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The 12 Best Mississippi River Cruises for 2023-2024

In American folklore, the Mississippi River most probably inspires Mark Twain’s characters of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. However the real enchantment of the Southern towns alongside this greater than 2,300-mile river stretches way past fictional rascals of the nineteenth century, inviting fashionable American citizens to find a multifaceted heritage. From its deep musical roots of nation, jazz and bluegrass to an advanced legacy of slavery and the reviews of Black other people, the Mississippi confronts guests with an unlimited vary of tradition and historical past. A cruise is an out of this world solution to uncover numerous the towns alongside the Mississippi River on a unmarried outing, from the relief of your riverboat.

Now greater than ever, home commute has received recognition for being obtainable and as regards to house. The CDC recommends however does now not these days require COVID-19 trying out for home air commute; cruise strains, on the other hand, should nonetheless stay positive regulations in position for the well being and protection of the passengers they welcome on board. 3 primary cruise strains ply the waters of the Mississippi River: American Cruise Strains, American Queen Voyages (previously American Queen Steamboat Corporate), and river cruise veteran Viking River Cruises, which is able to christen its first voyage on U.S. rivers in June 2022 at the Viking Mississippi.

There is not any unmarried highest Mississippi River itinerary, and in truth the plethora of choices may marvel you. You have to spend 5 days at the river or as much as 3 weeks; sail complete circle from New Orleans or a technique from Tennessee to Missouri; cruise alongside in a contemporary riverboat or a standard paddle-wheeler. Vacationers in search of an additional hook too can to find themed Mississippi River cruises celebrating American tune or spirits (bourbon, this is, now not ghost tales – regardless that you’ll be able to to find quite a few each). As soon as you have got sailed the Higher Mississippi, you’ll then discover the Decrease Mississippi on your subsequent river journey.

With such a lot of possible choices, here is a listing of the highest Mississippi River cruise itineraries you’ll e-book in 2022 or 2023. Observe that each one fares are indexed as double occupancy, or in keeping with two other people according to cabin; costs additionally may now not mirror taxes, port charges or gratuities. Test with the cruise line prior to reserving.

American Cruise Strains

The River Lounge, including plush chairs, coffee tables and a piano in the back.

(Courtesy of American Cruise Strains / www.AmericanCruiseLines.com)

American Cruise Strains operates small ships which can be constructed, flagged and crewed within the U.S. – a relative rarity within the cruise trade. Of the cruise line’s many U.S. voyages, which contact 34 states, 10 itineraries are devoted to the Mississippi. From brand-new ships with a swish inside design to the vintage paddle-wheelers of your slow-sailing goals, ACL gives selection in addition to versatility: This line gives each the longest and shortest sailings in this listing. Complimentary lodge and transportation applications are to be had from each and every departure town prior to your cruise. You’ll be able to e-book positive top rate applications for additonal perks akin to two nights spent subsequent door to Graceland in Memphis – with VIP tickets and a town excursion integrated in the cost.

COVID-19 necessities: American Cruise Strains calls for vacationers to fill out a pre-cruise well being shape disclosing your vaccination standing, however explicit vaccine necessities range by means of state and area. Within the tournament a visitor is unvaccinated, that passenger may well be topic to further trying out, obstacles on port visits or tour choices, and minimum realize will have to vaccination change into obligatory prior to the cruise begins. ACL’s boarding procedure calls for all cruisers to take an antigen check the day of embarkation or (if appropriate) while you take a look at in to a pre-cruise lodge. Dressed in face mask on board is non-compulsory.

Memphis to Nashville music-themed cruise

Duration: 8 days
Worth: Begins at $3,960 according to particular person (AAR stateroom)

Spend every week getting misplaced within the sounds of tune legends at the seven-night Song Towns Cruise from blues and nation capitals Memphis to Nashville (additionally to be had in opposite). A lodge keep the evening prior to your crusing is integrated, however ranging from Memphis approach you even have the risk to splurge on a two-night keep within the shadow of Elvis close to his former house of Graceland. Different ports come with Paducah, Kentucky; Dover, Tennessee; and Clarksville, Tennessee, with an in a single day in Nashville and an integrated tour to a display on the Grand Ole Opry. Jam out to your balcony all over two scenic crusing days, which characteristic the Ohio River, Cumberland River and Lake Barkley. The 190-passenger American Jazz started crusing the Decrease Mississippi in March 2021 for its inaugural season and contains personal balconies in all staterooms.

St. Paul to New Orleans cruise

Duration: 15 days
Worth: Begins at $10,840 according to particular person (A stateroom)

The 175-passenger American Melody could also be new to the ACL fleet, inaugurated in 2021 and designed to sail the Mississippi River. Spend two weeks traversing the epic Mississippi on a distinct itinerary known as the Grand Heartland Cruise, which departs aboard the American Melody on Nov. 4, 2022 (this itinerary could also be introduced on choose different 2022 and 2023 dates aboard different vessels). This cruise lets you discover six states and 12 towns together with St. Paul, Minnesota; Dubuque, Iowa; St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Natchez, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and extra. The stunning surroundings, excursions of historical websites or even a talk over with to Mark Twain’s place of origin will be sure to achieve your river cruise attainable in this journey.

New Orleans round-trip cruise

Duration: 5 days
Worth: Begins at $2,455 according to particular person (A stateroom)

The 150-passenger American Heritage, previously known as Queen of the Mississippi, gained a complete redesign for the 2022 season. This paddle-wheeler hosts a succinct four-night crusing – Highlights of the Mississippi River – on July 23, 2022, for any person having a look so as to add on a handy guide a rough cruise to their time within the “Crescent Town.” Revel in an in a single day in New Orleans, an afternoon in Baton Rouge and a talk over with to the Houmas Space plantation amongst different fascinating stops and tours. The Oak Alley Plantation excursion in Vacherie, Louisiana, is a spotlight for plenty of on a river cruise, and this crusing takes you directly there. Finished in 1839, this property with its iconic arch of oak timber, situated about 50 miles out of doors of New Orleans, is now a Nationwide Historical Landmark documenting the slaves who lived and labored right here at the side of 200 years of historical past. This itinerary could also be to be had at the American Symphony and American Splendor.

New Orleans to St. Paul cruise

Duration: 22 days
Worth: Begins at $12,510 according to particular person (A stateroom)

If you wish to see all the Mississippi in a single shot, take a look at this standout multiweek crusing that starts in New Orleans and results in St. Paul, Minnesota. Alongside the best way, you’ll enjoy a staggering 20 ports of name as you excursion Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. Stroll the battlefields of the Civil Conflict, pattern scrumptious Southern barbeque and discover stops just like the old fashioned city of St. Francisville all over the Entire Mississippi River Cruise. The 185-passenger American Splendor – previously identified merely as The united states – gets you there in taste; this send used to be not too long ago refurbished for the 2022 season with updates spanning carpeting and furnishings to paintings. 3 weeks at the Mississippi River is not affordable, however this crusing on July 20, 2022, will will let you see all of it. If that cruise is just too quickly to get on board, sail dates are to be had to e-book in September 2022 or in summer season 2023 on more than a few different ships.

American Queen Voyages

American Queen Voyages cruise ship on the Mississippi River in New Orleans at dusk.

(Courtesy of American Queen Voyages)

American Queen Voyages – previously the American Queen Steamboat Corporate, in a nod to its acclaimed riverboat roots – is crusing into the longer term with a diffusion to lake, ocean and expedition voyages in addition to its river cruises. AQV Mississippi River sailings come with a pre-cruise lodge stick with transportation in your send, in addition to shore excursions. These all-inclusive cruises additionally boast open bars, more than one eating venues, are living onboard leisure, motorcycles and extra. The cruise line owns 4 paddle-wheelers to traverse rivers, together with the American Countess, unveiled in 2020, and its flagship American Queen, the most important steamboat ever built.

COVID-19 necessities: All passengers and team aboard AQV ships are required to be totally vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. The day prior to boarding, visitors should fill out a well being questionnaire at their integrated pre-cruise lodge and take a compulsory antigen check; cruisers also are welcome to supply a unfavorable COVID-19 check taken inside of two days of embarkation from an permitted third-party. Mask are non-compulsory to put on on board except you might be symptomatic.

Nashville to St. Louis cruise

Duration: 8 days
Worth: Begins at $3,098 according to particular person (IS – Inside Stateroom)

Set your points of interest for August 2023 when the American Duchess will set sail from Clarksville, Tennessee, an enthralling town about 50 miles from Nashville. Certain for a greater than weeklong Mississippi River journey, this crusing results in the small city of Alton, Illinois, about 30 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. (Riverboat docking places are every now and then within the closest city to a extra touristed town.) An integrated lodge keep kicks off your cruise, then you’ll be able to board this vintage, 166-passenger paddle-wheeler. Cruisers will head via Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, traversing the realm’s tradition, nature and historical past, together with websites vital to Local American citizens and the Civil Conflict.

St. Louis to Minneapolis cruise

Duration: 8 days
Worth: Begins at $2,698 according to particular person (E – Within Stateroom)

The Higher Mississippi is Mark Twain territory, so you could have to succumb to a recited passage or two. The new, 245-passenger American Countess paddle-wheeler is available to float you via this hallowed territory, from Alton, Illinois, to Purple Wing, Minnesota (docked a bit greater than 50 miles from Minneapolis). This cruise stops in small, quirky cities like Hannibal, Missouri – featured steadily in Mark Twain’s writings – or Bettendorf, Iowa, for a hop-on hop-off excursion. Within the Wisconsin city of Los angeles Crosse you’ll be able to to find the Riveraspect World Friendship Gardens. Sail in July or September 2022 or in overdue August 2023 at the American Countess – different dates and ships also are to be had for this itinerary.

Viking River Cruises

Viking cruise ship under a bridge on the Mississippi River.

(Courtesy of Viking)

Viking is not any stranger to crusing Europe’s rivers; the logo is in truth synonymous with river cruising international aboard its dozens of ships. Alternatively, Viking River Cruises is a newcomer to U.S. rivers, and its custom-built send – the 386-passenger Viking Mississippi – will mark that milestone when it sails its inaugural Mississippi River cruise in June 2022. All the way through its first season on sale, Viking Mississippi will be offering 4 itineraries plus a holiday-themed cruise. Having a look to carve out its personal area of interest within the American river cruising class, Viking claims it has the area’s “first in point of fact fashionable cruise send” given its distinct Scandinavian design and expansive most sensible solar deck with an infinity plunge pool. Pre- and post-cruise extensions will also be added to all voyages for an extra expense.

COVID-19 necessities: Viking is rigorous in its well being and protection measures, requiring all visitors and team to be totally vaccinated to board, with the sturdy advice that you just obtain a booster when eligible. Moreover, all passengers are required to take a pre-departure PCR check inside of 72 hours of touring in your cruise or an antigen check inside of 24 hours. Upon embarkation, visitors may also be requested to take a saliva PCR check from the relief of your staterooms. As soon as a unfavorable result’s issued, mask stay non-compulsory for the period of the crusing except stipulations trade. As much as day by day saliva assessments may well be required by means of the cruise line – totally free.

New Orleans round-trip cruise

Duration: 8 days
Worth: Begins at $3,999 according to particular person (V1 Veranda or FB French Balcony)

If you do not know which Viking Mississippi itinerary to make a choice, get started right here. A round-trip sail from New Orleans is handy for reserving flights and gives the superb alternative to increase your keep in NOLA. Six guided excursions are integrated throughout 8 days, from the native historical past of Natchez to the Vicksburg Nationwide Army Park. A prevent in St. Francisville provides you with the risk to surprise at probably the most greater than 140 structures it has at the Nationwide Check in of Historical Puts. Dates in 2022 are offered out for this Southern Charms cruise, however take a look at 2023 sailings in January and December.

New Orleans to Memphis cruise

Duration: 8 days
Worth: Begins at $3,999 according to particular person (V1 Veranda or FB French Balcony)

Very similar to its round-trip New Orleans Southern Charms itinerary, the Middle of the Delta cruise starts in New Orleans and calls at the identical 5 ports – prior to crusing during the Decrease Mississippi and disembarking in Memphis. Benefit from the scenic perspectives of the serpentine river course – possibly with professional observation or an area cooking demonstration on board – after which take time to discover the birthplace of Memphis blues, which could also be a middle of civil rights historical past. Visitors can enjoy extra time in two headlining towns in this cruise. All 2022 dates are offered out for this itinerary, however there’s availability all over 2023.

St. Louis to St. Paul cruise

Duration: 8 days
Worth: Begins at $4,499 according to particular person (V1 Veranda or FB French Balcony)

Tackling the Higher Mississippi and inching nearer to the expeditions of Lewis and Clark, this Viking crusing dubbed “The united states’s Heartland” is to be had in August and September 2023. Cruisers can be expecting a excursion tracing the novels of Mark Twain in Hannibal, Missouri, in addition to an unconventional prevent in Quad Towns, Iowa, referred to as the house of the Deere circle of relatives of John Deere tractors. Different to be had excursions may come with a talk over with to an area Midwestern farm to peer what is desirous about striking meals at the desk. Observe that one shore tour is integrated according to port. Purple Wing, Minnesota, every other prevent, is famed for its sneakers corporate and eagle inhabitants, in addition to Local American historical past. Lead to St. Paul, the place you’ll prolong your keep if you want.

St. Paul to New Orleans cruise

Duration: 15 days
Worth: Begins at $12,999 according to particular person (V1 Veranda or FB French Balcony)

Viking’s grand Mississippi voyage sails from St. Paul to New Orleans (and the opposite) on a two-week outing that calls on 13 ports with two days of scenic crusing. This itinerary combines the most efficient of Viking’s different Mississippi sailings for an all-encompassing Southern enjoy that provides 11 guided excursions. Integrated within the fare is a excursion of Graceland; a walk via small-town Burlington, Iowa, to peer the “crookedest side road on the earth”; and a talk over with to the Nationwide Eagle Middle of Purple Wing, amongst others. For an extra charge make a choice to kayak or canoe the Atchafalaya Swamp of Baton Rouge or excursion the Anheuser-Busch Brewery of St. Louis. Make a choice summer season 2024 dates are to be had for this widespread cruise.

[Want to cruise the Mississippi River? See the top cruises on GoToSea, a service of U.S. News.]

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