Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Are There Any River Cruises In The United States

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The river itself generally ranges between 10-20 feet deep. In the National Recreation segment of the river, conditions are usually calm – perfect for paddling. The average rate of water flow is 3 to 5 mph, although there are segments of the river where there are enough rapids for whitewater rafting.

Popular Shore Excursions In The Usa

We offer an array of shore excursions during U.S. cruises. Simply pick the one that matches your interests and what you most want to see and do, and then relax as we take care of the details and effortlessly take you there.

Whale Watching

Whales migrate along both coasts of the United States. Some of the best places to do whale watching are while in port in Lahaina, Maui, Bar Harbor, Maine Seattle, Washington and pretty much anywhere in Alaska as the majority of cruise ports there offer whale watching excursions.

City Tours

Dont miss out on seeing the glitz and glam of the USAs top cities. Explore Pier 39 in San Francisco, the historic Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego the Space Needle in Seattle, the Freedom Trail in Boston, and the Empire State Building in NYC. Thats just some of the sights to see in the USAs top cities!

Wine and Food

From wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma to lobster rolls in New England, there is no shortage of delicious tastes to discover in the United States. Food-related shore excursions are a great way to experience the tastes of a destination, whether its a salmon bake in Alaska or a Hawaiian luau you have in mind.

There Are Both A Captain And A Pilot Onboard Us River Boats

Technically, there are two captains onboard, as all pilots also have their captain’s licenses. But because you cannot have two captains in command of a ship, one captain is the master and the other the pilot. Both stand watch for alternating six-hour shifts. When the boat is in a situation where both are needed , the master will concentrate on boat operations, while the pilot is in charge of navigation. On big ocean ships, local pilots come aboard to help the Captain dock in specific ports, but river pilots often do not have intimate knowledge of specific stretches of water. This is particularly true because rivers change on an almost daily basis.

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Shipboard Shows Dining Excursions: What To Expect

To ensure social distancing, the open seating for dinner was scrapped. Instead, there were two seatings so there was plenty of space between guests. We were assigned to the same table each night better for contact tracing.

There also were two shows in the evenings to keep the size of the crowds down. At the end of each performance in the show lounge, we were asked to quickly depart so that the theater could be fogged with an antiviral mist before the next performance.

There was no self-service, whether it be at breakfast or lunch buffets or the Duchess popular Perks room, where there is coffee, juice, ice cream, popcorn and fresh-baked cookies. There were plenty of ways to indulge ones sweet tooth you just had to wait for someone to serve you.

As far as shore excursions, American Queen Steamboat Company has temporarily halted its hop-on, hop-off buses that allowed passengers to explore port towns on their own. As a replacement, we were taken on more conventional bus tours with a guide so that our groups could be more insulated.

Bierdz said COVID-19 protocols are constantly changing on the companys boats, so its best to check with the cruise line before departure to see what rules are currently in place when you sail.

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Cruise Home To America

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Theres something beautifully consistent about a river. A living embodiment of waters never ending journey through our ecosystems, rivers provide life in ways no other body of water can. Each stripe carving its way through the landscape has a story to tell about discovery and adventure. Hearing these stories is one thing, experiencing them firsthand is quite another.

River cruising in the United States often takes a backseat to the famous rivers of Europe, but Americans may not realize how close they are to a luxury river cruise vacation, no matter where they live. American Queen Steamboat Company is one such provider of American river cruises and the itineraries they curate are as diverse as the rivers on which they cruise.

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Why Choose A River Cruise With Scenic

Luxury is having a butler at your call, crisp white sheets, and your own private balcony to watch the sun rise and set in a different country. Luxury is having chef-prepared meals and top shelf beverages*. Luxury is all-inclusive tours, events, experiences and having someone else arrange it all for you, to pick and choose as you please.

And luxury certainly is not having to reach for your wallet for any of it. Welcome to the Scenic experience, where truly all-inclusive means exactly that. This is the essence of the Scenic experience.

Introducing The American Countess

Part of setting the standard for American river cruising means having vessels as iconic as the rivers on which they explore. American Queen Steamboat Companyis on the verge of adding another gorgeous paddlewheeler to their fleet and the details coming out are enticing to say the least.

The American Countess will be the fourth vessel from the river cruise line and will feature the same classic look and feel guests have come to love, but delivered in a sleek and modern way. Featuring four decks and 123 attractive staterooms, there may not be a better way to cruise the Mississippi River in comfort and style.

American Countess | Photo: American Queen Steamboat Company

From the details released about the ship so far, its clear the same commitment to service, cuisine and entertainment will be at the forefront of every itinerary. Guests can expect fresh, local ingredients at every meal prepared by experienced chefs and served in the Grand Dining Room by an expert wait staff. Theres even another dining option, The River Grill, for those looking for a more casual dining experience.

Interior of American Countess | Photo: American Queen Steamboat Company

The Theater entertainment venue features live shows every night and the Fitness Center, Card Room and Sun Deck are wonderful places to spend time as the timeless beauty of America slides gracefully by.

This post was sponsored by American Queen Steamboat Company.

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It Probably Won’t Be Your Last Rodeo

You may think you’re only giving one U.S. river cruise a try to see what all the buzz is about, but don’t be surprised if you’ve got your second river cruise planned before you’re even done with the first. River cruise companies have some of the highest repeat rates in the cruise industry. People just can’t get enough of them. Whether it’s the bucolic towns and quaint cities, superb service and excellent food, all-inclusive pricing and sociable clientele or a mix of all and more, most river cruisers can’t wait to sail the next river.

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This eight-day American river cruise on American Cruise Lines American Constitution sails round-trip out of New York City before taking you to Hyde Park, the Catskills, and West Point as well as Sleepy Hollow, all in upstate New York. But in addition to the history in the region, the highlight of the cruise is easily the changing colors of the autumnal leaves.

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Exploring Mississippi Ohio River Towns

Aptly named The Art of Discovery, our itinerary focused on the museums and music in a slice of America not exactly flooded with tourists. Stops included largely unheralded but wonderfully authentic ports in such Kentucky towns as Paducah, Henderson, Owensboro and Brandenburg.

The first 200 miles of the journey were spent cruising upstream on the lower Mississippi River. Near Cairo, Illinois, the Mississippi converged with the Ohio River we veered to the northeast on the Ohio River toward Louisville and quickly noticed the water in the Ohio is much bluer and less muddy than the Mississippi.

The American Duchess was built as a casino riverboat in 1995, then elegantly refurbished in 2017 to accommodate 166 passengers. Its red paddlewheels in the rear are more than decorative they provide about 20 percent of the boats propulsion. The captain wasnt aiming to set any speed records, though. The Duchess averaged a leisurely 7 mph during the trip.

In Paducah, named by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as one of nine Creative Cities in the country for its important role in the connectivity of cultures through creativity, we visited the National Quilt Museum and the River Discovery Center, a small museum created to showcase the areas rich maritime history.

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River Cruise Company Reviews

Part of the fastest growing segment in the cruising, river cruise lines have been popping up all over the place these days. There are more than 20 river cruise providers around the globe, and a little less than half of those could be considered premium or luxury standouts. From there, we did the hard work for you, with an in-depth look at some of the most popular river cruises available.

After our evaluation, we chose the three best river cruise lines: Viking River Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Uniworld. With multiple ships, destination countries and themed adventures, these four lines stood out for their enrichment, culinary expertise and high-touch service.

  • Great Destinations and Itineraries

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We Haven’t Explored The United States Enough

We get starry-eyed when we have the opportunity to fly to another country, like going on a Danube River cruise from Germany to Hungary. But a pandemic made us value what is right in front of us even more than before. And the United States of America is pretty spectacular, from sea to shining sea.

The more we started to consider United States River Cruises, the more impressed we were with our options here from sailing itineraries to cruise ship lines.

A river cruise itinerary in the USA, on the Mississippi River, for example, would allow us to explore various regions that would take us much longer to visit if we were to drive to all of them. And signing up for a river cruise simply seems more realistic and attainable to us than us going through the motions of planning a trip to all these destinations separately.

River cruises are always high on our travel wish list. Louisiana, perhaps lower. But a river cruise that stops in Louisiana? Divine! We’d love to visit places the American Cruise Lines 8-day Mississippi River Cruise itinerary goes to, including Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.

Or even an upper Mississippi River cruise itinerary, for example, would allow us to explore several cities in Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, including St. Louis and St. Paul, cities we’ve never been to. Or ports accessible from the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington, like Portland and Mount St. Helens.

River And Small Ship Cruises In The United Statescruising Close To Home Has Never Been Better

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Book early for BEST PRICES.Price displayed is brochure price for a window cabin based on double occupancy.For best available price or balcony prices, call or use the “Get Quote” button.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Unless otherwise noted, prices and offers are in USD, cruise only per person, based on double occupancy and do not include airfare, taxes or fees. The displayed prices are based on minimum category riverview window stateroom and applicable only to the sailing date shown. Prices for other dates may vary based on the date and stateroom selected. Other than Hot Deal offers, price does not reflect any cruise line or Premier savings. Where Premier includes prepaid tips in an offer, it applies only to the cruise portion of the trip and not any land portion or shore excursions. To obtain the best price, please use the “Get Quote” button or call one of our river cruise and small ship cruise specialists. Certain discounts or prices may require full payment at the time of booking in order to be eligible. We urge you to book early as river and small ship cruises sell out almost a year in advance. Prices and availability may change without notice and are not guaranteed until a deposit is received and applied to your reservation. Call 1-855-255-1200, for complete details. We reserve the right to correct any informational or typographical errors. ©2010-2020 Premier River Cruises, LLC, a Travel of America Company. All rights reserved worldwide. CST #1015320-40.

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What Can Cruise Travelers Do To Protect Themselves And Others

CDC recommends that travelers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to traveling on a cruise ship.

You are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after an accepted single-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
  • 2 weeks after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine in a clinical trial
  • 2 weeks after you received 2 doses of any mix-and-match combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart±

If you dont meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

A person who has received only one dose of an accepted 2-dose series and has recovered from COVID-19 does not meet this definition, and therefore is NOT considered fully vaccinated.

If you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system or are taking medication that weakens your immune system, you might NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.

±CDC has not recommended the use of mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine primary series. However, such strategies are increasingly common in many countries outside of the United States. Therefore, for the of purpose of interpreting vaccination records for travel to the United States, CDC will accept combinations of accepted COVID-19 vaccines.

If you go on a cruise during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Before you board:

The Best River Cruises For Relaxation

River cruise holidays can be as active or as relaxing as you like. If you enjoy sitting and watching the world go by, theres quite simply no better place to do this than from the top deck of a river cruise vessel.

With stunning and ever-changing scenery to admire, youll never be bored, even if the furthest you venture is to the bar for a top-up. Not that you even have to do that, with waiter service as standard.

If you like to explore at a gentle pace, youll be pleased to know that almost every river cruise line splits their walking tours into regular pace and slower pace, so you dont need to worry about being left behind, or becoming exhausted after walking for miles every day. You can even explore at your own pace, simply take yourself off and wander wherever you like, just make sure youre back at the ship for the allocated time!

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Seasickness Will Not Be A Problem

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Even during bad weather, you never have to worry about the “motion of the ocean.” U.S. river water pretty much only goes one way, and while you might bump into a log and feel the boat give a small jolt, it’s never going to be rocking from side to side. So leave your seasick patches and pressure point bands at home you don’t need ’em.

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Choosing A River Cruise

River cruise boats are restricted to a certain size to accommodate narrow water passages. Stateroom dimensions will be similar from line to line, and onboard amenities are scarce. For these and other reasons, the most critical factor in selecting a river cruise is determining where you want to go.


Once you have a destination in mind, its all about the details. From priceless art and luxury interiors to interesting themes to culinary expectations, finding the best river cruise is all about identifying whats most important to you as a traveler.

If climbing stairs are difficult for you or you have a disability, it is essential that you discuss accommodations while onboard and at ports of call with the river cruise company. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply to river cruise ships nor are those regulations followed outside of the U.S.

What To Know Before Buying A River Cruise

A river cruise is just what it sounds like, a smaller-scale cruise along inland waterways throughout Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, Vietnam and many other locations. Sailing along narrow waterways means stopping at more destinations than you would on a typical ocean cruise, with easier docking and more picturesque shoreline views along the way. River cruises can be a great way to cover a lot of ground in Europe and Asia.

If you prefer to stay closer to home, there are abundant offerings for U.S. river cruises along the Mississippi, Columbia and Snake Rivers in Oregon and Washington, and Alaskan river cruises.

What has propelled the boom in river cruises are the unique cultural, historical and culinary themes offered by many river cruise lines. Some river cruises focus on wine or art from a region, others on cooking or cultural lessons.

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