Great Rivers of Florida Cruise

On this epic cruise, sail a route that adventurous passengers first followed in the 19th century in their search for a tropical paradise. Start your voyage on St. John’s River, a designated American Heritage River, and one of the few north-flowing rivers above the equator.

Then travel to Palatka, a charming town with restored plantation houses and beautiful parks. As you cruise from St. Johns River to Lake George, journey to the heart of the Ocala National Forest and observe alligators, playful manatees, and majestic bald eagles in their natural habitat.

Take a horse-drawn carriage through Green Cove Springs like the travelers of yesteryear and explore the historic ruins, unique architecture, and the narrow streets of St. Augustine. As you stroll along its tree-lined streets, bask in Amelia Island’s charm and admire its many restored 19th-century Victorian homes.

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

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Cruise Itinerary

Ports of Call
Jacksonville, FL area (Amelia Island)
Palatka, FL
Cruising the St. Johns to Lake George (Ocala National Forest)
Green Cove Springs, FL
Cruising the Tolomato River
St. Augustine, FL
Amelia Island, FL
Amelia Island / Jacksonville, FL

Great Rivers of Florida Cruise

From Jacksonville to Amelia Island, explore the charming towns, 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

Daily excursions subject to change.

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Day 1
Jacksonville, FL area (Amelia Island)

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

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Day 2
Palatka, FL

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

coastal cruises

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. Sail on a private charter along the St. Johns River, while our expert guide provides commentary on local and river history, along with illustrated accounts of the numerous bird species, alligators, and other wild critters that call this area home. After the tour, you will have a chance to view manatees at the observation platform (during the season), shop at the gift store, and explore on your own time.

coastal cruises

Palatka City Experience

Join local guide Sam Deputy on a narrated city exploration. Learn about the history and culture of Palatka through the famous murals that cover the buildings of the city. Visit one of the most historic homes in central Florida, the Bronson-Mulholland House. Judge Isaac H. Bronson was one of four circuit state judges in Florida after it became a state in 1845. His family was committed to helping Palatka prosper for many years after.

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

Continue your cruise from 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 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 members of 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.

coastal cruises

Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Green Cove Springs is known primarily for its natural sulfur springs and beautiful location on the river. Enjoy the morning beauty of Green Cove Springs on a horse-drawn carriage ride driven by locals who tell the story of this small town. Set along the bank of the St. John’s River, you can still see some of Florida’s early settlement and charm. While on tour, stop at the Clay County Museum to explore this historical landmark.


coastal cruises

Green Cove Springs Narrated Exploration - Complimentary Excursion

On this narrated walking tour, learn about the economy, agriculture, industry, and military of Green Cove Springs—a heritage river community. View native and naturalized flora, cross the footbridge, and stroll by “Spring Run” on your way to the city’s historic spring. Tour highlights include the location of the notable “Water Cure” business, the famous Qui Si Sana Hotel once owned by J.C. Penney, and the extraordinary Palace Opera House and Motion Picture Show.

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Day 5
Cruising the Tolomato River

Travel along one of the most impressive stretches of inland waterways in the United States, the Tolomato River. Witness many spectacular sites, including a rare glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean, visible over the Barrier Islands. Join our onboard 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 tycoon Henry Flagler developed 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.

Menendez Statue St. Augustine Florida

Fountain of Youth Tram

St. Augustine is recognized as America’s oldest surviving European settlement (1565). Oil millionaire, Henry Flagler, built a number of elegant hotels and churches here in the late 1800s in the hopes of creating an American Riviera. 

During this tram ride through St. Augustine, view Flagler’s buildings which remain as both monuments to early American opulence and examples of architectural ingenuity. Learn about the land of Ponce de Leon and Pedro Menendez and view Fort Matanzas and Castillo San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S.

coastal cruises

Alligator Farm & Zoological Park

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park one of Florida’s oldest attractions. For over a century, millions of visitors have been lured by the presence of reptiles, long regarded as mysterious, dangerous, and frightening. The St. Augustine Alligator Farm has also inspired the popularization of the alligator which has become a symbol of the state. Observe many species of animals, including a wide variety of exotic reptiles, found nowhere else in Florida.

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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. Explore Amelia Island's charm as you stroll along the tree-lined avenues.

coastal cruises

Fernandina Beach Seaport Exploration

Join a local guide for a leisurely walking tour through the lovely Victorian seaport of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Your walk will begin at the City Marina. Continue on to the seafood house for an enlightening discussion on the pelican population and fisherman duties. Stroll through the historic streets and admire blocks of restored Victorian homes, inns, churches, and more.

coastal cruises

Amelia Island River Cruise

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

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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.

coastal cruises

The Jacksonville Experience - Complimentary Excursion

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.


Experience smooth waters and southern charm the moment you leave the dock to start your voyage on the Great Rivers of Florida. Explore the unspoiled beauty of this preserved region as well as the intriguing and historically significant cities along the way.

Your Cruise Includes

American Star

American Star offers guests a friendly and accommodating atmosphere, a hallmark of American Cruise Lines.

From charming small towns to gracious ports, the American Star brings guests to places of historic interest and magnificent beauty. On board, enjoy personalized service and gracious hospitality provided by an attentive, all-American staff.

Click a Category

Owner's Suite (Private Balcony)


Experience complete comfort in this spacious private sanctuary where you can feel right at home. At 350 sq. ft. the Owner’s Suite is quite roomy and offers a full-size bathroom. Enjoy a large sitting area, a writing desk, closet, and a private balcony offering expansive views from a stunning vantage point.

AAC (Private Balcony)


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)


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



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 full-size bathrooms and plenty of closet space.



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)


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-size bathroom, a private balcony, and plenty of room to spread out and make yourself at home.

American Star Deck Plan


Christmas Cruise

Join us for joyful celebrations aboard our holiday cruises. Enjoy cruising the warm waters of Florida on our ship adorned with festive decor. Dine on traditional favorites with a regional flair, partake in local customs, and enjoy classic holiday music. Each holiday cruise celebration includes a complimentary night on board the ship before your cruise, with a special dinner ashore at a highly regarded local restaurant. Enjoy festive holiday-themed shore excursions and activities that are sure to waken the spirit of the season.

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Reserve Cruise

New Year's Cruise

Let American Cruise Lines help you ring in the new year as we explore the great rivers of Florida. On your ship decked out in holiday decor, enjoy special menus and musical entertainment throughout the cruise. We will also host a unique southern style New Year’s Eve gala. 


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Reserve Cruise

The Spirit of the Season Cruise

Celebrate the holidays on our Spirit of the Season Cruises which sail from late November into the New Year. Aboard our ship decked out in festive décor, travel to some of the most fascinating destinations in the country as you are treated to the best in holiday-inspired cuisine, music, and onboard and onshore enrichment.

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Reserve Cruise

Thanksgiving Cruise

Celebrate Thanksgiving with American Cruise Lines, as we cruise the Great Rivers of Florida.

Enjoy festive decorations aboard the ship and a holiday-inspired cocktail reception. 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. Every detail will be handled precisely, allowing you to enjoy a relaxed and a memorable holiday.

American Cruise Lines will continue its annual "Give-Back" program this holiday season. For each ticket sold on our Thanksgiving cruises, we make a donation to the Food Bank. Last year we raised over $13,000 to help alleviate hunger.

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Reserve Cruise

Eagle Society Cruise

Florida is known for its amazing state parks, protected harbors, and amazing marine life. From St. Augustine to Jacksonville, 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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* Prices displayed are per person based on double occupancy.

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