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“3 Days Peoria to St Louis”

Spirit of Peoria - Day Tours
Ranked #1 of 3 Tours in Peoria
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“3 Days Peoria to St Louis”
Reviewed 28 August 2013

We boarded the Spirit of Peoria for a 3 day trip, not knowing what to expect. WOW! From the moment we boarded we had fantastic food, incredible entertainment, and a rip-roaring good time! "Fox", Ted, and Barry provided the entertainment, through storytelling plays and music. We heard tales about the Explorers, Civil War times, and Abraham Lincoln. Ted conducted a sing-along that lasted at least an hour, and also played the calliope for us. Each night was spent ashore, once in Springfield (Abraham Lincoln Hotel) and Grafton (Pere Marquette Hotel). While in Springfield, we spent the morning at the Abraham Lincoln Museum. Although they only have a tiny galley, they produce wonderful buffets, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. One night, dinner was Prime Rib (fantastic), and the second night we had smoked brisket (which was all the more appetizing because we smelled it all day!).

Visited August 2013
2 Thank lincassel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Traveling the Illinois River”
Reviewed 16 August 2013

We boarded the Spirit of Peoria in Peoria, Illinois, for a 2-day cruise on an authentic paddlewheeler. This was a special cruise of "Magic and Music", with performers on each deck, playing piano, guitar, banjo, and the old calliope. There was never a lack of food, which was prepared right on board...and all the meals and snacks were wonderful. The boat traveled a relaxing 6 miles per hour on the Illinois River. We stayed overnight at Starved Rock Lodge in the State Park, then made the return river journey the following day. A great experience!

Visited August 2013
Thank rtirdtchr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Garden City, Kansas
Level Contributor
136 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise - GREAT!”
Reviewed 5 August 2013

This is a great time for older kids and adults that enjoy a good "whodunnit" while eating a delicious meal. (little ones would NOT do well here- maybe on a regular trip out but not a Event like this one) We had read other reviews that the food quality was really good on this Paddleboat and they were spot-on correct. Not giant selections on the buffet but what was offered was well prepared and much better then standard buffet foods. The cast of characters begins OUTSIDE of the boat while you are waiting to board to pay attention to anyone wearing name tags as they probably will be in the play. They have these a few times each year and are sold out by the go date so try to book it early. Money well spent for the experience received!

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Gloria A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Decatur, Illinois
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Family had a nice time.”
Reviewed 31 July 2013 via mobile

We went on the 90 minute trip North on the Illinois River. You should get there early so you can get good seats. We sat inside on the second level, which is air conditioned. My younger daughter and I walked the entire boat, it was a very nice time. The third level is all outside seating and a small shop that sells soda and popcorn. The first level was inside and air conditioned. There were about three hundred people on the boat.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Frank M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anderson, South Carolina
Level Contributor
109 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Relaxing trip down the Illinois River”
Reviewed 31 July 2013

This was a great sightseeing trip down the Illinois River. We traveled on a Sunday afternoon for 90 minutes with family on the upper tier of the paddle wheeler while given a narrative of history and things to see along the way. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed the leisurely pace of the trip while watching other boats travel past us and fish jumping all around the boat. Drinks and snacks could be purchased while on the trip including beer. We had a coupon for $5 off per person which brought the price down to $11 each. Arrive at least 30 minutes early to get a good seat. Others arrived 45 minutes early for seating with tables for food in the shade of the upper canopy. Excellent trip for small children and elderly as well.

Visited July 2013
2 Thank 4business2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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