Day Cruises On the Upper Mississippi River


Discover! America's Great River Road is the indispensible guidebook to the Upper Mississippi River ... heritage, natural history and recreation. Since 1987!Many towns along the Upper Mississippi River offer day cruises, dinner cruises, or sightseeing cruises on the Mississippi River or its tributaries. For detailed information, see Discover! America's Great River Road, Volumes 1-4, for the particular section of the river you plan to visit. Day Cruises, Sightseeing Cruises, and Dinner Cruises are among the most popular visitor activities along the Mississippi River. St. Paul, Galena, Winona, Alton, St. Louis, Hannibal, La Crosse, and many other small towns along the Mississippi offer an outstanding opportunity to see the beauty of the river from the river itself..

    The La Crosse Queen. operating out of La Crosse, Wisconsin, is typical of sight-seeing cruise boats on the Mississippi. The La Crosse Queen is a modern-day replica of the grand riverboats which roamed the Mississippi in the late 19th Century. She is one of the few authentic Mississippi River paddlewheelers still in operation in the country today. In keeping with early traditions, she was built with sternwheels which are her only means of propulsion. The Queen has a split sternwheel and each is run by a twin diesel engine that powers hydraulic motors which turn the paddles.  This is in contrast to most Mississippi River paddlewheelers in operation today which have a "free wheeling" paddlewheel at the stern of the boat for visual effect, but have traditional screw-type engines hidden for their real means of propulsion.

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Questions Frequently Asked

Yes, the La Crosse Queen is a true Mississippi River paddlewheeler! Advance reservations are need on all MEAL cruises for guaranteed passage (and this would apply to most riverboat dinner cruises); sightseeing cruises are available on a first-come basis. The lower deck is climate controlled; the upper deck has a canopied cover and is open at the sides for enjoyment of the scenic view and feel of the breeze! The Queen is wheelchair accessible and equipped with restrooms, however we advise bus groups to make a restroom stop prior to boarding as our facilities are limited.

Riverboat Sightseeing Cruises

As your riverboat paddles upstream on the main channel of the river your guide will often explain facts and trivia of the historical and present day river, along with local points of interest. Watch for eagles and other wildlife as we cruise past steep bluffs adjacent to the "Great River Road" on the Upper Mississippi--designated by AAA as one of the most scenic areas in the Midwest! As we near the Lock & Dams,  we will explain the locking process to you.  Daily riverboat excursions early May through late October.

Captain's Champagne Brunch

Perk up a lazy Sunday morning and pamper yourself with a brunch fit for a "Queen" while you enjoy the beautiful sights along "Ol' Man River". Feast on a tasty array of hot breakfast and lunch entrees. Often there will be complimentary champagne.  Special children's prices. To make the morning truly special you will experience "locking through" a Lock and Dam,  river conditions permitting, on this special two hour riverboat cruise. Includes narrated tour. Advance reservations are necessary.

Three Hour Cruise

Step back in time to when the most popular means of travel from town to town along the Mississippi River was by riverboat. Experience three hours on one of the most scenic stretches of the upper Mississippi River at a most leisurely pace. Sit back and enjoy the scenic treasures as we paddle through one of the oldest swing bridges still in operation today, the wildlife. Observe up close Mississippi River barge and pleasure boat traffic. Don't forget your camera!

Private Party Charters

Most riverboat cruise organizers invite Private Charters.The nostalgic decor of warm Walnut wood and brass of our 150 passenger riverboat will provide a unique atmosphere for your special occasion such as conventions, class reunions, receptions, weddings, business parties, and family get-togethers. We'll take the worry out of it for you and attend to the details so that you can relax. Cocktails, meal service and live music is available if desired; back-to-back riverboat cruises are offered to extra large groups. Available mid-April through late October.

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