River cruises

One of the most enjoyable ways to experience the beauty of the Coulee Region is from the deck of a riverboat. There are two options in La Crosse.    


The La Crosse Queen is a modern-day replica of the grand riverboats that plied the Mississippi River in the late 19th Century. She is one of the few authentic MississipLa Crosse Queen pi River paddlewheel river boats still in operation in the country today. In keeping with early traditions, she was built with sternwheels that are her only means of propulsion. The La Crosse Queen has a split sternwheel and each is run by a twin diesel engine that powers hydraulic motors which turn the paddles.  This is in contrast to most Mississippi River paddlewheelers in operation today that have a "free wheeling" paddlewheel at the stern of the boat for visual effect, but have traditional screw-type engines hidden for their real means of propulsion.

To Request Information or Printed Brochure
 Email: laxqueen@greatriver.com

∙ Phone 608-784-2893 (Reservations) 
608-784-8523 (Charters)

For a tour schedule, click here.


Mississippi Explorer Cruises

There are three different options offered by the Mississippi Explorer cruises, which is docked in riverside park. The cruises operate in the river backwaters and offer tours that highlight the plants and animals of the river.

Wildlife Eco-Tours

1 1/2-hour or 2-hour cruises. Spend an afternoon on America's River with our signature backwater cruise designed specifically for nature lovers and sightseers. Explore a variety of wetland habitats including open water, narrow backwater sloughs, and side channels along riverside bluffs and floodplain forests.  Highlights include up close views of Bald Eagle nests, Beaver Lodges, sunning Turtles, Great Blue Herons, Egrets, Red Fox, playful River Otters, and much more!
1 1/2-hour cruise: Adults (12+)/14.99; Youth (4-11)/9.99; Child (3 & under)/free.
2-hour cruise: Adults (12+)/$19.99; Youth (4-11)/$14.99; Child (3 & under)/free.

Wildlife Sunset Cruise

2-hour cruise. What could be better then a Mississippi River backwater cruise? A Mississippi River backwater sunset cruise! Join us on this scenic and relaxing cruise as we head into the Upper Mississippi River's Wildlife Refuge. Bring along your own food and beverage of choice (perhaps a bottle of wine) and prepare for an evening of pure delight. There is no better time to be on the Mighty Miss!
2-hour cruise: Adults (12+)/$19.99; Youth (4-11)/$14.99; Child (3 & under)/free.

Scenic Fall Foliage Cruises

1 1/2-hour or 2-hour cruises. Forget New England! Travel less and discover more by taking a 2-hour cruise through our endless Mississippi River backwaters. Don't worry... this is still a Wildlife Eco-Tour, but we change the name to emphasize Mother Nature's seasonal achievement. View the spectacular fall foliage colors on the towering bluffs surrounding the river valley inside or outside of our heated sightseeing riverboat cabins. A very popular cruise for autumn color sightseers with great photo opportunities for everyone!
1 1/2-hour cruise: Adults (12+)/14.99; Youth (4-11)/9.99; Child (3 & under)/free.
2-hour cruise: Adults (12+)/$19.99; Youth (4-11)/$14.99; Child (3 & under)/free.

To register or learn more, including information about our weekly Wildlife Eco-Tours and charter cruises from La Crosse, contact:

Mississippi Explorer Cruises - La Crosse
(877) 647-7397 ext. 2
(563) 880-6968