While many people like to cruise the world on long vacations to far away lands, it’s quite possible to stay in the US and have a great river cruise that you’ll never forget. The US is full of huge rivers and nearly every single one has a quality cruise ship or two with entertainment and breathtaking views. The Mississippi River is no exception; it has steamboat cruises and themed cruises that are second to none.
The Paddle Wheeled Cruise Is Historic
The steamboat that brings back memories of the civil war and gambling ships is one of the most interesting trips along the Mississippi River. You can start with an evening out in New Orleans, sampling the hot Cajun seafood and strong drinks there. Then get on your ship to see the St. Louis Gateway Arch made famous on several TV shows and movies. After that, you can head all the way up to Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee as well.
If you only want a more local cruise there are dozens available that only traverse between a couple of cities then returns. That way you can dine onboard the ship and enjoy the wonderful views, then relax on deck for the ride back to port. There are river trips lasting anywhere from 4 hours to 12 hours, depending on your preferences. The three most famous paddlewheel steamboats are the Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen, and the American Queen.
Cruises In The Fall Can Be Breathtaking
Some of the most popular river cruises are those in the fall after the leaves have begun to turn. Then you can enjoy thousands of tree-lined banks of red, yellow, orange and gold leaves brilliantly shining the way. There are trips that explore the Native American culture and the many hundreds of Indian Tribes that used the river for food, transportation, water, and livelihood.
There are also Bluegrass Jamborees that can be a great way to spend the day, visiting several on the same day by steamboat. There are even live Bluegrass bands that play onboard some of the boats. Since the Mississippi River extends nearly all the way north you can visit quite a few states and many historical sites.
If you’ve never been on a great cruise, and don’t have lots of spare time, riverboat cruises are the way to go. Even if you only have a half day, you can enjoy dinner, the view, and a relaxing on deck concert to your favorite barbershop quartet on the way back home.