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“Great tour, pass on the food.”

Belle of Louisville & Spirit of Jefferson
Ranked #7 of 32 Tours in Louisville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Belle of Louisville is the oldest operating Mississippi River style steamboat in the world. She and her sister vessel, the Spirit of Jefferson, offer river cruises perfect for all ages. We offer cruises nearly year-round, and have special events throughout the season.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great tour, pass on the food.”
Reviewed May 31, 2011

My first time in Indiana with my boyfriend and we took the dinner cruise on the Spirit of Jefferson. It was a hot day, so having the a/c not functioning where the buffet was made it unbearable to sit nevermind eat. It was a dinner, but the only meat they offered was fried chicken that night.

Once we got out of the hot dining area, the rest of the tour was great. Plenty of seating and the view and wind from the water made the weather tolerable. Still a great memory created, but I would totally pass on the dinner option, especially when fried chicken is your only choice.

Visited May 2011
2 Thank Marsha208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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283 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Wish I'd selected the Belle of Louisville...”
Reviewed May 24, 2011

We took the Harbor History Cruise on the Spirit of Jefferson. The cruise itself was fairly relaxing but nothing out of the ordinary. In retrospect, I wish I'd chosen to book us on the Belle of Louisville. Whereas both boats are the last of their kind still in service, the Belle of Louisville is a paddle wheel steamer and that, in itself, makes it more interesting than the Spirit of Jefferson. I also think a lunch or dinner cruise would have made the trip more fun and worthwhile. The Harbor History Cruise lasts only about an hour and there isn't really that much interesting information shared as far as I am concerned.

CAVEAT 1: When you call ahead for a reservation, make certain to get a confirmation number and be sure to stop by the office to pick up your tickets before boarding! There are no signs at the dock instructing visitors to pick up tickets at the office. Like a number of others, we were just about to board when I heard someone mention tickets being collected. Tickets? What tickets? This necessitated a mad dash back to the office to procure the tickets. The young man there was pleasant but very confused. It took him multiple attempts to locate our tickets despite the fact that I had a confirmation number.

CAVEAT 2: The website warns you not to rely on your GPS to get you to the dock and there's a good reason for that. Our GPS (a very good one, by the way) missed the mark and had us headed the wrong way. Leave with plenty of time to navigate to the dock.

Hint 1: Find Joe's Crab Shack on RIver Street with your GPS. The Crab Shack is located adjacent to the dock for both the Spirit of Jefferson and The Belle of Louisville. Park under the bridges in the lot by the Crab Shack (about $3.00) and you will have an easy stroll along the waterway right up to either vessel.

Hint 2: If you take this cruise on a hot day and want to sit on deck, look for a seat under the decking in the shade. Whereas you can sit inside the air conditioned rooms on the boat, it really detracts from the whole experience of being out on the water. Once the boat gets moving, the river and the breeze really cool things down anyhow.

Visited May 2011
19 Thank Magic_Travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Buyer beware!!!”
Reviewed February 13, 2011

Booked a valentines buffet dinner cruise for my wife and I on the spirit of jeffersonville. Many of the people on the boat did not get much dinner because they ran out of food. That's unacceptable on a dinner cruise, let alone a buffet dinner. An hour into the cruise the " free drinks" coffe tea and water had run out as well. When we first approached the staff about this, the reply was "sorry we have a cater bring the food and have no control over what they bring". I hope
They plan on offering us a full refund in the near future.

2 Thank Nikkidoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Nice Trip - Good Food”
Reviewed September 10, 2010

My Wife & I took our Mothers on the Belle of Louisville on Saturday of Labor Day weekend. We were able to pickup our tickets quickly and were boarded promptly.

My wife is prone to motion sickness and we had brought a small bag of pretzels to calm her stomach, if needed. The Deck hand would not allow the pretzels on board even though this was a lunch cruise and our food was already paid for.

We were promptly seated at our tables and the food was catered by Hunts Catering. Apparently several companies are used to cater the meals. The food was very good with plenty of sides and 3 meats to choose from. The food was plentiful and if anyone left hungry it was their own fault.

The trip down the river was pleasant. If you go make sure you go the engine room and see the antique steam engines powering the boat.

The upper deck was crowded, but there was plenty of seats to sit and watch the shore past by.

5 Thank IndyFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2010

Was looking forward to going on the ‘Belle’, but was very disappointed. Upon arriving it was very hot & sunny, no canopy for shade at all, older people & people with walkers & on oxygen had to stand in the hot sun sweltering. Also was very disappointed in the buffet. By the time we were allowed to get in line, most of the side dishes were empty & upon inquiring we were told that they were “out of food”. The ‘pulled pork & pulled chicken” looked like purred baby food & tasted the same. Desert was a ‘rubbery’ piece of dough with a few peaches thrown on top or a dry piece of cake. Very, very not worth the money.

3 Thank sam414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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