La Crosse Queen Cruises paddle boat rides up and down part of the Mississippi River.

Located near a road less traveled, La Crosse, Wisconsin offers a riverboat tour which is a great sight-seeing expedition and an opportunity to learn about many things on the Mississippi River.

Licensed  to carry 149 passengers for its Mississippi River cruise,  the La Crosse Queen Cruises offers a tour featuring a paddleboat replica of the riverboats which traveled on the Mississippi River in the early part of the 1900s.   The Queen Cruise paddleboat departing from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, is one of the few authentic paddlewheel river boats in operation in the country today.  Built to maintain traditions, this boat was built with stern wheels as its only means of propulsion. The Queen, however has a split stern wheel and each is powered by a twin engine diesel. The engines power hydraulic motors to activate and turn the paddles. The split-wheel design makes the vessel easier to maneuver in the water.

This vessel is designed differently than other paddle-wheelers in that they have free wheeling paddlewheel design located at the stern (the rear) of the boat.  This is for visual effect only.   Be advised that the the freewheeling paddle boat designed vessels have the traditional screw-type engines for means of propulsion.  The LaCrosse Queen does not use that design.

The Sight-seeing Cruise

Moving adjacent to Highway, 14/61 better known as the Great River Road, this cruise lasts 90 minutes.  The Queen moves upstream on the main channel of the Mississippi River.  Your guide explains contemporary and historical points of  interest about

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A sighting of a bald eagle is common along this part of the Mississippi River. You can see this eagle’s reflection as it sips cool water on a hot summer day.  

many parts of the Mississippi River.  Keep your eyes open for wildlife sightings as you move past the bluffs in the region.  This article features a photo of a bald eagle.  I had never seen this majestic creature in the wild before.  Seeing, and capturing its image on the shore is something I will never forget.     At the LaCrosse Queen’s turn-around-point, passengers will view Lock and Dam No. 7 located at Dresbach, MN.  Your guide will explain the locking process.

As I only rode the Sight-seeing cruise option,  It’s fair to mention the LaCrosse Queen Cruises offers a few other options.

Pizza Cruise 

Available mid April-October, the Pizza cruise option is a 90 minute scenic ride and offers pizza as the meal.  This complimentary dish is served with unlimited beer and soda on the cruise.  This cruise is available to individuals, groups, or parties.  Be advised that reservations are needed in advance, and this cruise does not include narration.

Sunday Captains Brunch

This two hour narrated cruise features an assortment of hot breakfast and lunch entrees to consume as you have  lock and dam experiences on that cruise. If river conditions permit, passengers will ‘lock thru’ Damn number 7.   Be advised.  Make your reservations in advance.

Saturday Night Dinner Cruise 

With a tasty chef-carved prime rib and chicken dinner as your entree, and musician to provide a relaxing atmosphere, the Saturday Night Dinner Cruise will set a relaxing tone to end your week for your and your significant other.  This 2 and 1/2 hour cruise will lock thru Lock and Dam #7.  Remember to make reservations.

Three Hour Cruise

This lengthy tour stretches through very scenic areas of the upper Mississippi River.  This narrated tour shows wildlife.  It also shows points of interest  both contemporary and domestic.  Along with passing through one of the oldest remaining swing bridges in operation today,  passengers will experience a lock thru in Lock and Dam #7.  The tasty double entree meal is served buffet style for your enjoyment. As always be sure to make reservations.

Private Charters

La Crosse Queen Cruises offers charter tours for your party, meeting or gathering.

for more detailed information visit

It is fair to mention that La Crosse Queen Cruise was my family’s last stop on the Great River Road for our vacation (more to follow in another post). As my family and I left Dubuque, Iowa late we didn’t make the last 1:30 sightseeing cruise on time.  We needed to stay our last night in LaCrosse.  Oh, well.

For more detailed information, visit





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