17 Compelling Reasons Why an American Riverboat Cruise Should Be Your Next Vacation
Updated: Mar 27
Sailing the U.S. rivers has continued to grow in popularity resulting in more ships being built here for that purpose. But due to Covid, we are seeing an even greater interest in American river cruises. People want to travel and realize there’s so much to see “in our own backyards.”
Are you considering riverboating in the U.S.? I have 17 reasons why many people choose it for their vacation.
1) Enjoy the convenience of sailing within the United States. Your ship is only a short flight, car drive, or train ride away. Your benefits are:
Less expense on transportation.
No need for a passport.
No need to be tested for Covid before flying back into the U.S. since you've never left the country.
2) An American river cruise is one of the few places where you can travel as Mark Twain did:
Sail aboard a steam-powered paddle-wheeler. Mark Twain and steamboats are practically synonymous with each other. Hey, was that him who just walked by you?
3) Is it a ship or a boat? If you tend to break the "rule" that an ocean vessel is a SHIP, not a boat, you’ll love this:
It’s said that ships are built for oceans, and boats are built for rivers and lakes. You can call your vessel a “boat” and be right every time. But no one is going to get upset if you call your temporary home a “ship.”
4) Traveling single doesn’t mean paying double:
Solo travelers are often stuck paying 150 – 200% of what one person pays when sharing a double cabin. But American Queen Voyages (previously American Queen Steamboat Company) and American Cruise Lines have ships with single occupancy cabins.
5) You’re interested in nautical distances but hate math:
On oceans, distance is in “nautical miles.” For those of us who are interested in how far we are from somewhere but are “math-challenged,” you’ll be happy to know that distance on river cruises in the U.S. are in good ol’ regular miles.
6) Experience history:
It’s one thing to learn history in school, but seeing it come alive in front of you immerses you in the stories of our heritage. Here’s your chance to be where history took place- Lewis & Clark Expedition, Mark Twain, Revolution, the Civil War and so much more.
7) Enjoy a theme:
There are special sailings devoted to food and wine, lobster bakes and crab fests, various music, flower, holidays, and even ‘70s theme sailings. Which would you choose?
8) Size counts, as in intimate where you get to know how to get around the boat quickly and get to know your fellow passengers:
Boats range in size from American Cruise Lines’ American Independence, American Spirit, and American Star, which hold 100 guests, to American Queen Voyages’ American Queen’s whopping 436 guests. Most American riverboats range from 190 to 245 passengers. The newest line to enter the market will be Viking River Cruises’ Viking Mississippi in July 2022, accommodating 386 guests.
9) You don’t have to cruise through the Panama Canal to experience the incredible engineering of locks:
Our Columbia River, Mississippi River, and Ohio River each have locks for you to experience.
10) Delicious dishes:
You'll enjoy regionally-inspired, fresh meats, seafood, and produce purchased as close by as possible. Yum!
11) Wonderful entertainment:
Locally inspired entertainment
12) No worries about seasickness:
You are sailing on smooth rivers, and your riverboat doesn’t rock side-to-side. But that also means no being rocked gently to sleep, either!
13) Loyalty counts:
Loyalty to a business counts for that company, for sure. But it also means a lot to potential new clients. On a typical American riverboat cruise, you could find as many as 40% of the guests on that line for at least the second time.
14) Attentive service:
The energetic staff on the smaller ships tend to thrive on offering exceptional service.
15) They are made in the U.S.A. and staffed here:
You’re fully supporting American workers because U.S. law requires that all vessels sailing wholly within the United States must:
o Be built in the U.S. You’re supporting American shipyards.
o Be staffed by Americans.
Logistically, the ships need to buy provisions nearby. Therefore they are supporting American workers, including farmers and manufacturers.
16) The pace is relaxing:
There's a gentle pace to sailing down a river. A peacefulness, a letting go of schedules and rushing. Some wonderful vacations are quick-paced; leaving you joking that you "need a vacation from your vacation." You'll likely slide back into the arms of the gift of this slower pace more quickly than you expect.
17) So many choices! You can cruise our rivers multiple times without repeating the same itinerary:
· Lower Mississippi
· Upper Mississippi
· Ohio River
· Hudson River
· Columbia & Snake Rivers
· Chesapeake Bay (technically not a river, but it’s similar)
· St. John’s River
With so many river choices to pick from and so many reasons to cruise, is it time for you to plan your American riverboat cruise vacation?
Because of the small size of the ships and the large demand in exploring the U.S. waterways on our rivers and lakes as well as coastal sailings on small ships, it’s essential to reserve your cabin early to avoid disappointment. I’d like to work with you to plan your trip
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