TRAVEL – TOM SMITH– It is one of the most popular ways to take a cruise……on a river as opposed to the Ocean. River cruises have gained in popularity in the last few years and the choices of itineraries and locations is huge.
For those who do not want to travel outside North America you can choose from river cruises on the Mississippi River, Columbia and Snake Rivers and even the Great Lakes. And do not forget about Mexico, the Baja (Sea of Cortez) is perfect in the winter. The ships come in all shapes and sizes from the large Mississippi Queen paddle wheeler to small 40 passenger river boats. One of the most popular cruises is on the Columbia and Snake Rivers of the Pacific Northwest. These cruises are 7 days and begin in Portland, Oregon. You cruise out to Astoria (mouth of the Columbia) and then up the Columbia River Gorge to the Snake River passing many geological sights and historical landmarks. Lindblad Expeditions in cooperation with National Geographic offers one of the most complete and exciting itineraries. They have scientists and photography experts on aboard to make for an enriching as well as adventurous vacation.
River cruises are also available around the world. One of the most popular is Viking River Cruises which offers itineraries from 7 to 14 days on their famed “long ships”. Itineraries cover: Europe (Elbe, Rhine, Main, Danube, Seine, Rhone, and Douro Rivers. Also they have cruises in Russia and Ukraine. And further out there are cruises in Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Egypt. River cruises book up early and there are many great incentives for booking early like two-for-one pricing and free airfare to your port.