All Aboard: Best Minnesota Cruise Adventures

Penni Schewe
A non-public veranda aboard American Queen Steamboat Corporation


The Mississippi River will develop into a high-class thoroughfare in 2022. The significant-close, Switzerland-centered cruise line Viking will mail a new, 386-seat ship from St. Paul down to New Orleans, on around the same scale as an ocean liner. So, the monumental Viking Mississippi will introduce Minnesotans to a freshwater sort of coastal glamour.

But it won’t be completely new. For several years, riverboats have swanned the full duration of the Mississippi on two-7 days voyages. The American Queen Steamboat Enterprise and American Cruise Traces launch enormous steamboat descendants, all over 200-400 toes lengthy with about 100-200 rooms. Liners like the American Queen and the American Melody attraction with old-globe opulence: up to six degrees of thoroughly furnished bedrooms, velvet-and-mahogany galleries, chandeliered dining chambers, cabaret stages, furthermore sunlight decks, cafés, bars, and onboard historians. Excursions frequently variety from $5,000 to $20,000.

American Cruise Traces Queen of the Mississippi


For shorter cruises, double-decker riverboats dot the Mississippi and Minnesota’s most sprawling lakes. Per vacation, these community solutions can ferry up to 100 or so travellers in non-COVID situations, who embark on candlelit dates, family excursions, and corporate outings. Rest certain, any antique Southern Gothic aesthetics—twin chimneys or a churning paddlewheel—bely present day navigational technologies. And although the pandemic has curtailed potential, socially distanced dining tables are up for afternoon- and evening-extended reservations.

Between alternatives on the Mississippi, Padelford Riverboats does sunsets and Southern-design buffets. Paradise Charter Cruises, which also products and services Lake Minnetonka, delivers non-public charters and pushes out the aged-timey Minneapolis Queen on narrated tours. St. Croix River Cruises hosts 3-stage events on the St. Croix River, and Vista Fleet unmoors from Duluth, for cocktails and pizza on Lake Remarkable.

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