If 2,350 miles of charming towns, beautiful landscapes, and bustling cities like New Orleans and St. Louis are calling you, you're in need of a Mississippi River cruise.
The most popular cruise lines that offer cruises on the Mississippi are American Cruise Lines and Viking, and both focus on shore excursions that provide plenty of up-close encounters with U.S. history (plus music and cuisine) along the way.
For instance, Viking's excursions on a Mississippi sailing may include boat tours of the Manchac Swamp and a cooking demonstration at Houmas House in Darrow, Louisiana.
The best times to take a Mississippi River cruise are during the fall, when gorgeous foliage is at its peak, and the spring, when temperatures are mild. River cruises on the Mississippi are generally more expensive than ocean cruises because of their intimate, hands-on nature.