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Small Ship Cruising

North America encompasses a diverse collection of waterways that includes mighty rivers, lakes and coastlines.

North American Highways recommend a variety of cruise lines that provide the small ship cruising holiday experience which focuses more on your destination. Local guides are on-board many of the trips, providing expert information and allowing you to appreciate fully your surroundings in a relaxed atmosphere.

Alaska is always a firm favourite with our customers, and with good reason. The best way to see the ‘Great Land’ is by small ship, allowing you access to areas large cruise liners cannot. The ice-bound landscapes are spectacular. More than 400 species of wildlife can be found from bald eagles soaring through the skies to whales gliding through the icy waters. The true entertainment is provided by the animals of this amazing part of the world. The stage is the unrivalled rugged landscapes and blue tipped glaciers. We believe there is no need for distractions from the beautiful vistas you will encounter as you glide through the pristine waters of the last frontier.

We feature expeditions to the Far North to the Midnight Sun of the Arctic where longer daylight hours provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Polar bears, walrus and bowhead whales are not unusual to spot and the evenings are illuminated with the phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Visit mystical Newfoundland and Labrador in Eastern Canada with its folklore and friendly locals and visit early settlements of Viking explorers.

Cruise the serene waterways of the lazy Mississippi River in the Deep South where you can visit New Orleans or enjoy the rich history and beautiful architecture of the south-eastern US Intracoastal Waterway incorporating Charleston and Savannah. New England’s Atlantic Coast offers a varied and colourful landscape and fascinating ports of call. Charming Cape Cod and Rhode Island display the many lighthouses that dot the coastlines and your vessel allows you to stop off at towns full of craft and antique shops.

The rivers of the northwest in the states of Washington and Oregon pass through intense green landscapes, sparkling waterfalls and lush coastal forests. Cruise the mighty Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers through Kentucky, Wyoming and Pennsylvania during ‘The Fall’ and soak up scenes of blazing colour along the shore.

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Blount Small Ship Adventures Image courtesy of Blount Small Ship Adventures
Un-Cruise Image courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures

'Upscale but not uptight' is how this luxury cruise line describes itself. With maximum passenger capacity for 700 guests and the majority of cabins with balconies this multi- award winning cruise line boasts the highest standard of cruising excellence. The six star fleet's facilities include complimentary beverages, 24 hour room service and a refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water. These luxury vessels ensure an ambiance that is personal, individual and accommodating.

Since 1996, Un-Cruise Adventures’ small group experience has continued to combine discovery, impeccable service and expertise, and Aha! moments that happen in the unplanned spaces in between expectation.

Exploring waters inaccessible to larger ships, mingling with locals (both the civilized and wild-and-woolly kind), and creating lifelong memories—all focused on activities and excursions that complement the wilderness, wildlife, culture, and heritage of the places they visit.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with a companion, as a family, or in a group, Un-Cruise Adventures reveals an unimaginable way of uncovering hidden wonders and learning while having fun. Change the way you see the world.

American Cruise Lines specializes in a unique style of small ship cruising along the inland waterways and rivers of the United States. Fascinating itineraries include the Pacific Northwest, Maine, New England Islands, Hudson River, Chesapeake Bay, the Historic South & Golden Isles, Florida, Alaska, and the Mississippi River aboard the brand new paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi. With no more than 140 guests onboard, passengers experience each port of call, up close and personal, all while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow travelers and the exemplary service that is the hallmark of American Cruise Lines.

Founded by the Swan family in 1988, Adventure Canada is now run by the second generation—Cedar, Alana and Matthew James— and their office staff, who have worked together for years. They focus on delivering unsurpassed experiences in the Arctic, the East and West Coasts, Antarctica, and a handful of unique wilderness destinations.

Local ties make them stronger and Adventure Canada work closely with communities, and they depend on culturalists with local connections to interpret and enhance experiences. The Discovery Fee supports worthy causes and projects in the regions they visit. Their staff include storytellers, musicians, historians, artists, scientists and archeologists.

Only Blount takes you to the small, unspoiled corners of the tropics, like Mayaguana, one of the most remote islands in the Bahamas, and home to beautiful reefs and historic shipwrecks. Or West Snake Cay, a remote, untouched coral ridge that's home to manatees and thousands of tropical fish.

And only Blount helps you explore America's great waterways, like the Mississippi, Lake Champlain, and the Hudson River. Even the Erie Canal, a waterway many thought couldn't be navigated by a cruise ship. Thanks to a retractable pilot house invented by Luther, Blount ships slip under the famous low bridges of the canal, past small towns and historic port villages, deep into the heart of America’s past. Or drop anchor in Canada’s Georgian Bay, near the North channel, and take stargazing to another level.