the main differences between a cruise down the majestic Mississippi River and a regular cruise vacation will be the cruise ship`s size. River vessels usually accommodate up to a couple of hundred passengers. The much smaller size will allow the ship to safely travel through shallow waterways. Nonetheless, while the cozy side of the cruise ship might be more attracting to one type of cruisers, guests who may be prone to seasickness will have to be careful as that ships which will sail along the Mississippi aren`t generally equipped with stabilizers, which will mean you may feel a bumpier ride than you were originally thought. On the other side, the historic ships which will call the majestic Mississippi River home will allow passengers the unique change to step back in those nineteenth century days of traveling with a riverboat.
The ambiance on board Mississippi River cruises is usually quite casual, relaxing and peaceful. Instead of participating in regular activities found on large cruise ships, like spa treatments, rock climbing or limbo contests, guests of cruises on the Mississippi will participate in various activities like: storytelling, painting, listening to live music, educational narrations, fishing or bird watching.
Most riverboat cruises along the Mississippi will last between 60 minutes and 3 hours. Sightseeing daily cruises as well as evening dinner cruise trips will be the most well known routes provided by the Mississippi river cruise lines. Because of the economical reasons there are will be no more river vessels providing full-service overnight cruises along the Mississippi as well as its tributaries. However, there are a few cruise lines which provide pseudo-overnight tours, which will feature a staying at waterfront motels included between days on this river.
The Mississippi is considered among the largest waterways on the globe. The river will include upper and lower areas, both of which are well known destinations for cruising. Major cities visited by these cruises will include: New Orleans, St. Louis, Memphis, Baton Rouge, Galveston, St. Paint or St. Louis.
Cruises along Mississippi River Itineraries
The most famous embarkation ports for Mississippi cruises are St. Louis in the upper Mississippi River, and New Orleans in the lower Mississippi River.
The Mississippi provides to all its visitors historic experiences from which they are able to learn how it was in the 19th century when steamboats have frequently been using its waters. This kinds of boats brought visitors back to those “ancient” times, while they will also offer all the modern amenities a passenger will need.
La Crosse Queen Cruises
This is considered a replica after the popular river boats from the 19th century. What it is so special about this river boats is that it includes a split stern-wheel, which makes it one of the last authentic paddle-wheels boats of its kind along the Mississippi, according to their site. La Crosse Queen is based in La Crosse and will generally operate sightseeing cruises of around 2 hours in length, and also extended excursions throughout more beautiful buffs where the main attraction is wildlife seeing. On this river ship, guests may enjoy cocktails, snacks, drinks or an experienced cruise guide who narrated related stories about the attractions encountered along the way. Sunday brunches are being hosted on these cruise tours where guests may enjoy a complimentary breakfast along the Mississippi. On weekend, dinner cruise tours will be available as well.
La Crosse Queen
La Crosse, WI 54602
This is a genuine New Orleans-based river cruise ship and which will provide each and every night starting at 19.00, New Orleans cruise tours from Toulouse Street Wharf. The guests will enjoy a romantic ambiance filled live jazz music or tasty meals for dinner, and accommodate at motels along the Mississippi if they should choose so. This cruise will offer scenic sites of the city, indoor and outdoor seating as well for landscape viewings as well as buffet-style dining. The Natchez cruise ship offers live jazz cruises of two hours in length as well. Kids up to six years old will travel free of charge on their cruise tours and several discount offers will be available as well for groups.
400 N. Peters St.
Minneapolis is considered being so well known for its sightseeing, culture and scenery. River cruise tours are seen as a great way of viewing the skyline and the scenery of Minneapolis. A few river cruise tours will be available to those who enjoy sightseeing tours in Minneapolis, which range from private charters or specialty cruises to daily sightseeing tours.
Magnolia Blossom Cruises
Magnolia Blossoms Cruises provides private cruises, which allow passengers to opt from three distinct cruise routes or time departures. The cruise routes will go through Minneapolis, St. Paul and the Minnesota River Valley. Other type of services will include public cruises which will vary in price as well as wedding cruises. For parties of thirty five guests or more, meals will be served buffet style, with regular entrees which range in price from $13.99 to $22.99.
2500 Crosby Farm Road
651 690 2739
Padelford cruises will depart along the Mississippi from Harriet Island in St. Paul, where guests are able to view the structures of the Twin cities metro area. Padelford cruises will offer tours through the summer season as well as featured cruises, which will include fall sightseeing, dinner or happy tour cruises. They will provide private charters, specialty cruises or school excursions as well. The sightseeing cruise is only about $15/adults, $13/seniors under 65 years old, $7/children of three to twelve years old and kids under two years will sail for free. The cost of specialty cruise tour will vary in price, reaching $39/adults.
Padelford Packet Boat Co.
651 227 1100
Paradise Cruise will provide public as well as private cruise tours through historic downtown Minneapolis. Their cruise companies are the Minneapolis Queen, 80-foot paddle-wheeler which can accommodate twenty to over 120 guests, Paradise Lady, a 95-foot yacht which can accommodate fifty to 140 guests as well as regular Mississippi River Public Cruise which can offer happy hour, Fridays evening dinner, Sunday brunch as well as sightseeing cruises. Admission for public river cruise tours will range from $23.99 to $45.99. Discounts will be available for seniors, kids with ages between two and twelve years old, and it is a free sail for infants.
P.O. Box 563
952 474 8058
The mighty Mississippi River will stretch over more than 2.300 miles from Minnesota to the southernmost lands of New Orleans after which will empty in the Gulf of Mexico. Immortalized by Mark Twain or Jerome Kern, the composer of “Showboat”, this majestic river will attract travelers who are in the look of a ride on the river. Although many of the traditional steamboats which once plied the waters of the Mississippi have fallen on hard periods of time, you may still find several that will provide cruise tours, both downriver and upriver.
The Steamboat Natchez
Being operated by the New Orleans Steamboat Company, the Natchez is a popular classic steamboat which will provide dinner jazz as well as harbor cruise tours on a regular basis. Leaving out of the Toulouse Street Wharf in the French Quarter of New Orleans, this riverboat will provide a 2-hour Jazz Cruise which will leave at 19.00 and will include casual buffet dining, live jazz performed by the Dukes of Dixieland, indoor as well as outdoor seating, and extraordinary views of New Orleans and the Mississippi River. Reservations will be recommended for this specific cruise.
A 2-hour daytime Harbor Cruise is a wonderful way to do a little sightseeing. There is an optional Creole lunch on this riverboat, and the cruise will be narrated. Guests may enjoy a live Calliope concert as well. The Harbor Cruise will board at 11.00 and 14.00. Travelers should call ahead for schedules or availability information.
New Orleans Steamboat Company
400 N. Peters St.
504 586 8777
The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen
This traditional paddle-wheeler steamboat, which has been launched in 1983, will leave from New Orleans. The Creole Queen will provide a 3-hour Dinner Jazz Cruise which will board at 19.00 at the Canal Street Dock. For around $64 per passenger, you will get the cruise, live jazz music, a Creole buffet dinner as well as a cash bar. The Creole Queen will be decked out in southern style, having wrought iron trim on its outer deck, bars which are made from Louisiana Cypress or Victorian draperies in the windows.
The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen
Riverwalk Market Place, Box 39
504 529 4567
The Riverboat Twilight
If you would like to splurge a little and include some overnight accommodations in your plans, you may want to take into consideration booking a 2-day trip on the upper Mississippi on board the Twilight riverboat. This boat will provide round-trip cruises which take passengers from Le Claire over 160 miles on the Mississippi River to Dubuque. There, you will spend your night at the Riverfront Grand Harbor and then return back to Le Claire the very next day. The hotel will include a 25.000-square-foot water park, nearby casino, full breakfast buffet and evening transportation. More modern than many other boats, the Twilight is considered a replica of 19th century steamboats with 21st century comforts, dining area, air conditioning or three sundecks. The overnight cruise will include performances by folk and jazz musicians, or Mark Twain impersonators. As of 2011, such a cruise cost around $330 and will include all meals, lodging and activities.
P.O. Box 172
1 800 331 1467
If you are a honeymooning couple or a history buff, sailing along the Mississippi River on board an authentic river ship may satisfy your desire for romance, adventure or history. There are a few outfitters which may help you follow in the footsteps of Huck Finn.
The Paddelford Packet Boat Company will operate six ships from St. Paul, taking passengers on daily cruises along the upper Mississippi River. You may explore the history of the Mississippi River Valley on a 1 1/2-hour narrated cruise trip through the mouth of the Minnesota River to Fort Snelling and Pike Island, taking a glimpse of the Pig`s Eye`s Cave or St. Paul High Bridge. These day trips will operate seven days per week, from early June to late August. In September or October, you may enjoy the colorful fall foliage on the river on board special Fall Sightseeing cruises. If you are in the search of a new dining experience, you may sail and feast on board several distinct meal cruise trips, which will include sunset cruise up the Mississippi, dinner or Sunday brunch cruise tours, as well as Mother`s and Father`s Day Brunches. Specialty cruise trips will include a Margarita cruise, an Oktoberfest cruise, a Fireworks cruise on the Fourth of July, where you will be able to see the St. Paul`s fireworks display from the river, and a Beer & Brats cruise. All traditional and specialty cruise trips can be subject to be changed starting with 2011.
Paddelford Packet Boat Co., Inc.
(651) 227 1100
The Spirit of Peoria
See the landmarks on the Mississippi River as you will sail on board an authentic paddle-boat from Peoria to St. Louis, during any period of the year. For 3 days, you may travel in the way that Mark Twain sailed through locks of this great river, seeing riverscapes and watching the wildlife in the area on the Spirit of Peoria. The ship will sail from 08.00 to 19.00 each and every day, the 1st night you will spend in Jacksonville, while the 2nd one at the Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton, before you will dock at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis on the 3rd day. As of 2011, ticket rates will include overnight lodging, unlimited complimentary drinks, live entertainment like old-time banjo picker or ragtime piano player, and all meals. The cruise price, which as of 2011 will be of $499/person/double occupancy, will include round-trip transportation back to Peoria as well as bagging handling. The Spirit of Peoria will offer other overnight excursions as well.
Spirit of Peoria
100 Water Street
(309) 637 8000
The Creole Queen
Glory in the sights or sounds of New Orleans as you will be sailing along the Mississippi River on board the Creole Queen, an authentic paddler-wheel riverboat powered by twenty-four-foot diameter paddle-wheel, according to their official website. At night, you may dine on a delightful Creole buffet or watch the lights of the city slip by on the Dinner Jazz Cruise which will run 4 to 5 nights per week, which will include Fridays or Saturdays. During the day, you may cruise downriver, disembark at Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve, and take a tour of Chalmette Battlefield, a site from the 1815 Battle of New Orleans between the United States President-to-be Andrew Jackson and the English. Specialty cruise trips will include the Fourth of July Celebration River Cruise and the Easter Sunday New Orleans Jazz Brunch. All cruise tours will be available as of 2011.
New Orleans Paddlewheels Inc.
Riverwalk Market Place, Box 39
(504) 529 4567