What is a river cruise? A river cruise is an overnight cruise on an inland passage like a river, lake or intracoastal waterway. Generally 7-nights or longer, river cruises stop in small ports of call, sometimes able to dock on the river’s edge where no dock exists. Popular river cruise destinations in the US include the Columbia & Snake Rivers, the Mississippi River, the Hudson River and the St. Lawrence Seaway. River cruises are also found around the world, including Europe (on the Main, Danube, Seine, Rhine, etc), SE Asia (on the Mekong or Ayeyarwady Rivers), and the Chobe River in Africa.

What is a river cruise

Not all rivers can support a passenger ship, or allow them to travel on it. But there are several waterways in the US that do allow small cruise ships passage. Because this is a river and not the ocean, the ships cannot be massive, gigantic moving cities. And the ports along a river cannot and do not want to accommodate 5,000+ people dropping by every week. But 150-500 (or sometimes less) is very manageable, and a good boost to their local economy.

Which rivers are big enough to support a cruise ship?

And that’s not even all! Our ships also cruise intracoastal waterways, lakes, bays and sounds. They’re too countless to name, but they cover much of the US: Alaska, Puget Sound, the entire East Coast, and the Great Lakes!

If you want to experience America, get on a small ship and cruise the rivers. That’s how America was formed! Rivers were used to explore, transport goods to new areas to build and sustain new towns, move military for battles and more. You’ll learn all about it on a river cruise, because all of our river cruises focus on the places you’re visiting, not the ship that’s getting you there. You’re not booking a river cruise to stay onboard the ship all day for a week (although it might be nice to relax for a day or two). You’re booking a river cruise to see the sights! If you cruise to Alaska, you want to see Alaska! That means getting off the ship and hiking a glacier, or shopping for unique souvenirs in a small town that most people don’t know exist, or taking a tour with a local guide. You’re booking a river cruise to learn something new about the destination, so you can share with your friends, “Did you know…” when you get home. You’re booking a river cruise for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You’re booking a river cruise for a photo album of memories that you’ll treasure forever. You’re booking a river cruise for the stories you’ll share with your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

To learn more, call one of our agents: 800-578-1479