River cruises are available in North America, South America and Central America. In North America, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular river cruises in the U.S. and Canada for overnight cruises and list some rivers that feature day and evening cruises.
Then we’ll explore some rivers in Belize and Costa Rica as well as another popular river in South America – the Amazon.
The most popular U.S. river cruise is on the Mississippi. It is the 2nd longest river in the United States connecting several lakes in northern Minnesota where it originates. The river flows through 10 states before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.
Most itineraries on the Mississippi River will be combined with the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers. A trip on this river will include some combination of these three rivers.
Destinations: Chattanooga, TN; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Pittsburgh, PA; St. Louis, MO & St. Paul, MN
Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota
By Photograph by William Wesen.Appraiser at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
The Columbia River flows along the Washington & Oregon border. It’s over 1,200 miles long and extends from the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia to Astoria, Oregon. Over 40% of it is contained in Canada. We will concentrate on Columbia River cruises in the United States. Most American river cruises on the Columbia will also include the Snake River, which it joins in Tri-Cities, Washington.
Destinations: Clarkston, WA & Portland, WA
Columbia River Gorge in Washington State
By Cacophony (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Erie Canal River Cruises originate in New York. The Erie Canal extends 363 miles in New York from Albany to Buffalo joining the Hudson River and Lake Erie.
You will probably travel from the Erie Canal to the Hudson River. Most cruise line itineraries follow the waterways to Canada along the St. Lawrence River. The beginning of this river is considered to be at the outflow of Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario and Cape Vincent, New York – beginning the journey northward to Montreal & Quebec City in Canada.
Destinations: Boston, MA; East Kingston, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; New York City, NY; Providence, RI & Quebec City, Quebec
Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, New York
By Joshua Karn (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Overnight cruises are only one option for exploring rivers in the U.S. Day, evening, and scenic cruises are another option. You'll find cruises on many other rivers in the United States. Some of the rivers are listed below by region.
East Coast States
Massachusetts - Boston Harbor in Boston, Charles River in Boston
New York - Niagara River in Niagara Falls
Pennsylvania - Delaware River in Philadelphia, Patapsco River in Pittsburgh, Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, and Susquehanna River in Harrisburg
Virginia - Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg
Washington D.C. - Potomac River
Midwest and Northern States
Illinois - Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois River in Peoria, Mississippi River in Peoria
Iowa - Mississippi River in Dubuque and Le Claire
Indiana - White River in Indianapolis
Wisconsin - Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Mississippi River in Praire du Chien, Wisconsin River in Rhinelander and Wisconsin Dells
Chicago River, Milwaukee River, Missouri River, White River, Wisconsin River
Arkansas - Arkansas River in Little Rock
Florida - Crystal River, New River in Fort Lauderdale, Peace River in Punta Gorda, Withlacoochee River in Dunnellon
North Carolina - Cape Fear River in Wilmington
Oklahoma - Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City
Texas - San Antonio River in San Antonio
Arizona - Colorado River in Yuma
California - Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers
Nevada - Colorado River in Laughlin
Oregon - Williamette River in Portland
Hawaii - Wailua River in Kauai
St. Lawrence River cruises are available from Kingston, Ontario to Quebec City. There are itineraries that combine other waterways, such as the Hudson River and the Erie Canal.
The Niagara River is located in the United States and Canada. Cruises on the Niagara are available on both sides of the border.
The Boldt Castle along the St. Lawrence River
Central American river cruises are typically day cruises. We’ll explore a few. In Belize – a Lamanai River trip will take you to visit the Mayan Ruins. And in Costa Rica – you'll experience a jungle cruise along the Tarcole River or river safari float on the Corobici River. Some companies offer adventure rafting along the Corobici, too.
Tarcoles River in Costa Rica
Jimfbleak at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons
The Amazon River is the 2nd longest river in the world flowing through Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. Larger cruise ships are only to sail along the Amazon in Brazil. Smaller ships can navigate the waters of Ecuador and Peru.
Ambercrombie & Kent, Aqua Expeditions, G Adventures, Gate 1, General Tours, Lindblad Expeditions, Nat Hab, Princess Cruises and Rainforest Cruises
If you enjoyed reading this page, please share it with other people you think would also enjoy reading it. Thank you! :)
You Might Also Like: