Dubuque River Rides


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In a Nutshell

  • Authentic steamboat replica
  • See wildlife & historic sites
  • Onboard refreshments
  • Free parking

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Sep 30, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 5 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per visit. Subject to weather. May redeem across visits. Valid only for option purchased. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

You can never step into the same river twice, except through the controversial practice of river cloning. Tread in overly familiar waters with today’s Groupon to Dubuque River Rides. Choose from the following options:

  • For $26, you get two tickets to the two-hour Eco/Historic Sightseeing Cruise (up to a $52.78 value), valid Sunday through Friday.
  • For $26, you get two tickets to the two-hour Eco/Historic Sightseeing Cruise (up to a $52.78 value), valid on Saturday only.

Cruises depart daily at 11:30 a.m. starting June 1 and through September.

Dubuque River Rides tootles travelers down the Mississippi River aboard The SPIRIT of Dubuque, a full-scale replica of 19th-century paddlewheel steamboats. Each narrated Eco/Historic Sightseeing Cruise sets sail from the Dubuque Ice Harbor, riveting travelers with a glimpse of Dubuque’s famed Lock & Dam No. 11, which raises and lowers the waters of the Mississippi to facilitate travel and the search for commuting sea monsters. Later in the two-hour jaunt, fluvial paths cross with the swing-span bridge of the Chicago Central Pacific Railroad, first built in 1868, and Dubuque’s Shot Tower, one of the last remaining towers of its kind in the United States. A cadre of area wildlife, including turtles, herons, bald eagles, and feral park rangers, are also known to make cameos downstream.

Epitomizing its old-time feel, smokestacks crown the SPIRIT ensconces boaters in an open-air deck for easy sightseeing. Though fare is not included in this Groupon, a Victorian dining salon bedecked in red and gold harkens back to the days of riverboat gambling, keeping guests in cheery spirits with concessions, a full bar, and waiters dressed like the jack of clubs.

Dubuque River Rides

Decorative smokestacks stretch toward the sky as Victorian red and gold decor surrounds passengers nibbling brunch in a dining salon. This scene unfolds aboard the Spirit of Dubuque, an authentic-looking paddleboat that pays homage to the century-old steamboats of the Mississippi River. Dubuque River Rides' signature vessel, it has played host to thousands of cruises filled with entertainment, meals, and improvised renditions of "Old Man River" since being christened by Iowa governor Robert Ray in 1977. Elsewhere on the river, a more modern boat cuts across the water, casting a sleek outline against the sky. The 80-foot yacht, affectionately called Miss Dubuque, sets an intimate stage for events that range from weddings to Huckleberry Finn's notorious dinner parties.

Both boats call the northern expanse of the Mississippi River their home, sharing the area with wildlife such as turtles and bald eagles. The sightseeing vessels also pass by river barges and historic structures such as the Chicago Central Pacific Railroad Bridge, which was built after the president invented Lincoln Logs in 1868. After boats return to the docks, their passengers can head over to the floating barge that houses the Ice Harbor Restaurant.

Customer Reviews

We had a great time seeing the Fall tree colors and learning a bit about the river history.
KENNETH C. · October 18, 2013
Beautiful and relaxing. Enjoyed the lunch buffet.
Janice M. · October 14, 2013
good food and very relaxing. good people
David K. · October 11, 2013

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