Have you ever been on a boat tour? It's a must to be added to your Iowa summer bucket list! Experience the backwaters of the MIGHTY Mississippi like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Plan a riverboat tour with Captain Robert C. Vavra of Maiden Voyage Tours in Marquette, Iowa. Captain Vavra's moto is “If you have a group, I have a tour.”
The Captain is our very own Tom Sawyer of Clayton County. Robert grew up along the Mississippi River. He even worked on the river as a commercial fisher after high school. Robert and his wife, Deb once owned a restaurant, then later a small campground. Robert's dream of making a living on the Mississippi River continued even after those ventures. So he made it happen, first by becoming a certified captain, then by receiving a Master’s License, and buying a tour boat. Now you can benefit from his dream.
Docked under the bridge in Marquette is a forty-nine passenger boat that awaits to start your adventure. Experience the waves of the Mississippi River, feel the fresh air blow through your hair as you cruise along. In the backwaters, catch a glimpse of stunning wildlife. Watch Bald Eagles soar and swoop down for fish. The scenic views of rocky limestone and green tree-lined bluffs are breathtaking. Many bird species call this natural habitat home. Migrating birds travel along the Mississippi River making frequent stops here in Northeast Iowa. What a spectacular sight to see!
You can choose a private tour that best fits your needs. Maybe the Maiden Voyage can help you celebrate a family, class reunion or wedding. If you don’t have a large group to explore the Mississippi, no worries! Captain Vavra has tours during the week. On Fridays, relax and enjoy a music cruise. Have a fun-filled night with local musicians playing Mississippi River folk music.
Andy Mountain Campground is a great place to stay after your Friday night cruise. Enjoy one of the five log cabins here. Each boast a full kitchen, sleep seven, have a 3/4 bath, a porch, and a fire pit. These cabins have the rustic vibe of Tom and Huck’s day, but with all of the conveniences of home.
Have an adventure this summer. Bring the folks you love and experience what only Captain Robert C. Vavra and Maiden Voyage Tours can give you, on the MIGHTY Mississippi.
By Gianna Manternach
Image credit: Darla Kelchen CCDG