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Can You Travel The Mississippi River By Boat

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Posted: Jan 11, 2010 · Mississippi River Cruise, Nile River Cruise, Volga River Cruise. Mississippi River Cruises may include the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers and they are an excellent way to explore the Old South and Wilderness Rivers while listening to jazz and dining on Cajun cuisine. Depending on the cruise itinerary you choose, Mississippi riverboats may also …

Lower Mississippi River Cruises

On the Lower Mississippi, guests will experience Southern culture traveling from Memphis to New Orleans. On these sailings, guests may visit historic Civil War sites, plantations, mansions, and more. The Lower Mississippi is also where music-themed cruises are going to take place, as New Orleans and Memphis are well known for their influence in the jazz and country music scenes.

You can cruise the Mississippi from the comfort of a loft stateroom, exclusive to American Queen Steamboat company. Courtesy of American Queen Steamboat Company

Living The Houseboat Life On The Mississippi River

The view from our houseboat on the Mississippi

We are living the houseboat on the Mississippi River and we love it. We sold our home and “stuff” except for REALLY important “stuff” as in our 9 year old son. My husband and I moved on board our 55 ft “remodeled for living” houseboat and have never looked back and still love it.

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American Cruise Lines Offers One Itinerary On The Upper Mississippi:

Upper Mississippi River Cruise from St. Louis to St. Paul, Minnesota, or reverse

This eight-day itinerary takes guests to St. Louis, Missouri Hannibal, Missouri Fort Madison, Iowa Davenport, Iowa Dubuque, Iowa La Crosse, Wisconsin Red Wing, Minnesota and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Highlights of the sailing may include a visit to the Missouri History Museum, an agri-tourism tour at a dairy farm and a visit to the National Eagle Center.

*This sailing has two themed varieties, Mark Twain cruise, or Fall Foliage Cruise.

How Long Would It Take To Float Down The Mississippi River

Should You Sail the Mississippi River on a Steamboat ...

According to the National Park Service, it takes water 90 days to flow from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico.

That timeframe doesnt take any stops into account however so if you are a normal person attempting to float down the entire river it would take you approximately twice that long to float down the Mississippi.

The thing with that 6 month time frame is that means you have to spend 12 hours EVERY DAY for 6 MONTHS floating down the river! No days off and no rest periods beyond your 12 hours of sleep/rest at night.

In theory, floating down the Mississippi sounds like an amazing idea and it might be cool for a few days but floating on the river for 6 months straight? Not so much.

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Why I Chose Them

After a web search, I called a few rental providers on the Upper Mississippi.

Between the more informative website and my phone experience with Sue at S& S I felt comfortable with them.

My requirements for the boat were a flybridge to drive from, a waterslide, and a private bedroom for MsBoyink and I. S& S were wonderful to work with, accommodating, interested in our story, and didnt make us feel rushed at all. Id highly recommend them if you are looking to rent a Mississippi Houseboat .

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Boarding Our Mississippi Cruise In The Gateway To The West

Next, we walked to the nearby Old Courthouse to have a look at exhibits from the Museum of Westward Expansion, temporarily moved there from the Arch during construction. Our visit to the Courthouse was enhanced with a performance by a string ensemble from the St. Louis Symphony.

Later in the day, we strolled around Lacledes Landing, a popular, and historic riverfront dining and entertainment district named after one of the French fur traders who founded St. Louis in 1764. An early dinner at Hannegans Restaurant & Pub found us making a big mess out of a delectable rack of St. Louis-style barbecued ribs.

Following a smooth and efficient boarding process the next morning, we were underway. We were soon passing through several of the 26 locks wed encounter on the way to St. Paul and the landmark confluence of the countrys two greatest rivers the Mississippi and Missouri near St. Charles, MO, where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out on their Pacific Ocean Expedition in 1804.

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can you sail down the Mississippi River?

Posted: Equal Employment Opportunity Statement: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources promotes non-discriminatory practices and procedures in all phases of its programs and activities and prohibits any form of unlawful discrimination and other considerations made unlawful by federal or state laws including race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, age,

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Can You Boat Down The Mississippi River

The short answer is: yes, you absolutely can boat down the Mississippi river. You cannot, however take more than a kayak or rowboat on the upper 482 miles of the Mississippi river.

The navigable section of the river begins at Coon Rapids Dam in Minneapolis. You can use a motor boat from that dam down the remaining 1,838 miles of the river until you hit the Gulf of Mexico.

Traveling the Mississippi by boat could be a great adventure or it could be a horrible failure depending on your planning. If you just grab your boat and hit the water you would be fine in many areas but as you get closer to the mouth of the river the places to stop and fuel up are few and far between.

There is one section where it is over 400 miles in between places to fuel up on the lower Mississippi. If you dont plan ahead and make sure that you take everything into account your dream journey could turn into a nightmare of floating powerless down the Mississippi hoping to find a place to refuel.

‘i Feel Safe Being On The Water’

Making it through the buffet took longer than normal and the temperature checks slowed things down when a large group returned from a sightseeing tour. But I heard little grousing.

People seemed more than happy to put up with some minor inconveniences to return to cruising and everything it entails tasty and plentiful food, first-rate entertainment, enriching lectures and waking up in a different port of call every morning without having to pack and unpack.

And the open bar on the American Duchess didnt hurt, either.

One of my fellow cruisers, Eric Palace, 50, of Celebration, Florida, has already sailed on three American Queen Steamboat Company cruises since the line resumed operations in March. He told me he would be scared to get on a ship with 3,000 people right now, but feels comfortable cruising on a much smaller riverboat.

With everyone getting pre-tested , I feel safe being out on the water, he said.

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How Much Of The Missouri River Is Navigable

Considering the above information, the next obvious question is, how far is the Missouri River navigable?

Unfortunately, how much of the MIssouri River is navigable depends entirely on which boat you are using. The upper 1,806 miles of the Missouri are really only navigable by smaller boats like kayaks or canoes assuming you are trying to travel the entire distance.

There are many places along the Missouri River or lakes where you can use a houseboat or powered boat but you cant take those boats all the way down the river for one simple reason, dams!

There are 6 dams spread throughout the upper Missouri River that dont have locks. That means to continue down the Missouri you have to carry your boat around the dam and relaunch it in the water below. With a canoe or kayak this is an inconvenience. With a houseboat or any other type of boat this is impossible .

These dams without locks make traveling down the entire Missouri River impossible except for those smaller boats that you can carry or drag around the dams. There are multiple stretches of the Missouri that are 200+ miles in between dams.

You could certainly use power boats along those stretches but you cant take them to the next section of the river without taking the boat out of the water.

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Food Along The Mississippi River

Southern food is the primary cuisine youll experience along the Mississippi. As you travel the river, youll hopefully have a chance to experience some of the finest regional southern dishes the United States has to offer.

New Orleans

New Orleans is one of the most famous eating towns in the world. Between sightseeing, youll be eating and enjoying some fabulous cuisines from traditional southern to creole. Lower Mississippi River Cruises and those that travel the entire river will undoubtedly stop in New Orleans to give you a taste of the city – literally!

Foods you must try in New Orleans:

Crawfish: This is one of the more unusual items available to try in abundance in New Orleans. Crawfish resemble a lobster just smaller in size. Compared to lobster, crawfish have a stronger taste and are meater. Regarding taste, it is often compared to a cross between shrimp and lobster.

Beignets: Who could say no to these delectable fried treats, adapted from French cuisine? Beignets are available almost everywhere, and are best enjoyed in their simplest form – with a light dusting of sugar or cinnamon.

Gumbo: A Louisiana Gumbo is a cant miss dish in the American south. Gumbo is a soup filled with seafood like shrimp as well as vegetables.

Sothern BBQ: In Tennessee be ready to tuck in for some classic southern barbeque. Now, Americans are especially picky about their barbeque, and just like pasta in Italy, the way its made, prepared, cooked, and sauced is extremely regional.

How Long Does It Take To Travel The Mississippi River By Boat

The time it takes to go down the Mississippi depends on where you are starting at, the speed you travel, and how many hours you travel per day.

Assuming your boat goes 15mph you can travel 180 miles a day if you travel 12 hours a day. If you start at the Coon Rapids Dam in Minneapolis you would be able to reach the Gulf in a little over 10 days.

Obviously that wouldnt be a very enjoyable trip if you are traveling 12 hours a day for 10 days straight so if going down the Mississippi is more of a pleasure trip for you and you are looking to take a more leisurely pace it could easily take a month or more to go down the Mississippi by boat.

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Learning On The Water

With easier access to technology and the pandemic redefining the traditional workspace, many aspiring loopers took their work and education to the watera feat families such as the Bowlins, now 5,000 miles into their trip, have mastered.

Sarah and Brent Bowlin, parents of Mary Grace, 13, and Miller, 9, live aboard their yatch, Light and Salty, with their puppy, Captain. The Bowlins spent five years planning the journey, moving Mary Grace and Miller into a hybrid mix of in-school and at-home for preparation. They sold their house and bought their new home right before the pandemic hit in early 2020. Determined, they decided to move forward with their Great Loop plans in May 2020.

As expected, family life on the loop is eventfuland a chance for Sarah and Brent to build memories with their rapidly-growing children. But their routine is not much different from life back in their former home, North Carolina. The Bowlins dock during the week for remote work and school, then cruise for fun and hands-on education each weekend.

Much of the familys hands-on learning extends to environmental concerns. Over the past several decades, freshwater ecosystems have become the most degraded in the world, from the rampant microplastic pollution in the Tennessee River to the destructive blend of urban and agricultural pollutants affecting the Mississippi River watershed.

The Great Loop Adventure

Riding Inside the Gateway Arch, Plus Mississippi River Boat Tour

·· In Life on the Water

Some folks want to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Others want to climb any mountain over 14,000 feet. Others the ones who have a hankering for water-based activities want to traverse the Great Loop. From the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean, you can get on a boat and travel eastern North America by contiguous waterways. The Great Loop offers over 6,000 miles of scenic cruising that can be taken in all at once or in portions.

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Do Fish Go Down Waterfalls

Fish bodies are streamlined and relatively light so a long fall into water isnt usually a problem. Niagara River expert, Wes Hill, estimates that 90 per cent of fish survive the drop over Niagara Falls. But a waterfall that cascades over rocks, such as Yosemite Falls, will be fatal to all but the smallest fish.

American Queen Steamboat Company Offers Three Itineraries On The Lower Mississippi:

A Taste Of The True South from Memphis to New Orleans, or reverse

This eight or nine day itinerary visits New Orleans, Louisana Nottoway Plantation St. Francisville, Louisana Natchez, Mississippi Vicksburg, Mississippi Greenville, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee.

On this sailing, guests can visit Nottoway Plantation, the Souths largest remaining antebellum mansion the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, which hosted speakers including Teddy Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant and a Jewish temple that contains artifacts and memorabilia from World War II.

Jewels Of The Lower Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans, or reverse

Another nine-day journey, this sailing stops in Memphis, Tennessee Vicksburg, Mississippi Natchez, Mississippi Baton Rouge, Louisana St. Francisville, Louisana Nottoway Plantation and New Orleans, Louisana.

Guests sailing this itinerary can visit Royal Street in St. Francisville, Louisana explore a Fletcher-class Destroyer, USS Kidd, that fought in many US battles and visit the Greenville Writers Exhibit, which showcases writers from Greenville.

Southern Sampler roundtrip from New Orleans

This nine-day journey takes guests to New Orleans, Louisana St. Francisville, Louisana Natchez, Mississippi Vicksburg, Mississippi Baton Rouge, Louisana and Nottoway, Louisana.

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Combination Upper And Lower Mississippi River Cruises

Though the Mississippi can be broken up into two parts, there are many itineraries that combine both parts of the river. Most of these itineraries are longer than those that are segmented, so if youre looking to do a combination cruise, youll likely need to block out at least two weeks.

American Duchess leaving Winona, Minnesota at sunset. Photo courtesy of American Queen Steamboat Company

Where Corn Is King

Explore Your World and See America from the Water on Boat ...

In Davenport, IA, where corn is king, we thought it appropriate to join an included tour to the John Deere Pavilion. It makes perfect sense that one of the worlds major manufacturers of farm machinery would be based here in the American heartland.

The Pavilion is a massive glass and steel structure housing the largest display of John Deere equipment and technology in the world.

Its all thoughtfully presented in some fascinating exhibits, many of them offering hands-on experiences.

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Upper Mississippi River Cruise

Posted: Upper Mississippi River Cruise. The dramatic landscapes of the Upper Mississippi River have long inspired artists, writers, and steamboat passengers. It was here that literary great Mark Twain used the majestic river and its scenic bluffs as the settings in his most popular works. Visit his boyhood home in Hannibal, where the characters of Huck …

The Great Loop Is A Continuous Waterway That Allows Boaters To Explore Eastern North America

Boating along the Erie Canal, part of the Great Loop .

The Great Loop is a continuous waterway that recreational mariners can travel that includes part of the Atlantic, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland. Anyone who completes the journey is then named an official ‘Looper.’

For a safe and enjoyable trip, there are a few things to consider when traveling the Great Loopa great amount of time, a boat with less than a five foot draft to travel inland waterways, NOAA nautical charts, and a NOAA radio. Along the way, it is possible to visit a number of national marine sanctuaries and estuarine research reserves.

Map showing the Great Loop .

How does a boater embark on the Great Loop? If you start in Chicago, continue south in a counter-clockwise direction to take advantage of the river currents that run into the Mississippi River. While a few people stay on the Mississippi all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, most ‘Loopers’ choose to exit at the Tennessee River to avoid heavy barge traffic on the larger waterway. This path leads to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, which also flows to the Gulf.

Regardless of the Southern route selected, boaters can float downstream to the warm waters of the Gulf and explore the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. From there, cruise east on the Gulf’s Intracoastal Waterway. While soaking up some Florida sun, visit the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

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