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.
Amy Stoltenberg is a staff writer covering all things travel, shopping and lifestyle. After earning a BA at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as technical designer in corporate fashion before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering around Los Angeles looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and plotting her way to all 50 states (she's currently at 28).
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.
Starting rate per perso
Price breakdown per day
8-day New Orleans Round-Trip
New Orleans, LA Oak Alley, LA Natchez, MS Vicksburg, MS St. Francisville, LA Baton Rouge, LA Houmas House, LA
8-day Maine Coast and Harbors
Portland, ME Bar Harbor, ME Castine/Belfast, ME Camden, ME Rockland, ME Boothbay Harbor, ME Bath, ME
8-day Columbia and Snake Rivers
Portland, OR Astoria, OR Mount St. Helens, WA The Dalles, OR Pendleton, OR/Richland, WA Clarkston, WA
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
Cocktail hour every day before dinner with an open bar
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
The dress code is resort casual. Passengers are encouraged to dress up a bit at night — a sport coat and slacks for men, a dress or blouse and slacks for women. Remember to bring comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket or wrap for cooler evenings.
Yes — but only in designated areas. Smoking is strictly prohibited on private balconies and in staterooms.
No. American Cruise Line has an informal dining policy, so you can sit wherever you’d like.
Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC continues to advise caution when traveling within or outside the US, though it no longer requires self-quarantine or a COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travelers as of April 2021. It recommends that you delay travel if you are not fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading the virus.
When traveling, follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for COVID-19 test results — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.
Latest cruise deals
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