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Mississippi River - Frequently Asked Questions

Presented below are frequently asked questions about houseboat rentals and houseboating on Mississippi River. If you need additional assistance, please contact us toll-free at 888-454-8825 or click here to submit a request for more guidance. Our friendly and knowledgeable Houseboat Rental Agents are always happy to help.

Houseboating seasonis typically from mid-May through October. Summer (between Memorial Day and Labor Day) is the most popular and is the busiest season. View a month-by-month list of temperatures here: Average Temperatures.

The maximum capacity on any houseboat is the amount it sleeps. This is a regulation set by the Coast Guard.

To rent from Alma marina, the renter must be at least 25 years of age with a valid drivers’ license.

Pets must be approved by the marina on a case by case basis. IF approved, a $100 non-refundable pet fee per pet is required.

Pets are NOT allowed on the Delite Houseboat

There is no special licensing or prior experience required to operate these houseboat rentals; just a valid drivers' license. The marina staff will go over operations and regulations in an orientation upon your arrival.

The cost of a houseboat vacation is based on a few variables: what time of year you plan to visit, what size of houseboat, how long of a trip, etc. See our Pricing Page for more details

Generally, people reserve about 6 months in advance. But it's always a good idea to make a reservation as soon as you're ready, especially if you have specific dates in mind or if you're planning a trip over a holiday weekend or on a special promotion.

Give us a call at 888-454-8825. Our reservation agents are happy to check availability or confirm your vacation.

Alternatively, you may Contact Us Online with your availability request, and one of our agents will get back to you with the information you need.

To reserve:

  • A deposit of $500-1300 (varying by houseboat model and length of stay) is due at booking by credit card over the phone. This amount is above your total and is refundable at the end of your trip.
  • The full rental amount is due 30 days prior to your arrival. Must be paid by Personal Check, Money Order or Cashier’s Check only.


  • More than 46 days notice: with written notice deposit is refunded less a 25% service charge
  • 45-30 days notice: forfeit deposit
  • Less than 30 days notice: forfeit full rental

Basics such as cookware and serve-ware (pots, plans, plates, glasses, utensils, etc.) come equipped on the houseboat. You are responsible for bringing all of your food, beverages, and spices down to salt and pepper.

Fuel is not included in the houseboat rental. Like a rental car, you'll pick up the houseboat full and you'll be responsible for the final refueling at the end of your trip to pay for what you've used.

Typically, we recommend that you budget about $100 per day for fuel. Of course, it may be more or less based on how much you drive the houseboat each day and how much you run the generator.

Linens are included on all houseboat rentals. This includes:

  • a fitted sheet
  • top sheet
  • blanket
  • pillow and case

*Bath towels are not provided. You will need to supply your own.

You may pick up the houseboat between 9-11am (scheduled prior to your arrival with the marina.) The houseboat is due back at the marina by 3pm on your final day.

Alma Marina operates on a set schedule:

  • 3 day (2 night) Midweek: Tuesday - Thursday
  • 4 day (3 night) weekend: Thursday - Monday
  • 7 day (6 night) week: Monday-Sunday or Tuesday - Monday

Please contact the marina if you are to arrive later than 5pm.

For an additional cost, Early Boarding the evening prior to your trip may be an option based on availability. Give us a call at 888-454-8825 for details.

No, the houseboats must be picked up and returned at Alma Marina.

The Mississippi River spans from northern Minnesota southwards for 2320 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. The Alma Marina is located about 55 miles northeast of La Crosse, WI. See our Map & Directions page to view a map and directions to the Mississippi River area.

Alma Marina
125 Beach Harbor Rd, Alma WI 54610

*The above address is for driving directions only. Do not mail payments to this address

The nearest grocery stores will be in the town of Alma, WI, about 7 miles away from the marina.

The marina has a marina store stocked with limited convenience items and ice.

See the following article for more information on where to go and what to do along the river:

Top Things to do on the Mississippi River

Yes! There is fishing on the Mississippi River!

There are a variety of fish found in these waters including: Walleye, Perch, Sunfish, Crappie, and Bass.

A Wisconsin state fishing license is required and will allow you to fish anywhere on the Mississippi River. Be sure to purchase a license online ahead of time.

Seasickness is very uncommon as houseboats are wider and more stable than smaller boats. However, if you get sick easily we recommend that you take necessary precautions.