Sunday, July 14, 2024

St Paul River Boat Cruise

Viking Mississippi Aquavit Terrace

Luxury river cruise ship makes debut Saturday in St. Paul

Viking Mississippi Aquavit Terrace

According to Viking, its boat will be the largest and most modern cruise ship on the river, sailing between New Orleans and St. Paul. The international cruise company is making a major commitment to tourism along the river, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600-plus during the first full sailing season in 2023.

Cruises start at $3,999. Scheduled ports of call currently include seven states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Private Charters & Events

For a unique and memorable birthday celebration, anniversary, reunion, private reception, wedding, business outing or company party, just add water. Let the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch be your host. We can customize your event with a variety of sit-down or buffet meals, bar options, and entertainment.

A Guide To Boat Tours And River Cruises Around Minneapolis And St Paul

One of the coolest parts about the Twin Cities is their plentiful access to water.

Thats why exploring the Twin Cities via boat is one of our must try activities, no matter if youre a long time resident or just visiting for the weekend.

But since narrowing down the many options is no easy task, we thought wed lend a locals hand with this detailed guide to boat and river cruise around Minneapolis and St. Paul.


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Riverboat Cruises In Minnesota

You can explore Minneapolis from the mighty Mississippi River.

Minnesota is called the land of 10,000 lakes, but the state also has some of the most extensive river systems in the country, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River. While visiting Minnesota or even if you have lived there your whole life, you can experience these waterways from a new perspective aboard a riverboat.

The Who What Where Of Boat & River Cruises

The Jonathan Padelford, port of St. Paul, MN

As the residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Twin Cities locals know a good riverboat cruise when we see one.

  • A great location? Check
  • Easy-to-use reservations system? Check
  • Dining and drinks onboard? Check and Check

Whether its exploring the architectural wonders spanning the Mighty Mississippi or sipping cocktails as the sun goes down, there are plenty of options for boat tours and river cruises in Minneapolis and St. Paul that meet all the requirements on our must-try list.

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St Croix Boat And Packet

Located on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway near Stillwater, St. Croix Boat and Packet is home to one of the largest river tour boats in the Twin Cities Metro. St. Croix operates six boats, seven days per week, with cruises from 11:30 AM to 8 PM. Their largest boat holds more than 650 guests, with multiple floors of bars and dining and a terrific roof deck for river viewing.

Where Do Cruises Go

Not only are there options for the type of boat cruise, but there are also options for departure. Choosing the tour location changes what you can expect to see and the type of boat youll end up taking. Here are the 4 top departure locations for boat tours and river cruises in the Twin Cities:

  • Mississippi River in Downtown Minneapolis Departing from Bohemian Flats Park near downtown Minneapolis, taking a Mississippi River cruise from this location means excellent views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline, the historic Stone Arch Bridge, and the University of Minnesota campus.
  • Mississippi River in Downtown St. Paul For terrific views of the St. Paul skyline and the best chance to see wildlife in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, depart from downtown St. Paul. Youll also have an opportunity to board some historic riverboats at the docks on Harriet Island.
  • Lake Minnetonka Looking for the best drinks and food? Want to take a cruise on a newer, luxury yacht? Best to head west for a boat tour on Lake Minnetonka. We love these tours for ogling at the giant houses while we sip on sundowners.
  • St. Croix River in Stillwater One trip over the I-94 bridge from Minnesota to Wisconsin, and its pretty clear that the St. Croix River is a top Twin Cities boating destination. Several river tours depart the docks near Stillwater during the summer, with both traditional paddleboat options and upscale dinner cruises. This is our top spot for fall colors as well.

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Luxury Cruise Ship Departs St Paul Stirs River Dreams For Passengers Locals

By Kyeland Jackson Order Reprint

Bob Wilson stepped off a bus at St. Paul’s Lambert’s Landing on Saturday, a native back in his hometown for the maiden voyage of the Viking Mississippi, a 450-foot-long cruise ship and floating symbol of this city’s hopes for a riverfront tourism revival.

Sunshine glittered off the Mississippi River as minnows swam below and seagulls squawked overhead. Wilson and dozens of others, fellow passengers and bystanders both, leaned against a handrail as they squinted up at the ship that prepared to carry up to 386 people downriver to St. Louis.

“We had vacation trips like this delayed, deferred, a year and a half to two years because of the pandemic,” said Wilson, 68, who lives in San Diego and said he hadn’t returned to the city where he grew up for more than a decade. “But this has been a great experience to come back to this area.”

The launch of the Viking Mississippi represents years of city planning and preparation. For passengers, and many locals who passed by and took in the scene, it represents excitement and opportunity for a historic river city trying to get back to its roots.

The voyage is part of a deal between St. Paul and Viking, a luxury cruise line based in Switzerland. It took years to put together, said Terry Mattson, president and CEO of the city’s convention and visitors bureau, and construction delays had postponed the voyage. But the ship docked safely in St. Paul around 4:30 a.m. Saturday.


Paradise Charter & Minneapolis Queen

Historic cruise to set sail in St. Paul

As the largest tour operator in the Twin Cities , Paradise Charters has more than 30 years of experience taking trips on the Mississippi River and Lake Minnetonka. They have an extensive portfolio of tour choices, including a full calendar of tours running seven days a week during the summer. Expect to shell out a bit more for tickets on Paradise cruises, with most tickets running $35-40 per person.

  • Location Downtown Minneapolis: 2150 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55454
  • Location Port of Excelsior/Lake Minnetonka: 2 Water St, Excelsior, MN 55331
  • Website: Paradise Charter Cruises

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What Are The Most Popular Boat Tours And River Cruises In Minneapolis & St Paul

Before you decide on a vendor and dates for your Minneapolis-St. Paul boat tour, its best to decide what type of cruise youd like to take. Different boats offer different tour types some are focused on the scenery, others are more focused on the food and entertainment onboard. Here are some of the more popular boat tour and river cruise options:

  • Sunset Dinner Cruise Sunset dinner cruises are by far some of the most popular and first to book up reservations. Most of the boat operators in the Twin Cities offer some form of a sunset cruise, departing the dock 1-2 hours before dark for dinner and drinks while the sun goes down. These tours are great for long summer nights when the best place to be is on the water.
  • Sightseeing Cruise End-of-the-day boat tours might not be the best option for families or visitors trying to fit in other items on the Twin Cities travel itinerary. If thats the case, you may want to consider a general sightseeing cruise. The daytime trips for Twin Cities boat and river tours often fall in this category, with options to see bridges, well-known landmarks and do some wildlife watching.
  • Brunch Cruise Its hard to go wrong with a Minneapolis brunch in general. But then make that brunch on a boat, and youre pretty much set for a terrific outing. Brunch cruises typically depart at 10 AM, have a great menu, and are a casual way to relax and enjoy the water and the weekend.

St Croix Boat And Packet Co

Although the Mississippi River is a big part of the Minnesota landscape and culture, other major rivers such as the Minnesota and St. Croix also run through the North Star State. The St. Croix Boat and Packet Co. , in Stillwater, Minnesota, features six vessels: five traditional paddleboats and one luxury yacht. The “Majestic Star,” the company’s only yacht, is a 100-foot craft with room for 300 guests. Ideal for weddings and other upscale events, the “Majestic Star” is ideal for a range of private excursions. A public excursion aboard one of the historic paddleboats is also a great way to explore the waters of the St. Croix River. Hop on the “Avalon” and you will experience a truly large paddleboat, with a capacity of up to 675 passengers this boat is the largest of its kind in the Midwest.

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