Your Guide to the Best Mississippi River Boat Tours

Experience the mighty Mississippi in a whole new way with these unique Mississippi River boat tours! Whether you’re interested in cruising for a couple of hours or a couple of weeks, one of these cruise lines will fit your river needs.

For more information on Mississippi River boat tours and other exciting things to do in the local area, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide. Packed with insider tips on dining, activities, festivals, and more, it’s designed to be an invaluable tool as you plan your Driftless trip.

La Crosse Queen Cruises

The La Crosse Queen Cruises offers a variety of trips! Both the one-and-a-half hour sightseeing tour and the three-hour cruise provide beautiful wildlife views and interesting historical spots. You can also enjoy the sights and sounds of the river from their Captain’s Brunch Cruise, a Friday or Saturday Dinner Cruise, or even a Moonlight Cruise.

The La Crosse Queen is one of the only authentic paddlewheel boats that still operates much like the grand riverboats did in the 19th century. Most boats have paddlewheels that turn simply for visual appeal, but the La Crosse Queen’s paddles actually propel the boat. We love this for the authenticity of the experience!

Because La Crosse is so close to Westby, we feature La Crosse restaurants and events on our blog frequently. Check out this page for more ideas of things to do while you’re visiting La Crosse, WI!

American Cruise Lines

Take an Upper Mississippi River Cruise with American Cruise Lines! The Upper Mississippi Tour stops in La Crosse on Day 6 of an 8-day cruise. You’ll have a chance to explore all the history, restaurants, and nightlife that La Crosse has to offer. If you can’t get enough of rivers, why not dine at The Waterfront Restaurant in La Crosse? Great views of the river pair excellently with gourmet foods.

Mississippi Explorer

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, then Mississippi Explorer cruises are for you. They have a port in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, with an assortment of affordable cruises. Their tours span the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, and can be customized according to you what you want! You can enjoy wildlife tours like the “Sunset Wildlife Cruise” or the “Bald Eagles on the Nest” cruise. Click here to visit their website!

Julia Belle Swain

The Julia Belle Swain river cruise operated for years out of La Crosse. Currently, she is being restored to her former glory by a non-profit, and is expected to be operational in 2017. Follow their Facebook page for the latest information on restoration and future activity.

Cruise in to Westby House Inn

Before, after, or on a stop from your cruise, come stay with us at the Westby House Inn and Restaurant. Located less than an hour from La Crosse, our elegant Victorian inn offers a comfortable selection of rooms. We also serve a delicious full gourmet breakfast each morning. Make sure you check out our complimentary Vacation Guide for all the best things to do in the area. We’d love to host you during your travels in Wisconsin!