American Cruise Lines Brings River Cruises to California

American Cruise Lines announced today their first-ever California river cruise. Beginning in 2023, the largest U.S.-based small ship cruise line will depart from San Francisco Bay on a truly unique 8-day cruise that will transport guests from the City on the Bay into the Napa and San Joaquin Valleys.

San Francisco Harbor at Sailaway

With round-trip departures from San Francisco, the cruise will take guests from San Francisco to the Napa River, in the heart of wine country. Port visits include stops in San Francisco, Napa, Vallejo, Stockton, and Sacramento, and cruises San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, the Napa River, and the San Joaquin River. 

The river cruises from San Francisco are a totally unique type of itinerary for the U.S. 

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“American continues to expand the possibilities for exceptional domestic small ship cruises across the country. Exploring this beautiful region of Northern California by riverboat will provide a new opportunity for our guests to discover the Bay area and the Napa Valley in an exceptional way…many have driven there, but not many can say they have actually cruised through wine country,” said Charles B. Robertson, President & CEO of American Cruise Lines.

American Cruise Lines' American Jazz River Ship

American Cruise Lines’ new San Francisco Bay itinerary also highlights the area’s historical, cultural, and geographical influences that lead to the development of  San Francisco as it is today.

American Jazz California river cruise map

The 8-Day San Francisco Bay cruises include a wide range of experiences that include a scenic sail of beautiful San Francisco Bay, passing by the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Treasure Island.

While in San Francisco, guest experiences include visits to Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and Alcatraz Island. Special excursions include a Napa Valley Winery experience, and a NASCAR-style driving experience at the Stockton 99 Speedway.

The cruise also offers a guided tour of Old Sacramento’s underground city and port, and a visit to the California State Railroad Museum. Probably one of the most amazing train museums ever, it is home to 5 full-size steam locomotives including Central Pacific No. 1 Governor Stanford. 

Other exhibits include one honoring the Chinese contribution to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, and the infamous Golden Spike which commemorated the completion of the celebrated railroad in 1869.

Transcontinental train engine Gov. Stanford
The highlight of my visits to Sacramento is always a trip to the California State Railway Museum. \

On board throughout the California river cruise, there will be daily Sunrise Yoga and unique Wine Country experiences. Special wine presentations will offer guests the chance to learn, sip, and savor regional varietals. 

American’s culinary team will also give onboard cooking demonstrations on local Northern Californian cuisine. Each guest will receive a local cookbook to take home.

American’s new 2023 San Francisco Bay cruise is a first for the company in California. This exemplifies the continued growth of the domestic small ship cruise market and more possibilities for new U.S. cruise itineraries.

In just the past few years, American’s portfolio of domestic river cruise itineraries and fleet of small ships has continued to proliferate.

In 2022, the company is operating 6 small ships in the Pacific Northwest with multiple all-domestic itineraries available on the Columbia & Snake Rivers, in Puget Sound & the San Juan Islands, and Alaska.

Overall, American operates 15 small ships in 34 states—also cruising close to home from convenient ports along the entire East Coast, the length of Mississippi River, and the Hudson River from NYC.

2023 departure dates for American Cruise Lines’ new 8-Day San Francisco Bay cruises are: 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, & 3/10 aboard American Jazz.

If you’re not familiar with American Cruise Lines, they offer river cruising and small ship coastal cruises in the U.S.

American continues to launch the newest U.S. built ships and uniquely curated itineraries for exploring without the need to travel to Europe.

In total to date, the company operates 15 ships, all accommodating just 100-190 passengers and offers more than 35 domestic itineraries in 34 states. Plus, American now offers domestic Flat-Rate Airfare for all its U.S. cruises.

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