Spirit of Peoria Paddleboat Vessel in Peoria

Paddle Boat
160 ft
487 Guests

About This Paddle Boat

Day trip cruise on this160'  Paddle Boat for $130 per day in Peoria, Illinois.

The Spirit of Peoria was designed by architect Alan Bates, and built in 1988 at the Walker Boat Yard in Paducah, Kentucky, making it the first paddleboat vessel to ever be built there. The propulsion system was designed by Norm Rittenhouse, with steering by Custom Hydraulics.

The Spirit has no props or thrusters, and is powered by twin Caterpillar 3412 diesel gensets, producing 700 kilowatts combined in 208 volt 3-phase voltage. The power is rectified using railroad-style rectifiers, probably from a GM GP38. The DC voltage goes to two traction engines, also from a GM locomotive, which drive the paddlewheel via two forty-foot-long by one-foot-wide chains. This allows the boat to be comparatively fast and efficient, burning approximately 15 gallons (57L) of diesel fuel an hour, with a top speed of over 15 mph (24 km/h).

Its shallow draft of 4' enables the Spirit to land in just about any river town. Boarding is by 30' long boarding stages

The boat is owned and captained by G. Alex Grieves, and co-captained by Harold Breitenbach. It routinely travels up and down the Illinois River and Mississippi River.


Our single-day cruises are essentially abbreviated versions of our multiple-day trips, just without the overnight lodging. Enjoy a whole day of fun and relaxation on the Mississippi River or Illinois River.

Entertainment includes live singing, guitar, banjo, and ragtime piano, storytelling, historical information at various spots, wilflife sightings, and more. Enjoy the slower pace of life on this unique paddleboat!

Day trips depart from different locations based on cruise schedule.

Trips Include:

  • All inclusive ticket pricing
  • Sumptuous all-you-can-eat meals
  • Professional Riverlore/ Storytelling
  • Old-fashioned hospitality
  • Unlimited complimentary drinnks
  • Historical information
  • Wildlife sightings
  • Indoor comfort
  • Outdoor relaxation
  • Live entertainment
  • Old-time banjo
  • Ragtime piano
  • Round-trip transportation


  • Type: Paddle Boat
  • Capacity: 487 People
  • Year: 1988
  • Rental Minimum: 1 hour
  • Length: 160 ft
  • Cancellation: Full Refund 5 Days Prior

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Member Since Dec 2014

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