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Spirit of Peoria - Day Tours

#1 of 3 Tours in Peoria
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 100 NE Water Street, Peoria, IL 61602
Phone Number:
+1 309-637-8000
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

The Spirit of Peoria is an authentic paddlewheel driven vessel.

The Spirit...

The Spirit of Peoria is an authentic paddlewheel driven vessel.

The Spirit has no props or thrusters, and is powered by twin Caterpillar 3412 diesel gensets, producing 700 kilowatts combined in 208 volt 3-phase voltage. The power is rectified using railroad-style rectifiers, probably from a GM GP38. The DC voltage goes to two traction engines, also from a GM locomotive, which drive the paddlewheel via two forty-foot-long by one-foot-wide chains. This allows the boat to be comparatively fast and efficient, burning approximately 15 gallons (57L) of diesel fuel an hour, with a top speed of over 15 mph (24 km/h).

Its shallow draft of 4' enables the Spirit to land in just about any river town. Boarding is by 30' long boarding stages

The boat is owned and captained by G. Alex Grieves, and co-captained by Alice Grady and Dylan Masonholder. It routinely travels up and down the Illinois River and Mississippi River.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 84 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 59
  • 15
    Very good
  • 4
  • 3
  • 0
Murder Mystery Dinner

We attended the murder mystery dinner and it was a blast! Dinner was fabulous...it was a buffet and the food was top notch. The actors were convincing and the experience was... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 15 November 2016
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84 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 81: English reviews
Level Contributor
79 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2016

We attended the murder mystery dinner and it was a blast! Dinner was fabulous...it was a buffet and the food was top notch. The actors were convincing and the experience was incredible.

3 Thank rob62521
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2016

Well in case you are not aware, the spirit of Peoria is a paddle boat (like ones shown in huckleberryfin) and is a wonderful sight to see and experience! We actually went on this for a three day cruise stopping off and staying the night in Springfield (where a free trip to the most amazing Abe Lincoln Museum was added)... More 

Thank hansojm
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2016

We took a Regular Sightseeing Cruise for just over an hour and we loved it. Very relaxing after a long journey and a real sense of history. The operators were very kind, generous and informative. Steam power has been replaced by a more modern internal combustion engine, but this doesn't detract at all from the experience and you won't have... More 

Thank CraigBJDB
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2016

3 days of floating down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Great people. Great food. Great scenery. AND everything was where it was supposed to be when it was supposed to be there. You don't spend the night on the boat. You are transported to very nice hotels for the evening and back to the boat in the morning. Entertainment on... More 

Thank Noel S
Level Contributor
63 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2016

From Peoria Ill., We traveled downstream on the Illinois River until it met the Miss. River and then upstream to Hannibal Mo. stopping each evening at a different lodging each evening. The views are great, the crew was GREAT , food different each day and plenty of it. The entertainment was superior and very informative. If one wants to learn... More 

Thank Fred A
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2016

My family had a good time. The boat was really neat! It was relaxing just sitting on the deck and just cruising up the Illinois river. I'd recommend it to anyone who just wants to get on the water and kick back.

Thank Jason C
St Charles,Missouri
Level Contributor
303 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2016 via mobile

Our group of six loved this nice way to relax and learn a little local history of the area. We had rocking chairs on the third deck , enjoyed a cold drink, and liked the beautiful paddle wheel boat

Thank sattelite10
Spirit P, Director of Sales at Spirit of Peoria - Day Tours, responded to this review

So glad that you enjoyed the cruise! More 

Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
58 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2016 via mobile

Two adults / 5 children took the afternoon sightseeing cruise. The cruise length is 1 hr 15 minutes. Adults: $18, Children (4-15yrs): $11, Children 3 & under: Free. I believe there was a discount for Seniors, as well. In my opinion, the price was surprisingly high for an afternoon cruise. There are snacks and drinks (including alcoholic beverages) for sale... More 

Thank Anuket01
Level Contributor
149 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2016

The Spirit is an authentic sternwheeler, and it offers a variety of cruises, ranging from sightseeing cruises that last several hours to three- and five-day extended trips. I did the full-day cruises up to Lacon and back. Prepare to eat. Full breakfast buffer as you board at 8:30, with egg/ham frittata, potatoes, sausage, biscuit and gravy, fruit... You name it.... More 

Thank Smudgecats
Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2016 via mobile

This was our third trip on an overnite riverboat excursion, and our first on the Spirit of Peoria. This trip took us from Peoria to Hannibal. Very well organized and a great adventure. Captain Alex and his crew were super and the entertainment crew of Barry, Ted and Fox with their mix of song and river lore was unforgettable. And... More 

Thank Jim H

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