The Benefits of River Cruises That You Don't Get on a Road Trip

River Views®, a River Cruise Blog


Travel isn't just about getting from Point A to Point B; it's also about enjoying the journey. Road trips are a classic way to enjoy America's highways, but more and more people are turning to American river cruises for their vacations. Cruises are a unique way to experience the country and they offer a number of advantages over throwing your luggage into the family sedan and being cramped for hours.

Travel in Comfort and Style

At American Queen Steamboat Company, our fleet of vessels offers three unique travel experiences:

  • The American Duchess, an all-suite paddle boat that offers Mississippi River cruise experiences.

  • The American Queen, the largest steamboat ever built.

  • The American Empress, the largest and most elegantly decorated riverboat in the Pacific Northwest.

Unlike on a road trip, you won't have to stay at a different hotel every night. You have a choice of comfortably appointed riverboat cabins and other amenities such as included meals, entertainment, shore excursions, and more!

Hit the Shore

Road trips have pit stops, while riverboat cruises have shore excursions. These excursions take all the stress out of exploring America, from New Orleans to Nashville and beyond. Don't worry about the details of getting there and around; with included excursions, we'll handle everything for you. Our company has exclusive relationships with some sites along the route, and we offer Premium Shore Excursions that are well worth the investment.

Live Entertainment

Our riverboats offer a wide variety of Broadway-caliber entertainment onboard, including live music, dancing, and cabaret performances. Some cruises also feature a Riverlorian, who enriches the trip with anecdotes and historical commentary. You won't find that in any dog-eared road trip guidebook!

Delicious Local Cuisine

Which would you prefer: greasy burgers picked up in a diner or five-star-style cuisine prepared by talented chefs? Our river cruises let you sample local cuisine, with dynamic and rotating menus based on what is locally grown and seasonal. Room service is available 24 hours a day.

Meeting People

Road trips let you briefly meet people along your journey; perhaps it’s exchanging only a few words with someone you meet at a historic site. Riverboat cruises let you get to know fellow guests. You'll spend days or weeks mingling with other enthusiasts of whatever themed journey you've chosen. It is a great way to build connections with others as you enjoy the waters of rivers we cruise.

The Amenities

In a car, amenities mean turning on the seat warmers or blasting the air conditioning and arguing over who gets to change the radio station. Our river cruises add  true luxury to your vacation. You can treat yourself to room service, complimentary beer and wine with dinner, porterage services, and much more

Leave the Car Keys at Home and Hit the Water

When choosing between a road trip and riverboat cruise, which kind of vacation experience do you want? Our river cruises offer:

  • a truly comfortable way to travel

  • world-class cuisine

  • nightly entertainment

  • shore exclusions tailored to the cruise's theme and region in which you are traveling

  • amenities like spa treatments and fitness opportunities

American Queen Steamboat Company offers a wide range of cruises along some of the country's greatest rivers, from the Snake River to the Mississippi. Our vessels transport you and your family in both comfort and style and let you enjoy some of America's hidden treasures, stress-free. Contact us today to see which cabins are available.