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Mississippi River Cruises

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Taking a cruise on the mighty Mississippi River is a journey into the heart and soul of America. The Mississippi is known for being one of the longest rivers in the world, starting in Northern Minnesota and flowing down to the Gulf of Mexico. Through carefully planned urban explorations and village visits you'll get to know some of America's most culturally influential cities, such as New Orleans, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, Memphis, and Minneapolis. On Southern Mississippi River cruises, you may visit historical river towns such as Vicksburg and Natchez, Mississippi. On a Northern Mississippi cruise, you'll float between St. Louis and Minneapolis as you experience wildlife like the Bald Eagle and scenic views of river bluffs. Contact our Mississippi cruise specialists to start planning your ideal river cruise today!
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10 Best Mississippi River Cruises for 2024-2025

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Top Mississippi River Cruise Deals

Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Historic Mississippi River CruiseSavings$34758Oct 28, 2024The American Heritage hosts this 8-day Mississippi River cruise from New Orleans. Explore historic plantations, Civil War sites, and charming towns. …
Historic Mississippi River CruiseSavings$41908Mar 10, 2025The American Melody hosts this 8-day Mississippi River cruise from New Orleans. Explore historic plantations, Civil War sites, and charming towns. …
Complete Mississippi RiverSavings$1564023May 31, 2024Discover the Mighty Mississippi on a 23-day cruise covering 10 states aboard American Melody. Immerse in history, culture, and cuisine from New …
Lower Mississippi River CruiseSavings$51909Aug 23, 2024Experience a 9-day cruise aboard American Symphony from Memphis to New Orleans, discovering historic sites, Civil War stories, and charming towns …
Lower Mississippi River CruiseSavings$45309Jun 4, 2024Experience a 9-day cruise aboard American Heritage from New Orleans to Memphis, discovering historic sites, Civil War stories, and charming towns …
Complete Mississippi RiverSavings$1564023Aug 30, 2024Discover the Mighty Mississippi on a 23-day cruise covering 10 states American Symphony. Immerse in history, culture, and cuisine from New Orleans to …
Music Cities CruiseSavings$48409Aug 9, 2024Set sail on a 9-day cruise on the American Symphony from Memphis to Nashville, traversing the Mississippi, Ohio, and Cumberland rivers—Immerse in …
Music Cities CruiseSavings$48409Sep 20, 2024Set sail on a 9-day cruise on the American Melody from Memphis to Nashville, traversing the Mississippi, Ohio, and Cumberland rivers—Immerse in …
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Mississippi River Travel Guide

Upper Mississippi River vs. Lower Mississippi River 

The Upper Mississippi River stretches from its origins in Minneapolis, Minnesota down to its confluence with the Ohio River in Cairo, Illinois, also winding through Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri along the way. 

The Lower Mississippi River originates in Illinois where the Mississippi and Ohio converge and flows downstream all the way to the Gulf of Mexico for about 1,000 miles (well, 990 miles to be exact!). It travels through Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and, of course, Mississippi. 

Some of our cruises do go as far north as the Upper Mississippi River, but the majority of the itineraries spend most of their time visiting the destinations in "American's Heartland" on the Lower Mississippi River.

Top Cruise Ports on the mighty Mississippi River
Where will your Mississippi River cruise take you? Mississippi River cruises immerse you in the culture and cuisine of the historic U.S. South. 

Here are some of the most popular cruise ports where our Adventure Life Mississippi River cruises dock: 

Get to Know Vicksburg

Located in the western part of Mississippi, the city of Vicksburg is best known for its importance in the American Civil War as the location of a key battle. Now, at Vicksburg National Military Park, you can learn the history of this region as you explore the Old Court House, the National Cemetery and the restored USS Cairo gunboat. The Siege of Vicksburg (May 18, 1863 - July 4, 1863) marked a major victory for the Union army and a turning point in the Civil War as it gave them control of the Mississippi River. 
Get to Know Baton Rouge

Right on the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge - with its population at 225,000 people - is a great destination as you cruise through the state of Louisiana. In fact, Baton Rouge is the Louisiana state capital and home to the Magnolia Mound Plantation (including the French Creole House), the LSU Rural Life Museum, and the retired WWII destroyer USS Kidd, which is now a museum. 

This is a great place to see Antebellum plantations and sites key in America's 19th century history. 
Get to Know New Orleans 

While Baton Rouge might be the capital of Louisiana, the buzzing city of New Orleans could be considered the cultural capital of the state and one of the most exciting cities to visit in the American south while you enjoy your Mississippi River cruise - from the French Quarter to lively Bourbon Street, experience the true heart and flavor of Creole culture here, especially during JazzFest and their renowned Mardi Gras celebrations. 

FAQs: Mississippi River

How much does a Mississippi River cruise cost?
Mississippi River cruises cost between $1,300 and $5,000 per person, but the average price of a Mississippi River cruise is about $2,400 per person for a 9-day itinerary. 
What is the best time of year to take a Mississippi River cruise?
The best time to cruise the Mississippi River is during the months of spring (March, April, May) or fall (September, October, November) to avoid the extreme hot and cold temperatures in summer and winter. The Mississippi is so long that giving overall advice can be difficult, as the temperatures in Minnesota are much colder than those in Louisiana on the same day. Additionally, there is a higher chance of flooding in the spring and a potential need to reroute or reschedule. 
What destinations do Mississippi River cruises visit?
The top 10 destinations you can visit on a Mississippi River cruise are Red Wing by Minneapolis, Dubuque, Bettendorf, Hannibal, St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, Memphis, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, and of course New Orleans!
Are Mississippi River cruises worth it?
Mississippi River cruises are a great value if you're hoping to really explore the whole region and get to know the local culture, food, and historic destinations that have shaped the mighty Mississippi. These cruises are definitely geared towards more mature audiences, so while inquisitive teens might enjoy these, they are crafted with adults in mind who enjoy activities like walking and biking tours, city & historic tours, nature experiences, and museums. These are not ideal for families with young children who are looking for a lot of onboard entertainment for kids of all ages. 
What is the longest river in North America?
At 2,340 miles in length and up to 11 miles across at its widest point, the Mississippi River is the longest and most important river in North America, covering more than one million square miles and pulling in water from tributary rivers in 33 states. But even the mightiest river in North America has humble origins - in a babbling brook that you could easily skip across!
Why is it called the Mississippi?
In the US, every school-age child learns how to spell it - M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. But where did the name come from? The name "Mississippi" actually owes its origins to the indigenous Anishinabe people (Ojibwe Indians), who called the river the "Messipi", meaning "Father of Waters" or "Big River."

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