Most people paying attention to travel trends over the last several years have no doubt heard about European River Cruises, which are a fantastic way to see many parts of Europe from the inside out.


Such cruises typically sail on rivers such as the Rhine, Rhone, Seine and the Danube, but can additionally be found throughout many countries outside of Central Europe, for example cruises in Italy, Spain, Portugal or even Russia are common – and new itineraries even include China, Vietnam, Cambodia the Nile or the Amazon.


What you may not be aware of is that there are several such cruises available much closer to home! River cruises on American rivers such as the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee or even out West on the Columbia or Snake Rivers are a fantastic way to see the US. However, US river cruise ships are significantly different than those that you may have heard about in Europe.  American cruise ships typically resemble paddle-wheelers, which bring back the nostalgia of days gone by while adding the luxury and comforts that we are all now accustomed to.


Itineraries typically last about a week, and include stopping in smaller destinations with which you might not be familiar.  An example would be starting off in St. Paul, Minnesota: on Day One you would enjoy the city of St. Paul throughout the day, then board the ship and spend the next day in Winona, Minnesota. On Day Three you would find yourself in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, and then cruise on to Davenport, Iowa for Day Four.  Ultimately the ship would journey on to Hannibal, Missouri and St Louis – all the while exploring great little cities in the heart of the Midwest with all sorts of built-in adventures.


A typical cruise would include excursions in every port, beer and wine included free with your dinner; complimentary cappuccino, espresso & specialty coffees & bottled water throughout the day. Of course meals are included in the fee, and can include special recipes from acclaimed regional chefs along the way.


Multiple dining options are offered along with daily lectures and much more!

Essentially it’s an all-inclusive vacation where you can tour the US in the comfort of your own cabin on a paddle wheeler just like (or almost just like) it was possible to do a hundred years ago.


Dozens of itineraries might include beginning your trip in Chattanooga, Tennessee for example, and ending up in New Orleans – or getting underway in Pittsburgh and concluding the cruise by pulling into port in Cincinnati.  You might even enjoy specially themed trips such as one with a baseball theme, or even an Elvis themed cruise where there would be Elvis tribute artists, special dinner menus, and of course a tour of Graceland in Memphis. There are also wine-focused trips, Mark Twain tributes, New England Lobster trips, and even a Civil War Cruise through the Southern United States.


However you choose to meander the rivers of the world, you’re sure to find something that suits your need for fun, relaxation, and even education.  Check it out!



By Scott Jones

Scott Jones is owner of EZTravelPad – a travel agency located in Indianapolis focused on helping people explore their world


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