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American Cruise Lines reviews

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Intimate and educational journeys through the Delta, heartland, Alaska and beyond.

Cruising with American Cruise Lines is like tracing the veins of our country, as you’ll stop at historically significant ports that helped give life to the nation we know today. Expect a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and an emphasis on learning, without glitzy amenities or high-energy activities.

13 ships

Number of ships



Price matches


Target demographic Seniors
Number of ships 13 ships
Contact options Phone, Email, Facebook Messenger
Payment options Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Deposit required Deposit at checkout
Deposit required No price matching
Food Food included
Drink Alcohol included
Room service Room service included

Expert review

Amy Stoltenberg

Review by

Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked designing apparel at a corporate behemoth before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop’s closed, she can be found wandering the streets looking for happy hour and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

Expert review

I recently read H.W. Brand’s Dreams of El Dorado: A History of the American West. The book traces the history of our nation’s land, from when mammoths roamed freely to the turn of the 20th century. Essential to every step of that development was North America’s glorious rivers — key for transport, commerce and livelihood for indigenous peoples and settlers alike.

American Cruise Line’s itineraries focus on the people groups and monumental moments that unraveled around these bodies of water. The cruise blends education with captivating first-person experiences.

However, if you’re looking for a resort-style vacation with lots of time for sunbathing and lazing by a pool, you won’t like these cruises. Its ships don’t have pools, actually, or casinos and glamorous late-night parties.

This cruise is for history buffs and folks that prefer smaller ships with fewer organized onboard activities.

Where do American Cruise Line cruises depart from?

With cruises to Mississippi Delta, New England, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and the Southeast — begin your journey at a vibrant US port city.

Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Clarkston, Jacksonville, Juneau, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland (Maine), Portland (Oregon), Providence, Seattle-Tacoma, St Louis, St Paul

American Cruise Line destinations

Cross those all-American cities and towns off your bucket list, or return to old favorites. Here’s where you can go with American Cruise Lines:

Alaska, Canada and New England, Florida, Mississippi River, Pacific Coastal

American Cruise Line prices

Fare varies, depending on the itinerary you choose. But here’s a snapshot of prices for three of American Cruise Line’s most popular cruises, to give you an idea of what to expect. We chose the cheapest stateroom option, and fares are per-person based on double occupancy.

CruisePorts visitedStarting rate per persoPrice breakdown per day
8-day New Orleans Round-TripNew Orleans, LA
Oak Alley, LA
Natchez, MS
Vicksburg, MS
St. Francisville, LA
Baton Rouge, LA
Houmas House, LA
$3,725About $466
8-day Maine Coast and HarborsPortland, ME
Bar Harbor, ME
Castine/Belfast, ME
Camden, ME
Rockland, ME
Boothbay Harbor, ME
Bath, ME
$4,540About $568
8-day Columbia and Snake RiversPortland, OR
Astoria, OR
Mount St. Helens, WA
The Dalles, OR
Pendleton, OR/Richland, WA
Clarkston, WA
$3,725About $466

If it seems pricey to you up front, keep in mind that it covers accommodations, food and drinks with meals, cocktails, snacks and more — plus transportation from place to place. Depending on your typical budget for overland travel (the quality of hotels you stay in, etc) American Cruise Lines’ prices could actually be a good deal.

Data obtained January 2020.

What’s included in my American Cruise Line fare?

Here’s what’s included on an American Cruise Line cruise:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Beer and wine with lunch and dinner
  • Snacks
  • Cocktail hour every day before dinner with an open bar
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Computers and Wi-Fi
  • Coffee, tea, water and soft drinks
  • Precruise hotel package
  • Hotel transfer to the departure port
  • At least one free excursion at each port

Gratuity is not included or required. Port charges and other fees are added to the rate at checkout.

Why you should (or shouldn’t) cruise with American Cruise Line

One of the things we love most about American Cruise Line is that its ships are wheelchair-accessible.

Here are some more pros and cons to consider before booking your cruise:


  • Daily entertainment with quality musicians
  • Carefully selected historians and naturalists
  • Known for personal service and camaraderie
  • Beer and wine included with dinner
  • Open bar during cocktail hour
  • Bring your own booze on board
  • Unique itineraries visit charming American towns and cities


  • Ships can feel outdated
  • Pay extra for shore excursions
  • Food is often reviewed “fair” and “sufficient” rather than gourmet, which may be disappointing considering the price
  • Fewer high-energy activities than on many ocean cruise lines
  • Fare can be a bit pricey up front

Frequently asked questions

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