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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How are Mississippi Explorer riverboats different from other riverboats?

 Our riverboats are designed to more buoyant and maneuverable than other passenger vessels. This gives us the unique ability to navigate the Mississippi River's fantastic backwaters resulting in a much more scenic cruise. If we had to sum our business up in one sentence, it'd be: "On our boats you'll explore the scenic wildlife refuge and it's backwater side-channels, not the busy, interstate-like main channel".

Question: Are the boats safe?

Answer: Yes, Definitely yes! All of our Mississippi Riverboats are inspected and certified every year by the United States Coast Guard. In addition to these rigorous standards, our Captains are also licensed with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Question: Is there a restroom on the boat?

Yes, our boats have onboard restrooms. They are marine bathrooms and are quite simple in nature, but a bathroom nonetheless.

Question: How do I get tickets?

You have a few options. First off, we recommend purchasing tickets through our online reservation system found at  This method is the fastest and best way to guarantee your seats on our Explorer riverboats. Simply click on “PRAIRIE DU CHIEN” listed under “ONLINE RESERVATIONS”. Here you can find the cruise schedules and ticket information for our Prairie du Chien port. A email confirmation will be sent to you, but we'll have a printout of all the online reservations at the boat prior to the cruise. Simply check in with our crew members at the boat and you'll be all set!

Remaining unreserved tickets can also be purchased for Prairie du Chien at the boat 30-minutes prior to cruise departure time. Once again, the best way to guarantee your seats is through our online reservation system, however, walk-up tickets are usually available. Prairie du Chien also has a ticket booth located at the entrance to Lawler Park on Blackhawk Avenue where tickets are sold 1-2 hours prior to the cruise.

If you do not have internet access, please call us and we can assist you with your ticket purchase online. We accept MasterCard and Visa for the Online Reservation System. Check, cash, MasterCard and/or Visa are accepted at the boats, or at the ticket booth.

: Do you go out in the rain?

Yes, don't let a rainy day discourage your spirits, our cruises go out rain or shine. We often have very peaceful cruises in the rain because we are one of the few boats out on the river. With that being said, we keep a careful eye out for approaching severe weather. If the Captain deems that dangerous weather conditions exist, safety is the number one priority for everyone. In this case, the cruise will be cancelled and all tickets will be refunded or rescheduled.

Question: How should I dress for my cruise with Mississippi Explorer?

Although our riverboats have protected cabins, we recommend dressing appropriately for the outdoor weather conditions. It never hurts to bring along an extra jacket or sweatshirt on colder days, a rain jacket for the walk to the boat on rainy days, and sunglasses/sunscreen for those bright sunny days.

Question: Are bugs and mosquito’s a problem during a "backwater" cruise?

Not at all. The insects like to stay in the tall grass and plants found on the backwater islands. If you got off the boat, and walked around in the island grasses, the bugs would certainly find you. However, we don't let any passengers disembark and you won't see (or feel) a single mosquito on the boat during the cruise.

Question: I see that we are able to bring our own food and drinks on the boat - is alcohol allowed?

Yes, but please exercise moderation. Our Captains also have the right to refuse service to any visibly intoxicated and/or unruly passengers.

Question: What other items do you suggest to bring along?

Many passengers like to bring along pair of binoculars, cameras, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Don’t forget that you are also able to bring your own food and drinks onboard. We do sell ice water on the boats if you are unable to bring your own. 

Question: Why are the Sunset Cruises so late - won't it be too dark?

Answer: We schedule are Sunset Wildlife Cruises around the setting sun to give our passengers the best sunset cruise possible. You'll notice that as the season winds down, the cruise times move up to reflect the shortening day lengths. Generally, there is about 30-minutes of "civil twilight" light after a sunset which let's us return before it's dark. This is a fantastic time to be out on the river!

Question: Is smoking allowed on the boat?


If you have a question or didn't find the answer you were looking for, please feel free to contact us.