Peoria to Starved Rock Excursion

2-day, 1-night

Peoria to Starved Rock Excursion Thumbnail

This wonderful overnight trip includes two relaxing days of cruising down the river. All-you-can-eat buffet meals—including the chef’s prime rib dinner—are served throughout the day. Entertainment includes live singing, guitar, banjo, and ragtime piano, storytelling, historical information at various spots, wildlife sightings, and an optional hike to the Starved Rock Historic Site. Lodging provided by the Starved Rock Lodge. Enjoy the slower pace of life on this unique paddleboat!

What do you get when you mix one part history and one part scenery with some great food, music, relaxation, and adventure? You get a wonderful overnight getaway on the Spirit of Peoria riverboat!

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 drift through the valley. Using a delightful mix of riverlore 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. 

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!

Trip Includes

  • All-inclusive ticket pricing
  • Overnight lodging
  • Sumptuous Meals including prime rib dinner
  • Professional riverlore / 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
  • Baggage handling
  • Round-trip transportation
  • Tax and gratuity
  • Guided hikes & tour of Starved Rock


Please remove any items from your luggage that you may need on the boat, as the luggage will not be on the boat.  If there is any special health or dietary information we should know about, call immediately so arrangements can be made to meet your needs.  

Hotels assign overnight rooms the morning of the trip based on availability and information provided by you.  Your room may be in the lodge or a cabin. ALL HOTEL ROOMS ARE NON-SMOKING. A fee of $150 per day will be assessed for violating the policy.

Payment is due 30 days prior to departure. 

CANCELLATION POLICY: If you cancel more than 30 days prior to the date of your trip: full refund. Less than 30 days: $100/person NOT refunded. Less than 72 hours: 50% refund. 24 hours or less-no refund. In the event of circumstances/crises beyond our control, such as a flood, weather, or pandemic, then tickets are refunded to a gift certificate only. The value of the gift certificate does not expire, is transferrable to another person, and can be used towards any cruise.

TRIP INSURANCE: For the fee of $35 per person you may insure a full refund on your trip. You will receive a full refund.

Download the cruise itinerary here.

2021 Prices

Age Group Price
Adult (single)$475.00 / person
Adult (double)$400.00 / person
Adult (triple)$360.00 / person
Adult (quad)$330.00 / person
Child (4–15)$200.00 / person
Trip Insurance$40.00 / person

2022 Prices

Age Group Price
Adult (single)$495.00 / person
Adult (double)$420.00 / person
Adult (triple)$380.00 / person
Adult (quad)$350.00 / person
Child (4–15)$200.00 / person
Trip Insurance$40.00 / person

Prices are all-inclusive!

Prices are subject to change.

2022 Dates

Dates Notes Times Tickets
Jun 6-7, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM
Jun 13-14, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM
Jul 18-19, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM
Aug 8-9, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM
Sep 27-28, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM
Sep 28, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM
Oct 10-11, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM
Oct 13-14, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM
Oct 17-18, 2022Available Boards: 8:30 AM
Cruises: 9:15 AM

Dates and times are subject to change.

Included (2-day, 1-night)

Additional Options

Driving in from out of town? Try one of these hotels for your night before the trip starts (reservations and fees not included in trip price)! Each is located within 5 blocks of the Spirit of Peoria and offers complimentary shuttle services.