Travel Tips and Ideas

American Riverboat Cruises

by Haley Dobrowski | Jul 06, 2022
riverboat cruise

As travel returns, more and more people are itching for a vacation or weekend getaway. What they don’t realize is how much there is to see in our very own backyard. If you’re looking for a unique way to travel through the United States, then look no further - riding on an American river boat cruise might be just what you’re looking for! River boat cruises are growing in popularity. You get the similar effect of an ocean cruise, but a much more immersive and unique experience. On a river boat cruise, you can explore the American waterways and coastlines while discovering the natural, cultural, and historical attractions along the way. Let’s dive into the destinations, activities, and riverboats that are offered across the United States.

Snake and Columbia Rivers

The Pacific Northwest is pioneer country. It is home to the Snake and Columbia Rivers where you’ll be mesmerized by extraordinarily diverse landscapes ranging from forested mountains to desolate desert canyons. A river boat cruise through the Snake and Columbia Rivers is a unique historical experience. You can retrace Lewis and Clark’s legendary route and learn all about the history, culture, and nature of the Pacific Northwest. The cruise will take you through the amazing Columbia River Gorge and past the ice-cold Multnomah Falls, the second tallest waterfall in the U.S. This river cruise season, American Cruise Lines will have multiple riverboats operating to explore the Columbia and Snake Rivers between Portland, Oregon and Clarkston, Washington.

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the second longest river in North America. Because of its length, a Mississippi River cruise is usually divided into Upper and Lower Mississippi, each taking about a week to cruise, or you can combine all parts for a full three-week cruise. Two popular cruise lines travel the Mississippi on a regular basis. American Cruise Lines and the American Queen Voyages operate their paddle-wheeler boats up and down the Mississippi River. A river cruise on the Mississippi River is crammed with history about Civil War battlefields, legends like Mark Twain and culturally rich food and music. 

The Upper Mississippi cruise travels Missouri, Minnesota, and Iowa. If you want to follow the footsteps of two of Mark Twain’s legendary characters, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, then this itinerary is ideal for you. Not only is there so much history to experience as you travel through each state, but you can also enjoy regionally inspired dishes. The Lower Mississippi river cruises operate through New Orleans, Memphis, and St. Louis where you can get a taste of mouthwatering Creole and Cajun dishes while listening to plenty of jazz, rock, and blues.

Hudson River

Riverboat cruising the Hudson River is best enjoyed during the fall season when the trees are colorful and vibrant. A cruise on the Hudson travels from NYC to upstate New York into the Catskill Mountains. Along the way you can spot various millionaire mansions like the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, stop in Sleepy Hollow and West Point for a tour, and wallow in the amazing fall colors of the maple and birch trees.

A unique feature about some river boat cruises is the theme. Many cruises down the Hudson River are not regular cruises but are special sailing adventures devoted to food and wine, various music genres and artists, holidays, and even 70’s or 80’s themed cruises. This German-inspired river cruise takes you aboard “Oktoberfest”. It is an Oktoberfest-themed experience that includes fantastic German cuisines, Oktoberfest beers, and traditional German polka music. A river boat cruise is the perfect way relax and indulge in the delicious foods and beverages offered, all while taking in the beautiful fall foliage on the Hudson River.

St. Johns River

The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida and home to all kinds of wildlife. A riverboat cruise down St. Johns River is a unique, immersive experience to help you engage with nature and the enchanting waterway. Tour state parks, listen to nature experts, and learn about the wildlife that inhabit the area. This cruise is perfect for nature, bird, and wildlife enthusiast to admire the animals, marshes, river basins, and forests along the Florida waters. The St. Johns River is known as a black water river because of the overhanging forest leaves that drop into the water, decompose, and turn the water a dark tea color. Along the route, you’ll stop in various historic towns and at landmarks, such as Astor and St. Augustine, see incredible wildlife, such as bald eagles, alligators, and manatees, and engage in the natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and history of Florida.

Set Sail

A riverboat cruise through the American river waterways provides real insight into the history and culture of local American towns and natural parks. Board one of the many cruise ships around the U.S., unpack, and relax in true comfort as you sail smoothly from one destination to the next. With every new port, comes new scenery to take in and explore. There are so many unique ways to explore the United States. Whether it’s on a riverboat cruise down the Mississippi, a hiking excursion in Washington, or a bed and breakfast escape in New England, be sure to pack travel protection everywhere you go. Don’t let unexpected mishaps ruin your vacation, visit our website, or talk to your travel advisor to learn how you can protect your next adventure. Happy cruising!





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