PEORIA, IL – Last Friday, Kaci Osborne, Tourism Manager at the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (PACVB), took a ride to the riverfront and climbed aboard the Spirit of Peoria for a behind the scenes look at this fun and unique experience that the Peoria Area has to offer.
The Spirit of Peoria is truly one of the hidden gems in the region. This unique riverboat was built in 1988 in Paducah, Ky. and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The boat is solely propelled by its 21’ diameter paddle wheel; making it one of the few riverboats operating without the aid of any props or thrusters. Its shallow draft of 4’ enables the Spirit to land in just about any river town.
Okay. Okay. That’s enough about the actual boat. How does it entertain visitors?
Well, in about every way a boat possibly could. The Spirit of Peoria offers many different types of cruises to every age. The cruises travel up and down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and offer the authentic paddle wheel-driven trips to many locations throughout the region.
Captain Alex Grieves, owner of the famed riverboat, told Kaci just how busy this summer was shaping up to be. He mentioned June 1st as the start date for site seeing cruises that are available every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
But in addition to site seeing tours, Captain Alex says, “What’s so unique is that we offer private parties available on the boat. We do a lot of wedding receptions, fraternities and a LOT of proms.”
In addition to these events, multi-day and overnight trips are available as well. Specifically, the Captain Alex highlighted extended trips to Alton, Ill., Starved Rock, Ill. and St. Louis, Mo. that are available this summer.
Kaci points out that once off the boat, there’s so much more to check out on the Peoria Riverfront, including the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Caterpillar Visitors Center, many great restaurants and the riverfront farmers markets.
This is part of the Kaci’s Places to Play in Peoria YouTube series. Please check out Peoria Area CVB Media Page for more videos from Kaci!
Written By: Andrew Ketterer