CULTURE

10 Prime Mississippi River Cruises 2022-2023

In American folklore, the Mississippi River seemingly evokes Mark Twain’s characters of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. However the true attraction of the Southern cities alongside this greater than 2,300-mile river stretches nicely past fictional rascals of the nineteenth century, inviting fashionable People to find a multifaceted heritage. From its deep musical roots of nation, jazz and bluegrass to a sophisticated legacy of slavery and the experiences of Black individuals, the Mississippi confronts guests with an enormous vary of tradition and historical past. A cruise is a unbelievable method to uncover plenty of the cities alongside the Mississippi River on a single journey, from the consolation of your riverboat.

Now greater than ever, home journey has gained reputation for being accessible and near residence. The CDC recommends however doesn’t presently require COVID-19 testing for home air journey; cruise strains, nonetheless, should nonetheless preserve sure guidelines in place for the well being and security of the passengers they welcome on board. Three principal cruise strains ply the waters of the Mississippi River: American Cruise Traces, American Queen Voyages (previously American Queen Steamboat Firm), and river cruise veteran Viking River Cruises, which is able to christen its first voyage on U.S. rivers in June 2022 on the Viking Mississippi.

There is no such thing as a single finest Mississippi River itinerary, and in reality the plethora of choices would possibly shock you. You can spend 5 days on the river or as much as three weeks; sail full circle from New Orleans or a method from Tennessee to Missouri; cruise alongside in a contemporary riverboat or a standard paddle-wheeler. Vacationers searching for an additional hook also can discover themed Mississippi River cruises celebrating American music or spirits (bourbon, that’s, not ghost tales – although you may discover loads of each). As soon as you have sailed the Higher Mississippi, you possibly can then discover the Decrease Mississippi to your subsequent river journey.

With so many decisions, this is a listing of the highest Mississippi River cruise itineraries you possibly can e-book in 2022 or 2023. Notice that each one fares are listed as double occupancy, or based mostly on two individuals per cabin; costs additionally may not replicate taxes, port charges or gratuities. Test with the cruise line earlier than reserving.

American Cruise Traces

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

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

American Cruise Traces 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 glossy inside design to the basic paddle-wheelers of your slow-sailing desires, ACL provides selection in addition to versatility: This line provides each the longest and shortest sailings on this record. Complimentary resort and transportation packages can be found from each departure metropolis earlier than your cruise. You possibly can e-book sure premium packages for added perks reminiscent of two nights spent subsequent door to Graceland in Memphis – with VIP tickets and a metropolis tour included within the value.

COVID-19 necessities: American Cruise Traces requires vacationers to fill out a pre-cruise well being type disclosing your vaccination standing, however particular vaccine necessities fluctuate by state and area. Within the occasion a visitor is unvaccinated, that passenger could possibly be topic to further testing, limitations on port visits or tour choices, and minimal discover ought to vaccination turn into obligatory earlier than the cruise begins. ACL’s boarding course of requires all cruisers to take an antigen check the day of embarkation or (if relevant) while you examine in to a pre-cruise resort. Sporting face masks on board is optionally available.

Memphis to Nashville music-themed cruise

Size: Eight days
Value: Begins at $3,960 per particular person (AAR stateroom)

Spend per week getting misplaced within the sounds of music legends on the seven-night Music Cities Cruise from blues and nation capitals Memphis to Nashville (additionally out there in reverse). A resort keep the evening earlier than your crusing is included, however ranging from Memphis means you even have the prospect to splurge on a two-night keep within the shadow of Elvis close to his former residence of Graceland. Different ports embrace Paducah, Kentucky; Dover, Tennessee; and Clarksville, Tennessee, with an in a single day in Nashville and an included tour to a present on the Grand Ole Opry. Jam out in your balcony throughout two scenic crusing days, which function 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 consists of personal balconies in all staterooms.

St. Paul to New Orleans cruise

Size: 15 days
Value: Begins at $10,840 per particular person (A stateroom)

The 175-passenger American Melody can 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 particular itinerary referred to as the Grand Heartland Cruise, which departs aboard the American Melody on Nov. 4, 2022 (this itinerary can be supplied on choose different 2022 and 2023 dates aboard different vessels). This cruise permits you to discover six states and 12 cities together with St. Paul, Minnesota; Dubuque, Iowa; St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Natchez, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and extra. The attractive surroundings, excursions of historic websites and even a go to to Mark Twain’s hometown will make sure you attain your river cruise potential on this journey.

New Orleans round-trip cruise

Size: 5 days
Value: Begins at $2,455 per particular person (A stateroom)

The 150-passenger American Heritage, previously referred to as Queen of the Mississippi, obtained 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 anybody wanting so as to add on a fast cruise to their time within the “Crescent Metropolis.” Take pleasure in an in a single day in New Orleans, a day in Baton Rouge and a go to to the Houmas Home plantation amongst different attention-grabbing stops and excursions. The Oak Alley Plantation tour in Vacherie, Louisiana, is a spotlight for a lot of on a river cruise, and this crusing takes you straight there. Accomplished in 1839, this property with its iconic arch of oak bushes, positioned about 50 miles outdoors of New Orleans, is now a Nationwide Historic Landmark documenting the slaves who lived and labored right here together with 200 years of historical past. This itinerary can be out there on the American Symphony and American Splendor.

New Orleans to St. Paul cruise

Size: 22 days
Value: Begins at $12,510 per particular person (A stateroom)

If you wish to see your complete Mississippi in a single shot, take a look at this standout multiweek crusing that begins in New Orleans and ends in St. Paul, Minnesota. Alongside the best way, you’ll expertise a staggering 20 ports of name as you tour Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. Stroll the battlefields of the Civil Conflict, pattern scrumptious Southern barbecue and discover stops just like the quaint city of St. Francisville throughout the Full Mississippi River Cruise. The 185-passenger American Splendor – previously identified merely as America – will get you there in fashion; this ship was not too long ago refurbished for the 2022 season with updates spanning carpeting and furnishings to art work. Three weeks on the Mississippi River is not low-cost, however this crusing on July 20, 2022, will help you see all of it. If that cruise is simply too quickly to get on board, sail dates can be found to e-book in September 2022 or in summer season 2023 on numerous 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 Firm, in a nod to its acclaimed riverboat roots – is crusing into the longer term with an growth to lake, ocean and expedition voyages in addition to its river cruises. AQV Mississippi River sailings embrace a pre-cruise resort stick with transportation to your ship, in addition to shore excursions. These all-inclusive cruises additionally boast open bars, a number of eating venues, stay onboard leisure, bikes 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 constructed.

COVID-19 necessities: All passengers and crew aboard AQV ships are required to be absolutely vaccinated towards COVID-19. The day earlier than boarding, company should fill out a well being questionnaire at their included pre-cruise resort and take a compulsory antigen check; cruisers are additionally welcome to supply a detrimental COVID-19 check taken inside two days of embarkation from an accredited third-party. Masks are optionally available to put on on board until you are symptomatic.

Nashville to St. Louis cruise

Size: Eight days
Value: Begins at $3,098 per particular person (IS – Inside Stateroom)

Set your sights for August 2023 when the American Duchess will set sail from Clarksville, Tennessee, a captivating metropolis about 50 miles from Nashville. Certain for a greater than weeklong Mississippi River journey, this crusing ends within the small city of Alton, Illinois, about 30 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. (Riverboat docking places are generally within the closest city to a extra touristed metropolis.) An included resort keep kicks off your cruise, you then’ll board this basic, 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 Native People and the Civil Conflict.

St. Louis to Minneapolis cruise

Size: Eight days
Value: Begins at $2,698 per particular person (E – Inside Stateroom)

The Higher Mississippi is Mark Twain territory, so that you might need to succumb to a recited passage or two. The brand new, 245-passenger American Countess paddle-wheeler is available to glide you thru this hallowed territory, from Alton, Illinois, to Purple Wing, Minnesota (docked a little 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 tour. Within the Wisconsin city of La Crosse you may discover the Riverside Worldwide Friendship Gardens. Sail in July or September 2022 or in late August 2023 on the American Countess – different dates and ships are additionally out there for this itinerary.

Viking River Cruises

Viking cruise ship under a bridge on the Mississippi River.

(Courtesy of Viking)

Viking isn’t any stranger to crusing Europe’s rivers; the model is actually synonymous with river cruising worldwide aboard its dozens of ships. Nevertheless, Viking River Cruises is a newcomer to U.S. rivers, and its custom-built ship – the 386-passenger Viking Mississippi – will mark that milestone when it sails its inaugural Mississippi River cruise in June 2022. Throughout its first season on sale, Viking Mississippi will provide 4 itineraries plus a holiday-themed cruise. Trying to carve out its personal area of interest within the American river cruising class, Viking claims it has the area’s “first really fashionable cruise ship” given its distinct Scandinavian design and expansive high solar deck with an infinity plunge pool. Pre- and post-cruise extensions may be added to all voyages for a further expense.

COVID-19 necessities: Viking is rigorous in its well being and security measures, requiring all company and crew to be absolutely 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 72 hours of touring to your cruise or an antigen check inside 24 hours. Upon embarkation, company can even be requested to take a saliva PCR check from the consolation of your staterooms. As soon as a detrimental result’s issued, masks stay optionally available for the size of the crusing until situations change. As much as each day saliva assessments could possibly be required by the cruise line – freed from cost.

New Orleans round-trip cruise

Size: Eight days
Value: Begins at $3,999 per particular person (V1 Veranda or FB French Balcony)

If you do not know which Viking Mississippi itinerary to decide on, begin right here. A round-trip sail from New Orleans is handy for reserving flights and provides the superb alternative to increase your keep in NOLA. Six guided excursions are included throughout eight days, from the native historical past of Natchez to the Vicksburg Nationwide Army Park. A cease in St. Francisville offers you the prospect to marvel at among the greater than 140 buildings it has on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. 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

Size: Eight days
Value: Begins at $3,999 per particular person (V1 Veranda or FB French Balcony)

Much like its round-trip New Orleans Southern Charms itinerary, the Coronary heart of the Delta cruise begins in New Orleans and calls on the identical 5 ports – earlier than crusing via the Decrease Mississippi and disembarking in Memphis. Benefit from the scenic views of the serpentine river route – maybe with skilled commentary or a neighborhood cooking demonstration on board – after which take time to discover the birthplace of Memphis blues, which can be a middle of civil rights historical past. Friends can expertise extra time in two headlining cities on this cruise. All 2022 dates are offered out for this itinerary, however there may be availability all through 2023.

St. Louis to St. Paul cruise

Size: Eight days
Value: Begins at $4,499 per 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 “America’s Heartland” is offered in August and September 2023. Cruisers can count on a tour tracing the novels of Mark Twain in Hannibal, Missouri, in addition to an unconventional cease in Quad Cities, Iowa, often known as the house of the Deere household of John Deere tractors. Different out there excursions would possibly embrace a go to to a neighborhood Midwestern farm to see what’s concerned in placing meals on the desk. Notice that one shore tour is included per port. Purple Wing, Minnesota, one other cease, is famed for its footwear firm and eagle inhabitants, in addition to Native American historical past. Finish in St. Paul, the place you possibly can lengthen your keep if you want.

St. Paul to New Orleans cruise

Size: 15 days
Value: Begins at $12,999 per particular person (V1 Veranda or FB French Balcony)

Viking’s grand Mississippi voyage sails from St. Paul to New Orleans (and the reverse) on a two-week journey that calls on 13 ports with two days of scenic crusing. This itinerary combines the most effective of Viking’s different Mississippi sailings for an all-encompassing Southern expertise that provides 11 guided excursions. Included within the fare is a tour of Graceland; a stroll via small-town Burlington, Iowa, to see the “crookedest avenue on this planet”; and a go to to the Nationwide Eagle Middle of Purple Wing, amongst others. For a further charge select to kayak or canoe the Atchafalaya Swamp of Baton Rouge or tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery of St. Louis. Choose summer season 2024 dates can be found for this well-liked cruise.

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

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