A luxury riverboat cruise, the first of its kind in the Bay Area in eight decades, raised some eyebrows when it was first announced last year. And it doesn't sound like it had too many takers.
American Cruise Lines, a company that offers riverboat cruises on the Mississippi River and up the New England coast among other trip, announced excursions from San Francisco last summer aboard the American Jazz. The trips were to take passengers from the Bay up the Sacramento River Delta to Stockton, stopping off there to visit a couple of sites, and then cruising back to Sacramento and up the Napa River for some wine tasting.
It was the eye-popping price tag for these cruises — $6,000 per person and going up to nearly $12,000 per person for a "grand suite" — that caught SFist's attention, given that the Delta ain't exactly the Danube or the Seine when it comes to sightseeing or ports of call. But they claimed to have a good chef!
Now, as the Chronicle reports, American Cruise Lines is pausing all Sacramento River cruises indefinitely and at least through 2024 after only four excursions earlier this year.
The company maintains in a statement that the four voyages were "a success" and "received a warm welcome from all the communities and towns visited along the itinerary.” But reading between the lines, the demand must not have been too strong or they'd still be doing them.
They said they were still considering another round in 2025.
One disappointment for passengers was likely the fact that the American Jazz did not, as planned, begin and end its journeys in San Francisco. As Sacramento's Fox 40 reported in April, they had to shift the itinerary to begin and end in Sacramento due to a docking issue in the Bay — and passengers only got one afternoon, on Day 3, to do any excursions in San Francisco, with Days 1, 7, and 8 all in Sacramento.
The ship had four departure dates in 2023 — March 3, 10, 17 and 24 — with eight-day voyages beginning on each of those days. And they only had a few more of these Sacramento-Stockton-Napa cruises planned in August 2024, but those have been called off.
The boat moved on to do a series of summer cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington and Oregon, and beyond.