Retrace the footsteps of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the Pacific Northwest, go on lobster bakes in Maine, or sail through Washington state's Puget Sound on a wine-and-dine cruise. The cruises are among 16 themed journeys being launched next year by American Cruise Lines.
The 2018 cruises, which were announced in late November, are aimed at Americana fans, who will find plenty to choose from on rivers such as the Mississippi, Cumberland and Columbia, and other waterways, such as Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound.
American Cruise Lines has a fleet of 10 ships, making it the largest cruise line in the U.S. It operates small cruise ships, modern riverboats and paddle-wheelers that sail 35 itineraries on rivers and coastal and inland waterways that include New England, Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi River system, and the Southeast.
Most cruises are one week, but some are as long as 10 days. Prices start at $3,725 per person, double occupancy.
Among the theme cruises planned for next year are history cruises, including:
Revolutionary War and crab fest cruises, Chesapeake Bay (April, May, October and November)
Mississippi River Civil War cruises (March, April, May and October)
Civil War cruises in the historic South (March and April)
Lewis and Clark cruises, Columbia and Snake rivers in the Northwest (April, May, June, July, August, September and October)
Mark Twain tribute cruises, upper Mississippi River (August and September)
Seven wine and cheese itineraries
New England lobster bake cruises (May, June, July, August and September)
Lobster bake cruises focused on New England's islands (June, July, August and September)
Lobster bake cruises focused on the Maine coast and harbors (June, July, August and September)
Wine cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers (April, May, June, July and September)
Puget Sound food and wine cruises (October)
Lower Mississippi River culinary cruises (June and October)
Mississippi Gateway food and wine cruises (July)
There are two music itineraries on the schedule next year: Mississippi River music cruises (March, April and December), and Nashville country and blues cruises on the Cumberland River (September).
Other theme cruises include the Tulip Festival cruises in Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands (April), holiday cruises (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's) and fall foliage tours (October).
Info: American Cruise Lines, (800) 460-4518 or contact a travel agent