Step back in time aboard the Midwest’s most unique and historic riverboat as it travels the Illinois River valley between Peoria and Starved Rock State Park. The Spirit of Peoria is a full-blown replica of the nineteenth century riverboats that inhabited the nation’s waterways. Decorated in the “wedding cake” style, the Spirit mirrors a Mark Twain era riverboat, complete with an enormous 21-foot diameter paddle wheel, which believe it or not, is the only source of propulsion!

Starved Rock Lodge Excursions prove the saying that “Getting there is half the fun.” Embark on a journey north from Peoria to Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. This excursion features two days of cruising along with an overnight at the historic Starved Rock Lodge. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the lodge offers rustic charm with modern conveniences.

As the Spirit of Peoria gets underway, at the leisurely pace of 7mph, the whistling notes of the calliope fill the air and drifts through the valley. Using a delightful mix of river lore and historical facts, the history of the river comes alive through stories and songs from the riverboat’s very own riverlorian.

After a scenic day on the Illinois River, arrive at Starved Rock Landing and explore some of the 18 canyons formed during the glacial drift. Later that evening, prepare yourself for a visit from Mark Twain himself as he entertains in the Great Hall of Starved Rock Lodge.

In these times of jet airplanes and super trains, the Spirit of Peoria offers a more classic and somewhat classier, alternative. If you’re ready to put relaxation back in your vacation, consider Starved Rock and a trip on an amazing riverboat. It may just be what you’re looking for.

  • Two-day cruise from Peoria to Starved Rock aboard the Spirit of Peoria
  • All-inclusive ticket pricing
  • Sumptuous meals including a prime rib dinner
  • Professional river lore/storytelling
  • Tour of destination
  • Old-fashioned hospitality
  • Unlimited complimentary non-alcoholic drinks
  • Historical information
  • Wildlife sightings
  • Indoor comfort—Outdoor relaxation
  • Live entertainment
  • Old-time banjo/Ragtime piano
  • Guided hikes & tour of Starved Rock
  • Three nights’ lodging – two nights at Par-A-Dice Hotel in Peoria and one night at Starved Rock Lodge/luggage handling
  • Deluxe Motorcoach transportation
  • Fully escorted by Jane’s Journeys

Pricing to be announced in the 2019 catalog.