For centuries, the romance, mystique and magnetism of America's rivers have attracted explorers, settlers, and pioneers who bravely charted a course for future generations to follow. Today, thanks to their adventurous spirit, we can navigate our great inland waterways nestled in old-fashioned Victorian comfort!
Besides constantly changing vistas and navigational aids, bridges and river traffic provide equally fascinating diversions. On America's rivers, you're likely to see bridges that range from Golden Gate look-alikes to awesome spans that can be raised to let even the tallest vessel pass through. And it's also possible that you'll pass just about every type of vessel there is-from Tom Sawyer rafts to towboats pushing tons of barges.
Today, it's still possible to see land that looks much the same as it did when Native Americans put their first birch-bark canoes into swiftly flowing waters. When De Soto, Marquette and Joliet copied the design and canoed through the heartland. When flatboats laden with people and products brought settlers to new lives on the wild frontier. Or when the first steamboats brought the mail, entertainment and pioneers to remote little river towns. For while much has changed along America's rivers, often times on a mist-shrouded morning, it's easy to imagine that you and the steamboat are the only link with civilization. In the calm of a new day, an eagle soars, deer stop for a drink on the river bank, and off the bow, fish leap to greet the sunrise. Aboard the steamboat, with a cup of coffee in hand, it's a magical time to sit back, relax, and slowly take it all in.
Typical Ports of Call: St. Paul, Minnesota; Ottawa, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Cincinnati, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; and New Orleans, Louisiana.