Children growing up in the United States learn about the great Mississippi River. This body of water served as a lifeline for the American Midwest and played a major role in the country’s westward expansion. While the Mississippi River is famous as a waterway for industry and manufacturing, this scenic river is also the perfect cruise opportunity. Cruising the Mississippi has been popular since the days of the great paddleboats.
Taking a river cruise down the Mississippi is taking a trip back into time. This is a mighty river that travels from Lake Itasca in Minnesota and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. There are opportunities for river cruises all along the length of the river.
Paddleboats worked the river for many years. They are part of the history of the river dating back to the Civil War. During the War, Mississippi River paddleboats were used to transport troops and supplies.
Today, many cruise companies offer tours on paddleboats. These tours cruise various parts of the river and offer cultural and historical narratives. One of the most interesting and fun river cruises takes tourists past the bald eagle nesting areas in the Effigy Mounds National Monument. American bald eagles are majestic creatures and are only found in the United States. These huge birds of prey build large circular nests for their young and prefer nesting locations along the water. Seeing an eagle’s nest is a once in a lifetime experience and is even better if there are young eaglets present.
There are many types of paddleboat cruises. Some of these are themed and include Civil War, Big Band, Cajun and Jazz trips. Tours are often narrated and provide an entertaining way to learn about the history of the Mississippi. There are even holiday-themed cruises where you and your family can participate in holiday meals and celebrations surrounding the holidays.
The Mississippi River is home to many types of animals. The adjoining wetlands and forests that run the length of the river are the habitat of a diverse community of fauna and flora. These interconnected wetlands and forests form the largest continuous wetland system in North America. The Mississippi is also part of the North American migratory bird flyway. This is the route that 60 percent of all North American birds take as they migrate in the Spring and Fall.
Cruises along the Mississippi River are a great way to learn about American history. There are many cruise options which are all a great way to learn about the mighty Mississippi.