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Cruises to Red Wing

Red Wing (Photo:Joe Ferrer/Shutterstock)

About Red Wing

Officially established in 1857, Red Wing -- a stop on many Upper Mississippi cruise itineraries -- is named after a succession of chiefs of the local Native American tribe, all called Red Wing by the white settlers. (The first chief with that name was Hupahuduta or "A Swan's Wing Dyed in Red.") The Minnesota city rose to prominence in the mid-19th century as the largest primary wheat market in the world; later its economy was driven by the pottery industry.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Red Wing on its distinctive destinations list in 2008, specifically for its "impressive architecture and enviable natural environment."

Visitors to Red Wing can tour museums dedicated to two of the city's most famous exports: Red Wing Shoes and Red Wing pottery. Pottery manufacturing in Red Wing dates back to 1877, when the Red Wing Stoneware Company was founded; it operated until 1967. The shoe company got its start in 1905, and the shoes are still sold today.

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  • More about Red Wing

    Why go to Red Wing?

    Pros: Red Wing boasts several museums honoring its history as well as its contribution to American culture.

    Cons: Red Wing is a small city, so don't expect to find all the trappings of larger American destinations.

    Bottom Line: This city is quaint, charming and full of unique and interesting sights to explore.

    Currency & Best Way to Get Money

    The United States dollar is the only currency accepted in Red Wing; credit cards are also widely accepted.


    As with all U.S. cities, English is the language spoken.

    --By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor

    Red Wing Cruise Reviews

    Sail Date: Sep 2018
    The pottery museum was very interesting...Read More
    American Queen
    Sail Date: Jul 2018
    Tour of the Twin Cities and Airport Drop-off. Nice to see the Twin Cities for the first time with an excellent guide....Read More
    Queen of the Mississippi
    Sail Date: Aug 2018
    Again, interseting excursion, historic St. James hotel, good shopping....Read More
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