Board the Spirit of Dubuque, a replica of a Mississippi River paddle-wheeler, for lunch, dinner, sightseeing or themed cruises. We took a two-hour eco-historic sightseeing cruise ($35.50) that included lunch and narration from the captain.
The Spirit went past landmarks such as the new convention center, swing span railroad bridge (built in 1868), Dubuque Star Brewing Company, Shot Tower, Lock and Dam #11 and Julien Dubuque monument. Narration, which included information about the historic flood of 1965, when the river crested at 26 feet, was occasionally difficult to hear over the din of the engines and the crowd. The captain pointed out wildlife, such as a bald eagle popping up from its nest. We suggest taking a pair of binoculars for better wildlife viewing.
For lunch, we went through a deli line for meat-and-cheese sandwiches with potato salad, chocolate chip cookies and lemonade. It was unremarkable but typical of mass-produced lunches.
Overall, we found the cruise pleasant, relaxing, fun to be on the river in a paddle-wheeler.