Milwaukee River Cruises

Enjoy Milwaukee by Boat with a River Cruise

Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee.

Milwaukee's namesake river cuts through the heart of downtown, and during summer months it's not uncommon to spot one of our city's great "party boats" cutting through the waves of this waterway. Find out how to get yourself aboard one of these cruises and enjoy the city from a new angle. Whether you want to brunch while on the water or indulge in a margarita, or maybe you simply want to soak up the view from a new angle, there are plenty of options.

Riverwalk Boat Tours and Rentals
Riverwalk Boat Tours feature floating pontoon parties every night of the week during warm weather months. Themes like Margarita Mondays, Wild Wednesdays and the Saturday Pub Crawl give you a great idea of what you're in for. Riverwalk Cruises pick up at Pere Marquette Park (excepting the Brewery Tour Cruises, which pick up and drop off at either the Lakefront, Milwaukee Ale House or Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, and cruise between the three), then cruise downtown on the Milwaukee River and head out into Lake Michigan.

Themed cruises accommodate about 50 passengers. Rentals for private parties and pontoon boat rentals also available.

Where: Boats dock at Pere Marquette Park, 950 Old World 3rd St., on the Milwaukee River between State Street and Kilbourn Avenue
When: Daily, from May through September
Cost: $22 - $30, depending on time and cruise theme
Contact: Call (414) 283-9999 for reservations

Milwaukee River Cruise Line
The Edelweiss boats have a varied selection of offerings, from dinner cruises like the Friday night Fish Fry, to kid-friendly Caribbean Pirates Cruises, to the Margarita Fiesta Cruise or a Historic Milwaukee Boat Tour. The company's three main boats vary in size to accommodate from 50 to 140 passengers. Private party rentals are also huge with the Milwaukee River Cruise Line, and they offer private pontoon rentals as well.

Where: Boats dock at the Pier 106 Seafood Tavern, 106 W.

Wells St.
When: Daily, from May through September
Cost: Public Cruises run from $15 - $75, depending on theme, dining, etc.
Contact: Call (414) 276-7447 for reservations

Milwaukee Boat Line
The Milwaukee Boat Line, which has been serving the city for more than 50 years, offers a wide variety of cruises daily from early May through the end of September. Sightseeing cruises are this line's staple, and are offered every day, though the Milwaukee Boat Line also offers nightlife cruises as well, such as weekend concert cruises and sunset happy hour cruises. One of this company's three boats, the Iroquois, built in 1922, is the oldest passenger vessel still operating on the Great Lakes.

The Milwaukee Boat Line's vessels are also a good pick if you're looking to get out of the river and harbor and into the open water -- in fact, you can charter one of these boats to travel all the way to Green Bay or Chicago if you so choose.

Where: Boats dock on the RiverWalk at 101 W. Michigan St.
When: Daily, from May through September
Cost: Public cruises run from $5 to $25, depending on time and theme
Contact: Call (414) 294-9450 for reservations