La Crosse, Wisconsin
Jump onboard the Mississippi Explorer riverboat and explore backwater areas. Nows the time to get outside and see the wide variety of plants and animals that live in the "Upper Miss" wildlife refuge! Last, but certainly not least, the boat has an onboard restroom, comfortable seating, an air conditioned cabin, and a friendly crew!
Join us on one of our narrated Sunset Wildlife Cruises. Designed to absorb the quieter times on the river, you'll want to skip the movie and come cruise with us during these evening tours. In our opinion, it's just about the best time to be on the river!
Carry-on's of food and drinks are allowed during our cruises. We also permit coolers to be carried on.
We're located at Riverside Park and there is ample free parking throughout the area. If you need driving directions, please scroll down and use our interactive map at the bottom of the page.
Cruise Schedule for 2013
Departing May through Oct. 19
10:30 am: Wildlife Cruise
10:30 am: Wildlife Cruise
5 pm: Sunset Wildlife Cruise
10:30 am: Wildlife Cruise
1:30 pm: Wildlife Cruise
Tickets can now be purchased online!
The easiest way to buy tickets for La Crosse is to click on "LA CROSSE" under "ONLINE RESERVATIONS", find your specific cruise on the calendar, and fill out the required fields. You'll receive a confirmation email that you can print out and bring along. Simply check in at the ticket booth prior to cruise departure and you'll be all set! Tickets for remaining seats are also available for purchase at the ticket booth before the cruise, however, we recommend purchasing tickets online for guaranteed seats.
See below for prices and cruise descriptions. Private Charters are available for groups of 20 or larger beginning mid-April and continuing through early November. Call for more information.
Adults (12+): 19.99 + tax; Youth (ages 4-11): 14.99 + tax; Child (0-3 yrs): free.
Fall Migration 3-hr Cruises:
Adults (12+): 39.99 + tax; Youth (ages 4-11):34.99 + tax; Child (0-3 yrs): free.
Private tours such as company/organization outings, bus groups, school field trips, family reunions and even bachelorette/bachelor parties are available April - October. Costs average $10 per hour per adult passenger. For more information, please call the Mississippi Explorer office toll-free at: 877-647-7397 ext. 1 or 563-563-4444.
Please note: All of our cruises venture off of the main-channel of the Mississippi River and into the backwaters. Wildlife can be seen on each and every one of our cruises. However, in order to give you the best "Mississippi River" experience, we'll visit the unique natural events that occur at certain times throughout the year. This is why we feature "Bald Eagle Watching", Lotis & Lily", "Nesting Bald Eagles", "Autumn Wildlife" and other exciting cruises periodically. They're still our fantastic Wildlife Cruise, but with a different spotlight angle!
Spend an afternoon on America's River with our 2-hr backwater cruise designed specifically for nature lovers and sightseers. Highlights include up close views of Bald Eagle nests, Beaver Lodges, Turtles, Great Blue Herins, Egrets, and more! This is a narrated cruise with insight from the captain and naturalist.
"Lotus & Lily"
Incorporated into our Wildlife Cruises during the last part of July and into mid August, these cruises highlight the flowering American Lotus and Water Lilies. Not many folks known that the American Lotus is the largest flowering plant in North America with large yellow flowers up to 10 inches in diameter and leaves reaching feet across - come see for yourself!
"Sunset Wildlife Cruise"
What could be better than a Mississippi River backwater cruise? Join us on this scenic and relaxing cruise as we head into the Upper Mississippi River's wildlife refuge. These cruises are designed for an intimate tour of the river at a very special time. Our animal friends stay hidden during the hot afternoons and wait until this time to venture out - we'll be right there to see them! Bring along your own food and beverage of choice and prepare for an evening of pure delight. There is no better time to be on the Mighty Miss!
"Autumn Wildlife Cruise"
Forget New England! Travel less and discover more by taking a 2-hour cruise through our endless Mississippi River backwaters. With the vegetation dying back and the leaves fall off the trees, it's also a good time to spot many of the critters that call the Upper Miss wildlife refuge home. A very popular cruise for autumn color sightseers with great photo opportunities for everyone! This is a fully-narrated cruise with interesting insight from the captain and onboard naturalist.
"Fall Birding Migration Cruise"
Departing in November from our Lansing, Iowa port, these spectacular cruises are our last of the year! These migration tours offer an extended first-hand birding experience in key Mississippi River Flyway habitats. Experienced bird-watchers and river naturalists will accompany each cruise and provide interpretation and bird-watching identification and assistance. Visitors will close-up views of thousands of elegant tundra swans and hundreds of thousands of a wide variety of ducks plus numerous bald eagles, Canada geese, pelicans, cormorants, and other wildlife. With this being said, the 3-hr venture itself is a gorgeous journey alongside the towering limestone bluffs surrounding the river. Snacks and drinks will be served at no extra charge aboard these season-ending cruises.This is a fully-narrated cruise with interesting insight from the captain and onboard naturalists.
For more information regarding tickets, reservations, schedules, group tours or private charters, please call Mississippi Explorer toll-free at (877) 647-7397 or 563-586-4444.
Guests should arrive 10-25 mins prior to departure. Unclaimed reservations will be made available to others 5 mins prior to departure unless we are aware that you are en route.
Individual cancellations made at least 48 hours prior to departure will be given a full refund. No penalty rescheduling can be made up to 24 hours prior to departure time. Cancellation of private group trips must be made at least 3 weeks prior to departure date. We have the right to cancel/modify any scheduled trip for any reason deemed necessary such as severe weather, river conditions, technical problems, minimum passenger numbers, etc. In the case of a cancellation by the company, customers will have the option of rescheduling or receiving a full refund.
Toll-free: (877) 647-7397 ext. 1
Local Line: (563) 586-4444
Mississippi Explorer Cruises
1913 Old Mill Dr., Lansing, IA 52151
Cruises depart from Riverside Park, downtown La Crosse (across from the Radisson Hotel).