Mississippi River cruises focus on American Indians, foliage

NEW ORLEANS -- The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. will offer a cruise along the Mississippi River this summer that will focus on American Indian history and 14 voyages to witness fall foliage.

The Delta Queen is a National Historic Landmark and accommodates 174 passengers, all in outside cabins.

  • The fare for the Mississippi River American Indian cruise starts at $1,210 per person, double occupancy, and includes all on-board meals and activities plus entertainment.
  • The Delta Queen. The eight-night theme cruise sails from July 31 to Aug. 8 and follows a route from St. Louis to St. Paul, with visits to Hannibal, Mo.; Burlington, Davenport and Dubuque, Iowa, and Prairie du Chien, Wis.

    On board, historians Ed Bearss and Helen Hornbeck Tanner will examine American Indian music, dance, art, religion, literature and lifestyles.

    Explanations will be given of the events that led up to the Black Hawk War and the Minnesota Uprising, and the impact of the American Indian on the development of the U.S. will be discussed.

    Optional excursions will be offered to landmarks such as Cahokia Mounds and Fort Armstrong in Illinois and Fort Snelling in Minnesota.

  • The steam paddle wheelers Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and America Queen will offer 14 Fall Foliage cruises between major river ports such as St. Louis and St. Paul, Minn.; Cincinnati and St. Louis; St. Louis and Nashville; Nashville and Cincinnati; Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, and Memphis and St. Louis.
  • Most itineraries range from three to seven nights.

    Longer plans include a 14-night voyage from St. Paul to New Orleans on the American Queen from Oct. 26 to Nov. 9 and a 13-night cruise from Pittsburgh to New Orleans on the Mississippi Queen from Nov. 8 to 21.

    Optional hotel stays at port cities are available, and activities and shore excursions are offered that are appropriate to the season.

    On board, a naturalist offers lectures and helps passengers identify the flora and fauna along the river; binoculars can be borrowed at no charge.

    Cruise prices start at $495 per person, double, for the three-night package; the 13-night cruise starts at $1,920 and the 14-night plan at $2,060.

    Fares include port charges, on-board meals, entertainment and nightly dancing.

    Early-booking bonuses are available on most packages.

    The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. lays claim to being America's oldest cruise line, with roots dating to 1890. It specializes in historical riverboat vacations, and every cruise aboard the three vessels features an on-board "riverlorian" who shares regional culture and lore with passengers.

    Agent commissions start at 10%.

    Delta Queen Steamboat Co.
    Phone: (800) 458-6789
    Web: www.deltaqueen.com

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