The Best Mississippi River Cruises 2018 | TravelResearchOnline

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The Best Mississippi River Cruises 2018

Where can you find the best Mississippi River Cruises 2018? Well, you won’t need to whittle down the contenders too much. That’s because only two river cruise companies operate on the Mississippi River, American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company.

Which company offers the best Mississippi River Cruises 2018? The answer depends on what’s important to you. If you’re only concern is price, then American Queen Steamboat Company will win with its lead-in rates as low as $1,999 per person. If spacious staterooms are your thing, then you’ll be hard-pressed to choose between American Queen and American Cruise Lines. Don’t know about either company? Here’s help.

Looking for the best Mississippi River Cruises 2018? Pictured here, the venerable American Queen. Photo courtesy of the American Queen Steamboat Company

Which Company Offers The Best Mississippi River Cruises 2018?

American Cruise Lines operates two vessels, soon to be three: the Queen of the Mississippi, carrying 185 guests and built in 2015, America, built in 2016 and carrying 185 guests, and the American Song, due out this fall with a capacity for 184 guests. If small ships are your preference, American Cruise Lines comes out on top, although American Queen Steamboat Company does operate an even smaller vessel.

American Queen Steamboat Company’s new American Duchess is an “all-suite” paddlewheeler carrying 166 guests. All-suite, however, does not mean that you’ll have two-room suites in all levels of accommodations. Rather, that’s the company’s marketing-speak for staterooms, as I prefer to call them, that range from 180 square feet to 550 square feet.

American Duchess does feature something I’ve not seen on the Mississippi: Loft Suites that measure at 550 square feet. The lower level of the Loft Suites feature full bathrooms, small dining areas, lounge sections furnished with queen sofa-beds and desk areas, along with sliding doors to access private balconies. The loft area’s upstairs feature semi-private bedrooms, full bathrooms and closet spaces.

American Queen Steamboat Company also operates “the largest steamboat ever built,” the venerable 436-guest American Queen, built in 1995. A few years ago, I cruised on American Queen and produced a series of videos about her.

If you’re looking for the best Mississippi River Cruise 2018, you’ll find a wealth of resources on our newly updated Mississippi River page. Check out Cruises on the Mississippi River (2018 update)  for price comparisons and a peek at the lead-in staterooms offered by American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company. To cruise the Mississippi on a paddlewheeler is an authentic American experience and one that I recommend doing if budget and time allows.


An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.

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