• Kayaking on Palouse River, Oregon.
  • Niagara Falls.
  • Steamboat cruising on the Mississipi River.

Cruise unexpected places in North America.

When you think cruising, you’re most likely thinking ocean and European rivers. You might have cruised the seven seas already, or you are new to cruising and not sure how you will handle days at sea. How about looking outside the box and discovering parts of North America that are full of culture, wine and fun, through their rivers and lakes.

The small ship difference

Small ship cruising allows for a unique and intimate cruise unlike any other. A small ship means fewer people on board; no waiting in queues to embark or disembark, or at dinner time. The service is personalised and you’re able to navigate into tighter areas that are off-limits to larger vessels.


1. Wine, dine, kayak or hike the Columbia and Snake rivers on the west coast

From Portland, Oregon, embark on a journey that will take you through the unique scenery that runs along the Columbia River. Discover America's western frontier along these mighty rivers. Be surprised by the Palouse Canyon, delight in the local wineries, and take in the rolling hills while you cruise the river. Keep your eyes open for bald eagles and osprey!

UnCruise Adventures offers all-inclusive adventure and wine/culinary seven-night itineraries along the river. Hike, kayak, swim, and whitewater raft in this recreation mecca on the Rivers of Adventure. Or taste and tour your way down the rivers on Rivers of Wine & Culinary.

American Steamboat Company also offers a seven-night itinerary along the Columbia and Snake River if you prefer a steamboat experience.

Why not combine your cruise with a visit to Seattle and Vancouver and maybe an ocean cruise through Alaska?

2. Cruise the Mississippi the traditional way on a steamboat

Board one of the three American Steamboat Company boats and start a journey through time, getting a true taste of Southern USA. Whether you prefer a more traditional décor on board American Queen or a more modern approach on board American Duchess and the upcoming American Countess being launched this year, you can expect the highest level of service and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Feel the rhythmic pulse of the paddlewheel and indulge in the mesmerising beat of jazz as you discover famous American landmarks including Memphis and Bourbon Street in New Orleans and backwoods roadhouses. Attend the theatre without stepping ashore. Stand on the bow as America reveals itself on this uniquely American river cruise.

3. Discover the Great Lakes region

One of the least known cruise destinations, the Great Lakes region, is among our favorite at Quay Cruise. With Air New Zealand direct flights Auckland to Chicago, it’s an easy and convenient way to explore the American and Canadian landmarks bordering the Great Lakes – such a great alternative to a coach tour.

Embark Victory Cruise Lines in Chicago and disembark in Toronto on their 13-night itinerary or end your journey in Niagara Falls on their shorter sailings, or simply start and end your sailing in Chicago.

Victory Cruise Lines offers an all-inclusive cruising experience and many inclusions with just 200 guests on board. All onboard meals are masterfully crafted. Days are filled with enriching onboard lectures and immersive shore excursions with access to major cultural and international metropolitan areas. Evenings bring travellers together for cocktail hour and engaging entertainment. After dinner, relax with drinks in our cozy, English-style tavern.

On board, historians bring the sights, smells and sounds alive: Chicago is the home of the deep pan pizza and jazz; Cleveland is the home of rock ’n’ roll; Detroit the home of motoring; and Mackinac Island is a peaceful throwback to the Victorian era. There is so much to explore in the region and you can do all that in under two weeks while unpacking just once!

Quay Cruise, your local travel experts. Phone 0800 782 987, email info@quaycruise.co.nz, or come visit us at 2/49 Apollo Drive, Mairangi Bay.

Parking available. Expert advice and great coffee!