The city of La Crosse, Wisconsin, resting along the banks and amid the bluffs of the mighty Mississippi River, offers residents and visitors alike an incredible opportunity – delightful travel on one of the most famous rivers in all of America. Experience the Mighty Mississippi’s wild splendor and breathtaking beauty by taking a cruise aboard one of La Crosse's riverboat tour companies such as Mississippi Explorer Cruises or old-world paddleboat cruises aboard the La Crosse Queen.

The La Crosse Queen is a life-size replica of a 19th century riverboat that also happens to offer a number of essential, and not-necessarily essential, modern-day conveniences and services. This matriarchal riverboat (regularly inspected by the United States Coast Guard), is licensed to easily transport a maximum of 149 passengers.

There have actually been six previous vessels christened with the name ‘La Crosse Queen’ that have plied the pools and backwaters of the Mississippi River from the city of La Crosse's Riverside Park. So, it is aboard the La Crosse Queen VII, launched on its maiden voyage in 2008, where you will enjoy your sightseeing and excursion cruises today.

As indicated above, what you will see and do on these cruises depends on the specific type of cruise you decide to book. The first decision you will have to make is whether you want to take one of the various public cruises, or explore the option of chartering a much more intimate private cruise. Some packages include the following:

Public Cruises

Cocktail, Dinner and Sunday Brunch Cruises - These are typically two-hour tours where food, beverages and relaxation are the primary highlights - next to the mighty Mississippi River and surrounding scenery, of course.

Interactive Wildlife Eco-Tour and Sightseeing Cruises - These are typically laid back, casual, 90-minute affairs, on which you are given a guided tour up and down the river. Your guide will provide you with descriptions of some of the scenery and wildlife, as well as entertain you with interesting factual and trivial bits of information about the various points of interest.

Private Chartered Cruises

When you charter a Mississippi riverboat, you are often allowed to customize your experience to best suit your needs - within reason, of course. Departure times, river routes, and the length of time for your trip, are some of the common options available while planning your cruise. Food service, entertainment and cocktails are possible available amenities, if desired.

The weather is always a mercurial guest in this part of the country, and is the primary reason that most, if not all, riverboat cruises operate only from May to October.