Best Dinner Cruises For A Different Take On A Night Out

With the Land of 10,000 Lakes just outside our doorstep, more and more people are venturing out on the water for a romantic getaway without having to travel far at all. Dinner cruises here
in the Twin Cities are a fun and unique way to spend an evening with your significant other.

Cruises are spread out throughout the state and reach as far up as Duluth. In the metro, several cruise lines offer us city folk an oasis from the hustle and bustle without making us drive hours away. This is a list of the best dinner cruises in the Twin Cities and surrounding area.

paradise destiny ii Best Dinner Cruises For A Different Take On A Night Out

(credit: Paradise Charter Cruises via Facebook)

Paradise Charter Cruises

P.O. Box 563
Excelsior, MN 55331

For the past 25 years, Paradise Charter Cruises has been providing “Grand Class Service” to its guests who come to see the Mississippi River and Lake Minnetonka. A central hub for lavish weddings, corporate parties, dinner excursions, or just a night out the Paradise Charter Cruises aims to impress. The Paradise Destiny II, The Paradise Lady, The Minneapolis Queen and The Paradise Princess and The Paradise Grand cater to all types of events and offer the luxurious yacht atmosphere. Friday evening dinner cruises take passengers from the lock in upper St. Anthony, along the majestic skyline of Minneapolis, through the river and over to the 35W bridge. A Sunday Brunch cruise is also available as well as public and private sightseeing tours of the river and Lake Minnetonka. Experience luxury and class in any of the Paradise Charter Cruises boats at a reasonable price.

padelford riverboats Best Dinner Cruises For A Different Take On A Night Out

(credit: Padelford Riverboats via Facebook)

Padelford Riverboats

Padelford Packet Boat Co., Inc.
Harriet Island
St. Paul, MN 55107

Boasting a historic tour through St. Paul’s downtown through the Mississippi National Great River Park, the Padelford Riverboats take the passenger a step back in time to when flagship riverboats ruled the waters. Founded in 1969, the company has been taking passengers on their classic sternwheelers ever since. Floating with a five-vessel fleet, the Padelford Riverboats offer guest a truly unique look at the Twin Cities. On Tuesday and Friday evenings, the antique boats take passengers on a Sunset Dinner cruise up the mighty Mississippi River. The company also offers a Sunday Lunch cruse that showcases the Minnesota foliage as well as a Lock and Lunch cruise which features the famous locks on the river. The Padelford Riverboats cruise line is the perfect adventure for those seeking a nature driven experience. Take in all the beauty the Minnesota outdoors has with these one-of-a-kind antique sternwheelers.

jubilee ii Best Dinner Cruises For A Different Take On A Night Out

(credit: St. Croix Boat & Packet Co. via Facebook)

St. Croix Boat & Packet Co.

525 South Main Street
Stillwater, MN 55082
Directory Listing

A tributary of the Mississippi River, the St. Croix River is another popular destination for city slickers seeking a getaway into nature. The St. Croix Boat and Packet Company offers passengers the option to cruise along the beautiful river in a paddlewheel like it was the 1800s or in a more luxurious state of the art yacht. The company offers Luncheon Cruises Monday through Saturday as well as a Sunday Brunch cruise. But, it’s on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings that the romantic dinner cruises sail up the St. Croix. Live music, tantalizing carved meats, and elegant white linens set the tone for an enchanting evening. What better way to see Stillwater, Minn., than aboard these ships. Available for private and public tours, the St. Croix Boat & Packet Company is just outside the metro and is a lovely way to experience the beauty that is the St. Croix River.

excelsior bay charters Best Dinner Cruises For A Different Take On A Night Out

(credit: Excelsior Bay Charters via Facebook)

Excelsior Bay Charters

438 Union Place
Excelsior, MN 55331

Setting sail along the shores of Lake Minnetonka is the Excelsior Bay Charters. Floating through bays, inlets and along shores of some of the lake’s most spectacular homes and historic estates, the SummerWind and Linda Lee rule the water. Boasting the best food on the lake, the Excelsior Bay Charters gives guest a selection of New York steak and prime rib to bacon-wrapped scallops and pan-fried walleye. Not to mention an 80 plus bottle liquor bar. The boats operate Monday through Friday, evenings and weekends and sail for up to four hours. Perfect for weddings, surprise parties, romantic outings and more, the Excelsior Bay Charters prides itself on excellent service and providing the best to their passengers on every private cruise.

–Emily Buss is a music journalist from Minneapolis and author of On the Rechord blog. On the Rechord is a music site dedicated to the local music scene in the Twin Cities. Emily writes concert and album reviews, band and artist profiles, and provides information about local shows. A college graduate with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Journalism, Emily has been professionally writing for newspapers and online outlets for six years. You can find Emily at, on Facebook at On the Rechord and on Twitter @TheEmilyB.

  • Andrew

    Great article!!!

  • Jon

    Please don’t forget the beautiful yacht Lady Chatea, operated by Seanote Cruises on the St Croix River with excellent food as prepared by the chefs at the award-winning Lake Elmo Inn.

    • Jaimee Crawford

      I wish this one offered public cruises!

  • bml

    You left out Taylors Falls Scenic Riverboat Tours on the St. Croix River. They have leaf cruises with live music on the weekends through mid October. Fabulous chicken and prime rib. They also offer a variety of other meal cruises including picnics and mexican fiestas. They even partner with a local winery periodically to give dinner cruise riders a chance to try the wonderful Winehaven Wines with gourmet chocolates and cheeses. For those on a tigher schedule they offer daily scenic cruises of an hour and a half (no meal on those). Plus, the scenery is FAR better than most of the others mentioned on this list. Bald eagles are spotted on almost every trip. Well worth your time to head to Taylors Falls!

  • CJ

    Don’t forget
    Al & Alma’s Supper Club and Charter Cruises
    Lake Minnetonka Cruises

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