Captain Robert C. Vavra, Maiden Voyage Tours – A Driftless Icon

Captain Robert C. Vavra, Maiden Voyage Tours – A Driftless Icon

I grew up along the Mississippi River in Iowa. 

After high school I worked on the river commercial fishing, clamming and trapping as a way of life.

Unfortunately, the day of the hunter-gatherer on the River came to an end. Families that had made their living on the River for generations were forced to give it up. 

I  followed suit and opened a restaurant in Harpers Ferry, IA.  My wife, Deb and I eventually sold the restaurant and purchased a small campground but I still had a dream of making a living on the River,  so I went to school to become a certified captain. 

Upon receiving my Master’s License I bought a tour boat in Norfolk, Virginia and had it transported back to the Mississippi River.  

As a family we are involved in a number of interesting activities.  I’m an 18 year veteran of Harpers Fire Dept.  Deb is a long time board member of our Library and also works full time at Cabela’s Sporting Goods in Prairie du Chien.  Our son Cody completed his Associates Degree, holds a Linesman certificate, is an avid outdoorsman, and an Eagle Scout.

Words From Captain Vavra

“I would not live in Iowa if it wasn’t for the drift less area.

The river reaches out and picks the ones she wants. It’s not the other way around.

Some people spend their whole life near the river and never make a connection. Others spend a brief period and never leave.

My wife and I have been blessed to make the connections with the river people.

We have worked along the banks of the Mississippi river for approx. 30 yrs. 

For the last 14yrs we have owned and operated one of the last small tour boats on the Mississippi river working out of Marquette Iowa. 

As a young man I spent time on the river commercial fishing, commercial clamming commercial turtle trapping and trapping as a way of life.

Years ago thousands made their living along the banks of the Mississippi River. On our tours, we follow in their footsteps. It is a story that needs to be told.

Today …  just a handful remain.”

Maiden Voyage Tours Offered

Group Tours
Create your own River Boat Tour. The 49 Passenger Maiden Voyage has provided tours for school groups, nursing homes, family reunions, weddings and more.

Tom Sawyer Adventure
Great for family and group tours. Ride the Mississippi river waves back into time.  Experience the Mississippi backwaters, wildlife, and way of life that Tom and Huck lived.

Friday Night Music Cruise
Join us for a fun-filled Friday music cruise featuring local musicians playing their Mississippi River Folklore. A favorite for many repeat friends and customers.

Bird Eco Tours
Bird Eco River Boat Tours are like non-other. View eagles and other birds in their natural habitat. Migrating birds on traveling the Mississippi River frequent this part of the Mississippi River. Spectacular!

Mississippi River & Music Cruise Tours
Call: 563.586.2123

Visit Website HERE