By Joel Vance
The modern, diesel-fueled riverboat is safer than the ticking time bombs of yesteryear that could explode.
However, a faint tinge of fumes replaces the sweet smell of wood smoke. Captain and owner Steve Terry has logged more than thirty-six years as a licensed pilot on major Midwestern rivers. He is armed with detailed navigation charts and all the tools of modern riverboating on the Mississippi.
Spectacular sunsets over the river bluffs lure passengers outside to the three decks. You might see Steve glancing through the wheelhouse window as he makes a slight adjustment to the big steering wheel. Sometimes, he lets passengers steer the boat while he chats (and keeps a careful eye on the course).
The Mark Twain has been family-owned since 1997. Onboard the ship, the youngest daughter, Jenna, a local pageant winner, entertains as Princess Penny Cash, the prettiest pirate on the Mississippi. The family operates the riverboat and gift shop, a tuxedo-rental business, a custom photo-processing venture, and a catering business.
Hour-long sightseeing cruises start at 1:30 PM in May and 11 AM, 1:30 PM, and 4 PM daily from
Memorial Day to Labor Day before the 6:30 PM two-hour dinner cruise. Except when floods make the riverboat inaccessible, the Mark Twain cruises daily from May through October and sometimes into November.