Ever popular are the fall foliage cruises, ranging from four to 16 days mainly on the big rivers and along the New England coastline, and costing from $460 to $9,966 per person, double occupancy.
According to cruise line reports, the cruises on the St. Lawrence River are so popular that most are sold out, but there is still space on the Mississippi and Hudson Rivers, and on the coast.
The product is much different from the traditional cruise. Sightseeing becomes the major attraction, especially for the smaller vessels. There are few custom parties and no outside swimming pools. Instead, binoculars and cameras dominate on board activities, and passengers tend to be warmly dressed.
On the Mississippi, the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen sail from St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburg (Ohio River) and St. Paul.
On the St. Lawrence River, the Canadian Empress joins the Caribbean Prince and the New Shoreham II of American Canadian Line.
The American Cruise Line and Exploration Cruise Lines offer cruises on the Hudson River and along the New England coastline.
Among the big ships are the Royal Odyssey, Royal Viking Star and Royal Viking Sky, and Stella Solaris offering sailings between New York and Montreal. The Canada Star offers roundtrip cruises from Montreal as far south as Cape Cod.
Ocean Cruise Lines and Cunard have positioning cruises from Montreal to Philadelphia and Port Everglades that also take in some of the fall colors.