A River Cruise in California? Yes

American Cruise Lines' new California cruise sails bays, rivers, and deltas.

view of the Golden Gate bridge and Fort Point at sunrise with light fog
(Photo: Envato/haveseen)

American Cruise Lines, which offers river cruises on the Mississippi and in New England, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest, has announced a new destination: California. 

The first river cruise of its kind to be offered in California since the 1940s, the eight-day San Francisco Bay cruise takes passengers from San Francisco up the San Joaquin River, through the Sacramento Delta and up the Sacramento River, and finally along the Napa River to Napa. American Cruise Lines’ American Jazz is a river cruise ship that previously sailed the Mississippi. The 99-stateroom ship holds 180 passengers, 

It’s an unusual cobbling together of rivers, bays, and deltas but one that offers passengers a mix of popular destinations (San Francisco, Napa, Sacramento) while mixing in views and experiences that most people traveling by land to these spots would miss entirely. 

TourScoop Takeaway

California has plenty of impressive nature: it’s famous for its mountains, ocean, and desert. And while it has some beautiful rivers, they tend to be one of the state’s lesser-known features. Which is why the move into the river cruise space by American Cruise Lines is particularly interesting. By creating a river cruise that blends multiple rivers, the Sacramento Delta, and the San Francisco Bay, the itinerary offers access to some of Northern California’s most beautiful places from the comfort of a river boat.

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Josh Roberts is the co-founder and Editorial Director of TourScoop and FamilyVacationist. He is also a novelist and the former Senior Executive Editor at Tripadvisor, SmarterTravel, Airfarewatchdog, and FamilyVacationCritic.