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How Long Is The Mississippi River Cruise

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Cruising Down The Mississippi River New Orleans to Gulf of Mexico On Cruise Ship

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St Paul to New Orleans

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American Queen Steamboat Company Offers Three Itineraries On The Lower Mississippi:

A Taste Of The True South from Memphis to New Orleans, or reverse

This eight or nine day itinerary visits New Orleans, Louisana Nottoway Plantation St. Francisville, Louisana Natchez, Mississippi Vicksburg, Mississippi Greenville, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee.

On this sailing, guests can visit Nottoway Plantation, the Souths largest remaining antebellum mansion the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, which hosted speakers including Teddy Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant and a Jewish temple that contains artifacts and memorabilia from World War II.

Jewels Of The Lower Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans, or reverse

Another nine-day journey, this sailing stops in Memphis, Tennessee Vicksburg, Mississippi Natchez, Mississippi Baton Rouge, Louisana St. Francisville, Louisana Nottoway Plantation and New Orleans, Louisana.

Guests sailing this itinerary can visit Royal Street in St. Francisville, Louisana explore a Fletcher-class Destroyer, USS Kidd, that fought in many US battles and visit the Greenville Writers Exhibit, which showcases writers from Greenville.

Southern Sampler roundtrip from New Orleans

This nine-day journey takes guests to New Orleans, Louisana St. Francisville, Louisana Natchez, Mississippi Vicksburg, Mississippi Baton Rouge, Louisana and Nottoway, Louisana.

Exploring Mississippi Ohio River Towns

Aptly named The Art of Discovery, our itinerary focused on the museums and music in a slice of America not exactly flooded with tourists. Stops included largely unheralded but wonderfully authentic ports in such Kentucky towns as Paducah, Henderson, Owensboro and Brandenburg.

The first 200 miles of the journey were spent cruising upstream on the lower Mississippi River. Near Cairo, Illinois, the Mississippi converged with the Ohio River we veered to the northeast on the Ohio River toward Louisville and quickly noticed the water in the Ohio is much bluer and less muddy than the Mississippi.

The American Duchess was built as a casino riverboat in 1995, then elegantly refurbished in 2017 to accommodate 166 passengers. Its red paddlewheels in the rear are more than decorative they provide about 20 percent of the boats propulsion. The captain wasnt aiming to set any speed records, though. The Duchess averaged a leisurely 7 mph during the trip.

In Paducah, named by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as one of nine Creative Cities in the country for its important role in the connectivity of cultures through creativity, we visited the National Quilt Museum and the River Discovery Center, a small museum created to showcase the areas rich maritime history.

Colorful attraction:Neon sign museum lets you bask in the glow of nostalgia

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Mississippi River Steamboat Cruises

Theres nothing quite like a relaxing cruise. The gorgeous scenery, the gentle atmosphere and the sounds of the water are a perfect combination for a great getaway. A popular choice for cruises are steamboat cruises on the Mississippi river.

What are Steamboats?

The Natchez Steamboat

Steamboats are boats that run on steam power instead of coal or wind power. When they were first created, they were meant to make general traveling and the transport of goods easier. Today, steamboats are primarily used for tourist purposes such as cruises on lakes and rivers.

Where does a Mississippi River Cruise Go?

Where the cruise goes depends on what kind of cruise you are interested in and where you are departing from. Upper Mississippi River cruises typically depart from somewhere in St. Louis. Then the cruise will go through Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The cruise usually ends in Minnesota where the passengers will then disembark.

Lower Mississippi River cruises typically start in Tennessee. The cruise will then head to Missouri, passing through Illinois and finally disembarking in St. Louis.

Queen Of The Mississippi River Boat

Several cruises also travel through the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers during their Mississippi River cruises. During the Ohio River cruise, the boat will visit places such as Kentucky and Indiana. If the cruise goes down the Tennessee River, the route will typically go through Alabama, Missouri and Illinois.

How Long does a Mississippi River Cruise Last?

Navigation And Flood Control

How long is the Mississippi river, where is the source and ...

A clear channel is needed for the barges and other vessels that make the main stem Mississippi one of the great commercial waterways of the world. The task of maintaining a navigation channel is the responsibility of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which was established in 1802. Earlier projects began as early as 1829 to remove snags, close off secondary channels and excavate rocks and sandbars.

Steamboats entered trade in the 1820s, so the period 18301850 became the golden age of steamboats. As there were few roads or rails in the lands of the Louisiana Purchase, river traffic was an ideal solution. Cotton, timber and food came down the river, as did Appalachian coal. The port of New Orleans boomed as it was the trans-shipment point to deep sea ocean vessels. As a result, the image of the twin-stacked, wedding cake Mississippi steamer entered into American mythology. Steamers worked the entire route from the trickles of Montana to the Ohio River down the Missouri and Tennessee, to the main channel of the Mississippi. Only with the arrival of the railroads in the 1880s did steamboat traffic diminish. Steamboats remained a feature until the 1920s. Most have been superseded by pusher tugs. A few survive as iconsthe Delta Queen and the River Queen for instance.

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Mississippi River Port Highlights

New Orleans, Louisiana: Thick with atmosphere, New Orleans is world-famous for its annual Mardi Gras celebration, beautiful French Quarter neighborhood, great Southern and Creole cooking and some of the world’s best jazz music.

Vicksburg, Mississippi: The site of a famous Civil War battlefield, Vicksburg also offers visitors a glimpse into its Southern heritage with antebellum plantations, old churches and restored train depots. A popular attraction is National Military Park, where visitors can learn about the siege and defense of the city. The park includes more than 1,370 monuments and markers, a restored Union gunboat and a national cemetery. Boat-lovers might like the Old Depot Museum, which features the world’s largest collection of ship models, as well as a collection of riverboat models and U.S. Navy ships with Mississippi names.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana’s state capital is an intriguing mixture of African-American and Caribbean cultures and a hot spot for Creole and Cajun cuisine. Visit Louisiana’s Old State Capitol or new state capitol building — or head to the LSU Rural Life Museum for a showcase of what life was like on a typical 19th century plantation. Visit the kitchen, slave cabins and grist mill before touring a replica of the town.

Lower Middle & Upper Mississippi River Cruises

One of the most popular rivers to cruise in the United States is the Mississippi River. Lower, middle, and upper Mississippi River cruises are a great option for first-time cruisers as well as regular cruisers. The culture of the ports along the banks of the Mississippi is as diverse as the scenery. For travelers who are looking for a luxury river cruise experience without the time or investment in a transcontinental flight, a sail down the Mississippi River may be a great option.

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American Cruise Lines Offers One Itinerary On The Upper Mississippi:

Upper Mississippi River Cruise from St. Louis to St. Paul, Minnesota, or reverse

This eight-day itinerary takes guests to St. Louis, Missouri Hannibal, Missouri Fort Madison, Iowa Davenport, Iowa Dubuque, Iowa La Crosse, Wisconsin Red Wing, Minnesota and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Highlights of the sailing may include a visit to the Missouri History Museum, an agri-tourism tour at a dairy farm and a visit to the National Eagle Center.

*This sailing has two themed varieties, Mark Twain cruise, or Fall Foliage Cruise.

Th And 21st Centuries

2020’s Best Travel Pick – Mississippi River Cruise on the Riverboat Twilight

The “Big Freeze” of 191819 blocked river traffic north of Memphis, Tennessee, preventing transportation of coal from southern Illinois. This resulted in widespread shortages, high prices, and rationing of coal in January and February.

In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its banks in 145 places, during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and inundated 27,000 sq mi to a depth of up to 30 feet .

In 1930, Fred Newton was the first person to swim the length of the river, from Minneapolis to New Orleans. The journey took 176 days and covered 1,836 miles.

In 1962 and 1963, industrial accidents spilled 3.5 million US gallons of soybean oil into the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. The oil covered the Mississippi River from St. Paul to Lake Pepin, creating an ecological disaster and a demand to control water pollution.

On October 20, 1976, the automobile ferry, MV George Prince, was struck by a ship traveling upstream as the ferry attempted to cross from Destrehan, Louisiana, to Luling, Louisiana. Seventy-eight passengers and crew died only eighteen survived the accident.

The Great Flood of 1993 was another significant flood, primarily affecting the Mississippi above its confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois.

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Cruise Lower Mississippi River

Charmed by the mighty Lower Mississippi River? Our USA River Cruise agents are ready and waiting to help you plan a journey like no other.

The Mississippi River is filled with diverse, culturally rich regions that promise historical, musical, and gustatory experiences unlike those found anywhere else in the world.

For this reason, our cruises are customized to suit the experience you are seeking whatever that may be.

Are you a Civil War history buff? Do you treasure the writings of Mark Twain? Or do you seek a Mardi Gras full of dance, color, and delicious food?

No matter what aspect of this mighty river and its many facets appeals to you, we have the cruise of your dreams.

With ports of call that span the region from St. Paul, Minnesota, to New Orleans, youll feel like the king and/or queen of the Mississippi.

Explore from St. Louis to St. Paul and points both north and south with USA River Cruises on one of our quintessential American cruise line adventures!

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Why Are River Cruises So Expensive

River cruises tend to be more expensive due to fewer passengers and high operating costs. Between fuel costs, employee salaries, high quality food and excursions, these arent inexpensive vacations.

Even understanding this, I was shocked with the prices. Weve taken Caribbean cruises, even one through the Panama Canal, that were under $200 a night, some even with balconies!

Mind you, these prices are comparable with river cruises in Europe and elsewhere. So, why are Mississippi river cruises so expensive?

The first thing I had to wrap my head around is youre paying for an experience unlike any other. While relaxing on a cruise ship is nice , when youve been to the various ports before it can get a little blah.

Instead of embarking with 3,000+ strangers, most river boats carry less than 400 passengers. The ratio of staff to guests is higher which should mean much better service.

In addition, the staff are American and receive fair wages and benefits, unlike those big cruise ships. Another consideration, almost everything is included with your fare.

This can include your first nights stay, beverages, deluxe dining and even your excursions. You pay more up front but arent nickel and dimed as the cruise ships are notorious for doing.

Highlights Of The Mississippi River

New Mississippi River cruises on tap for fall

New Orleans, LA to New Orleans, LA

  • Pre-CruisePackage and Complimentary Hotel Stay
  • Day 1New Orleans, LA
  • Day 2Houmas House, LA
  • Day 3Baton Rouge, LA
  • Day 4Oak Alley, LA
  • Day 5New Orleans, LA

Pittsburgh, PA to St. Louis, MO

  • Pre-CruisePackages and Complimentary Hotel Stays
  • Day 1Pittsburgh, PA
  • Day 9Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Day 10St. Louis, MO
  • Day 11St. Louis, MO

St. Paul, MN to New Orleans, LA

  • Pre-CruisePre-Cruise Hotel Stay
  • Day 1St. Paul, MN
  • Day 2Red Wing, MN
  • Day 3Winona, MN
  • Day 6Fort Madison, IA
  • Day 7Hannibal, MO
  • Day 8St. Louis, MO
  • Day 9Day of River Cruising
  • Day 10Memphis, TN
  • Day 11Day of River Cruising
  • Day 12Vicksburg, MS
  • Day 14Baton Rouge, LA
  • Day 15New Orleans, LA

Memphis, TN to Nashville, TN

  • Pre-CruisePackages and Complimentary Hotel Stays
  • Day 1Memphis, TN
  • Day 2Cruising the Mississippi and Ohio River
  • Day 3Paducah, KY
  • Day 4Cruising Lake Barkley and the Cumberland River
  • Day 5Dover, TN

New Orleans, LA to St. Louis, MO

  • Pre-CruisePre-Cruise Hotel Stay
  • Day 1New Orleans, LA
  • Day 2Baton Rouge, LA
  • Day 3Natchez, MS
  • Day 5Day of River Cruising
  • Day 6Memphis, TN
  • Day 7New Madrid, MO
  • Day 8Paducah, KY
  • Day 9Day of River Cruising
  • Day 10St. Louis, MO
  • Day 11St. Louis, MO

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‘i Feel Safe Being On The Water’

Making it through the buffet took longer than normal and the temperature checks slowed things down when a large group returned from a sightseeing tour. But I heard little grousing.

People seemed more than happy to put up with some minor inconveniences to return to cruising and everything it entails tasty and plentiful food, first-rate entertainment, enriching lectures and waking up in a different port of call every morning without having to pack and unpack.

And the open bar on the American Duchess didnt hurt, either.

One of my fellow cruisers, Eric Palace, 50, of Celebration, Florida, has already sailed on three American Queen Steamboat Company cruises since the line resumed operations in March. He told me he would be scared to get on a ship with 3,000 people right now, but feels comfortable cruising on a much smaller riverboat.

With everyone getting pre-tested , I feel safe being out on the water, he said.

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American Queen Steamboat Company Offers Two Itineraries On The Upper Mississippi:

This itinerary is either eight or nine days and includes stops in Red Wing, Minnesota Winona, Minnesota La Crosse, Wisconsin Dubuque, Iowa Bettendorf, Iowa Burlington, Iowa Hannibal, Missouri and Alton, Illinois.

Highlights of the voyage might include a visit to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, the Romanesque Chapels of St. Rose, and a tour of a Dutch windmill.

Heartland Heritage roundtrip from Minneapolis

This nine-day itinerary takes guests to Red Wing, Minnesota La Crosse, Wisconsin Dubuque, Iowa Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin and Winona, Minnesota.

Highlights of the trip might include a visit to the Pottery Museum of Red Wing, the Fur Trade Museum, and the Sheldon Theatre, which opened in 1904.

*Both of these sailings have multiple themed varieties.

American Harmony, the second in a lineup of five modern riverboats from American Cruise Lines. Photo courtesy of American Cruise Lines

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Strong Demand Leads To Early Release Of 2024 Departure Dates

Los Angeles Viking® announced today that new 2024 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises are now on sale. The companys first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Vikings first river cruises in the U.S. had been highly anticipated when they were officially announced in April 2020, and several sailings have already sold out through the 2023 sailing season. This strong demand has led Viking to open 2024 sailing dates sooner than originally expected.

We are pleased with the continued response and support we have received from loyal guests and valued partners ahead of our new Mississippi River sailings, said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “As we begin to restart ocean operations this spring, we also look forward to a new chapter in 2022 when we begin sailing our first U.S. river voyages.

Vikings arrival to the Mississippi will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Vikings new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana Mississippi Tennessee Missouri Iowa Wisconsin and Minnesota .

2022-2024 Viking Mississippi Voyages

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Weather May Affect The River Cruise Itinerary

Mississippi River Boat Tour – LaCrosse Wis. Part 1 of 3

Bad weather on the rivers can alter itineraries. A riverboat may reroute if a significant drought makes water levels so low that riverboats caannot sail upstream. Similarly, too much rain can flood the river, making it impossible to travel under bridges. Cruise lines do plan for this and often have backup plans in place to keep the experience interact. Our best advice is to be flexible with your ports or invest in cruise insurance to ensure you see the sights important to you.

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