17 Best River Cruises Around the World

It is hard to imagine a holiday that delivers so much, in terms of cultural and scenic sightseeing, and yet offers such a relaxed and agreeable means of travelling between countries. Whether it’s an adventure-and-wildlife trek along Peru’s Amazon, a wine-and-food-focused sailing to Bordeaux, France, or a history-and-culture-rich trip along the Mekong from Vietnam to Cambodia, river cruises can offer the chance to see smaller, more rural ports; eat hyper-local food both on and off the ship; and tour destinations with just a handful of other travelers.

1. Snake and Columbia Rivers, Pacific Northwestern U.S.

You’re in pioneer country when you sail the Snake and Columbia Rivers in the scenic Pacific Northwest. Board a steamboat to retrace Lewis and Clark’s legendary route; many have onboard experts who’ll discuss the region’s history, culture and natural resources. You’ll see the majestic Columbia River Gorge and icy-cold Multnomah Falls, the second highest waterfall in the U.S. Book a jet boat ride when you reach Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America, to look for Native American pictographs and watch the landscape change from high desert to alpine forest.

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