Visit Some of the Most Beautiful U.S. National Parks on These New Cruise Itineraries

American Cruise Lines has unveiled a new collection of national park cruises for 2024, combining river and coastal sailings with land tours through some of the country’s most spectacular parks.

River surrounded by meadow, evergreens, and gray mountains in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is among those featured on the new 2024 itineraries.

Courtesy of Austin Farrington/Unsplash

American Cruise Lines, a company that operates U.S. river and coastal cruises, has launched a series of new national park–focused cruise itineraries for 2024.

Ranging from 12 to 18 days, each cruise-tour combines river or ocean sailings on the company’s fleet of intimate 100- to 180-passenger vessels with time spent in some of the country’s most spectacular national parks. The itineraries include all meals, transportation to the parks, and hotel accommodations in or near the parks, in addition to the cruise portion of the trip.

These are the four new American Cruise Lines 2024 sailings that feature national parks.

Chimney Tops trailhead with pedestrian bridge over a bouldered river and trees with bright yellow fall color

Planning a visit to the massive Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee can be overwhelming. American Cruise Lines is offering an easier way.

Photo by Shutterstock

12-day Great Smoky Mountains National Park cruise

This itinerary combines 10 days on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers and 2 days in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (the country’s most-visited national park, known for the diversity of its plant and animal life and wide range of forested trails). The itinerary starts in Knoxville with additional stops in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama before disembarking in Nashville. The first sailing will depart on May 24 aboard the 180-passenger American Symphony; additional sailings in the year will be onboard the 180-passenger American Splendor or American Melody. Prices start at $7,690 per person.

18-day Grand Alaska National Parks cruise

Starting with seven days on land, American Cruise Lines’ Grand Alaska National Parks cruise-tour kicks off in Fairbanks in Alaska’s interior, before boarding a bus to Denali National Park, home to the tallest mountain in North America. After that, passengers will visit the hamlet of Talkeetna and Kenai Fjords National Park, where it’s possible to see humpback whales breaching in front of tidewater glaciers. Then it’s back to Anchorage for a flight to Juneau to start an 11-day sailing in southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage on the 170-passenger American Constellation. Along the way, the vessel will pull into port cities like Petersburg, Skagway, and Haines. It’ll also stop in Glacier Bay National Park, part of a 25 million–acre World Heritage site (one of the largest protected areas in the world), known for its temperate rain forests and massive ice fields, before ending in Wrangell. The first departure of this itinerary will be June 10. Prices start at $15,665 per person.

Islets with a few trees jutting out from the water at Kenai Fjords National Park

The Alaska itineraries feature the breathtaking Kenai Fjords National Park.

Photo by Shutterstock

15-day Alaska National Parks cruise

A slightly abbreviated version of the Grand Alaska National Parks cruise, this itinerary includes just eight days at sea (cutting out a stop in Sitka and a day each of scenic sailing in Frederick Sound and the Wrangell Narrows). There will only be two sailings in 2024, on August 20 and August 27, also on the American Constellation, but more are already planned for the following summer. Prices start at $13,205 per person.

15-day National Parks & Legendary Rivers cruise

This epic adventure includes eight days on the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest, followed by seven days of exploration by land into some of the nation’s most celebrated national parks. You can start with either the land-based portion of this cruise-tour in Jackson, Wyoming, or with the river cruise portion in Portland, Oregon. During the sailing, guests will visit Astoria, Oregon, and Richland, Washington, among other ports. And on the land tour, they will visit three national parks: Glacier, known for its glacier-carved valleys and turquoise lakes; Yellowstone, home to the Old Faithful geyser and the largest buffalo herd in America; and Grand Teton, where jagged peaks and lush meadows abound. The first sailing will take place on June 6 aboard the 180-passenger American Harmony, with other sailings on the American Jazz or the American Song. Prices start at $12,455 per person.

The 100-passenger "American Harmony" on river, with forested mountains in background

The 100-passenger American Harmony is among the vessels being used for the new national park cruise-tours.

Courtesy of American Cruise Lines

In addition to these new itineraries, American Cruise Lines has existing U.S. cruises that visit other U.S. national parks as part of the cruise itinerary, including the 8-Day Florida Gulf Coast and Keys sailing (stopping at Dry Tortugas and Everglades National Parks), two Puget Sound cruises (that include Olympic National Park); and a handful of New England cruises during which passengers visit Acadia National Park.

The company will also launch two new ships in 2024, the 100-passenger American Liberty and American Legend, and will host the inaugural departures of its 60-day Great United States Cruise, the longest-ever U.S. river cruise that visits a whopping 20 states, and the 35-day Civil War Battlefields Cruise, for history buffs.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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