Take a voyage on the steamboat Belle of Louisville on the Ohio River in Kentucky. Choose from cruises with sightseeing, history, sunbathing, stargazing, dancing and food and drink.
Sit inside for the comfort of air conditioning or heating, or outside to listen to the paddle wheel as it propels the vessel. A tour guide narrates the history of interesting sites en route.
Experience the magic of being on a steam paddleboat while a modern city is just a short distance away. Watch the metropolitan skyline of Louisville drift by the city is a major center for bourbon whiskey production and racehorses.
Belle of Louisville has had multiple names since it began service in 1914 as a ferry and freighter called Idlewild. After its launch in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the boat traveled between Memphis, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas, and as far as Montana, the Gulf of Mexico and Canada. Imagine dancing on the decks in the 1940s when it became a popular entertainment venue.
In 1948 the departing captain’s wish to rename the vessel Avalon was granted. This was the start of a busy time when the vessel was recognized for being the most widely traveled river steamboat in American history. Under new ownership in 1962, the current name was given. The following year the Belle of Louisville raced against another famous steamboat, Delta Queen. Stand on her decks knowing you are experiencing one of America’s oldest and most authentic river steamboats as it paddles for its second century.
Purchase tickets for Belle of Louisville online or at its berth just west of Clark Memorial Bridge on the south side of the Ohio River. Pay to park at the wharf. Two-hour sightseeing tours and themed cruises are available day and night throughout the year.
Many trips provide on-board buffet meals, beverages and dancing. Another riverboat, Mary M. Miller, is available for additional excursions. The frequency of trips is reduced from November to March.