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Article Teaser: The era of steamboats that most people think about is the paddle-wheel steamboats of the Mississippi in the 1800's, but the modern age offers a wide variety of riverboat cruises around the U.S. and around the world.

Keep reading below...

Riverboat Cruises And Vacations For Families And Couples

Copyright (c) 2008-2017
(See This Article in its Original Format.)

In the early 1800's, the Mississippi River was conquered through the use of steamboats, also called Sternwheelers. Before the steam-powered riverboat, flatboats were the transportation of choice for navigating the Mississippi River, but a journey from St. Louis, Missouri to New Orleans, Louisiana could take several months to complete. The greatest shortcoming of the flatboat was that it could only travel downstream, but not upstream.

With the introduction of steamboats to the Mississippi River, shippers were finally able to move cargo and people upstream, without the use of horses. Most flatboats - called "boats that never came back" - were used to transport cargo and people downstream, then the boats were disassembled and carried by wagon upstream for reassembly and another trip.

The first steamboat to be operated as a commercial success in North America started taking passengers in 1807, carrying its customers from New York City to Albany, New York. It was called the North River Steamboat, and it was able to make the 150-mile journey in 32 hours. Although it was not the first steamboat to ply the waters of North America, it was the first to carry passengers and to do so at a profit.

The North and the South used riverboats extensively during the U.S. Civil War. The dozens of steamboats that are known to have operated on the waterways of North America during the Civil War are detailed quite nicely on this website: http://www.riverboatdaves.com/riverboats/cwar.html

Riverboat Cruises Available Around The United States

The era of steamboats that most people think about is the paddle-wheel steamboats of the Mississippi in the 1800's, but the modern age offers a wide variety of riverboat cruises around the U.S. and around the world.

Just in the United States, one can find riverboat cruises available on the following waterways:

  • Charles River and Boston Harbor
  • Chena and Tanana rivers (Alaska)
  • Colorado River
  • Columbia River
  • Hudson River
  • Mississippi River
  • Missouri River
  • Ohio River
  • Potomac River
  • Sacramento River
  • Saguenay River
  • Savannah River
  • St. Lawrence Seaway
  • Tennessee River
  • The Great Lakes

  • Although this list is extensive, it is by far not complete. It has been suggested that many rivers that branch from the primary waterways, including the Mississippi River and the Ohio River, frequently offer steamboat cruises as well.

    Steamboat Cruises For Adults

    Riverboats bring an advantage to some localities in that they can help cruise operators bypass gambling regulations. For example, gambling is not legal in the state of Florida, but steamboat ships can carry passengers into international waters to let the gambling commence. Massachusetts is another state that allows riverboats to only permit gambling in international waters.

    According to Riverboat Casinos (http://www.riverboatcasinos.com/), there are 12 states that currently permit riverboat casinos in the United States. For all intent purposes, some of these riverboat casinos are docked so close to state borders as to ensure they are in easy reach of other state residents. For example, for the boats that operate out of St. Joseph and Kansas City, Missouri, are within an hour's drive of the states of Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. The same applies to riverboats docked in Biloxi, Mississippi, an hour's drive from Mobile, Alabama.

    The laws governing riverboat casinos varies widely from state-to-state. For example:

  • Iowa was the first state in the nation to legalize gaming on the riverboats in 1991, so long as the boat was in the water.
  • Illinois was the second state in the Union to legalize riverboat gambling.
  • States that permit riverboats to cruise three miles into international waters to gamble include: Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts and South Carolina.
  • Michigan's only gaming boat is docked in Ontario, Canada, but many locals consider the area to be part of Detroit.
  • Indiana, Louisiana and Texas offer riverboat gaming as well.
  • Mississippi and Missouri offer gambling dockside, but Missouri has rules in place to ensure that its players do not lose more than $500 every two hours.

  • The Riverboat Casinos website offers a directory of the riverboat gaming available around the country, if you are interested in such things.

    Final Thoughts

    I wish I could point you to one location on the Internet that documents all of the riverboat cruises available to couples and families, but I was not able to uncover such a beast.

    There are plenty of directories for riverboat gaming, such as the one described in this article, and I was able to uncover several regional directories for regular cruises the family could take, but there is no one-stop shop that I was able to uncover to help you to find family-friendly cruises.

    If you seek to find a family-friendly riverboat cruise, start by adding your state to the search query at your favorite search engine. You will find that it is fairly easy to find riverboat cruises available close to where you live or your vacation destination.




    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Chuck Saddler has traveled America most of his life. As a writer, he has decided to share with his audience another a different view of the places and attractions he has visited and might like to visit in the future. With three young children, Chuck's view of travel has changed to reflect how to enjoy his travels with three young children in tow. Read more of Chuck's American Travel Ideas on the website: http://www.americantravelideas.com/blog

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    Internal ID: #6384
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