Best River Cruises in the US for your Next Voyage

Have you been on a river cruise – in America? Or anywhere else?? Unlike cruising on the open ocean, the journey on a river cruise is smooth and safe. Some of the popular river cruises around the world can be found in Europe on the Danube, Seine and Rhine rivers. The river cruises are also found in South East Asia on the Mekong and on the Ayeyarwady Rivers in Myanmar and the Chobe River in Africa. Did you know there are some amazing river cruises along the waterways right here in the U.S.?  No need for passports to enjoy all the culture, cuisine and explore the different ports of call in America. 

Best River Cruises in the US for your Next Voyage

Best River Cruises in the US for your Next Voyage

A river cruise can be anywhere from a week or longer in a small but well-appointed ship. Almost like a floating hotel, travelers onboard can enjoy live entertainment, fine dining and expert lectures while traveling through different cities and towns. The river cruises travel along the waterways and stop in small ports of call, sometimes even dock on the river’s edge where no dock exists. The cruises accommodate multigenerational travelers but the pace is more relaxed and easy-going.  

River Cruises in America

American river cruises have been growing in popularity in recent years. Some of the best river cruises in the US include the inside passage of Alaska, the Columbia & Snake Rivers, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, and the Hudson River.  With American Cruise Line you can voyage down the Mississippi River on a historic paddleboat, meandering alongside glaciers in Alaska in a modern cruise ship or head down the Hudson River to go leaf-peeping in Fall.  

Admire the Alaskan scenery when on a cruise with ACL
Admire the Alaskan scenery

The Riverboat Experience 

The land is never far out of sight when you are on a river cruise and the beautiful landscapes so close that you can almost touch them. Some of the ships carry fewer than 150 passengers which means you will get to know your fellow passengers before the end of the trip.  Shore excursions are included in the price in many of the river cruises. Onboard historians and naturalists put travelers in touch with the surroundings with daily lectures and are always available to answer questions. Another advantage is that these smaller ships can reach places and ports that mega-ships can’t, resulting in an up-close exploration of the small towns and unique cities that define America. 

Historic paddleboats from American River Cruise Line fleet
Historic paddleboats from American River Cruise Line fleet

Small Ship Size but Spacious Staterooms

While the river cruise ships may be small in size they boast big spacious staterooms, some even have a wraparound balcony. And the vessels have all the comforts of the most modern mega cruise ships.

Modern cruise ships from American River Cruise Line fleet
Modern cruise ships from American River Cruise Line fleet

American Cruise Lines’ newest addition to its modern riverboat series – American Jazz has contemporary styling and modern amenities that make river cruising more comfortable than ever before. It has a gorgeous five-story glass atrium, private balconies in all of its spacious staterooms, and stunning views from everywhere on the ship. American Jazz will also feature the same advanced opening bow and retractable gangway seen on the sister ships American Song and American Harmony. Ranging anywhere from 250 to 800 square feet, the staterooms aboard American Jazz are the finest on any cruise ship. Guests will enjoy ample living space, full-size bathrooms, and it makes for an ideal place to unwind after a day of discovery. Some of the Grand Suites also include two glass walls and a wraparound private balcony and space to host small cocktail parties or private dinner events to celebrate special occasions.

American Cruise Lines Staterooms
Staterooms in American Cruise Lines

American Cruise Lines have the most eco-friendly fleet of small ships in the U.S. They have a variety of ships to choose from – modern riverboats, authentic paddle wheelers, and coastal cruise ships.

Personalized Service

American Cruise Lines has the best crew always ready to serve. The staff works diligently to incorporate your personal preferences to ensure a pleasant experience. They can accommodate any special dietary request you may have. They may even surprise you with stocking your stateroom with your favorite snack or beverage when you return to the ship after a day of exploring. The chefs onboard the cruise ships take great pride in offering a customized menu, featuring the finest cuisine. Each meal is crafted using locally sourced ingredients that support the small towns they visit on the cruise. 

The American River Cruise Line
The American River Cruise Line

3 Best American River Cruise Itineraries to add to your Travel List

Below are some sample itineraries worth considering for your next voyage.

Admire the Wonders of Alaska 

Cruise to Mendenhall Glacier, learn about the history of the Klondike Gold Rush in Skagway from a local guide, before heading to Haines for Nature and Wildlife Expedition on the 11 day Alaskan Explorer Cruise.  You can enjoy the most comprehensive Glacier Bay experience and admire the wonders of Alaska from your private balcony. There will be a park ranger on board the American Cruise Lines who will provide expert commentary while you enjoy exclusive access to this incredible biosphere. The scenic cruise starts and ends in Juneau, travels through Skagway, Glacier Bay, Petersburg, Ketchikan and Tracy Arm Fjord.  Bring your binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for an up-close look of the majestic glaciers and abundant wildlife. On my wishlist of River Cruises in America!

Whale watching in while on 11 day Alaskan Explorer Cruise with ACL
Go whale watching in Alaska

Go Leaf Peeping on the Hudson River

If you have been wanting to go leaf-peeping, check out the eight-day river cruise on the Hudson River.  With the Catskill Mountains on the western shore and the Taconic and Berkshire Hills to the east, the Hudson River is steeped in history and beauty. The towns along the river date back to Dutch and English rule and feature some of the most magnificent architecture in America. The cruise gives you a glimpse into the world of millionaire mansions like the Vanderbilt Mansion, the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and art centers. You can tour the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The itinerary begins and ends in New York so plan for a couple of days exploring the Big Apple.

Go leaf-peeping on the Hudson River cruise with ACL
Go leaf-peeping on the Hudson River cruise

Listen to Jazz, Blues & Rock-n-Roll on a Music Cities Cruise on the Mississippi River Cruise

Go on a musical journey starting at Memphis, the birthplace of blues on an eight-day voyage on the iconic Mississippi River to Nashville, Tennessee.  There are several Mississippi river cruises to choose from on the American Cruise Lines starting from New Orleans, St. Louis, or St. Paul, Minnesota. There is even a Complete Mississippi cruise that takes you through ten states on a 22-day Hometown American cruise. You can admire the landscapes of the Upper Mississippi and the grand plantations, stately antebellum houses, and Civil War battlefields of the Lower Mississippi.  You can taste Cajun and Creole and Memphis BBQ as you travel to the birthplace of Jazz, Blues, and Rock–n-Roll. These are the most popular American River Cruise routes.

Read this article to see why Cruises are Perfect for Multigenerational Travel.

Listen to Jazz on the many Mississippi River Cruises with ACL (The American River Cruise Line)
Listen to Jazz on the many Mississippi River Cruises

Having only been on a day cruise on the backwaters of Kerala a few years ago, I can’t wait to go on a river cruise soon.  How about you? Which American River Cruise itinerary is on your travel wishlist?

Get your free brochure here and plan your next river cruise right here in the US!

This post was sponsored by The American River Cruise Line. But as always all opinions are my own.

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