Another one of our fun adventures in Louisville was a scenic riverboat cruise along the river. There are two boats that passengers can cruise on: The Belle of Louisville, a 100+ year old Mississippi river steamboat, and The Spirit of Jefferson, the Belle's little sister.
Our cruise was on The Spirit of Jefferson, and while smaller than The Belle of Louisville, it was charming, very clean and perfect for our trip. While aboard we enjoyed a delicious lunch, explored the ship and scenery as we passed by the city, under bridges and by historic landmarks.
Enjoying Lunch on a Riverboat Cruise
As we boarded the boat, we were warmly greeted and led to the table where we would be enjoying lunch. The boat has two dinning floors, both of which are air conditioned and very comfortable. We were seated on the second floor.
We immediately felt at home and at ease on the boat, were quickly able to find our table and get something to drink prior to setting out on the cruise.
Once the ship embarked, we almost immediately passed under a bridge. There are many bridges that cross the river and it was fun to go under them and to wave at the people above us.
A few minutes after our departure, we were invited to go to through the lunch buffet. The set up was extremely organized and we were able to easily get food for our family.
The food was delicious and included a wide variety of options to choose from. We enjoyed salad (regular and pasta), rolls, mixed veggies, green beans, potatoes, chicken, roast beef, ham, macaroni & cheese (a kid favorite) and a selection of pies for dessert.
As we ate, the ship continued down the river and we passed houses, bridges, and historic landmarks. The guide gave historic facts and pointed out various sights as we cruised.
Once we were finished with our meal, we decided to explore the ship. The first floor dinning area had music and a dance floor, and on the top floor you could see into the captains room and watch him steer the ship.
Each floor had a nice sized observation desks with plenty of seating. We ended up sitting in the chairs, watching the scenery, relaxing and talking for the remainder of the trip.
Overall, we had a great time during our cruise and would definitely recommend it for families visiting Louisville.
Tips for Going on a Riverboat Cruise with Kids
- The cruise is approximately 2 hours. Consider your child's attention span to determine if you need to bring activities with you to keep them entertained throughout the trip (i.e. books, coloring pages, etc).
- When purchasing tickets, you can select the lunch cruise or a sightseeing cruise (no meal included). If you are traveling with kids I would suggest purchasing the lunch cruise, for a couple reasons. One the lunch was delicious and two it provided entertainment for nearly half of the trip.
- If you are traveling with a large group, call ahead to ask about a discounted group rate.
- Bring sunblock, a hat and sun glasses because there is little shade on the observation decks.
- Remember to bring your camera, there are many fun photo opportunities.
The Belle of Louisville & The Spirit of Jefferson
401 W River Rd, Louisville, KY 40202