Get Ready to Sail Away on Your Next Vacation
Many people dream of going on a fun, relaxing river cruise, and now you can do that while exploring the United States! American river cruises are rising in popularity, and there are plenty of options depending on where you want to explore.
Most river cruises don’t cater to children, so these cruises are mainly for older couples. However, more river cruise companies are creating family-friendly packages to entice more families, so make sure to do your research before booking.
In this article, we will discuss the three best American river cruises that are currently being offered. Some river cruises offer historic routes with wine tasting and local cuisine, so there’s something for everyone.
1. Lower Mississippi River Cruise
The Lower Mississippi River Cruise offered by American Cruise Lines creates a unique experience from Memphis, Louisiana, Tennessee, and New Orleans. The cruise personnel creates a vibrant experience that ties into the cultural heritage of the regions, and the diverse menu offered onboard takes inspiration from the local places that you will visit.
The cruise is an eight-day journey that starts in Memphis, TN, and ends in New Orleans, LA. During the duration of the cruise you will visit places like Vicksburg, MS, St. Francisville, LA, and Houmas House, LA.
Bookings for this cruise start at $4,500 for a single-bed stateroom for the solo traveler. The Grand Suite is the most luxurious accommodation, and the price starts at $9,800.
The entertainment changes each day as you visit different locations. While in Memphis, you will visit the Sun Studio, National Civil Rights Museum and many more. The stop in Natchez, MS, offers a Candlelight Ghost Tour, a visit to the Historic Natchez Cemetery and exploring the Historic Longwood district where the Civil War began.
Best Time to Book
The best time for the Lower Mississippi River Cruise is during the fall (September, October or November) or in the spring (March, April or May). The fall and spring are the best time as it skips the heat and humidity of the region.
2. Columbia and Snake Rivers Cruise
Journey across the route that the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark pioneered through Columbia and Snake Rivers. Immerse yourself in the historic route into the west with the Columbia and Snake River Cruise offered by American Cruise Lines. Visit the native people in Pendelton while also enjoying guided tours in the underground tunnels. Enjoy the local cuisine and wines from the local vineyards while enjoying the views of the river.
The Columbia and Snake River Cruise is an eight-day cruise that begins in Hayden Island, OR, and ends in Clarkston, WA. During the cruise, you will visit Astoria, OR, by the Pacific Ocean, then journey up the Dalles/Hood River.
The Pricing begins at around $5,000 for the single-bed Stateroom, a private balcony cabin that is perfect for the solo traveler. The Owner’s Suite starts at about $9,000, and this is the finest accommodation that is offered on this tour.
Each stop in the journey offers unique experiences for you to enjoy. While visiting Kalama, WA, you can enjoy the Matranga Winery, established almost 100 years ago with wines from Sicily, Italy. While cruising the renowned Snake River, you can view the beautiful wildlife that roams the shoreline, such as otters, pronghorns, coyotes and marmots. The bird life is also spectacular, with birds like ospreys and eagles flying around.
Best Time to Book
The best time to cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers is during the spring and fall seasons, as the weather is temperate. Wine lovers will enjoy spring as the grapes are budding in the vineyards.
3. San Francisco Bay Cruise
Immerse yourself in the rich history of the San Francisco area with the San Francisco Bay Cruise. Learn about the mid-1800s gold rush, and regional history from then all the way up to the beginning of Silicon Valley. Travel to Napa Valley, try the local wines and visit the infamous Alcatraz Island. While on the cruise, you will learn about the region's rich culture and deep history.
The cruise starts in the San Francisco Area and travels to Stockton, CA, then to Sacramento, CA, and finally back to San Francisco. There is also a stop in Napa, CA, on the way to San Francisco.
Pricing starts around $5,000 for the Single Stateroom deal, which is perfect for solo travelers. The Grand suite offers your own living quarters where you eat, with separate rooms adjoined; it’s perfect for families and groups of friends. The Grand Suite starts at around $11,500.
Visit Sacramento and learn about the gold rush from the Gold Rush & California State Railroad Museum. Taste the wines from Napa Valley and learn the wine-making process. Visit the San Francisco city while crossing the famous Golden Gate Bridge.
Best Time to Book
The best time to visit is between the months of May to October, when the weather is perfect.