Cruising Branson’s Lakes

Showboat Branson Belle on Table Rock Lake.

Branson is blessed with so many shows, attractions, and other activities it is sometimes hard to choose what to do from the bewildering number of choices available. However, for those who might want to slow down, relax, and have a unique entertainment experience, a cruise on one of Branson’s two major lakes, Table Rock Lake or Lake Taneycomo might just fill the bill…

The two lakes are very different lakes with Table Rock being the largest and deepest with over 43 thousand surface acres, and 800 miles of shoreline. It is Branson’s main lake for swimming, recreational boating, fishing, and water sports.

Table Rock Lake is also home to Branson’s largest cruise boat, the Showboat Branson Belle. The 278 foot long Branson Belle is a replica of the old time stern wheel river boats and is actually propelled through the water by her two huge 24 foot paddle wheels. On the typical day she leaves from her dock at the “White River Landing, located just south of Table Rock Dam on State Highways 165/265, three times a day for a lunch cruise at noon and dinner cruises at 4 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

A cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle is more than just a cruise. It is about two hours of beautiful Table Rock Lake scenery, great food and quality entertainment. Paul Miller, General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center, advises advance reservations, particularly during weekends, holidays and in the fall because of the popularity of the Show Boat Branson Belle. He also points out that the 4:00 p.m. dinner cruise returns in plenty of time for those wanting to attend an 8:00 p.m. Branson show to do so.

Branson’s Lake Taneycomo is a long narrow 22 mile long impoundment of the White River that flows right past downtown Branson and Branson Landing. Branson Landing serves as the “home port” for Branson Landing Cruises’ 100 foot long luxury yacht “Branson Landing Princess” and the river boat replica, “Lake Queen.”

Although there is narration on sightseeing cruises there is no formal show or entertainment included as part of the Branson Landing Cruises. Most cruises have food and beverage service, ranging from snacks, breakfast, lunch, pizza, or full dinner service, depending on the particular cruise. Cruises aboard either the Branson Landing Princess or the Lake Queen should provide an excellent view of the Branson Landing water front, majestic Ozark bluffs, the beauty of the Ozarks along with an excellent chance to observe various species of ducks, Canada Geese, Grey Herons, Black or Turkey Vultures (buzzards), an occasional Bald Eagle and other birds along with other area wildlife.

Branson Tourism Center’s Miller again suggests advance reservations for these cruises to insure availability. He also said, particularly with the evening cruises, that there is an excellent chance of seeing the Branson Landing Fire and Light Show from a unique water side perspective.

Further information on these cruises is available individually through their respective web sites or or collectively by contacting Branson Tourism Center by phone at 1-800 785-1550 or through its website