Friday, April 27, 2007
I took a sightseeing cruise aboard the Mississippi River Boat Island Queen today. It was an enjoyable ride with a cool breeze off of the river. It was a step back in time with the interesting narrative of past and present river life by the tour guide.
The cruise is a 90 minute ride aboard an old River Boat designed to look like the old stern wheelers of the 19th century. There was not a large crowd, I would say less than a hundred, so there was plenty of room to move about and view the river from all sides of the boat.
The Mississippi River Boat Island Queen is a 100-foot long vessel. She is a three-decked vessel with an enclosed first deck, a covered second deck, and a partially covered third deck. Her great outside views makes her a good vessel for sightseeing the Mississippi River. Her main deck consists of seating around the sides and a wide-open center dance section with a slightly raised stage. The stage was setup for a small dance band. There was no band on the cruise I took because it was in the mid afternoon. I am sure the dance band is for evening cruises.
A riverboat cruise is probably the only way in Memphis to experience the river era of Native Americans, explorers, riverboatmen like Mark Twain and Mike Fink, highlights of local Civil War river battles and the heritage of the Mississippi River bluffs and delta.
If ever you are in the Memphis area I suggest you take a ride aboard one of the Mississippi River Boat's. One tip. I used Mapquest for directions and they tell you to take I55 North and it becomes Riverside Dr. Well I had never seen directions where an Interstate became anything else. But it does. While on I55 you see that you have to exit right to continue on I55, by going up on to the bridge to cross the Mississippi River into Arkansas, and to continue on straight for Riverside Dr.
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