Thinking of taking a cruise vacation? Don't limit yourself to destinations at sea. Several companies offer riverboat cruises that provide a unique way to see the heartlands of a country.
For example, you can experience river travel as Mark Twain once did, cruising the Mississippi River via a paddle-wheel-powered ship. Itineraries explore destinations up and down the Mississippi, Ohio, and Tributary Rivers.
The Delta Queen
For a taste of the authentic, book passage on Majestic American's Delta Queen:
"Built in 1926, gleaming with four decks of teak and original Tiffany-style stained-glass windows, the Delta Queen accommodates just 176 guests, all in outside staterooms. Unique touches abound, including a rare ironwood floor gracing the Orleans Room, the heart of the ship's nightlife, and an 1897 steam calliope that was once salvaged from a sunken showboat and sold to a circus. You'll even find the very same ship's bell that sounded out landings for the steamboat Mark Twain rode downriver in 1883."
Cruises on the Delta Queen run 4 to 11 days, with prices ranging from about $285 a day for an outside cabin (there are no inside cabins) to $445 for a suite.
Depending on the month you book, some cities you might expect to cruise through are Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis, Little Rock, Chattanooga, and Birmingham.