The Best Rivers and Canals for Your Next Boating Adventure

Across the United States and Europe, there are hundreds of rivers and canals that could prove to be the ideal destination for your next boating adventure. But where are they? And how do you choose between them?

The Alaskan Inland Passage

If you're willing to make the trek to Alaska, you can find the Inland Passage there, full of fjords, channels, and small waterways that are surrounded by islands and archipelagos. Here, you can find Glacier Bay National Park, and if you're lucky, you might even see some whales in action.

The Canal Du Midi

Located in France, the Canal du Midi is an historical engineering feat that originated in 1666. With more than 225 miles of waterways that range from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, there’s plenty of waterway to explore. Whether you travel the entire way, or just a section of it, you’ll likely be satisfied with your journey.

Champagne, France

While you’re in France, consider going on a boat tour throughout the Champagne region. Whether you’re there for the vineyards or just the open countryside, you can explore the area at your leisure – and enjoy some of the most enriching experiences that France has to offer.

The Lower Mississippi

A quintessential feature of the United States is the Mississippi River, which stands as one of the longest rivers in the world. If you explore the lower Mississippi, you can meander through historically relevant areas like Civil War sites, old American settlements, and sugar plantations. You can also explore ports in and around New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Memphis, and other major American cities.

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is one of the most important feats of human engineering, serving as a shortcut between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. This canal is mostly used by shipping vessels, but it's still an impressive marvel that's worth exploring on your own.

The River Thames

The River Thames is one of the defining natural features of London, and it winds through many areas of England (including the castles of Hampton Court and Windsor). If you’ve always wanted to visit England, a cruise down the River Thames could be the perfect excuse.

Kennet and Avon Canal

While you’re in England, consider visiting the Kennet and Avon Canal as well. Connecting directly to the Thames, the River Avon allows you to take in the beautiful sights of the open English countryside – and enjoy a full 87 miles of adventure.

Columbia River Gorge

Located in the American Pacific Northwest, Columbia River Gorge stretches for 81 miles through the cascade mountains. If you head west, you can find expansive forests and beautiful waterfalls. And in some spots, you can enjoy water with a depth of up to 4,000 feet.

The Colorado River

You might be familiar with the Colorado River because of its effects in shaping the Grand Canyon, one of the most impressive natural marvels of the modern world. Whether you're there to see the Grand Canyon or you just want a pleasant, meandering cruise, the Colorado River could be one of your best choices.

Berlin Canals

Between Berlin and the Baltic Sea, you’ll find a region known as Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommen. Here, you’ll find dozens of different rivers, canals, and lakes that are mostly interconnected with each other. It’s a beautiful landscape surrounded by beautiful cities, so if you’re interested in exploring Germany, these canals are a must see.

The Great American Cruise Loop

If you're willing to go on an adventure of almost 7,500 miles, consider traveling the Great American Cruise Loop. As you wind your way through Eastern North America, you can travel through the Great Lakes, Canadian Heritage Canals, and dozens of smaller waterways. If you have the time to spend here, it's worth it.

River Po

Do you want to visit Italy? If so, you can’t afford to miss the River Po and the Bianco Canal. You can start off in Venice, then cruise past small fishing villages, getting to know the many different sides of Italy. Dock the boat and head out on a bicycle if you want to have the full experience!

Rideau Waterway in Canada

As one of the oldest canals in North America, Rideau Waterway connects more than 100 miles of lakes and rivers. More than 90,000 boats travel this waterway every year.

The New York Canal System

Are you thinking about visiting New York? If so, definitely check out the New York canal systems that connect many lakes and rivers across hundreds of miles. If you follow this track closely, you'll pass by more than 200 small cities, towns, and villages.

Hudson River

We also can't forget about the Hudson River, which passes by Manhattan. You'll see both natural and manmade spectacles here.

Making the Decision

Undecided? Here are some factors that can help you choose where to travel next:

  • Current location. Where do you currently live? If you're looking for a quick trip, you might want to head somewhere close. Otherwise, you might be interested in traveling as far as possible and having a truly novel experience.
  • Budget. How much are you willing to spend? Some areas are simply more expensive than others.
  • Intentions. What do you want to get out of this trip? Are you hoping to relax in isolation, or do you want to delve into another culture?
  • Aesthetics. Do you prefer dense, urban environments, or would you rather explore the open countryside? Different rivers and canals lend themselves to different aesthetic experiences.

It’s hard to explore the best rivers and canals in the world without a proper boat to carry you there. That’s why TheYachtMarket exists – we help connect boat buyers and sellers worldwide. If you’re here to sell a boat, we make it easy. And if you’re here to buy, we can help you with that too – check out our vast selection of vessels today!

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