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a ride on the Mississippi while in Memphis on vacation

memphis, tn
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a ride on the Mississippi while in Memphis on vacation

Does anyone know if taking a steamboat from Memphis for an afternoon up or down the Mississippi is possible? What is the boat called? How do you make a reservation?

Marla

Memphis
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1. Re: a ride on the Mississippi while in Memphis on vacation

They have the mini cruise lines available, the Memphis Queen boats. I'm sure it's memphisqueen.com or something like that, just google it. The boats are dated and the food is bad, so don't take the dinner tour unless you really, really want to (from what I have heard on here and from friends). I think they do a sunset cruise that may be good. Only in summer though, they aren't running now or at least if they are, who'd want to do it now? The cruise is probably an hour or a little more for the dinner one, so they don't go far. There's nothing else out there; I don't think there is much desire among people to travel down the dirty Mississippi into..well..dirty Mississippi...by steamboat. There's nothing to see; the cruises around Memphis show off the skyline and the bluff homes which would be neat to see. Otherwise you'd be staring at dirt and trees. At sunset it could be pretty.

Just my opinion, I think the tours are overpriced for what you're looking at.

Memphis, Tennessee
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2. Re: a ride on the Mississippi while in Memphis on vacation

Marla, there's a local company that does pretty much exactly that, their website is http://www.memphisriverboats.net/index.html

I've only done the sightseeing cruises (usually with school groups!) and they are fun; but I've heard bad things about the food for the dining packages, so I'd definitely skip that.

Another (longer than afternoon, however!) option is actually cruising part of the river: this company has a couple of barges fitted out as, well, kind of a cruise ship and goes up and down river: http://www.riverbarge.com/default.asp (I kept noticing their barge docked outside my office and finally looked them up!); and then there's the classic riverboat cruise, i.e. Delta Queen, etc.: majesticamericaline.com/products/destination…

Of course the last two are more along the lines of "taking a cruise" than just an afternoon on the river, but might be interesting to look into!

Memphis, Tennessee
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3. Re: a ride on the Mississippi while in Memphis on vacation

Oh, we also have the "duck boats" (amphibious tour); they drive you around the downtown area and then do a (too short!) water portion of the trip, through the harbor between Mud Island and downtown. I did one of their tours with another group of kids; it's VERY noisy is all I'm going to say! However, I think a lot of people do enjoy it, so... their website is http://www.memphisducks.com/ (ok, maybe I'm just "no fun" but I DON'T want to listen to a boatfull of people "quacking" over an already loud tourguide talking over loud music!)

Memphis
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4. Re: a ride on the Mississippi while in Memphis on vacation

Oh yeah and the ducks. Those duck cars/boats always look sort of unsafe to me. I see them drive by all the time, but like was mentioned, it's always a huge boat full of kids and then someone screaming over an intercom and holding up traffic while people honk at it and screech tires to get around the thing.

Similar to these options, downtown has carriage tours that you can take; a horse and buggy will pull you around and show you sites downtown. The buggies are all personalized by the drivers, most have dogs with them (for protection), and are decked out in different themes. That can be a relaxing ride BUT I would warn you to either do it during a weekend day or a weekday evening..otherwise, again....you're in the middle of major roads going 5mph with lots of cars honking at you. And you're breathing in truck exhaust. But, the drivers know a lot and can be imformative, or you can just tell them to shut it and relax in peace and quiet with your loved ones.

5. Re: a ride on the Mississippi while in Memphis on vacation

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