If you're looking for a cruise vacation that's completely different from any other, come discover Mark Twain's America . . . on board an authentic paddlewheel steamboat!
A Steamboatin' vacation offers delightfully diversified pleasures - the excitement of exploring quaint rivertowns; the thrill of travelling along America's great rivers; the tranquility of watching the sun set on the river; the romance of a moonlight stroll on deck; and the reward of pure relaxation.
The USA has a host of navigable rivers and waterways that offer wonderful river cruise experiences.
The Columbia and Snake rivers allow round trip cruises from Portland into the Pacific North West
Mississippi cruises are often split into Lower Mississippi which is south from St Louis and Upper Mississippi which is north from St Louis. These cruises are generally on Paddle Steamers. Cruises also make use of the Mississippi’s main tributaries including the Ohio, Tennessee and Arkansas rivers.
The St Lawrence and Great Lakes have cruises that can go from Quebec and through the lake system to Chicago and into Lake Superior.
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway extends from Key West in Florida to Boston, Massachusetts and covers a region rich in both history and geography. Its 1200 mile course includes manmade canals, bays protected by barrier islands, natural river channels, and estuaries.
The vessels used range from Mississippi Paddle Steamers, to small ships and to river boats. The destination and the rivers drive the ship type as often as not.
Seasons vary by river. Lower Mississippi cruises operate year round, while cruises on the Coastal Waterway, the St Lawrence and the Columbia don’t operate in the winter and their schedules may be set to enjoy Fall Colours or historical events.
Columbia and Snake Rivers - Portland
Mississippi – New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, St Louis, St Paul and more
St Lawrence and the Great Lakes – Quebec, Montreal, Chicago
Intracoastal waterway – Quebec, Toronto, Chicago, Buffalo
The weather varies according to the region, river and season. Fall cruises to view the autumn colours will be cooler while summer cruises on the lower Mississippi will be warm to hot.
Photo Credit: American Queen