River cruises have become the hottest segment of the travel market. Consider the following:
- Unlike ocean cruises, which stop in coastal ports, river cruises travel between the centers of major cities and towns even if they are inland. There are no long lines to get on or off the ship.
- The ships have comfortable, spacious accommodations with great views, and offer a range of staterooms that are large, have wonderful beds, full entertainment systems,bathrooms that can be larger than ocean going ships, and some even have balconies.
- You pack and unpack only once as you travel through your destinations.
- River cruise ships feature great regional cuisine with complimentary wine (many cruises) that matches the sailing region.
- There are complimentary land tour programs that allow guests to explore the places they visit with an experienced guide.
- Exceptional value. The river cruises are essentially all-inclusive.
2 Types of River Cruises
Overseas River Cruises
There are a number of river cruise companies that provide you with the opportunity to travel in Africa, China & South East Asia, Europe, Myanmar, Russia, and South America. Here are but a few of those companies:
North America River Cruises
There are two major river cruise lines that operate "Steamboat Cruising" in North America. One is called the American Cruise Line, and the other is the Great American Steamboat Company. Both cruise on the Mississippi and the Columbia and Snake River. The first company cruising on the Mississippi River was The American Queen Steamboat Company. It has the largest steamboat ever built, the American Queen (sister to the Delta Queen). The ship was built in 1995 and is a six-deck recreation of a classic Mississippi Riverboat, built by McDermott Shipyard for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. The American Queen steamboat is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It carries a maximum of 436 passengers, while the Queen of the Mississippi by American Cruise Lines carries only 150 passengers.