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 Queen Voyages, American Cruise Lines and Viking, and all 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. American Queen Voyages Mississippi cruises offer a mix of included and premium shore excursions such as guided tours of New Orleans and a hop-on, hop-off tour of Natchez, Mississippi.
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.