Connecticut River Cruise & Charter, LLC
Saint Clements Castle & Marina
1931 portland cobalt road, portland, ct 06480, captain wheeler(860)559-6745.
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Explore the serenity, beauty, and excitement of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound! Cruises operate weekends, holidays, Monday through Friday by reservation. We board passengers at Middletown Harbor docks. Make your cruise reservations now! Life is good on the River!
The Middletown Harbor Park restaurant is still under renovation. We hope it will be operating in 2023.
Blantyre and Aqua Mist are 34 feet in length and accomodate 6 passengers very comfortably.
For folks who like traveling in style!
...Celebrate Birthdays, Anniversaries, Engagements, ...Picnic on Dart, Haddam, and other river islands, ...Give your Special Friend a boat ride, ...Enjoy a sunset cruise, bring your favorite drink & food. ...Spend an afternoon at Haddam Island, ...Excite the family with a cruising vacation, ...Lunch at Haddam's Blue Oar Restaurant, ...Enjoy cruising to the Goodspeed Opera House, ...You imagine it we do it!
Cruise to your destination on your schedule!
...Private cruises to Old Saybrook, Chester, Hamburg Cove, Essex... ...Long Island Sound destinations are an easy reach: e.g. Jamestown, Montauk, Watch Hill, Thames River, Mystic, Block Island...
Special Event Cruises
... Sunset Cruises depart 2.5 hours before Sunset, bring food & Beverage.
... Fire Works: Middletown July TBD, Hartford, Haddam Island.
... Tree Swallow Cruises From Essex September through early October.
... Fall Foliage Cruises available mid to late October.
Make your Special Event Cruise reservation now!
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E njoy a day time excursion or a beautiful sunset on the Connecticut River. Regular runs occur from late May until Columbus day . With air conditioning and heating, we are prepared to cruise in various weather conditions and keep it comfortable and fun. Go for one of our signature guided river tours, or book your private party with our satellite stereo, PA System, and video monitors. Also equipped with a full bar, indoor and sun deck seating available, and an on board restroom.
Private Event Charters
Celebrate your special occasion in style! Birthdays, weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, retirement celebrations, baby and bridal showers, and corporate events are always a great time out on the Lady Bea! We help you plan and organize the event and decorate for the occasion to make your event as stress-free as possible. Our charter menu has a variety of options and your event coordinator will be happy to help you make any special accommodations you require. Start booking your private event today!
Our 75 minute narrated cruises meander up the Connecticut River from Brunelle’s Marina to Northampton. The pristine water, unspoiled views, sandy beaches, and unmatched history will make a truly memorable experience for all. Cruises are subject to change based on special events, as well as early and late in the season. Adults are just $25, Seniors are $22, Kids 4-12 are $18, and our littlest cruisers 3 and under are free! Parties and Groups of 15 or more guests, must use our private charter rates.
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The 9 Best Boat Tours in Connecticut!
Take advantage of Connecticut’s 253 gorgeous miles of shoreline while on a river or Long Island Sound cruise. These ten cruises take guests through some of the most picturesque parts of Connecticut, providing unique vantage points of well-known attractions from the comfort of the vessel. In addition to learning more about the history of the ship and coastal sights, several of these cruises offer encounters with Connecticut’s wildlife.
RiverQuest, Haddam, CT
This is the ultimate nature and scenic tour of Connecticut. Float along the Connecticut River with RiverQuest, while the knowledgeable staff point out water birds, such as ospreys, cormorants, and Bald Eagles, as well as famous sights along the lower Connecticut River. Tours vary depending on the season, but numerous offerings are available from February through October, with options for sunset cruises, family-friendly tours, fall foliage viewings, and nature-focused outings.
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Project Oceanology, Groton, CT
Kids and adults alike will get a taste of being a marine biologist with a public boat cruise run by Project O. Summertime cruises allow participants to use oceanographic equipment to monitor the waters of the Long Island Sound, while spring cruises take you to watch the Harbor Seals near Fishers Island. Project O also offers excellent summer camps for children interested in learning more about the environment.
Sabino Steamboat, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT
See the Mystic Seaport and downtown Mystic from a different vantage point by taking a cruise down the Mystic River on this historic 1908 steamboat. This ship is considered a National Historic Landmark as it is one of the last operating coal-fired steamboats, making any cruise even more special for visitors. Scenic cruises are offered six days per week, weather permitting, with both afternoon and evening time slots available.
Spirit of the Sound, Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk, CT
Run by the Maritime Aquarium, the Spirit of the Sound is a 64-foot-long catamaran that runs on electric power. Cruise along the Long Island Sound to learn about marine life or enjoy an evening sunset cruise. A variety of other cruising options are available including several history-focused tours that head to New London for Sailest.
Connecticut River Museum, Essex, CT
After viewing the collections and learning about the history of the Connecticut River through the museum’s exhibits, sign up for a cruise along the Connecticut River. Enjoy unrivaled views of the river from aboard the Onrust, a replica of one of the earliest western-style ships built in America. The boat is a marvel in itself, so be sure to view snap a few photos while aboard! In addition to cruises offered five days per week in the summertime, winter cruises are also available for those who are willing to brave cold weather to see Bald Eagles. These winter cruises are operated by RiverQuest, the first cruising company listed in this article.
Argia Mystic, Mystic, CT
Hop aboard the 81-foot Argia schooner for a tour of the scenic Mystic River, from which you’ll enjoy views of downtown Mystic, Mystic Seaport, and quaint lighthouses. If you want to get in on the action while aboard, you can help the crew with the sails. Tours are offered daily and run for approximately two hours. Senior citizen and child prices are also available, lowering the cost for family trips.
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Thimble Islands Cruise, Branford, CT
Learn about the history of the Thimble Islands with a 45-minute tour aboard the Sea Mist. Over the summer, public cruises depart numerous times per day, allowing a cruise to fit into your schedule no matter the duration of your stay in the area. In the Sea Mist, you’ll also cruise in comfort, as ample indoor and outdoor seating is available; a bar and bathroom are both available too.
Sheffield Island Cruise, Norwalk, CT
On a Sheffield Island Cruise, you’ll learn about the history of the island as well as the 150-year-old Sheffield Island Lighthouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. And don’t forget to bring along your camera to take photographs of the beautiful Connecticut coastline and the lighthouse. Numerous cruise types are available from acoustic cruises with live music to romantic sunset cruises.
Mystic River Cruises, Mystic, CT
Coast along the Mystic River in a luxury speedboat to enjoy downtown Mystic and the Mystic River Bascule Bridge from a unique vantage point. Snap photos that will get hundreds of likes on Facebook and Instagram, particularly those taken during the sunset cruise. Breakfast and lunch cruises are also available, during which you’re provided a meal to be enjoyed while watching the scenic area float by.
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RiverQuest - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)
New Haven South Central
Sightseeing cruises in connecticut explore state's maritime history.
Sightseeing boat tours and cruises from Mystic, along the Connecticut River, and other points along the Connecticut shore offer a fresh, sailor's eye view of the rich maritime, seafaring, and ship building history of southeastern Connecticut. Join a scheduled cruise or charter a boat for a private party or a fishing excursion. Schedule cruises feature views of lighthouses , nature viewing and bird watching -- including migrating eagles and ospreys on the Connecticut River -- and relaxation at sunset. Individual charters are great for company outings, birthdays, retirements, and bachelor parties.
Argia Mystic Cruises
75 Steamboat Wharf Mystic, CT, 06355 Phone: 860-536-0416
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat
One Railroad Avenue Essex, CT, 06426 Phone: 860-767-0103 Toll-Free: 800-377-3987
You’ll feel you are traveling back in time when you board Mississippi-style riverboat
Blackhawk Sport Fishing
Sailing from the Niantic Bay Marina Niantic, CT, 06357 Phone: 860-448-3662 Toll-Free: 800-382-2824
Head out to sea to observe the perfect sunset, frolicking seals, eagles in flight
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Becky Thatcher Riverboat Becky Thatcher Riverboat Becky Thatcher Riverboat Becky Thatcher Riverboat
Cruise aboard the Becky Thatcher riverboat and delight in the breathtaking scenery of the Connecticut River and historic landmarks including Goodspeed Opera House and Gillette Castle. Or, enjoy the golden hours of sunset aboard a Friday Night Sunset Cruise. Becky Thatcher is also available for private charters. Passengers board the Becky Thatcher riverboat from the Essex Steam Train at Deep River Landing.
Other amenities: Concessions, Special Packages
Dates of Operation
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1 Railroad Avenue Essex , CT 06426 United States
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450 Columbus Blvd., Suite 5 Hartford, CT 06103
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At the end of your day a peaceful cruise will let you relax! Whether you are visiting, new to the area, or a local who just wants to remember what a beautiful area we live in, this is a great opportunity to join us aboard RiverQuest and experience the river as we cruise along these unspoiled waters.
Enjoy the spectacular beauty as we aimlessly cruise the lower Connecticut River, an area that the Nature Conservancy considers to be “One of the Last Great Places”. On this cruise, about two hours in length, we do only light narration so that you can just relax and enjoy.
We may have a small table for you and there will be a chair available so that you can sit comfortably during the cruise. The cruise is very casual, you can walk about the boat if you’d like.
Bring an individual picnic dinner with you and your “favorite” beverage (alcohol is allowed). We do not have any food on board, so make your favorite picnic or stop by a local eatery and pick something up.
No one under 12 years old please.
All Sunset Cruises: $40. Adults only, no one under 12.
NOTE: Tree Swallow Sunset Cruises different price: $45.
You must buy tickets using our online “BOOK NOW” button on all our web pages. Thank you.
May through October
Check the calendar for days and times.
Departure times vary with the time of sunset.
- On Sunset Cruises reservations are strongly suggested; it is best to book online to secure your spot.
- Please, always confirm the cruise is going by checking the ctriverquest.com home page for any changes! or call 860-767-8269
- If you are coming with friends or family that booked this cruise on a separate reservation, please let us know via email the reserved names, so you can all sit together at one table.
- Groups over 10 passengers , please contact us… we can accept groups of more than ten without approval.
- RiverQuest leaves the dock on time! Please check in at the dock at least 15 minutes before departure.
- The Captain reserves the right to change the cruise itinerary or cancel a cruise anytime he feels that there may be a weather or safety issue.
- PRIVATE CHARTERS DO TAKE PRECEDENCE (good old economics).
Here are some places in Essex you can pick up food:
- Olive Oyl’s – 860-767-4909 – oliveoylscarryout.com
- Scotch Plains Tavern – 860-662-4032 – scotchplaintavern.com
- Griswold Inn – Gris-to-Go – 860-767-1776 griswoldinn.com
- Carlson’s Landing – 860-767-2727 – carlsonslanding.com
- Dunkin’ Donuts – 23 Main St, Centerbrook, CT
- Hong Kong Chinese – 860-767-8588
If you need a”favorite beverage”, Tony’s Liquor Store, 95 Bridge Rd, on the right after you turn right at the light. Also, Swing Bridge Wine and Spirits, 5 Norwich Rd, East Haddam , on the left after crossing the bridge.
A great way to plan your trip!
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- St. Petersburg - Moscow Cruise
This 8-day Russian river cruise by luxury ship will take you to the jewels of Russia - St. Petersburg and Moscow as well as the most significant towns between these 2 magnificent cities: Mandrogui village, Kizhi island with its amazing wooden architecture and Uglich and Goritsy with their tranquil, country atmosphere.
- Route St. Petersburg - Mandrogui - Kizhi - Goritsy - Uglich - Moscow
- Languages English-speaking guide is guaranteed. Other languages are on request.
- Cruise Ship 5-star cruise ship MS Rostropovich
- Group Tour This is a group tour. There will be other people in your group.
This is a great Russian river cruise on a comfortable 4-star ship that will take you to St. Petersburg and Moscow and the most significant places between these 2 cities: Mandrogui village, Kizhi island with its amazing wooden architecture and Uglich and Goritsy with their tranquil atmosphere.
- Route St. Petersburg - Mandrogui- Kizhi - Goritsy - Uglich - Moscow
- Cruise Ship 4-star cruise ship: MS Crucelake
This is our shortest St. Petersburg to Moscow cruise and it is a perfect choice for those who have already been to Moscow and St. Petersburg and would like to explore the small, charming towns lying between the Two Capitals.
- Route St. Petersburg - Shlisselburg - Valaam - Svirstroy/Lodeynoe Pole - Mandrogui - Kizhi - Kuzino - Myshkin - Uglich - Moscow
- Cruise Ship 3-star cruise ships: MS Swan Lake, MS Moonlight Sonata
This is our most popular St. Petersburg to Moscow cruise. Besides in depth visits to St. Petersburg and Moscow, the cruise covers all the most important areas between the two capitals: Mandrogui - a colorful village famous for local handicrafts, amazing Kizhi Island with its beautiful nature and wooden architecture, as well as the ancient towns of Goritsy, Yaroslavl, and Uglich.
- Route St. Petersburg - Mandrogui - Kizhi - Goritsy - Yaroslavl - Uglich - Moscow
- Cruise Ship 3-star cruise ships: MS Zosima Shashkov
This is a classic St. Petersburg - Moscow cruises that takes you to the Two Capitals as well a number of charming ancient towns on the way: Mandrogui village, Kizhi island, Goritsy, Yaroslavl, and Uglich.
- Cruise Ship 4-star cruise ships:, MS Nikolay Chernyshevsky, MS Nizhny Novgorod, MS Konstantin Fedin, MS Sankt-Peterburg, MS Kronshtadt
This St. Petersburg to Moscow cruise is a great way to discover Russia. The cruise includes in-depth visits to Russia’s two capitals and also makes stops at all of the important sites along the route including Mandrogui - a colorful village famous for local handicrafts, amazing Kizhi Island with its beautiful nature and wooden architecture, as well as the ancient towns of Goritsy, Yaroslavl, and Uglich.
This 11-day St. Petersburg to Moscow cruise covers all the important places: Mandrogui - a colorful village famous for local handicrafts, amazing Kizhi Island, as well as the ancient towns of Goritsy, Yaroslavl, and Uglich.
- Cruise Ship 3-star cruise ship: MS Moonlight Sonata
This 8-day Russian river cruise on a luxury ship takes you to Russia’s two capitals – Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as to the ancient towns of Uglich and Goritsy, Kizhi island with its outstanding wooden architecture, and Mandrogui village, famous for traditional handicrafts, and Valaam archipielago with its amazing monastary.
- Route St. Petersburg - Valaam - Mandrogui - Kizhi - Goritsy - Uglich - Moscow
- Cruise Ship 5-star cruise ship MS Mustai Karim
We would like to thank you very much for making the arrangements for our river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow in Sept-Oct. We were very pleased with every aspect of the cruise. The accommodation and the meals were excellent, the staff very knowledgeable & courteous, the quality of the tours was excellent. We found the lectures on the boat very interesting & everything possible was done to make sure the tourists had a wonderful experience. Thank you, too, for arranging the hotel for us the night before the cruise. It was in a great location & very comfortable. All aspects of the trip were wonderful & it was great value for money spent. Our sincere thanks.
We just wanted to thank you again for your help in setting up our Russian cruise. We've appreciated your support all the way through - from taking us through the complex paperwork of the visa application to talking to our taxi driver in St Petersburg to make sure that we were in the right place. Great service! We absolutely loved the cruise! We learned a lot, relaxed a lot and were dazzled by beautiful cities and landscapes. We couldn't have asked for a better introduction to Russia. Thanks again!
St. Petersburg Cruise
This St. Petersburg cruise to Moscow Cruise is a great combination of ancient Russian cities, famous for their history, architecture and art. Travel along the magnificent Volga River that links these 2 beautiful and historic cities. Port calls include the Russian capital Moscow , Saint Petersburg , Kizhi , Goritsy and Uglich . The river cruise ship will take you along the Neva River , Lake Ladoga ,the Svir River , Lake Onega , the Baltic canal , White Lake and the Volga River . The beauty of the countryside will make your trip unforgettable. Come to Russia in the summer of 2021 with Express to Russia.
Frequently Asked Questions From Our Travelers
A russian land tour or a river cruise - which is better.
This decision completely depends on your preferred way of travelling. During the Russian river cruise you will not only visit the two largest cities of Russia, but also small towns and villages along the route and you will have a chance to participate in master classes, learn a little Russian language and dive into local Russian culture and hospitality. For those who prefer custom-made programs and more free time in the cities of their choice we recommend a land tour, both are excellent options. To find out more about the differences click here .
Do I need a visa for a Russian River Cruise?
If your citizenship is not on the list of countries with visa-free access to Russia, you will need a valid Russian visa. Please make sure to start the process in a timely manner, so as to avoid any last-minute pressure. More details on Russian Visas can be found here .
What is the best Russian river cruise line?
There are several Russian river cruise lines. Each cruise line offers a number of ships and programs at different price ranges. You call feel confident in choosing any of them. All of these cruise lines are well trusted and have been in business for a long time. We also recommend checking guests' reviews and asking our reservation specialist for more details regarding any concerns.
How far in advance should I book a Russian river cruise?
Usually the cruise operating companies set their schedules and prices well in advance - at least one year before the actual cruise starts. So, we may recommend that you book your cruise and place a deposit as early as possible so that you have enough time to arrange all other components of your journey. Please also note that cruise cabins sell out quickly, so it is always a good idea to book your cabin of choice in advance.
What should I pack for a Russian River Cruise?
The weather here can be unpredictable. So first of all it is important to have comfortable clothes and some wind/waterproof items. We highly recommend that you check our new article that contains full information on packing for a Russian river cruise .
What is the voltage in Russia?
Russia uses 220V voltage as does most of Europe. So before packing your devices, do not forget to take a proper adapter, so you may recharge all of your devices with no stress. For more information please see our useful tips .
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Join our own Russian Travel, Culture and Literature Club on Facebook. The club was created to be a place for everyone with an interest in Russia to get to know each other and share experiences, stories, pictures and advice. To join our club, please follow this link .
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Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruises 2023
February 10, 2023 @ 9:00 am - march 18, 2023 @ 2:30 pm.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday February and March 2023
Every winter, Bald Eagles from as far north as Canada make their way to the open waters of the Connecticut River for easy fishing and nesting. Get up-close aboard RiverQuest , an environmentally friendly vessel with heated cabin and ample deck space. An on-board naturalist provides narration while you get a view of the winter River. Coffee and use of binoculars is included in ticket price as well as free admission to Connecticut River Museum galleries and the Eagles of Essex exhibit.
RESERVE YOUR SEAT
February 10 – March 18
Boats depart: Fridays: 10:00 am and 12:30 pm Saturdays and Sundays: 9:00 am, 11:30 am, and 2:00 pm
$45 per person. Includes free admission to the Museum’s exhibits and galleries.
Advance ticket purchase strongly suggested. All departures subject to weather conditions.
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Tying the Knot: An Intro to Rope Making and Nautical Knots
Andrew Fisk presents Generating Challenges: Hydropower on the Connecticut River
67 Main Street Essex, CT 06426 860.767.8269 [email protected] DIRECTIONS
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The 10 Best Mississippi River Cruises for 2024
T he more than 2,300-mile Mississippi River invites travelers to discover its multifaceted heritage, with a vast range of deeply rooted culture, music and history. A cruise is a fantastic way to discover many of the riverfront cities on a single trip, from the comfort of your modern riverboat or traditional paddle-wheeler.
The following Mississippi River cruise itineraries can help you choose from cruises of various lengths and options for the Lower and Upper Mississippi. Note that all fares are listed as double occupancy (based on two people per cabin), and that they might not reflect taxes, port fees or gratuities. The itinerary availability listed is also subject to change.
American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines operates small ships accommodating between 90 and 180 passengers that are built, flagged and crewed in the U.S. – and it's the only company in the world operating a 100% U.S.-flagged fleet of riverboats and cruise ships. ACL's itineraries traverse waterways across 35 states, with 11 itineraries dedicated to the Mississippi River. Cruisers can choose to sail on modern riverboats with a sleek interior design or while away their time aboard classic paddle-wheelers reminiscent of days gone by.
ACL offers variety as well as versatility: This line boasts both the longest and shortest sailings on this list with cruises ranging from eight to 60 days in length, including The Great United States. This inaugural 60-day voyage spans four major rivers and 20 states, making it the longest U.S. river cruise in history.
Complimentary hotel and transportation packages are available from every departure city before your cruise. You can book certain premium packages for added perks, such as two nights spent next door to Graceland in Memphis – with VIP tickets and a city tour included in the price.
Music Cities Cruise
Length: Eight days
Price: Starts at $3,610 per person
Spend a week getting lost in the sounds of the Memphis blues, rock 'n' roll and country music legends on the seven-night Music Cities Cruise. A hotel stay the night before your sailing is included, but embarking in Memphis means you also have the chance to splurge on a two-night pre-cruise package near Elvis' former home Graceland .
Ports of call include Paducah, Kentucky; Dover, Tennessee; and Clarksville, Tennessee, with an overnight in Nashville and an included excursion to a show at the Grand Ole Opry. Two scenic sailing days feature picturesque views of America's Heartland along the Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland rivers as well as Lake Barkley.
2024 dates: In 2024, there are two available itineraries in September and November.
Grand Heartland Cruise: St. Paul to New Orleans
Length: 15 days
Price: Starts at $9,455 per person
This 15-day voyage allows you to explore America's rich history in towns along the Upper and Lower Mississippi River. The immersive voyage covers six states and 12 cities including St. Paul, Minnesota ; Dubuque, Iowa; St. Louis, Missouri ; Memphis, Tennessee; Natchez, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana ; and more.
Take a step back in time while visiting Mark Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal, exploring stately historic estates in Natchez and Civil War sites in Vicksburg. At the end of a busy day ashore, you'll have plenty to chat about with fellow passengers during the evening cocktail hour.
2024 dates: American Heritage – ACL's traditional paddle-wheeler – and three modern riverboats set off on this journey from August to October in 2024.
Complete Mississippi River Cruise: New Orleans to St. Paul
Length: 22 days
Price: Starts at $14,935 per person
If you want to see the entire Mississippi in one shot, check out this multiweek sailing that begins in New Orleans and ends in St. Paul, Minnesota. Along the way, you'll sail 1,393 miles, visit 10 states and experience a staggering 20 ports of call as you tour Louisiana and then head northbound to Minnesota.
In the South, walk the battlefields of the Civil War and sample delicious Southern barbecue before listening to the rhythms of jazz, the blues and rock 'n' roll. Then, explore the small and larger cities along the upper parts of the river. Remember to take time to gaze out at the picturesque scenery and the rolling farmlands of America's Midwest before disembarking in St. Paul.
2024 dates: Three of ACL's modern riverboats sail this itinerary in May, June and August in 2024.
The Great United States
Length: 60 days
Price: Starts at $51,000
This two-month long journey – the longest domestic itinerary ever created – will check all the boxes for U.S. history and Civil War buffs, music and nature lovers, culinary enthusiasts, and beer and distilled spirits aficionados alike as the ship traverses America's iconic waterways through 20 states and 50 ports of call.
This epic journey showcases the natural beauty and living history of the U.S. from sea to shining sea. The sailing embarks in Portland, Oregon , on the Pacific Coast before traveling east to the Atlantic shore along four major rivers that highlight some of the country's most stunning coastlines. Upon arrival in New York Harbor, guests will have an unforgettable view of one of the most iconic landmarks in the U.S.: the Statue of Liberty .
Passengers can follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark along the Snake and Columbia rivers; cruise along Ol' Man River in search of Mark Twain and Elvis; see the vibrant colors of fall during peak season on the Hudson River; and take in the coastal breezes (and fresh seafood) along New England's rocky coastline.
This curated adventure also includes two flights: Jackson, Wyoming , to New Orleans as well as St. Paul to Portland, Maine , plus a land package through Glacier , Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. All-inclusive pricing covers the pre-cruise hotel stay, all flights and hotels between cruise segments, an ACL jacket and gear pack, daily excursions, all meals and beverages, gratuities and port charges, entertainment, and Wi-Fi.
2024 dates: The inaugural cruise sets sail on August 16, 2024.
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American Queen Voyages
American Queen Voyages – formerly the American Queen Steamboat Company, in a nod to its acclaimed riverboat roots – has expanded to lake, ocean and expedition voyages, in addition to the line's river cruises. AQV Mississippi River sailings include a pre-cruise hotel stay with transportation to your ship, as well as included shore tours.
These all-inclusive cruises also boast open bars, multiple dining venues, live onboard entertainment, complimentary bikes and more. The cruise line owns four paddle-wheelers to traverse rivers, including the American Countess, unveiled in 2020, and its flagship American Queen, the largest steamboat ever constructed.
Nashville to St. Louis cruise
Length: Nine days
Price: Starts at $4,019 per person
Set sail from Clarksville, Tennessee – a charming city about 50 miles from Nashville – bound for a more than weeklong Mississippi River adventure. The sailing disembarks in the small town of Alton, Illinois, around 25 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. (Riverboat docking locations are sometimes in the closest town to a more touristed city.)
An included hotel stay kicks off your cruise, and then you'll board American Countess, a classic 245-passenger paddle-wheeler, with daily calls on towns in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri. During the cruise, guests will explore the area's culture, nature and history, including sites significant to Native Americans and the Civil War.
2024 dates: There's one sailing on American Countess in August 2024, as well as a June 2024 cruise on American Queen.
St. Louis to Minneapolis cruise
Price: Starts at $4,069 per person
The Upper Mississippi is Mark Twain territory, so you might have to succumb to a recited passage or two. The line's traditional paddle-wheelers are on hand to glide you through this hallowed territory, from Alton, Missouri, to Red Wing, Minnesota (docked a little more than 50 miles from Minneapolis).
This cruise stops in small towns like Hannibal, Missouri – featured frequently in Mark Twain's writings since it's his hometown – and Bettendorf, Iowa, for a hop-on, hop-off tour. You can also opt for a premium excursion to learn about family-run farms and industrial-level farm operations, beginning with a stop at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois. Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, the picturesque town of La Crosse sits along the 3,000-mile Great River Road National Scenic Byway, regarded as one of the most scenic drives in the U.S.
2024 dates: AQV's two paddle-wheelers, American Countess and American Queen, will sail this itinerary between July and September in 2024.
Ottawa to St. Louis cruise
Price: Starts at $4,259 per person
For a unique approach to a Mississippi River cruise, consider this itinerary on American Countess sailing from Ottawa, Illinois, to Alton, Missouri (near St. Louis). The voyage highlights the small towns and cities along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers in the Midwest. In contrast to the metropolitan centers, you'll also cruise past the river bluffs and lush prairies of America's Heartland.
Before embarking, and once on board the ship, there are several days to explore Ottawa, which sits at the confluence of the Fox and Illinois rivers. Located about 80 miles from downtown Chicago , the city has a vibrant cultural and culinary scene and offers outdoor adventure, including Illinois' most popular park, Starved Rock State Park. There are four other ports before disembarking the ship, including the towns of Peoria, Havana and Grafton in Illinois and Hannibal, Missouri.
2024 dates: This cruise has one scheduled sailing for July 2024 on American Countess.
Viking River Cruises
Viking is no stranger to sailing Europe's rivers; the brand is synonymous with river cruising worldwide aboard its dozens of ships. However, Viking River Cruises is a newcomer to U.S. rivers, with its purpose-built ship: the 386-passenger Viking Mississippi. Looking to carve out its own niche in the American river cruising category, Viking claims it has the region's "first truly modern cruise ship" with its distinct Scandinavian design and expansive top sun deck with an infinity plunge pool.
Viking's mostly all-inclusive fares include a complimentary excursion in each port, destination lectures and performances, beer and wine at meals, free Wi-Fi, specialty coffees and teas, and more. The line offers five itineraries ranging in length from eight to 22 days along the Mighty Mississippi. Pre- and post-cruise extensions can be added to all voyages for an additional expense.
New Orleans & Southern Charms: Round-trip from New Orleans
Price: Starts at $3,999 per person
If you don't know which Viking Mississippi itinerary to choose, start here. A round-trip voyage from New Orleans is convenient for booking flights and offers an excellent opportunity to extend your stay in NOLA. Six guided tours are included across eight days, from the historic estates of Natchez to Vicksburg National Military Park. A stop in St. Francisville gives you the chance to marvel at some of the 140-plus buildings it has on the National Register of Historic Places.
If you extend your stay in New Orleans, plan to sample the local Creole cuisine and take in some of the city's nightly jazz entertainment. In the morning, grab a beignet and a steaming cup of chicory coffee au lait at the original Café du Monde in the French Market.
2024 dates: This itinerary is available on select dates in February, November and December.
Heart of the Delta: New Orleans to Memphis
Price: Starts at $4,299 per person
Similar to its round-trip New Orleans Southern Charms itinerary, the Heart of the Delta cruise begins in New Orleans and calls on the same five ports, before sailing through the Lower Mississippi and disembarking in Memphis. Enjoy scenic views of the serpentine river route – perhaps with expert commentary or a local cooking demonstration – and then take time to explore the birthplace of the Memphis blues, which is also a center of civil rights history.
2024 dates: In 2024, this cruise is available in February, March, April, May, June and November.
America's Great River: St. Paul to New Orleans
Price: Starts at $12,999 per person
This Viking voyage sails from St. Paul to New Orleans on a two-week trip that calls on 13 ports with one day of scenic sailing. This itinerary combines the best of Viking's other Mississippi sailings for an all-encompassing Midwestern and Southern experience with 12 guided tours.
Included in the fare is a tour of Graceland; a stroll through small-town Burlington, Iowa, to see Snake Alley, deemed the most crooked street in the world; and a visit to the National Eagle Center of Red Wing, among others. For an additional fee, hop on an airboat ride through the Atchafalaya Swamp in Baton Rouge or tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery of St. Louis.
2024 dates: Viking has availability for this itinerary in July, September and October.
Want to cruise the Mississippi River? See the top cruises on GoToSea , a service of U.S. News.
FAQ Module : Travel - Top Mississippi River Cruises FAQs
Why Trust U.S. News Travel
Gwen Pratesi has been an avid cruiser since her early 20s. She has sailed on nearly every type of cruise ship built, including the newest megaships, paddle-wheelers on America's waterways, and an 18-stateroom river ship on the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia. Most recently, she traveled on a small luxury expedition vessel in Antarctica and crossed the notorious Drake Passage twice. She covers the travel and culinary industries, specializing in cruises, for major publications including U.S. News & World Report.
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River Cruise on Luxurious Radisson Boat
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Equipped with ice-breaking technology, these huge fancy yachts are the only river cruisers running all year around. The round trip journey takes two and a half hours and floats past all the big sights like the White House, Novodevichy monastery and the Kremlin. There’s a large open air observation deck up top, while the main body of the ship houses a restaurant with a dance floor for a romantic post dinner dance. For a particularly romantic experience take one of the evening boats and admire the bright lights of the city skyline at night.
The most relaxing and picturesque tour that Moscow can offer: a great way to see the city center and its main attractions. This is a perfect alternative to exploring the city by car, if you only have time to do sightseeing during weekday rush hours.
Your English-speaking guide is eager to share every bit of their knowledge about the surrounding landscape, the architecture and historical details.
We conduct Moscow river tour on Radisson Flotilla boats all year around! It’s warm inside during winter months, while there’s air conditioning during hot summer days. You may also treat yourself to drinks, lunch or dinner on board (drinks and food are not included in tour price).
The cost of an excursion with a personal guide for 1 person
Quay at Radisson Collection Hotel
Government Headquarters ("the White House")
Kievsky Railway Central
Academy of Sciences
Monument to Peter I
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
U-turn and back to Quay at Radisson Royal Hotel
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See photo of the meeting point