Ohio River Cruises - Cincinnati & Pittsburgh

Most cruises on the Ohio River will include other waterways, such as the Mississippi, Cumberland or Tennessee River. The American Queen Steamboat Company offers a couple of cruises on just the Ohio River during June and July. The itineraries  travel round trip from Cincinnati or between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Ohio River in Cincinnati

Ohio River in Cincinnati

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cincinnati-skyline-from-kentucky-shore-night.jpg

You’ll find companies that offer day and evening cruises along the Ohio River in a few different cities, such as Cincinnati, Louisville and Pittsburgh. Although, you won’t experience it onboard a ship for multilple days, you can still enjoy this amazing river as you travel along it for several hours. Event, sightseeing and themed day cruises are available throughout the year.

Ohio River Facts

The Ohio River begins at Point State Park in Pittsburgh where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers join together. Before reaching Pittsburgh, the Allegheny flows through New York and Pennsylvania for about 325 miles. And the Monongahela flows for about 130 miles through West Virginia and Pennsylvania until it reaches Point State Park.

Three Rivers in Pittsburgh - Allagheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers

Where the Allegheny and Monongahela Meet to Form the Ohio River in Pittsburgh

By David Schwab, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Flowing in a westerly direction from its source, the Ohio River stretches for 981 miles passing through or bordering Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana. The mouth of the river is in Cairo, Illinois where the Ohio River meets the Mississippi River. 

A rather shallow river, the Ohio has an average depth of only 15-20 feet. And the river’s widest point is located west of Louisville where it stretches for one mile from bank to bank.

The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River stretching for 652 miles across four states. The two rivers are joined together in Paducah, Kentucky.

Ohio River Cruises Destinations

An overnight cruise on the Ohio River will travel through a few states and could include any of the following: Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The most well-known cities along the Ohio River are Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

A five-day round trip cruise from Cincinnati will travel to Louisville, Kentucky and Madison, Indiana. And a six-day cruise will travel from Cincinnati to Maysville and Augusta, Kentucky and Huntington, West Virginia.

A seven-day cruise on the Ohio River will depart from Pittsburgh will travel to Marietta, Ohio, Point Pleasant, West Virgina, Maysville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. And an eight-day cruise will begin in Cincinnati and travel to Pittsburgh stopping in the same cities and make an additional stop in Wheeling, West Virginia.

For cruises combined with the Mississippi River, you’ll travel between Cincinnati and St. Louis.

An Ohio and Cumberland River cruise will travel between Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee.

Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky

Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky

By Stevietheman at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

The American Queen Steamboat Company is the only company that offers overnight river cruises on just the Ohio River. Pricing starts at $949 per person, and itineraries are available for about three weeks in July. They range in length from 5 to 8 days, and all depart from Cincinnati.

A few companies feature day and evening cruises on the Ohio River. In Cincinnati you'll find BB Riverboats and Queen City Riverboats. And in Louisville you can cruise the Ohio River onboard The Belle of Louisville.

Whether you choose to take an overnight cruise on the Ohio River or only a day or evening cruise, you'll have a chance to experience this great U.S. river with either option.

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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in  river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

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