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Posted by
2353 posts

Thanks for sharing! My Mom has often expressed interest in a Mississippi River Cruise. This will be interesting to share with her...in time.

Posted by
6522 posts

It would be good to know what (size) ships they use for these cruises.

Posted by
5521 posts

Verrrrry interesting! So what will Burlington, Iowa be like when the ship’s passengers descend on it for part of a day, then head away?

No sternwheel tacked onto the boat for atmosphere. Wonder if a riverboat gambler or two will be aboard - or will a casino just become standard on the ship? Wonder what Mark Twain/Samuel Clemons would say, if he was around now?

A current-day Huck and Jim wouldn’t have thousands apiece to take a Viking cruise, but they probably wouldn’t be rafting on their own, either.

Posted by
21660 posts

The bridges on the MM are much higher than the old bridges on the European rivers so you can have better ships. This will introduce some competition that could give cheaper prices.

Posted by
1838 posts

A couple chapters in the highly recommended "Spying On The South" by Tony Horwitz describe the river cruises offered by American Cruise Lines. He does what RS recommends -- plan ahead so that at stops you can get away from the crowds of your own ship and find some local color that isn't geared to tourists. Horwitz also discusses some frank conversations with crewmembers and service staff.
This was his last book before passing away last year.

Posted by
6447 posts

This will introduce some competition that could give cheaper prices.

Nice thought, but looking at the link for the Viking cruise it looks like they are essentially the same as American Cruise Lines and possible a bit higher. Personally I think the Delta Queen would be the most fun to cruise on when she returns (probably next year) after renovations, but she has always been out of my budget. Many years ago we saw her when she docked at Red Wing MN and they gave a short abbreviated tour. What a majestic paddle wheel riverboat.

Posted by
5324 posts

I researched cruises in the USA on the American Cruise LIne. I was amazed at how expensive they were.

Having traveled extensively in the Mississippi basin, I would not be interested in such a cruise. The most interesting cities would be St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans and perhaps Natchez.

New Orleans is clearly the best of the lot and for me it is just not a draw. For a lot less, you can cruise in Europe and see more interesting places.

Posted by
3580 posts

Delta Queen would be the most fun to cruise on when she returns (probably next year) after renovations

Agree this is the way to do it, with a paddle steamer.

While the stretch of the Mississippi from Red Wing to south of Dubuque is probably prettier than the Rhine or the Danube, the lower portion is flat and often industrial.

Posted by
6447 posts

While the stretch of the Mississippi from Red Wing to south of Dubuque is probably prettier than the Rhine or the Danube

I agree, the scenery on the upper stretches is beautiful, the only things we're missing are the castles. As for the lower, more industrialized stretches, there is much of that also on both the Rhine and the Danube. I think for river cruises you have to accept that every mile is not a scenic wonderland.

For a lot less, you can cruise in Europe and see more interesting places.

This may be true to some extent, although it's not really any less expensive when you factor in airfare, and in some cases it's quite expensive. As for being more interesting - for some people the history of their own country is just as interesting as that of Europe. I've not done a Mississippi river cruise but I have driven the great river road and visited most of the cities that are ports on the river cruise and they are very interesting to explore.

Posted by
7480 posts

We will wait for the reviews in a few years. We’ve done four river cruises, best one was Mekong, worst the Danube.

Posted by
133 posts

Besides Viking and American Cruise Lines, the American Queen Steamboat Co. does river cruises. We had thought about doing a cruise with them on the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers in the fall. They do the Mississippi and Columbia Rivers also. We have cancelled plans for any trips in 2020, but hope to take one in 2021. Just thought you'd like to know there are three options for the Mississippi.

Posted by
3889 posts

Took one Viking river cruise (Budapest to Nuremberg) to cross it off the bucket list and have no desire to go on another one. It was fine, but being herded around like cattle at every stop, with all the groups from other ships in port at the same time, isn’t our idea of seeing some place. It’s the difference between seeing a place and experiencing a place. I do see where they would be in many peoples’ comfort zone, so there is a clientele for them. Sorry, but I see nothing exciting about a trip down the Mississippi.

Posted by
5697 posts

Best I can manage is the riverboat ride at Disneyland -- but it does have a paddlewheel.

Posted by
7480 posts

Just looked at the Viking river boat link..386 passengers! That is a huge turnoff. We never had more than 120 passengers on any of our river cruises.

Posted by
1735 posts

Suki, thanks for that information. I was looking for the info on passenger numbers and didn’t find it. The prices they’re showing didn’t seem unreasonable if there were 130-ish passengers, but for over 300 it is not appealing. I’ve been in New Orleans when the river cruises disembark and it’s like watching a tidal wave coming for you.

Posted by
133 posts

Re number of passengers, I agree that 386 is too many for a river cruise. Our Nile cruise ship had a capacity of 150, but we were luckyto have no more than 60. I see American Queen Steamboat's 4 ships carry from 150 to 400 passengers, depending on the ship. Just FYI.

Posted by
7480 posts

This past January our Nile cruise wasn’t full either. Even better, only 22 of us on a Lake Nasser cruise that held 200.