Showboat Branson Belle: Why Your Family Will Love It

Showboat Branson Belle Dinner Cruise

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Last Updated on January 13, 2023 by Lori

The Showboat Branson Belle is a 700-seat dinner show and cruise aboard an authentic replica of an 1880s Paddlewheeler. The Branson Belle cruises on Table Rock Lake, where guests enjoy a three-course meal, variety show, and live band.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Branson, The Showboat Branson Belle is fun for all ages and one Branson activity your family will be sure to enjoy!

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Branson Showboat Dinner Cruise

Showboat Branson Belle Paddlewheeler
Showboat Branson Belle Dinner Cruise, Branson, Mo. Photo by L. Andrews

We have vacationed many times in Branson through the years, but we had never been on the Branson Belle.

Here’s a list of the Best Things To Do In Branson That All Ages Will Love

This time, however, I was determined to fit it into our schedule! One of the first things I checked into was getting tickets for our planned November trip to Branson.

We had driven to and over Table Rock Dam and thought this would be a great way to see Table Rock Lake and view the Ozark Mountains too.

We were in luck because Branson Belle’s Christmas Show is known as America’s Most Entertaining Christmas Cruise!

After experiencing the dinner show cruise – we certainly agree!

The Showboat Branson Belle’s Christmas Dinner Show was one of the best shows we’ve seen in Branson.

History of The Showboat Branson Belle

The Branson Belle Showboat is part of the Silver Dollar City Attractions. Known as the Queen of the Ozarks, she is themed after the majestic showboat from the 1800s

Dinner Showboat In Branson Missouri
Branson Belle Dinner Showboat is 4 stories high and the length of a football field. Photo by L. Andrews

To give you some perspective of its size, the Branson Showboat is four stories high and is nearly the length of a football field!

We had so much fun exploring the wrap-around decks during the intermission and watching the paddles turn. Although it was November, the views from the boat were spectacular.

Views of Branson MO from the Branson Belle
Views while on board the Showboat Branson Belle. Photo by L. Andrews

Fun Fact: The Showboat Branson Belle was launched on August 13, 1994, from the lakeside shipyard using two tons of bananas as a lubricant. It took nine seconds to slide her into the water!

Showboat Branson Belle Tickets

There are two types of tickets to purchase for the dinner cruise: General Seating and Captain’s Club.

Branson Belle General Seating and Stage area
Branson Belle’s General Banquet-Style Seating and Stage. Photo by L. Andrews

General Seating includes banquet-style seating and a standard three-course meal.

Captain’s Club Seating includes priority boarding one hour before cruise time and a selection from the Captain’s Premium menu.

There is quite a bit of difference between the two ticket prices:

General Seating Tickets start at $63 per person for Adults (ages 12+) / $36 per person for Kids (ages 4-11) plus tax. Ages 3 and under are free.

Captain’s Club Tickets start at $93 per person for Adults (ages 12+) / $56 per person for Kids (ages 4-11) plus tax. Ages 3 and under are free.

We decided to purchase the Captain’s Club tickets for our family to get priority boarding for my elderly father, who has trouble walking distances so he would not have to stand in the long general boarding line.

Was it worth the extra cost? What did we get for being Captain’s Club ticket holders?

That’s a great question!

Here’s our experience on the Branson Belle so you can decide which ticket to purchase for your family!

Arrival And Boarding The Showboat Branson Belle

Entrance To The Branson Belle Showboat
Entrance To The Showboat Branson Belle – Branson, MO. Photo by L. Andrews

Being from New York, one of the first things we think about is parking. As we turned into White River Landing where the Branson Belle is docked, we were happy to see that there is ample parking for the Showboat!

Our cruise was at 3:00 p.m. so we arrived around 1:45. Boarding is one hour before the cruise.

Entrance to walkway for Showboat Branson Belle
White River Landing is where the Branson Belle is docked. Photo by L. Andrews

Since it was during Thanksgiving, the entire walkway and dock area were decorated for Christmas! One of the first things you should do is stop to take a photo with the Polar Bears!

photo by the polar bears at Branson Belle
My Mom & Dad take a Photo by the Polar Bears at Showboat Branson Belle. Photo by L. Andrews

It was quite a long walk to the dock and boarding area, but there were plenty of benches along the way to sit and rest.

All I could think about, however, was that the walk TO the dock area was all downhill, which meant that coming back up to the parking lot would be much more difficult for my father.

In hindsight, I should have requested a wheelchair – especially for the walk back – but we made it both ways!

While you wait to board, White River Landing has two specialty shops with souvenirs and elegant ladies’ apparel, jewelry, and accessories. Plus, singers from the dinner show entertained us while we waited.

Mad Seated in Waiting Area for Showboat Branson Belle
My dad in the dock area for Showboat Branson Belle. Photo by L. Andrews

There is plenty of seating in the dock area, and we were thankful that my dad could just sit and relax until the Captain’s Club Ticket holders were called to board.

We only had to wait a few minutes before it was our turn to board the Branson Belle.

When you reach the paddleboat, they will take a commemorative photo of your group. During intermission, they will come to your seat to see if you want to purchase the photo.

Dinner On The Showboat Branson Belle

After being directed to our Premium Seats, our server came to take our order. The Captain’s Club menu has a very nice selection of menu and dessert options.

Captain’s Club Adult Menu

All entrees are served with a Wedge Salad topped with Bleu Cheese dressing and Hot Rolls with Butter.

Entree – select one of the following:

  • 21-Day Dry Aged Signature Angus Ribeye – topped with house-made roasted garlic shallot butter. Served with parmesan baby baker potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables.
  • Breaded Chicken Breast in delicate butter sauce, served with wild rice and fresh seasonal vegetables.
  • Grilled Prime Bone-In Center-Cut Pork Chop served with parmesan baby baker potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables.
  • Pan Seared Trout Fillets – Lightly floured and topped with pecans and fresh-squeezed lemon. Served with Wild Rice and fresh seasonal vegetables.

Dessert Selections:

  • Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Lover’s Cake
  • Lemon Mousse Cake
  • Ooey Gooey Butter Cake topped with Raspberry Drizzle and powdered sugar

Beverage Selections:

  • Coca-Cola™ beverages
  • Iced Tea
  • Coffee

Captain’s Club Children’s Menu

All entrees are served with fresh green beans, a Wedge Salad topped with Bleu Cheese dressing, and Hot Rolls with Butter.

Entree – select one of the following:

  • Grilled Prime- Cut Pork Loin served with parmesan baby baker potatoes.
  • Chicken Tenders – served with Macaroni & Cheese.

Dessert Selections:

  • Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Lover’s Cake
  • Lemon Mousse Cake
  • Ooey Gooey Butter Cake topped with Raspberry Drizzle and Powdered Sugar

Beverage Selections:

  • Coco-Cola™ beverages
  • 2% Milk
  • Juice

We made our dinner and dessert selections and were served our salad before the general boarding ticket holders walked in.

Our premium elevated table seats were perfect. We had great views of the stage where the magician, singers, and dancers performed.

Captain's Club Premiums Seat Areas and General Seating on Showboat Branson Belle
Elevated Premium Seats for the Captain’s Club on the Branson Belle. Photo by M. Knight

General Observations About The Branson Belle Ticket Types

From our observations, there are several differences besides being called to board the Branson Belle first between the General Tickets and the Captain’s Club tickets.

One is the seating type.

General Seating tickets are banquet-style seating on the main floor level. Since our seats were elevated, I really can’t comment on whether there were any seats where their view was blocked by the guest in front of them or not.

Everyone in the general seating area was having just as good a time as we were in the premium seating area.

Plus, they were called on more often to come to the stage! So, if that’s something you LOVE to do, you might want to consider purchasing this type of ticket!

The main difference we saw was in the meals. The General Ticket holders did not have the selection of entrees, desserts, or beverages that we did.

Showboat Branson Belle General Seating Menu

Wedge Salad with Vidalia Onion dressing and fresh seasonal vegetables, hot rolls & butter

Adult Entree – select one

  • Rotisserie Chicken Thighs served with fresh green beans and garlic mashed potatoes
  • Pot Roast with demi-glace served with fresh green beans and garlic mashed potatoes

Dessert – Ooey Gooey Butter Cake topped with Raspberry DRizzle and Powdered Sugar

Beverage – Iced Tea & Coffee

General Seating Children’s Menu

  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Green Beans
  • Applesauce
  • Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
  • 2% Milk or Juice

As you can see, there are quite a few more choices for Captain’s Club ticket holders. There were five people in our party and we all chose the Signature Angus Ribeye.

Branson Belle's Captain's Club Rib Eye Dinner
Captain’s Club Ribeye Dinner on the Branson Belle. Photo by L. Andrews

It did not disappoint!

For dessert, I chose the Lemon Mousse cake. My dad had the Caramel Pecan Cheesecake and the others chose the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.

All were delicious!

Branson Belle Dinner Show

The Master of Ceremonies for the show is a magician. He is very entertaining and brings guests on stage for several of his magic tricks.

MC and Magician on the Branson Belle
Magician and MC on the Showboat Branson Belle. Photo by L. Andrews

We loved the singers and dancers who performed. All musicians were very talented and performed all genres to appeal to all ages in the audience.

They were accompanied by a 4-piece band who could play and sing as well. All of the performers were fantastic musicians and dancers and we enjoyed the show very much!

Topside On The Branson Belle

During intermission, we got up to go to the top level of the showboat to see the views.

There is an elevator to take you to the top, or you can use the stairs. Once on the fourth level, we walked around the paddleboat.

We were also fascinated by the paddlewheels doing their work!

Branson Belle's Paddlewheels
Paddlewheels on the Branson Belle. Photo by L. Andrews

After intermission, we were served coffee and dessert and enjoyed the second half of the show.

Soon, the two-hour dinner cruise was over and as we headed off the boat, we enjoyed the lights of Branson from the dock and the views of the beautiful Showboat Branson Belle.

Showboat Branson Belle At Night
Showboat Branson Belle Docked At Night. Photo by M. Knight.

As you can tell, we loved the Branson Belle cruise! You should definitely add it to your bucket list of Things To Do on your next vacation to Branson!

Looking to visit during the holiday season? Here are The Best Things To Do In Branson At Christmas.

Branson Belle Dock Area Decorated For Christmas
White River Landing Branson Belle Dock Area decorated for Christmas. Photo by L. Andrews

Showboat Branson Belle Information

Address: White River Landing, 4800 Historic Hwy 165, Branson, MO 65616
Show Times: Shows begin in March and run through December. Check the Showboat Branson Belle website for dates and times as it varies.
Dress Code: Dress is casual. You might want to bring along a jacket to wear outside on the deck or if you get cold in the AC.
How long is the cruise? The Showboat Branson bell is a 2-hour cruise. You need to arrive one hour before your cruise time.

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  1. I wanted to do this but I just can’t justify spending $235 for the two of us to go on this little “cruise”.
    Is it REALLY worth it?

    1. Hi Rebecca! While we loved the Branson Belle, of course you will need to make sure the cost fits into your family’s budget. There are so many things you can do in Branson that are just as fun! I hope you have an awesome trip to Branson!

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