Thursday, May 16, 2024

What Is The Best Time To Cruise The Mississippi River

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Cooler Nights And Festive Lights

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

Mulled wine, seasonal jingles and lots of twinkling lights set the scene for American Cruise Lines’ special Spirit of the Season departures, which operate from late November into the New Year. With the ship decked out in festive décor and traditional meals served with all the trimmings, there’s no better way to experience the river than when it’s all dressed up for the holidays.

Book it: America As You Like It offers a 7-night Spirit of the Season’ cruise from £4,050pp, including flights and one night’s pre-cruise accommodation in Memphis, departing November 22 and 29, 2019 and December 27, 2019 . ;;

Complete Mississippi River Cruise

The echoes of riverboat travelers from a bygone era resound as we travel the full length of the Mighty Mississippi. As ten states glide past your vantage point on the sun deck, admire what has been the subject of numerous works of art and the backdrop for countless American novels.From the vibrant cultural center of the Big Easy to the dramatic landscapes of the Upper Mississippi, experience life as it once was on the western frontier.; Our expert guides will take you to the grand southern plantations, stately antebellum houses, and Civil War battlefields of the Lower Mississippi. Taste the finest Cajun and Creole and enjoy mouth-watering Memphis BBQ as you travel to the birthplace of Jazz, Blues, and Rockn-Roll.Cruising up the river, Hometown Americana takes center stage. Relive the adventures of Mark Twains time on a trolley ride through Hannibal, his boyhood hometown. Experience the legacy of John Deere in Davenport and the Victorian-era elegance of Dubuque. As we continue north, pasture gives way to forest and the wild life of Minnesota and Wisconsin comes into view.

Just as it was in Mark Twains day, every cruise on the Mississippi River is unique due to fluctuating river conditions that can have an impact on our itinerary. The river has a mind of its own and our sailing schedules must adapt to it. This is part of the adventure and American Cruise Lines will always work to provide a seamless travel experience.;;

Upper Mississippi River Pros And Cons

Upper Mississippi River sailings are limited to just one itinerary: St. Louis to St. Paul . While different cruise lines might offer slightly different ports of call , an upper Mississippi sailing always begins and ends in St. Louis and St. Paul.

The scenery along the upper Mississippi River is beautiful; the farther north you are, the more likely you are to spot wildlife while cruising. You’ll definitely see egrets, hawks and bald eagles, and, if you’re lucky, spot turtles and otters in the river. Fans of modern engineering also will find something to love on upper Mississippi sailings, as only on the upper part of the river will your cruise go through a series of locks . In general, temperatures on upper Mississippi sailings are slightly less than on lower Mississippi cruises, and there is usually less humidity.

However, choosing an upper Mississippi itinerary can be a bit of a gamble. Water levels must stay even in order for riverboats to fit under the large number of bridges that span the Mississippi from St. Louis on north. Even a little bit of flooding along the Mississippi from too much rain can raise the level of the river, making it impossible for boats to get under bridges.

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Cruising The Lower Mississippi River

Lower Mississippi. Courtesy of American Queen Steamboat Company

There are also several itineraries available on the Lower Mississippi between Memphis and New Orleans. These cruises are typically between 8 and 9 days long.; There are also 5- to 6-day packages that are round trip from New Orleans.

Unlike the Upper Mississippi, cruises on the Lower Mississippi are available throughout most of the year, with the exception of mid-January thru late February. And similar to cruises in Europe, there are themed itineraries available during the winter holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve/Day.

In addition to Upper Mississippi and Lower Mississippi River cruises, there are a couple of itineraries available each year that combine both. These cruises are between New Orleans and St. Paul, MN and are 16 to 22; days long.

Prominent cities often visited on a;Mississippi River cruise include:

  • New Orleans

Choosing A Mississippi River Cruise Itinerary

Best time to cruise the Mississippi River

Because it is so long, the Mississippi River is usually divided into three parts. Each segment typically takes a week, or you can combine them for a three-week cruise. The scenery along the river is generally prettier and the wildlife more prevalent the farther north you are on the river. All segments can be done in either direction.

Keep in mind that sailing against the current slows the boat and generally means fewer ports or less time in port, but you’ll have more time to relax onboard.

Lower Mississippi : A weeklong sailing, which can run in either direction, this stretch of the river can include port stops like Oak Alley and Nottoway plantations, Baton Rouge and St. Francisville in Louisiana; Natchez, Vicksburg and Greenville in Mississippi; and Helena, Arkansas. The occasional New Orleans cruise, which can run from five to seven days, typically visits the same ports, minus Memphis.

Middle Mississippi : Also weeklong itineraries that can run in either direction, these sailings typically feature stops at New Madrid and Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Paducah, Kentucky; and Chester, Illinois. Memphis to St. Louis sailings feature more scenic sailing and fewer port stops than other Mississippi itineraries, and, as such, fewer of these itineraries are offered.

Mississippi and Ohio rivers: Some Mississippi River sailings also spend time visiting Ohio River ports.

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Best Times To Take Mississippi River Cruise

Best times for Mississippi River cruises depend on weather. Pixabay Creative Commons license

The best time to take a Mississippi River cruise depends on passengers who dont mind big swings in temperatures during their trips.

Thats because the longest cruises go from Minneapolis in the far north of the United States to New Orleans, which is more than 1,000 miles away in the far south.

There are three types of these cruises: complete, lower and upper Mississippi.

But in general, the best time of year to take a Mississippi river cruise is September and October when the risk of rain is lowest and temperatures are warm but moderate. The worst times are November through May because of colder temperatures and higher risk of rain.

Some of the larger river cruise companies have Mississippi cruises every month of the year. But for obvious reasons, Minneapolis with an average daytime temperature of 23 degrees in January is not a popular place to begin or end a cruise. New Orleans with an average daytime temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in January has much more appeal.

So the month of the year is a major factor for when cruise planners should take a complete, lower or upper Mississippi River cruise.

The Best Mississippi River Cruise Near Galena

There are actually quite a few ways to enjoy the majestic Mississippi River near Galena, including scenic drives down the Great River Road, and hikes and beautiful vistas on the towering bluffs above the river. But theres another way to enjoy this mighty body of water, and that is by taking a Mississippi River Cruise on the Mississippi Explore at Chestnut Mountain Resort.

The Mississippi River Cruise offered at Chestnut Mountain Resort is a 1.5-hour adventure that takes you through breathtaking scenery, all the while helping you learn more about the areas wildlife, history, and even a few geographical curiosities. Its certainly one of the most beautiful adventures in the Galena area. The Mississippi Explorer only has a 20-person capacity, too, which means you wont be on an overly crowded boat. The entire adventure will feel highly personalized.

The Mississippi River Cruise from Chestnut Mountain Resort leaves 3 times a day on Saturdays and Sundays, and during the summer months, theres also a Friday evening cruise option available. As an added bonus, when you take the Mississippi River Cruise from Chestnut Mountain Resort, youll also have access to the thrilling Alpine Slide and a scenic chairlift ride to and from the departure area.

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Want My Personal Recommendations For A River Cruise Best Suited For You

When I first contemplated river cruising more than 10 years ago, I was;extremely confused;by all of the options. There were rivers Id never heard of, river cruise companies I knew nothing about; and so many places to visit on a variety of itineraries in Europe, Asia, Egypt and elsewhere. What to do?

Mississippi River Cruise Holidays

9 Best River Cruises In The World

“The Mississippi Delta, shining like a national guitar.” So sang Paul Simon, demonstrating that river cruising on the Mississippi is a journey through the American landscape, American history, and perhaps most of all, American music.

The Mighty Mississippi is a wholly American river both geographically and spiritually speaking. As you travel its length the stories of the American Civil War, slavery and civil rights, rock’n’roll and jazz unfold before you. Few river cruising experiences capture a place, its history and its people quite so completely as river cruising the Mississippi.

So relax, unwind, and begin a journey that could take you all the way from Minnesota to New Orleans, via Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and, of course, Mississippi.

Other ports of call along the Mississippi include Nashville, Memphis, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, Springfield & Chicago.

Below is our selection of Mississippi river cruises, call us on 0800 810 8220 and discover why, time and time again, people recommend River Cruising from the award winning Travel Villaage Group.


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Ready For A Cruise Down America’s Mightiest River What To Expect While Sailing The Mississippi

A cruise down the Mississippi River is unlike any cruise in the world, and the things passengers will see and do are well worth the price.

The Mississippi River is one of the most navigable rivers in the world and has had an incredibly important role in US history. One of the best ways to explore this central part of the United States is with an extended Mississippi River cruise – it is even possible to do so on a vintage paddle steamer. Enjoy the highway into the interior of the nation that connects cities like St. Louis to the ocean.

In Europe, one of the greatest things to do is to cruise;down the beautiful blue Danube – calling in at all the stunning cities along the way like Vienna and Budapest. America is home to the mighty Mississippi River – the third largest river in the world and offers scores of adventures along the way as well.

What Is The Average Age On A Viking River Cruise

The average age on a Viking river cruise is 45 to 65. The youngest passengers are just eight years old, and the oldest are in their 80s. In most cases, people enjoy cruising with friends or family.

So, if you want to choose a cruise, first check the age and activities available. In return, youll get a cruise worth your investment.

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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.

What To Expect From A Mississippi River Boat Cruise

Mississippi River Cruising with American Cruise Lines

Taking a cruise on the Mississippi River can provide a refreshing, invigorating and unique look at the heart of the Midwest. Mississippi River Boat cruises are available in a wide array of options that are capable of catering to people of unique preferences and tastes. From elite cruises with gourmet cuisine and chilled champagne to casual, family-friendly river cruises that are fun and educational, there is something for almost everyone to enjoy on the Mississippi River.

Is a River Boat Cruise Right for You?

Consider the Cruise Options

Considering the cruise options may be a bigger task than what you think. With multiple ways to enjoy the Mississippi River by cruise boat, you will have fun simply browsing over the numerous choices available. Check out some varying cruise options listed below for a glimpse at the diverse selections.

One hour champagne cruises 3 day, 4 day and 7 day luxury cruises with private cabins available New Years Eve cruises

Fireworks On The Mississippi RIver

These are just a few options available for adults and families who want to explore the majestic Mississippi River by boat. The size and type of the vessel can vary from modern and sleek to a charming and historic steamboat. Riverboat cruise ships typically offer a very authentic glimpse into the legendary history of the Mississippi River, early 1900s lifestyle and classic early American riverboat design.

Explore Unique Sights and Take in a Relaxing Atmosphere

American Queen Riverboat

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A Quick History Of Riverboat Gambling

To see where riverboat casinos started, we have to go back to the 1800s, when the Mississippi Valley was the beating heart of the American economy. Back then, the Great River was a watery freeway, connecting traders and communities by river transports that could move faster and haul more load than wagons and tired old mules.

Games of chance were a great way to relieve the boredom of a riverboat commute for passengers and wealthy merchants alike, and the mix of money and entertainment soon made gambling the activity of choice on board the old flatboats.

Poker one of todays favorite casino games was so popular with the French colonists who worked as crew members on Mississippi riverboats that it spread to all corners of the country. Riverboats were also a great place to have a party with music and dance added to the mix. Old Blue was the merriest place in America.

Families, trade, and the great American novel flourished thanks to the big steam-propelled paddlewheel boats. Then came the Doubleheader, the Kettle, the Dinky, and the Bobtail Haul steam locomotives that made riverboats seem slow and old-fashioned by comparison.

Soon Old Blue became The Big Muddy, and the rivers steamboats were no more than a nod to the past.

Highlights Of The Mississippi River

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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Best Time To Cruise The Mississippi River

The Lower Mississippi River has the longest season, which typically runs from November through December and April to mid-June, with most sailings on the bottom one-third of the river . In the spring and early summer, the Upper Mississippi is generally too high for riverboats to traverse, so the Upper Mississippi itineraries don’t typically begin sailing until July.

With Louisiana and Mississippi at their hottest and muggiest during the summer, the bulk of the summer season is split between Upper Mississippi sailings and Ohio River sailings, with the Upper Mississippi taking over again for the most of the month of October. Even on the Upper Mississippi, temperatures can climb into the 90s, and humidity is high during the summer. Always be prepared for sudden thunderstorms brought on by the humidity. The weather cools down quite considerably come fall.

Mosquitos also can be a problem in several of these states, as they all experience high humidity in the summer, so be sure to bring bug spray.

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