So you want to have a really fun, week-long cruise experience, but you're not really that into the idea of leaving the United States, given the current pandemic situation.

It's possible to satisfy that cruise urge, and still never leave (except for a couple of stops) the State of Illinois. Just trade the ocean for the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.

American Queen Voyages, Facebook

There's More To Illinois Riverboats Than Being A Floating, Permanently Docked Casino

I've got to give a hat-tip to for bringing the concept of a week-long cruise through Illinois (and parts of Missouri) to my attention. The idea of a moving, travel and sightseeing based riverboat rather than the docked casinos we've all become accustomed to is pretty appealing.

If you’ve been longing to go on a cruise, just know that you don’t have to fly anywhere if you live in or around Illinois. You can actually take a week-long cruise aboard a beautiful riverboat that will travel along a couple of the state’s most beautiful rivers, stopping at picturesque towns along the way. The American Queen Steamboat Company specializes in river cruises around the United States, including one that starts along the Illinois River and ends at the Mississippi River.

American Queen Voyages, Facebook

Let's Take A Look At The Itinerary For An Illinois River Cruise

As mentioned before, if you live here in Illinois, you can get aboard one of these awesome river cruises without having to fly anywhere at all. That's a big plus for people who don't want to leave the Midwest and hate flying anyway.

First off, with 123 staterooms that can accommodate up to 245 people, there's plenty of room to enjoy the theater, a library, a card room, a large bar, entertainment, and more.

American Queen Voyages, Facebook
American Queen Voyages, Facebook
American Queen Voyages, Facebook
  • You start out your trip in Chicago, with a complimentary overnight stay (and optional city tour), then it's on to the Illinois River on your way to Ottawa.
  • Next, you get some time in the largest city on the Illinois River, Peoria.
  • Mark Twain's boyhood home of Hannibal, Missouri is your next destination, followed by Alton, Illinois.
  • The trip wraps up with optional tours of Alton and St. Louis.

If you're interested in an Illinois river cruise, click here for more information.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Illinois

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

LET'S GO: The most popular historic sites in America