by American Queen Voyages

From the frigid waters of Minnesota, all the way down to the warm waters of Louisiana, the Mississippi River is one of the most iconic natural features of the United States. 2,300 miles (about twice the distance from Florida to New York City) long, it is the longest river in North America and has played a vital role in developing the country’s history and culture. And you can see the spots and sights where it all happened on a multiday cruise of the Mississippi River! From family trips to romantic getaways, and themed cruises, everyone can find a cruise itinerary that matches what they want to do on the Mississippi. Cruising the Mississippi is absolutely one of the best things to do in the area!

Upper Mississippi vs. Lower Mississippi 

It can take two weeks to go from Minnesota all the way down to Louisiana on the Mississippi River. American Queen Voyages does offer a 16-day cruise that starts in Minneapolis and ends in New Orleans. This bucket-list adventure takes you down the country’s mightiest river where you can see how the country changes as you head towards the Gulf of Mexico. If you can’t take a trip like that, you’ll have to decide if you want to see the Upper or Lower Mississippi.

The Upper Mississippi travels through the stories of Mark Twain and the small river cities of Midwest America. Eat St. Louis-style BBQ, after you see the art of Red Wing, Minnesota. Small-town charm will make you fall in love with the Upper Mississippi if the art and food don’t convince you first!

The Lower Mississippi takes you down the Mississippi Delta with history on the banks of the river and jazz music floating alongside your cruise. You can visit one of the 100 best towns in America in historic Natchez, Mississippi. Or cheer on the LSU tigers and see stunning farms in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Experience home-cooked southern food and see Civil War battlefields as you travel the Lower Mississippi.

The American Duchess

Upper Mississippi River Trips  

American Queen Voyage cruises throughout the Upper Mississippi River start at nine days and start at $999*. You will sail through the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, seeing new cities like Red Wing, Minnesota, to the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois, and see the iconic St. Louis Arch. Staterooms have private or open verandas, or you can pick an inside stateroom. In addition to onboard entertainment every day and amazing guided tours onshore, you can enjoy gourmet cuisine at some of the finest establishments on the Mississippi.

Lower Mississippi River Trips  

Starting at $999* per guest, trips in the Lower Mississippi will take you around Memphis to New Orleans. With trips lasting from eight to nine days, you will get to taste authentic Cajun food and hear where jazz was created. Staterooms on the ships that sail in this part of the Mississippi come with private verandas so you can sip on your morning coffee or an evening cocktail while seeing the banks of the Mississippi. Guided tours of ports are included in your ticket, as well as live onboard entertainment that will make you feel even more connected to your trip and fellow passengers.

French Quarter New Orleans
Beautiful Architecture in New Orleans French Quarter
You can ride to the top of The Gateway Arch in St. Louis
An unfinished masterpiece at Longwood House in Natchez

FAQs – Things to do along the Mississippi River 

  • What other activities can you do while visiting the Mississippi River?

There are hundreds of things to do next to the ports of the Mississippi River. For example, you can visit the childhood home of infamous author Mark Twain in Hannibal, Missouri. Of course, there is the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa, with its interactive exhibits. And you can learn about the music of the river at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Many American Queen Voyages’ tours visit these great places, and many more, on their Mississippi River cruise trips.

  • When should you visit the Mississippi River?  

The best time to visit the Mississippi River for a cruise trip is during the spring and fall months. The Mississippi can get very hot during the summer, especially on the Lower Mississippi, and very cold in the winter, especially on the Upper Mississippi. If you visit in the spring or fall, you will experience the best weather possible. There can be some flooding issues in the spring, but your tour will know how to plan.

  • What can you see from the Mississippi River?  

On the Mississippi River, not only will you be sailing down one of the most iconic waterways in the United States, if not the world, but you will also be able to see natural scenic sights like waterfalls and dams, on top of man-made wonders and battlefields. You will cruise by small towns that revolve around the river, and major cities like St. Louis, New Orleans, or Memphis. You will see where Mark Twain became inspired to create the universe of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Just keep your eyes peeled, you are bound to see a lot!

  • What’s the best part of the Mississippi River?  

Find out for yourself what is the best part of the Mississippi River on a river cruise! There are truly some of the country’s most scenic spots on the river that you can only experience for yourself. The Mississippi is a gorgeous part of America and has played a part in American culture for centuries.

Whether you only see one part of the river, or if you take a cruise up and down the whole thing, a trip to the Mississippi River is a fun time for everyone. Not to mention all the other fun things to do in the area. Find out which American Queen Voyage travel itineraries match best with what you want to see and plan your next trip today!


*prices at time of first publishing and are subject to change

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