RIVER EXPLORER: This barge accommodates 196 guests on three passenger decks. It travels the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, the Atchafalaya River Basin in Louisiana and a portion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway that extends along the Gulf Coast from Pensacola to the Texas coast. Seven-day fall excursions begin at $2,190. Contact RiverBarge Excursions at www.riverbarge.com or 888-462-2743.
THE DELTA, AMERICAN AND MISSISSIPPI QUEENS: These steam-driven paddlewheelers travel along the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, Atchafalaya, Kanawha and Arkansas rivers and the Tennessee-Tombigbee and Gulf Intracoastal waterways. The Delta Queen, launched in 1927, accommodates 174 guests on four passenger decks. The American Queen, launched in 1995, accommodates 436 passengers on six passenger decks. The Mississippi Queen, launched in 1976, accommodates 416 guests on seven passenger decks. Fares range from $695 for the least expensive room on a three-day trip to $7,135 for the finest accommodations on an 11-night trip; see www.deltaqueen.com for discount deals, itineraries and details, or call 800-543-1949.
NICHE CRUISE MARKETING ALLIANCE:www.nichecruise.com or 425-867-0399.
CRUISE PRICING: Cruise fares usually cover lodging and all meals but exclude alcohol, gift shop purchases, shore excursions and tipping. Prices listed are usually per person, double occupancy.