Small ship cruises offer an amazing opportunity to meet and mingle with people who share similar interests as you.

While themed-cruises are still around, the help you’ll find when using a travel agency to compare and contrast the different options available is invaluable. You can still find a specialty cruise including quilting, art, or wine focused cruises, and holiday cruises are always popular.

Don’t be worried that a small ship expedition cruise will be too much activity for you – guests can always choose their activity level and many opt to just stay on board and relax while others are out in the kayaks or hiking in the forest. There are wide varieties of activities planned and you can opt in or opt out.   This is your vacation, after all!

The pandemic threw a wrench in so many of our plans, but with lessening restrictions and vaccine rollouts, we are now able to get back into the swing of things. We are all happy to get back on board the small ship cruises we love so much.  

Whether you need a break from your work-from-home set-up or simply need some long overdue TLC, USA River Cruises has your back. Sit back and relax as we help you find the perfect cruise for your personality type.

For Our Adventurers

If you associate outdoor activities with relaxation, these cruises are for you! Join us as we explore the wild and wonderful nature that surrounds our waterways from the beautiful Channel Islands National Park in the southwest to the joys of the quiet found in the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. 

wild california escape

Wild California Escape

Wild California Escape: Channel Islands National Park

About: This short cruise is all about wildlife and wellness. Take in the views of the white-sand beaches and plentiful landscapes while you try out the onboard adventure equipment, or participate in guided hikes, and stretching. 

Length: 5 Days and 4 Nights.

Ship: National Geographic Quest

Journey on the Snake and Columbia Rivers

About: Get out and try your hand perhaps at a little white water rafting,  kayaking on the Palouse, hiking to the top of Beacon Rock, or see the view from the top of Multnomah Falls. This Mecca for the outdoor enthusiast will not disappoint! 

Length:  8 Days and 7 Nights.

Ship: National Geographic SeaBird


For Our Music-Lovers

If you can’t picture your ideal vacation without music and dancing, we have the perfect cruise for you. Travel between two great American musical cities – Nashville and Memphis and discover the heart of American music.

Music Venues in Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee

Music Cities Cruise

About: Your journey begins and ends in the musical meccas of the U.S., starting off in Memphis and ending in Nashville. Along the way, you’ll discover the cities, small towns, and rivers that define the south. There are several options – we can help you find the perfect boat for your musical adventure!

Ships: The American Melody


Round Trip New Orleans

About: Jazz is at the heart of New Orleans and you’ll hear it playing around nearly every corner. Visit a live performance, transport yourself back through musical history at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, or just enjoy the many street musicians filling the city with music. Onboard the boat, enjoy nightly performances from a variety of musical styles sure to keep your toes tapping. 

Ships: The Viking Mississippi


For Our Foodies

Wine & Culinary Columbia River cruise.

We want nothing but the best for our foodies, which is why we recommend a culinary theme cruise on the Columbia River.

About: You’ll be cruising through some of the heart of wine country, with vineyards and wineries all around. The Pacific Northwest is also known for a serious love of fresh, innovative, local foods and they can grow it right here. The mild climate is perfect for growing a wide variety of foods including their fresh berries, apples, and not to mention their access to the freshest salmon around. 

Length: 8 Days and 7 Nights.

Ship: Wilderness Legacy 

For Our Chillaxers

If you’re looking to sit back and relax, boy do we have a cruise for you. Packed with historical significance, beautiful fall foliage, and some of the best seafood in the states, this chill ode-to New England will have you craving lobster as you float around the islands. 

Lighthouse near Portland, ME

Hawaiian Islands Sojourn

About: When you need plenty of down time, just to sit and watch the waves and relax, a cruise to Hawaii is perfect. Leaving out of Los Angeles, travel in comfort to Hawaii where you’ll visit the breathtaking scenery of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island. 

Length: 17 Days and 16 Nights.

Ship: Viking Star


Canada & the East Coast Explorer

About: If you love to combine plenty of onboard relaxation time with occasional opportunities to get out and explore the beautiful locations, you’ll love this cruise. With plenty of daytime cruising, you’ll be able to take in the amazing scenery and enjoy the onboard amenities to their fullest. 

Length: 16 Days and 15 Nights.

Ship: Viking Octantis



For the Camera “give me photogenic” Crowd

If you’re looking for some stunning photographs, you’ll love the stunning Columbia River Gorge. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to get amazing shots when the subject matter is this glorious! 

Highlights of the Columbia River

About: Experience the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. Destination highlights such as Multnomah Falls, Mount St. Helens, and favorite ports-of-call, such as Astoria, Oregon, make this cruise one to remember.

Length: 5 Days and 4 Nights.

Ship: American Harmony


Maine Nubble lighthouseCanada & New England Fall Foliage Cruise

About: While there is no place in the United States that isn’t photogenic, there is something magical about being in New England in the Autumn. Red-and white lighthouses on the coastline, white clapboard churches set against the bright orange hues of the sugar maples, and the reflection of Autumn leaves on a quiet pond. You’ll return with a memory card full of magical photographs. 

Length: 11 Days and 10 Nights.

Ship: Pearl Mist 


For Our History Buffs

If you love to come away from a vacation a little bit more knowledgeable and with new insight, we have the cruise for you. Packed with rich historical sites this cruise is great for history-buffs and science enthusiasts alike!

Hudson River in Autumn

The Hudson River in Autumn

The Hudson River

About: Explore generations of American history – from the birth of our nation and the battles of independence and early exploration to the mansions of those that lived the ultimate American dream by rising to the top building bridges, railroads, and the materials needed to grow our country from small colonies to a mighty world economy. The American story can be found along the banks of the Hudson River.

Length: 8 Days and 7 Nights.

Ship: The American Constitution


The Lower Mississippi

About: The complicated history of the American south can be explored on a cruise on the lower Mississippi River. Dive deeply into the Civil War history, walking the battlefields of Vicksburg and on the scarred steps of the Old Courthouse. Visit elegant plantation houses where the stark differences between the oppressors and the oppressed is on display for all to take in and learn from. Discover how the many cultural influences have created the fascinating world of New Orleans.  

Length: 8 Days and 7 Nights.

Ship: The American Splendor