My advice has always been “Travel as far away as you can, for as many years as you can.” Get the long distance travel done while the body and mind can manage it. THEN start traveling in your own backyard.
And North America has plenty to marvel at.
If you enjoy cruising as much as I do, there are plenty of options. Of course there are all the Caribbean choices, but do you know about sailing on inland and coastal waterways? Take a look at what’s waiting for you!
When we think of river cruising, Europe is often top of mind. But don’t be fooled! The US has wonderful options from coast to coast.
The Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers
For me, two things immediately come to mind when I think about the Mississippi: Mark Twain and New Orleans. Certainly a major part of the Mississippi “ethos” – but there is so much more:
Beyond the Mississippi you can also explore the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers – through the beautiful and scenic hills of Tennessee and Kentucky, discovering rich history and vibrant cities including Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh (on the Ohio) and Nashville (on the Cumberland).
The Hudson River
Many people are surprised when I tell them they can cruise on the Hudson River, between New York City or Rhode Island on one end to the Great Lakes or Quebec City on the other. You can cruise the Hudson, during the summer and fall foliage season. Nothing more spectacular than seeing the beautiful combination of green, gold and red foliage lining the river valley.
Like the Mississippi, the Hudson too is rich in history, dating back to when the Dutch and English ruled the region. Depending on your itinerary, you can be exploring the West Point Military Academy, Hyde Park and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s historical home site, the Catskills and even making your way through impressive locks and the Erie Canal.
The Columbia and Snake Rivers
The Columbia and Snake River cruises have you following the route pioneered by Lewis and Clark. Despite being listed as one of the best places to vacation in America by the Travel Channel, I think it is still a hidden gem to be discovered.
From the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls to Idaho’s Hell Canyon and Palouse Falls State Park - the scenery on this trip is beyond spectacular. Some itineraries have you thoroughly enjoying the recreational aspects of the region, including kayaking, jet boating or white water rafting.
Plenty of history is found along the route as well. Lewis and Clark, the Oregon Trail, indigenous Native American – all included.
Culinary deliciousness abounds as well. The area is a world class wine region, and stops at wineries are almost always part of the plan. Some itineraries have wine as the main theme.
Why consider a trip on any of these rivers? It’s such a fun and relaxed way to see iconic and historical places, big and small, and a superb way to introduce yourself to places you may never have imagined visiting. Excursions, all taken care of, have you experiencing the best the region has to offer. Simply put, it’s a great way to see America.
The Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast coasts and Pacific Northwest are dotted with quaint towns, islands, scenic beauty and wildlife viewing options not found in many places. Small ship cruising is a wonderful experience, and these regions are perfect for them, as they are able to get into areas and harbors that bigger ships can only dream about. Sailing the coastlines (versus the open ocean) is an under the radar gem to be discovered.
Like the rivers, each region has its own charm and draw.
The Northeast itineraries, from Boston (or Providence) up to Maine, give you an opportunity of discovering the playgrounds of the rich and famous, quaint coastal towns and Acadia National Park among other experiences. And of course don’t forget the food… lobster, chowder, clams – fresh from the sea… doesn’t get any better than that.
Mid-Atlantic and Southeast coastal cruises explore Chesapeake Bay, inter-coastal waterways and smaller rivers down the coast to Charleston and Savannah and further south to St. Augustine (Florida). Ideal for anyone wanting to discover the coastal South – Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida – and all the rich history this territory brings. Also a hidden gem – most people don’t even know these waterways exist.
The Pacific Northwest itineraries discover the best Puget Sound and the beautiful San Juan Islands has to offer. The region is home to over 400 islands over 7000 square miles. If you love nature, wildlife and the outdoors, these sailings are amazing. Plenty of opportunities to see eagles, otters and orcas, hike through pristine forests and kayak secluded bays. But there is so much more, including historical coastal towns and iconic cities, Native American history, beautiful gardens and of course the delicious regionally inspired food.
North American waterways are waiting for you to discover them.
For more information, connect with Laurie at 602.540.7338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder