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Mississippi River Cruises

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Taking a cruise on the mighty Mississippi River is a journey into the heart and soul of America. The Mississippi is known for being one of the longest rivers in the world, starting in Northern Minnesota and flowing down to the Gulf of Mexico. You'll get to know some of America's most culturally influential cities, such as New Orleans, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, Memphis, and Minneapolis. On Southern Mississippi River cruises, you can start and finish in either New Orleans, Memphis, or St. Louis and visit historical river towns such as Vicksburg and Natchez, Mississippi. On a Northern Mississippi cruise, you'll float between St. Louis and Minneapolis as you experience wildlife like the Bald Eagle and scenic views of river bluffs. Contact our Mississippi cruise specialists to start planning your ideal river cruise today!
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Mississippi River Travel Guide

Upper Mississippi River vs. Lower Mississippi River 

The Upper Mississippi River stretches from its origins in Minneapolis, Minnesota down to its confluence with the Ohio River in Cairo, Illinois, also winding through Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri along the way. 

The Lower Mississippi River originates in Illinois where the Mississippi and Ohio converge and flows downstream all the way to the Gulf of Mexico for about 1,000 miles (well, 990 miles to be exact!). It travels through Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and, of course, Mississippi. 

Some of our cruises do go as far north as the Upper Mississippi River, but the majority of the itineraries spend most of their time visiting the destinations in "American's Heartland" on the Lower Mississippi River.

Top Cruise Ports on the mighty Mississippi River
Where will your Mississippi River cruise take you? Mississippi River cruises immerse you in the culture and cuisine of the historic U.S. South. 

Here are some of the most popular cruise ports where our Adventure Life Mississippi River cruises dock: 

Get to Know Vicksburg

Located in the western part of Mississippi, the city of Vicksburg is best known for its importance in the American Civil War as the location of a key battle. Now, at Vicksburg National Military Park, you can learn the history of this region as you explore the Old Court House, the National Cemetery and the restored USS Cairo gunboat. The Siege of Vicksburg (May 18, 1863 - July 4, 1863) marked a major victory for the Union army and a turning point in the Civil War as it gave them control of the Mississippi River. 
Get to Know Baton Rouge

Right on the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge - with its population at 225,000 people - is a great destination as you cruise through the state of Louisiana. In fact, Baton Rouge is the Louisiana state capital and home to the Magnolia Mound Plantation (including the French Creole House), the LSU Rural Life Museum, and the retired WWII destroyer USS Kidd, which is now a museum. 

This is a great place to see Antebellum plantations and sites key in America's 19th century history. 
Get to Know New Orleans 

While Baton Rouge might be the capital of Louisiana, the buzzing city of New Orleans could be considered the cultural capital of the state and one of the most exciting cities to visit in the American south while you enjoy your Mississippi River cruise - from the French Quarter to lively Bourbon Street, experience the true heart and flavor of Creole culture here, especially during JazzFest and their renowned Mardi Gras celebrations. 
What's it like to cruise the Mississippi River on the riverboats?

Step back in time to a bygone era when you board one of our hand-picked riverboats: The American Queen, American Duchess, and the American Countess

These classic paddle wheelers combine elegance, luxury, and comfort with authentic southern style and charm. You will feel like you are stepping into a Mark Twain novel!

Each of these boats hosts between 100-500 passengers with multiple cabin options, all of which are stately and spacious.

Large dining areas, panoramic upper decks, and classy entertainment spaces offer you an unparalleled experience onboard, complemented by top-notch service and gourmet locally sourced cuisine reflective of the culture and gastronomy of the area you're visiting.


FAQs: Mississippi River

How much does a Mississippi River cruise cost?

Mississippi River cruises cost between $1,300 and $5,000 per person, but the average price of a Mississippi River cruise is about $2,400 per person for a 9-day itinerary. 

What is the best Mississippi River cruise line?

American Queen Steamboat Company features the jewels of the Mississippi River - the American Queen, American Duchess, and the American Countess. These classic paddleboats are exactly what you think of when you imagine a Mississippi River cruise - combining luxury, fine dining, comfortable and spacious accommodations, exciting itineraries and one-of-a-kind entertainment that highlights the regional culture and talent. All of our Adventure Life cruises are aboard one of these unparalleled vessels. 

What is the best time of year to take a Mississippi River cruise?

The best time to cruise the Mississippi River is during the months of spring (March, April, May) or fall (September, October, November) to avoid the extreme hot and cold temperatures in summer and winter. The Mississippi is so long that giving overall advice can be difficult, as the temperatures in Minnesota are much colder than those in Louisiana on the same day. Additionally, there is a higher chance of flooding in the spring and a potential need to reroute or reschedule. 

What destinations do Mississippi River cruises visit?

The top 10 destinations you can visit on a Mississippi River cruise are Red Wing by Minneapolis, Dubuque, Bettendorf, Hannibal, St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, Memphis, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, and of course New Orleans!

Are Mississippi River cruises worth it?

Mississippi River cruises are a great value if you're hoping to really explore the whole region and get to know the local culture, food, and historic destinations that have shaped the mighty Mississippi. These cruises are definitely geared towards more mature audiences, so while inquisitive teens might enjoy these, they are crafted with adults in mind who enjoy activities like walking and biking tours, city & historic tours, nature experiences, and museums. These are not ideal for families with young children who are looking for a lot of onboard entertainment for kids of all ages. 

Why is it called the

At 2,340 miles in length and up to 11 miles across at its widest point, the Mississippi River is the longest and most important river in North America, covering more than one million square miles and pulling in water from tributary rivers in 33 states. But even the mightiest river in North America has humble origins - in a babbling brook that you could easily skip across!

Why is it called the

Every school-age child learns how to spell it - M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. But where did the name come from? The name "Mississippi" actually owes its origins to the indigenous Anishinabe people (Ojibwe Indians), who called the river the "Messipi", meaning "Father of Waters" or "Big River."

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