Departing from New York City, spending a week on the Hudson is a great way to experience the famous waterway's beauty, trace America's roots and more. American Cruise Lines offers just such opportunities with its October river cruises on the American Glory, American Star or Independence. You'll explore New York's capital city, Albany; the United States Military Academy at West Point; the 19th-century mansions and beautiful valleys of the Catskills, on the western shore; the palatial estates of the Astors and Vanderbilts, near Poughkeepsie; and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park. There's even time in the town of Sleepy Hollow, made legendary by Washington Irving. The cruise includes an overnight in New York, so you can take in the Big Apple's sights and sounds. — Photo by Jonkmanns/Laif/Redux
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.