What do you get when you mix one part history and one part scenery with some great food, music, relaxation, and adventure? You get a wonderful overnight getaway on the Spirit of Peoria riverboat!
Step back in time aboard the Midwest’s most unique and historic riverboat as it travels the Illinois River valley between Peoria and Starved Rock State Park. The Spirit of Peoria is a full-blown replica of the nineteenth century riverboats that used to inhabit the nation’s waterways. Decorated in the "wedding cake" style, the Spirit mirrors a Mark Twain era riverboat, complete with an enormous 21-foot diameter paddle wheel, which believe it or not, is the only source of propulsion!
Starved Rock Lodge Excursions prove the saying that "Getting there is half the fun." Embark on a journey north from Peoria to Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. This excursion features two days of cruising along with an overnight at the historic Starved Rock Lodge. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the lodge offers rustic charm with modern conveniences.
As the Spirit of Peoria gets underway, at the leisurely pace of 7mph, the whistling notes of the calliope fill the air and drift through the valley. Using a delightful mix of riverlore and historical facts, the history of the river comes alive through stories and songs from the riverboat’s very own Riverlorian and Master Storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis. Entertainment includes world-class ragtime piano player Bev Wolf and musician/songwriter Barry Cloyd.
No one on the river ever goes away hungry with American classics such as chef-carved prime rib.
After a scenic day on the Illinois River, arrive at Starved Rock Landing and explore some of the 18 canyons formed during the glacial drift. Later that evening, prepare yourself for a visit from Mark Twain himself as he entertains in the Great Hall of Starved Rock Lodge.
In these times of jet airplanes and super trains, the Spirit of Peoria offers a more classic and somewhat classier, alternative. If you’re ready to put relaxation back in your vacation, consider Starved Rock and a trip on an amazing riverboat. It may just be what you’re looking for!
2 days, 1 night (all-inclusive): $309 per person (double occupancy) *
* Pricing includes tax and gratuity. Group discounts are available
8:15am–8:45am Check-in at the Spirit of Peoria 100 NE Water St
9:00am Spirit of Peoria departs Peoria landing
9:30am Breakfast and coffee available on First Deck
9:45am Live Ragtime Piano Music and Professional Riverlore on Boiler Deck
11:30am Cold Deli Lunch Buffet on Main Deck
1:00pm Professional Riverlore or Ragtime Piano
2:30pm Wine and cheese reception on Boiler Deck
3:00pm Professional Riverlore or Ragtime Piano
5:00pm Hot buffet dinner on Main Deck
5:45pm Approximate arrival at Starved Rock Landing
Evening: Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, IL 800-868-7625
Your luggage will be in your room!
8:00pm Guest speaker in the Great Hall
Leave your luggage in your room! Our luggage handlers will pick it up for you. Do not leave your luggage on the bed; place it near the door in plain sight.
6:30am–8:00am Breakfast at Starved Rock Lodge
8:00am Shuttle departs Lodge for Starved Rock Historic Site
9:00am Second Shuttle departs Lodge for the Spirit of Peoria
9:00am Snacks and coffee available on Boiler Deck
9:15am Shuttle picks up group from Starved Rock Historic Site
9:30am Live Ragtime Piano Music and Professional Riverlore on Boiler Deck
12:30am Hot Lunch Buffet on Main Deck
2:00pm Professional Riverlore or Ragtime Piano
3:00pm Late afternoon snack on Boiler Deck
5:00pm Approximate arrival at Peoria landing
Remember that your luggage will not be traveling with you! Bring a small bag (on the boat) with any medicine you might need. Please make sure your name is on your luggage. Do not remove the luggage tags that our crew places on your bag. They will be needed until you pick up your luggage at the dock upon the boat’s or bus’ return to Peoria.
Don't forget to bring:
- Light jacket for May/June and September/October trips
Dress is casual. Shorts and sandals are more than appropriate for our cruises. You will not be required to “dress-up” for dinner.
Boarding is at 8:15am. Passengers will not be allowed to board before that time. Luggage handlers will begin checking in luggage at 8:15am.
The Spirit of Peoria is located at the intersection of Water and Main Sts. You can use exit 93 east or westbound from I-74 or take Routes-24 or 29 to Main St. Cross the railroad tracks and make an immediate right turn into the parking lot.
Parking is located in the RiverFront Village Parking Lot. Parking is free to Spirit of Peoria passengers with parking passes. You will need to obtain a parking pass from the luggage handlers when you check your bags. This pass MUST be hung from your rearview mirror or you will be ticketed. Parking tickets are not our responsibility.
2009 Cruise Dates
June 8-9, 15-16, 22-23
July 2-3, 6-7, 20-21
August 3-4, 17-18
August 31-September 1
September 14-15, 21-22
October 5-6, 8-9, 12-13, 15-16, 19-20, 22-23
Driving in from out of town?
Try one of these hotels! Each is located within 5 blocks of the Spirit of Peoria and offers complimentary shuttle service for its guests.