About Great Rivers of Florida Cruise

Designated an American Heritage River, the St. Johns is one of the few north-flowing rivers above the equator. Along this river, you'll sail a route that adventurous passengers first followed on 19th-century paddlewheelers in search of a tropical paradise. With the advent of the railroads, tourism headed further south and the St. Johns meandered serenely and untouched thereafter.

The artesian mineral springs that feed its waters have created an extraordinary environment for flora and fauna, with creeks, lagoons and lakes opening before you in magical splendor. Journey to the heart of the Ocala National Forest where you’ll observe alligators, playful manatees, and majestic bald eagles all in their natural habitats.

Early Bird Discount: Book early and Save $400 or more per stateroom on this cruise.

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Cruise Itinerary

Day
Ports of Call
1
Jacksonville, FL area (Amelia Island)
2
Palatka, FL
3
Cruising the St. Johns to Lake George (Ocala National Forest)
4
Green Cove Springs, FL
5
Cruising the Tolomato River
6
St. Augustine, FL
7
Amelia Island, FL
8
Amelia Island / Jacksonville, FL

Great Rivers of Florida Cruise

Explore the impressive wildlife and native scenery on this exciting  river cruise through northern Florida.

Ports of Call

  • Jacksonville, FL area (Amelia Island)
  • Palatka, FL
  • Green Cove Springs, FL
  • St. Augustine, FL
  • Amelia Island, FL
  • Amelia Island / Jacksonville, FL

Day by Day


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Day  1
Jacksonville, FL area (Amelia Island)

Departing for Palatka, you will enjoy a journey along the waters of St. Johns River, one of only three rivers in the nation that flows north. This river is home to over 200 species of birds including the bald eagle, swallowtail kite, and wood stork. Discover why the St. Johns River - with unlimited recreation, celebrated history, and protected wildlife - has been distinguished as one of the fourteen American Heritage Rivers.

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Day  2
Palatka, FL

Once known for its worldwide shipping commerce of citrus and timber, Palatka also attracted a vast number of tourists and wealthy northerners looking to relocate to Florida. Today, it remains a charming river town with restored plantation houses standing as a testament to distinguished residents that once called Palatka home. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the beautifully landscaped Ravine Gardens State Park.

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Palatka City Tour

Palatka was a center for commerce and a popular attraction for tourists and wealthy northerners in the late 1800s. On a narrated city tour, learn about the history and culture of Palatka and visit the Bronson Mulholland House, one of the most historic homes in central Florida.

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Blue Springs State Park

Covering more than 2,600 acres, Blue Spring State Park is home to the largest spring on St. John's River and is a refuge for the West Indian manatee, one of the world's most endangered species. In season, the manatees congregate here to enjoy the warmth of the year-round 72 -degree waters. Enjoy a peaceful nature boat tour of the park, where you will encounter a variety of wildlife, or tour on your own and visit the observation platform where the manatees gather.

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Other Palatka Attractions

The Welaka National Fish Hatchery
Built in 1926, this hatchery was originally run by the State of Florida until the late 1930s, when it was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Besides fish, you can view various amphibians and reptiles during a visit.Website

Putnam Historic Museum
The Putnam Historic Museum is housed in Palatka's oldest surviving building, which was built in 1837. The museum is home to artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of Palatka and Putnam County. The museum also includes a reading and research area where visitors may learn about the county's history.

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Day  3
Cruising the St. Johns to Lake George (Ocala National Forest)

Continue to cruise St. Johns River to Lake George, which shares a border with the Ocala National Forest. The lake hosts a variety of wildlife ranging from migratory water birds to a number of marine animals. Local springs in Lake George feed enough salt to the system to make the habitat suitable for marine species like Atlantic stingray, striped bass and blue crab.

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Day  4
Green Cove Springs, FL

In the 1800s, Green Cove Springs attracted a surge of vacationers from the North, drawn to the warm mineral springs reputed to have medicinal qualities and healing powers. Steamboat services brought high society, searching for a warm retreat from the winter’s harsh climate. Today, visitors can explore the historic district, which includes vintage homes and gorgeous surroundings.

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Carriage Tour of Green Cove Springs

Once a haven for vacationers seeking reprieve from the cold winters of the North, Green Cove Springs is wonderful to visit in style. Travel through the area in a horse-drawn carriage to experience the area like travelers of yore.

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Green Cove Springs Narrated Walking Tour

Experience the sights and sounds of Green Cove Springs during this guided tour. Discover colorful floral gardens as you make your way over footbridges. Follow Spring Run to the center of Spring Park, where you'll find the city's historic spring. Other tour highlights include the famous Qui-Si-Sana hotel, once owned by J.C. Penney.

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Other Green Cove Springs Attractions

Spring Park
This park has numerous activities for people of all ages and interests. Go fishing off of the city pier or gaze out at the river from the park’s gazebo during a sunny afternoon.

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Day  5
Cruising the Tolomato River

Experience one of the most impressive stretches of inland waterways in the United States, the Tolomato River. See many spectacular sites, including a rare view of the Atlantic Ocean, visible over the Barrier Islands. Join our invited naturalist on the open observation decks for views of native wildlife, captivating sunsets, hidden villages, and miles of pristine landscapes.

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Day  6
St. Augustine, FL

In the late 1800s, oil millionaire Henry Flagler built out St. Augustine in an attempt to fulfill his vision of establishing an American Riviera along Florida's eastern shores. Although this "golden era" ended in the early 1900s, Flagler's legacy remains. Explore historic ruins, unique architecture, and the narrow streets of a city once used as a remote outpost by the Spanish Empire.

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Tram Tour of St. Augustine

During this tram tour of St. Augustine, take in the wondrous setting once considered to be the “American Riviera.” See the churches, mansions, hotels and other buildings constructed in the late 1800s as a guide brings you through the historic districts of this stunning location.

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Alligator Farm and Zoological Park

The Alligator Farm and Zoological Park has been attracting visitors for over a century, many lured in by the captivating presence of its caged reptiles. You will have the opportunity to observe many of these exotic reptiles, including the Komodo dragon and the Galapagos tortoise, the largest tortoise in the world. 

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Other St. Augustine Attractions

Ripleys Believe it or Not Museum
Visit this famous museum of oddities during your stop in St. Augustine. Featuring more than 800 exotic and curious exhibits, this Ripley’s is housed in a revival-style mansion built in the late 1800s. Website

Old City Helicopters LLC
See St. Augustine from a bird’s eye view during a guided helicopter tour high above the city. During your tour, take in marvelous views of the Bridge of Lions and the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  Website

Old Town Trolley Tours
This 90-minute tour is unique, allowing you to stay at any of the stops for as long as you want. Visit the Alligator Farm, the Spanish Quarter or a myriad of other areas within St. Augustine. Website

St. Augustine Old Jail
The Old Jail, built by Henry Flagler, was constructed to resemble a first-class hotel. Learn about its maximum security prisoners, the weapons they used to commit their crimes, and the sheriff, who lived in the jail with his wife.  

Florida Heritage Museum
During its long history, St. Augustine was under the rule of Spain, Great Britain and France. Discover how this city prospered in different ways under each country at the Florida Heritage Museum.

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Day  7
Amelia Island, FL

Discover the unspoiled beauty of Amelia Island, with miles of quartz beaches and rolling sand dunes. Fernandina Beach, the island's only city, harbors a treasure trove of history, antiques, and collectibles. Join a walking tour of Centre Street's Historic District, featuring restored 19th century Victorian homes and shops. Stroll along the tree-lined avenues and explore Amelia Island's charm.

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Historic Walking Tour

Join us for a walking tour through the Victorian seaport of Fernandina Beach. You will stroll through the town's historic Centre Street, past the Florida House, and into the Silk Stocking District. While on the tour, you will be introduced to many great historical figures that influenced the architecture and business of Fernandina Beach.

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Amelia Island River Cruise

Take in the view of Florida’s third oldest city, beautiful Fernandina Beach, from the water on a relaxing river boat tour. A benefit of touring the island from the water is the increased chance of seeing the unique marine life that inhabits the islands surrounding waters. In addition, your tour will include the island’s main attractions such as Fort Clinch and the Amelia Island Lighthouse.

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Other Amelia Island Attractions

The Great Florida Birding Trail
The Great Florida Birding Trail begins at Fort Clinch. The trail makes it easy for all birders to find new birding sites throughout the state. Guides detailing what species to expect at each site and the best times for viewing can be obtained at the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Centers, Fort Clinch, and Little Talbot State Park.Website

Old Towne Carriage Company
Take a narrated horse-drawn carriage ride through Amelia Island's historic district lasting 30 minutes. Enjoy the ride as you see the landmarks of the 50-block downtown district, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. All of the tours include a guide who describes the landmarks and the history of the area. Website

Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary
The Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary is located on Big Talbot Island and specializes in caring for Florida's wild birds. Peacocks, pelicans, owls, eagles, ostriches, vultures and emus in various stages of rehab are nursed back to health.

Amelia Island Plantation Nature Center Programs
Learn more about the natural habitat of Amelia Island during one of the hikes offered by this nature center. Discover many native creatures from the region, including birds, edible plants, crabs and more. Website

Kelly Seahorse Ranch
Kelly Seahorse Ranch offers one of a few beach-riding opportunities in the nation. Through Kelly Seahorse Ranch, enjoy the scenery of Amelia's fantastic, white-sand beaches and the beauty of the ocean by horseback. Website

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Day  8
Amelia Island / Jacksonville, FL

Take in the beautiful weather of northern Florida as you disembark from your tour of the South. Jacksonville offers a number of wonderful activities, including a tour of Cummer Art Museum, which houses an exclusive collection of art, including rare porcelain.

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Jacksonville Narrated City Tour

This narrated walking tour of the downtown area takes you to the most intriguing places in Jacksonville. Hear how the city survived the Great Fire of 1901 to emerge as an architectural gem of the South. Walk from St. John's River to Hemming Plaza, taking an insider's look at historic buildings and skyscrapers along the way. On this unique tour, you will also explore the subterranean city that once connected the banks with secret underground tunnels and vaults.

American Star

The American Star will offer guests the same style of cruising that has become the hallmark of American Cruise Lines. From charming small towns to gracious ports, the American Star will bring guests to places of historic interest and magnificent beauty. Onboard, each guest will be able to unwind in the friendly and accommodating atmosphere, which is serviced by attentive all—American staff.


Click a Category

Owner's Suite (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

At 350 sq. ft., the Owner’s Suite is an oversized room offering complete comfort in a spacious private sanctuary. The room has a large sitting area and a private balcony offering expansive views from a stunning vantage point.

AAC (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

These 283 sq. ft. staterooms are located on the top deck which provides privacy and great panoramic views. The living space is comparable to that of a fine hotel room and offers a writing desk, a closet, a full-size bathroom and a private balcony.

AAL (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

AAL staterooms are a spacious retreat with all the amenities a modern traveler expects. Each room offers 263 sq. ft. of space encompassing a hotel size bathroom, a private balcony, and a large opening picture window.

AA

Deckplan

AA Category staterooms are the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploration. Each 258 sq. ft. room has a large opening picture window with views of the passing scenery. The rooms also offer hotel-size bathrooms and plenty of closet space.

A

Deckplan

A category rooms are a quiet enclave for total relaxation. They come equipped with a full assortment of modern amenities and a large opening picture window. Each room is 258 sq. ft. and is ideal for cruising the inland waterways of the East Coast.

Single (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

The intimate atmosphere of each single stateroom is ideal for the solo traveler. At 248 sq. ft. each room has a twin bed, a full bathroom, a private balcony, and plenty of room to spread out and make yourself at home.

American Star Deck Plan

Deck

Eagle Society Cruise


Florida is known for its amazing state parks, protected harbors, and amazing marine life. From St. Augustine to Jacksonville, you'll explore historic ruins, national forests, and mineral springs. Eagle Society members will enjoy a narrated boat tour along Amelia Island's salt marshes, beaches and historic riverbanks and will be treated to local refreshments and delicacies, including the renowned pink shrimp.

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Reserve Cruise

Thanksgiving Cruise


Celebrate Thanksgiving with American Cruise Lines. This year we invite you to join us as we cruise the Great Rivers of Florida and celebrate the Thanksgiving season.

Enjoy festive decorations aboard the ship, a holiday inspired cocktail reception and revel in the holiday spirit of each community we visit along the way. Our culinary team has prepared a traditional Thanksgiving feast with roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing. They have every detail handled precisely for a memorable holiday meal.

American Cruise Lines will continue its annual "Give-Back" program this holiday season. For each ticket sold on our Thanksgiving cruises, we donate $50 to the Connecticut Food Bank. Last year we raised over $10,000 to help alleviate hunger.

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Reserve Cruise

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* Prices displayed are per person based on double occupancy.

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