Last updated: 03:01 PM ET, Wed October 26 2016

The Best Places for U.S. River Cruising

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship Janeen Christoff October 26, 2016

The Best Places for U.S. River Cruising

PHOTO: American Duchess (Photo courtesy American Queen Steamboat Company)  

River cruising is growing in popularity — and it’s not just in Europe. Conde Nast Traveler reports that U.S. river cruising is taking off and American rivers are opening up. 

“Whether it's sailing aboard a plush paddle-wheeler on the mighty Mississippi, riding a replica coastal steamer through the lush landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, or following the trail of explorer Henry Hudson on a fall foliage-themed sailing in New York state, a slate of U.S. river cruises invite travelers to discover the heart of America in a rather unconventional way: from its myriad waterways,” writes Elissa Garay. 

For those looking for a classic paddlewheel experience, Garay suggests American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Music Cruise onboard the American Duchess. 

“The sailing, which runs between the two music-famed cities, includes several stops in Tennessee, Missouri, and Kentucky—including a first-for-the-line overnight stay in port in Nashville—on a route along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland rivers,” she says. 

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In the Pacific Northwest, travelers can sip wine along U.S. rivers with UnCruise Adventures. 

“Their 88-passenger S.S. Legacy , an imitation turn-of-the-century coastal steamer, offers weeklong river cruises running roundtrip from Portland, Oregon, along the Columbia, Snake, Willamette, and Palouse rivers,” says Garay.

Travelers can explore the Great Lakes region with a cruise on the Erie Canal. 

“Blount Small Ship Adventures, with a half-century of North American river cruising experience under its belt, is best known for its custom-built ships that allow the line access to off-the-beaten-path American waterways (like the Erie Canal) that no other riverboat company can get to,” says Garay. 

For more suggestions for exploring America’s rivers, read on here