Top 10 Mississippi River's Cruise Ports
Below are our favorite Mississippi River cruise ports in order from north to south. Mississippi ports range from big cities like New Orleans and St. Louis to small historical towns like Mark Twain’s Hannibal and historical Vicksburg, Mississippi.
- Red Wing - Located south of Minneapolis, this is where many of our cruises embark and disembark. It was named in the early 19th century by the Sioux, an indigenous tribe that first settled the Americas. Tour the Pottery Museum and learn all about the history of the city and the nearby Cannon Falls. Frontenac State Park is also a popular destination for watching or simply relaxing in nature.
- Dubuque - is a port city, located in Iowa bordering Wisconsin and Illinois. Some of the top things to do are touring the Crystal Lake Caves or walking around Eagle Point Park. This city was named after Julien Dubuque, a Spanish explorer that arrived in the late 19th century.
- Bettendorf - This Iowa port city is part of the Quad cities, where five cities have clustered together on a section of the Mississippi. One of the favorite activities here is to visit the Family Museum of Arts and Sciences, which offers hands-on learning for kids. For those seeking more adult entertainment, visit the Crawford Brew Works and Cat’s Eye Distillery, which are famous around town for their opening arms.
- Hannibal - This Missouri city is popular for being the childhood hometown of Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain. The Mark Twain Boyhood Museum preserves his childhood home and many artifacts from his life, and encompasses the Mark Twain Cave complex that was used as an inspiration for many of his novels. Both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn take place here, and have made this city famous.
- St. Louis - This major city in Missouri is known for the Gateway Arch, built over 50 years ago in commemoration of the explorations of Lewis and Clark. Enjoy live blues music and classic American barbecue restaurants. Wander through Missouri’s Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Zoo, which are popular tourist destinations for good reason.
- Cape Girardeau - While visiting here, embrace legends, discover a simpler time, and relive the wonders of the past. Explore the city by bike or on foot, visiting the waterfront, shopping district, or the many places listed on the National Historic Register. The name originates from Jean Baptiste de Girardot, a French explorer for whom the settlement was named in the 18th century.
- Memphis - This city is well-known for its influence in the Blues and Rock music industry. Experience the city by getting a taste of the local barbecue, or join a walking tour to experience some live music. Visit Sun Studio, famous for being Elvis Presley’s studio used for his first song, or Graceland, where the home of the king of rock 'n' roll has been preserved as an exhibit.
- Vicksburg - Known for being the site for a key battle in the Civil War, Vicksburg hosts the National Military Park and the restored USS Cairo gunboat, which was used during the war. There is also a Lower Mississippi River Museum with many exhibits and an aquarium.
- Baton Rouge - The capital city of Louisiana is also known for Louisiana State University, with its extensive research and culture surrounding its athletics. While touring the city, the USS Kidd Gunboat is a tourist favorite, or simply walk around the LSU Rural Life Museum and the gorgeous downtown area.
- New Orleans - This famous city near the mouth of the Mississippi River is known for its wild nightlife, live music scene, and local gastronomy. Top attractions include The National WWII Museum and Jackson Square with the historic St. Louis Cathedral.