River cruises in the Pacific Northwest explore emerald mountains, deep gorges, waterfalls, forests and vast plains. If you can imagine it all without any sign of civilization, you'll wonder how explorers Lewis and Clark made it through on a similar route. Modern-day diversions include eight dams and some of the country's finest wineries. On American Safari Cruises' October and November wine-focused sailings, you can learn from the pros about handcrafted wine production as you intimately cruise from Lewiston, Idaho, to Portland, Ore., on the 22-passenger Safari Quest. Tour and taste at family-owned boutique wineries representing the Walla Walla, Red Mountain and Yakima Valley appellations. You'll even have the chance to blend your own creation. — Photo by Sunset Avenue Productions/Getty Images
River cruises provide a new perspective on Americana. They take you slowly through the inland waterways of upstate New York, along the Mississippi or on the course of Lewis and Clark. You take in the scenery, learn from onboard historians, sip wine and go explore on one of the ship's kayaks or bikes. The experience is sometimes intimate, often casual and always authentic. Here are five recommended river cruises on North American waters.