Cruising over serene waters in a luxurious boat can be an incredible experience. But what if you want to enjoy a cruise that’s not over open waters? Whether you’re scared of the deep sea or simply suffer from sea sickness, there’s no need to rule out cruises entirely. Check out these 12 rivers that are definitely worth cruising when you want to have a good time on the water without having to sail the great big ocean blue.
1. Mississippi: America’s Cultural Waterway
When it comes to rivers in the United States, few can rival the prestige of this famous waterway. Spanning more than 2,300 miles, this river is full of American cultural heritage. Voyages can last as long as 60 days, hitting various cities like Memphis and Baton Rouge. You can even visit historical Mark Twain sites as you travel down the river like Huckleberry Finn.
2. Danube: Europe’s Historic Journey
Located in Central Europe, this river flows through an astonishing ten countries. If you choose this cruise, you can explore rich historical sites such as castles, villages, churches, and more. Along the way, sample delicious food and indulgent drinks from countries such as Germany and Hungary.
3. Mekong: Asia’s Cultural Tapestry
This incredible body of water in Asia runs through countries like China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Live in luxury as you float past exotic tropical jungles and small villages. This is a wonderful river cruise for people interested in immersing themselves in the local cultures of the native people. Visit a floating market to buy fresh produce, eat at a floating restaurant, or even check out a floating gas station.
4. Amazon: Nature’s Wild Adventure
Perhaps the most famous river in the world, it’s no surprise that the Amazon River makes for an unforgettable cruising destination. You can live on the wild side and book a more modest cruise to explore the wilderness like historical adventurers from years gone by. Or, you can go all out and live in luxury as you take in mind-blowing views of the surrounding South American nature.
5. Nile: Egypt’s Ancient Marvels
This river was the lifeblood of Ancient Egyptian civilizations. Therefore, many of the essential structures they built exist not far from the banks. Many cruises are available that offer guided museum tours, stops at the Pyramids of Giza, and trips to historic temples.
6. Rhine: Europe’s Fairytale Cruise
Looking to enjoy scenic views of Europe from Switzerland all the way to Amsterdam? This river cruise could be your dream vacation. Popular destinations along the way include small riverside towns, historic cathedrals, and awe-inspiring castles. Connect with the beautiful nature of this continent and experience its diverse cultures firsthand. Due to the fairytale-like scenery on this cruise, it’s one of the most romantic journeys you can embark on.
7. Douro: Portugal’s Vibrant Voyage
Travel through vibrant Portugal while cruising atop this river and enjoy highlights such as Lisbon architecture, Port wine tastings, and even ancient universities in both Portugal and Spain. Many tourists love visiting the engravings of Foz Côa, a world-famous open-air Paleolithic rock art site.
8. Yangtze: China’s Historic Expedition
The longest river in Asia, this stunning waterway is the perfect way to take a cruise that showcases the Terracotta Warriors at Xian, the Great Wall of China, and countless other historical sites. Perhaps the most appealing attraction of a trip on this river is the chance to see the Three Gorges Dam, the largest dam in the world at the time of its completion in 2006.
9. Seine: Parisian Iconic Sights
Medieval towns and lush apple orchards line the banks of this iconic river in Paris. Instead of walking around this famous city for hours, cruise leisurely along this river as you are taken to see all the most prominent sights. Cruises can include highlights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and even the Louvre.
10. Moselle: Europe’s Scenic Beauty
Weaving through Luxembourg, France, and Germany, this river offers over 340 miles of gorgeous views. See terraced vineyards, wineries that are an extension of centuries-old Roman culture, and adorable boutique shops you can browse for hours.
11. Ganges: India’s Sacred Journey
Sacred to the people of India, this river is considered holy in the Hindu religion. If you’re interested in seeing what daily life is really like for Indian natives who live in smaller towns away from the significant cultural city centers of the country, this cruise is for you. Cruise-goers can also see museums, temples, and even battlefields.
12. Hudson: New York’s Historic Cruise
This famous river hosts enchanting cruises that embark out of New York City and travel through the Catskills, Albany, and more. Guests can enjoy seeing sites like FDR’s childhood home, which sits right on the waterfront. From local wildlife to inspiring historic sites, there is no shortage of memorable views to be seen while cruising along the Hudson.
I Spent a Week in Mexico on a Small Cruise Ship, and This Is What It Was Like
Sixty-six guests. That’s all this ship holds, so compared to the mammoth cruise ships that carry several thousand vacationers, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, the thought of a more intimate sailing was so intriguing my curiosity was piqued, and I wanted to know more.
Honeymoon Planning? Our Top 4 Caribbean Cruise Picks to Swoon Over
After the thrilling and somewhat exhausting whirlwind of wedding planning, you want to relax with your new spouse. Of course, your honeymoon is a perfect opportunity to unwind while celebrating your new life together.
And where better than the Caribbean?
With onboard meals and a set itinerary, you can focus entirely on relaxing and celebrating your new marriage. A cruise allows you to experience the wonders of multiple destinations while still enjoying the luxury of a properly kitted-out ship.
Taking an Alaskan Cruise? Read This Before You Go
An Alaskan Cruise is the best way to explore a truly unique state. The ship will take you to various cities in this gorgeous region while you make the most of your vacation without ever having to switch hotel rooms.
A cruise to Alaska, as opposed to a land trip, also enables you to maximize the many landscapes you can experience in a short amount of time. Cruise season in Alaska is from late spring to early fall, so there are plenty of options for you to embark on a truly memorable trip in North America’s Pacific Northwest.
The Complete Guide to What to Wear on a Cruise
Planning to take a cruise and aren’t sure what to pack? As someone who has cruised to various parts of the world across a number of cruise lines, I hope to help answer this question for you. As a result, this post will be your ultimate guide as to what to wear on a cruise so you are prepared no matter what cruise line you are using or what your destination is.
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.