Explore River Cruises  
The Rivers & The Destinations

River cruising is one of the fastest-growing segments in the cruise industry. It's a great way to explore destinations around the world. Many rivers are located in major cities where you'll find different river cruises options. Some cities offer overnight cruises; others offer only day and evening cruises; and with some, you'll find both options.

In addition to the rivers, there are other waterways that you can cruise like estuaries and canals. An estuary is located on the coast  and is formed by one or more rivers flowing toward the ocean. And canals are often interconnected with rivers and other canals. 

Barge canal cruises are popular in the U.K., France and the Amazon. Steam boat river cruises are popular in the United States. River boats also vary in size by region. For example the largest river boats are generally found on the Yangtze River in China and the Mississippi River in the United States.

River cruises also vary in their purpose. There are scenic cruises that might take you through beautiful, natural landscaped areas like the Columbia River Gorge in the United States or the Rhine Valley in Germany. And there are scenic cruises that will give you a tour of the city, such as the Potomac River in Washington D.C. or the Hudson River in New York City.

Some river cruises are for people who like the nightlife and a party atmosphere, or fine dining and live entertainment. On the other end of the spectrum, there are nature-based cruises that will take you into protected wildlife areas where you'll be able to see marine life and other animals in their natural habitat.

So you can see there are a variety of options for river cruises. Some people enjoy overnight trips. And some just want to spend a few hours on a river boat. Either way you're sure to find a river cruise that's right for you.

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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in  river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

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