Ohio River Cruise Highlights

An Ohio River Cruise is a fantastic way to see the Ohio River and the attractions along the way. Ohio cruise holidays are extremely popular for visitors to Ohio because as they offer a chance to see the river via a wide variety of cruises. It is approximately 981 miles or 1,579 kilometers long and is located in the part of the Eastern United States. The river was significant in the history of the Native Americans, when numerous communities formed along its valley. During the settlement by European immigrants, the river served as a border between what is now known as Kentucky and the Indian Territories. It was also a key transportation route during the western expansion of the early United States.

There are a variety of cruises along the Ohio River to choose from. There are several short day cruises which last about an hour and a half that disembark from Cincinnati which offer meal packages and local sightseeing. There are also longer multi-day cruises that take visitors to port cities along Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Holiday, specialty cruises, and chartering a private river boat are other options that are available especially during the summer months. The Gallipolis, Ironton and Portsmouth are ports that can be found along the Ohio River.


Gallipolis is in Gallia County in Southeast Ohio. It was settled in 1790 by French aristocrats known as the "French Five Hundred", who escaped the guillotine in post-Bastille Day, pre-revolutionary France. Gallipolis is the home to Bob Evans, founder of Bob Evans Restaurants and the Bob Evans Farm, located in nearby Rio Grande. The farm is now a tourist attraction which offers tours, and hosts the annual Bob Evans Farm Festival in October that draws thousands of visitors. 


Ironton is a city in Lawrence County located in southern Ohio. The city was founded in 1849 and built in the heart of the Hanging Rock Region, which was once the largest center of pig iron in the world. It was also a terminal on the Iron Railroad as well as a busy shipping port along the Ohio River. The Iron Railway which began in 1849 hauled mineral products from the fields of Lawrence County to Ironton. In 1902, the Detroit Southern Railway acquired the Iron Railway. With the growing success of the iron industry, many of its residents acquired great wealth. This affluence is reflected in many of Ironton's homes and churches, which are attractive, historical reminders of Victorian era lifestyle. Ironton is also known for hosting several festivals and parades, and it boasts having the longest running Memorial Day Parade in the country.


Portsmouth is a city in Scioto County in Southern Ohio. Portsmouth's history dates to the 1790s when the town of Alexandria was founded west of where Portsmouth is located today. Alexandria had been flooded numerous times because of the Ohio and Scioto Rivers. In 1803, Henry Massie founded Portsmouth on land he spotted nearby in 1803, and it was later established as a city in 1815. The town of Alexandria soon disappeared. There is plenty of antique and specialty shopping in the Historic Boneyfiddle District and historic homes to tour such as the 1810 House and the Philip Moore Junior Stone House.

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