/ Attractions / 11 Captivating History Cruise Options for Real History Buffs

11 Captivating History Cruise Options for Real History Buffs

A historic picture of a steam paddleboat.
Christina Boyes on October 9, 2015 - 1:10 pm in Attractions, Places to visit

Cruise the Aegean or boat down the Mississippi. There’s no time like the present to go on a cruise. If you’re in the mood for a nautical adventure with a historic twist, there are historic cruise options for every budget and interest.

You can’t go on every adventure, but if you’re looking for a history cruise that’s as exciting and history-obsessed as you are, take a look at this list.

A historic picture of a steam paddleboat.

Not all cruise ships look alike. Imagine cruising in one of these!

History Cruises in the U.S.

Let’s face it. American history can be fascinating. There’s more to experience on the rivers and in the bays and lakes of the United States than you realize. On rivers, bays, and lakes, these history cruises open your eyes to a world of American history outside of the expected.

Rhode Island Bay History Cruise

Several cruise companies operate history cruises on Rhode Island’s waterways, but the bay area tours are considered the best. From lighthouses to pilgrim days, you’ll learn fascinating information about the coastal areas of this historic state. Most of the cruises in this area are under 4 hours, so you’ve still got time to explore the area when you’re done. Don’t expect a large ship, however. Most Rhode Island Bay history cruises are on large and medium yachts.

Buffalo River History Tour

This private tour company operates two separate tours along Lake Erie and the Buffalo River. A fascinating step into the past, the Silo City tour gives you the chance to walk around the old Perot Malting Plant and grain elevators, while the Buffalo River Tour provides a fascinating glimpse into the days when canals drove Buffalo’s commerce, and a look at the city of Buffalo’s past and modern waterfront.

Chicago History Museum Cruise

Chicago Line Cruises is a Chicago-based cruise operator with multiple options for guests interested in the city’s architecture, past, or a just a nice evening on the water. The best tour for history buffs, however, is the aptly-named Chicago History Museum Cruise. It’s a 90 minute excursion that will captivate history, architecture, and design fans, and it comes with great snacks – including Starbucks Coffee.

American Cruise Lines

This small, domestic cruise line offers numerous history cruises on American waterways. From Civil War cruises on the Mississippi River to Lewis & Clark cruises on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, you can explore American history on this company’s cruises in a new and captivating way. Five of the company’s nine ships are paddleboats, adding to the charm and historic feel of their voyages.

Cruise your way through history on a luxurious ship.

From Venice to Malacca, cruising may just be the perfect vacation for history buffs.

International History Cruises

Looking for a window into the Old World, a chance to experience epic adventures of the Ancient Greeks, or an opportunity to see what coastal life Down Under was like for Australia’s first settlers? There’s a cruise for that…

Cruise through History on the Malacca River

Along the Malacca river of Malaysia, several small boats and cruise companies operate tours that give passengers the chance to see the historic skyline of this ancient city. This popular history cruise travels along most of Old Town Malacca’s waterfront to the Spice Garden Jetty. It’s a delightful afternoon excursion with plenty of wildlife viewing as well as history, but some visitors suggest that the night views are equally impressive.

Sydney Heritage Fleet’s Sydney Harbour Secrets Cruise

Designed to reinvigorate Sydney’s and Australia’s past, this fleet of historic ships offers several ways to learn about Australia’s history on the seas. One of the most captivating, however, is the Sydney Harbour Secrets Cruise. Run on one of two historic vessels built in 1902, the tour takes visitors past more than 7 of the harbor’s most notable landmarks. It’s a roughly 3-hour cruise, held monthly, and offers complimentary tea, coffee, and cake.

Asimina Tours 2 & 4-day Greek History Cruises

This family-owned company offers tours, accommodations help, and yes, cruises. Their 2 & 4-day Greek History cruises are delightfully small and informative. Visiting some of the region’s most popular destinations, and a few off the beaten path, they provide a great way for voyagers to get in touch with Ancient Greece.

Check out Santorini on a history cruise.

The Aegean Sea is one of hundreds of fascinating spots history cruises visit.

History Cruises with Multiple International Stops

You can find long, informative, and luxurious trips through the maritime and seaport history of multiple ports of call on ships built specifically to explore the past, and you don’t have to sacrifice any of the fun or elegance that traditional cruise lines are known for in the process. Here are a few to check out:

Voyages to Antiquity

Dedicated to the exploration of history along the Mediterranean in Europe and North Africa, Voyages to Antiquity is a classy cruise line that’s information packed. You can take the cruise as a laidback relaxing experience or immerse yourself in the past of the cradle of humanity. The choice is up to you. All around, Voyages to Antiquity has a great reputation, although their guests tend to be a mix of intellectuals and older adults.

National Geographic Explorer

Operated by the internationally-renowned Lindblad Expeditions, several of which offer exciting windows into the past. From the ancient Norse to archeological ruins in Chile and Peru, the voyages offer guests the opportunity to live the wonder that National Geographic’s magazine is known for. Trips last from 7-29 days, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the experience.

Azamara Club Cruises

A high-end luxury cruise line, Azamara Club Cruises aim to be something different, and they are. The company offers numerous history cruise options, with countries on the agenda as varied as Turkey and Holland. By far, their Aegean Cruise is one of the best in the cruise industry. If you’re interested in the history of this fascinating sea and the people who live near it, this is the perfect cruise for you.



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