Riverboat cruising, that seemingly luxurious European concept that gets advertised a lot to affluent seniors in between PBS shows, is coming to the Bay Area and NorCal — but would you pay $12,000 to go from SF to Stockton and back via the Delta?
American Cruise Lines, which offers cruises on the Mississippi, in Puget Sound, around Alaska, and up the New England coast among other cruise routes, is launching its first California cruise next winter, out of the San Francisco Bay. Dubbed the San Francisco Bay Cruise, the eight-day and seven-night cruise will take passengers around the Bay, up the Delta, past Sacramento, and over to Stockton, where it will turn around and come back for an extra wine-tasting stop in Napa.
The company marketing copy touts that passengers will "learn the Gold Rush history of Sacramento Valley, and explore the natural beauty of the San Joaquin River and San Pablo Bay" in addition to tasting "the finest wines of Napa Valley."
That all sounds good? But as the Chronicle reports, prices start at $6,000 per person and go up to nearly $12,000 per person for a "grand suite" with a private balcony. And this is ultimately a cruise to Sacramento and Stockton! It ain't exactly the Danube!
Also, the itinerary may be amazing for a certain type of tourist, but this is hardly a series of destinations you'd need a riverboat cruise to enjoy. The agenda items include a tour of a farmers' market in Stockton, a ride-along NASCAR experience at the Stockton Speedway, a visit to Stockton's Haggin Museum, two full days in Sacramento including a tour of the State Capitol and another farmers' market, and a trip up the Napa River with a stop at an unnamed winery.
But hey! No need to rent a car!
"Exploring this beautiful region of Northern California by riverboat will provide a new opportunity for our guests to discover the Bay area and the Napa Valley in an exceptional way,” says Charles B. Robertson, president and CEO of American Cruise Lines, in a release. "Many have driven there, but not many can say they have actually cruised through wine country.”
Day 7 is spent back in San Francisco, with a trip to Alcatraz and a tour of Ghirardelli Square and the wharves.
This trip is on a 99-room ship called American Jazz, which has six decks in total and a handful of sun decks and lounges.
The San Francisco Bay Cruise departs on February 17.