Mississippi River boat cruises are a great attraction for visitors to Minnesota. Those of us who live here love to explore the "Mighty Mississippi" as well. There are many opportunities for cruising on the river.
The American Queen on the Mississippi River in Saint Paul
Enjoy Mississippi riverboat cruises on your Minnesota vacation. Mississippi river tours depart from Saint Paul, Minneapolis and several other Minnesota locations.
The big river boats like the American Queen offer tours that depart from several cities including St. Paul.
These tours are typically a week to nine days long. You will visit a number of cities along the route you choose and enjoy beautiful accommodations and cuisine on board.
Saint Paul, Minnesota is the home port for upper Mississippi river cruises. Mississippi river boat cruises leave from both Minneapolis & St. Paul.
Summer is the busiest season, though Mississippi river tours are offered to view fall color in September and October and, as well, an Oktoberfest cruise. Riverboat rentals are also available for weddings, school trips and other special events. The Padelford Packet Boat Company, Inc. launches from Harriet Island in St. Paul. You can also buy tickets on the Padelford website for the Minnesota Centennial Showboat.
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Mississippi river boat cruises on the 125 passenger Minneapolis Queen depart from Boom Island Park at 700 Sibley Street in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Queen offers public tours and private charters. These Mississippi river tours offer views of historic downtown Minneapolis including Nicollet Island, the Stone Arch Bridge, Mill City Musem, the St. Anthony Main area and a close up of St. Anthony Falls via the lock-and-dam system constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Learn more at the Minneapolis Queen website.
Pearl of the Lake Mississippi river boat cruises: Pearl of the Lake is a genuine replica of an 1800's Paddle wheeler...the grand riverboats that traveled on the Mississippi River in the 1800's. True to tradition, her only means of propulsion is the twin paddlewheels in the stern. Her name emphasizes the historic significance shared by paddlewheel boats and the freshwater pearl industry on the upper Mississippi River. Cruises are 90 minutes long on Lake Pepin, the largest River Lake on the Mississippi. You can board Pearl of the Lake in Lake City. Learn more at the Pearl of the Lake website.
Rusty's Red Wing River Rides is an ideal way to take a Mississippi river boat cruise. Sight-Sea-ER II departs daily from the historic river town of Red Wing, Minnesota. on a variety of public excursions that begin in mid-April and run through October. The boat departs from Red Wing and will be gone for most of the day. Many people take one of Rusty's Red Wing River Rides to go eagle and wildlife viewing. The boat can hold a total of 37 passengers. All of the sightseeing cruises are fully narrated and the boat is staffed with a fully licensed captain and crew. More details at Rusty's River Rides
Magnolia Blossom Cruises offer both public and private Mississippi river tours. Cruises leave from 2500 Crosby Farm Road St. Paul, MN 55116. The magnolia Blossom cruises the Mississippi from St. Paul to Minneapolis as well as the Minnesota River. Day long trips are available to locations such as Hudson, Prescott, and Alma, Wisconsin, or Treasure Island and Red Wing, Minnesota. Riverboat weddings, corporate events and private parties can be held on board the boat with room for up to 125 people. Enjoy amazing views of the river at night. Travelers will often board the Magnolia Blossom just to grab dinner with friends and family. Everyone working on the boat is certified by the United States Coast Guard. Learn more at the Magnolia Blossom website
"The Mississippi River is one of the most magical and charming rivers to explore, so we're looking forward to seeing more and more travelers experiencing one of America's most intriguing cruise regions."
The cruise line plans announcements on its Mississippi itineraries and ship design later this year. Viking Mississippi vessels will be similar to the contemporary ships Viking uses on European rivers.
The boats will depart from New Orleans and be tailored to the Mississippi, with special accommodations for river depth, bridge height and flood potential.
Visit St. Paul CEO and President Terry Mattson said "there are some details to work through before things are finalized, but Viking is no doubt committed. The company is highly respected in the travel market and very serious about St. Paul. We are on the banks of one of the world's most storied rivers, and the potential here is amazing. This will bring even more opportunities to enhance Saint Paul as a destination along with enhancing its image and popularity."
"Those ships do not look like the classic steam vessels that used to ply the Mississippi River," Driscoll said Tuesday. "My guess is they're not going to go back to that."
Excerpt from TwinCities.com 2/25/15