7 Night Cruise sailing from Jacksonville roundtrip aboard American Glory.
Designated an American Heritage River, the St. Johns is one of the few north-flowing rivers above the equator. Along this river you’ll sail a route that adventurous passengers first followed on 19th-century paddle-wheelers in search of a tropical paradise. But with the advent of the railroads, tourism headed further south and the St. Johns meandered serenely and untouched thereafter. The artesian mineral springs that feed its waters have created an extraordinary environment for flora and fauna, with creeks, lagoons and lakes opening before you in magical splendor. Journey to the heart of the Ocala National Forest where you’ll observe alligators, playful manatees, and majestic bald eagles all in their natural habitats.
Day 1 Jacksonville, Fl area (Amelia Island)
Departing for Palatka, you will enjoy a leisurely journey along the slow-moving waters of St. Johns River, one of only three rivers in the nation that flows north. For the avid birdwatcher, this river is home to over 200 species of birds including the bald eagle, swallowtail kite, and wood stork. Discover why the St. Johns River – with unlimited recreation, celebrated history, and protected wildlife – has been distinguished as one of the fourteen American Heritage Rivers.
Day 2 Palatka, FL
The late 1800s marked the golden age of Palatka. Not only was it known for its worldwide shipping commerce of citrus and timber, it also attracted a vast number of tourists and wealthy northerners looking to relocate to picturesque northern Florida. Today, it remains a charming river town with restored plantation houses standing as a testament to distinguished residents that once called Palatka home. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the beautifully landscaped Ravine Gardens State Park, famous for its thousands of azaleas and other sub-tropical blooms.
Day 3 Cruising the St. Johns to Lake George (Ocala National Forest)
Today, you’ll continue to cruise St. Johns River to Lake George, which shares a border with the Ocala National Forest. Ocala is the second largest National Forest in Florida and the oldest national forest east of the Mississippi River. The lake hosts a wide variety of wildlife ranging from migratory water birds to a number of 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 crabs.
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 the elite, searching for a warm retreat from the winter’s harsh climate. Today, visitors can also explore the historic district, which includes historic homes and gorgeous surroundings.
Day 5 Cruising the Tolomato River
You will experience one of the most fascinating stretches of inland waterways in the United States – the Tolomato River. You will see many spectacular sites, including a rare view of the Atlantic Ocean, visible over the Barrier Islands from this smooth, unique Inland Passage. Grab your binoculars and join our invited naturalist on our open observation decks for unparalleled views of fascinating wildlife, captivating sunsets, hidden villages, and unending miles of pristine landscape.
Day 6 St. Augustine, FL
In the late 1800s, oil millionaire Henry Flagler built a number of elegant hotels and churches in 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, and his buildings grace St. Augustine as both monuments to early American opulence and architectural ingenuity. Spend the afternoon exploring historic ruins, unique architecture, and the narrowed streets of a city once used as a remote outpost by the Spanish Empire.
Day 7 Amelia Island, FL
Discover the unspoiled beauty of Amelia Island, with miles of quartz beaches and rolling sand dunes, surrounded by calm waterways and the Nassau Sound. Fernandina Beach, the island’s only city, now harbors a treasure trove of history, antiques, and collectibles just steps from your ship. Join a walking tour of Centre Street’s Historic District, featuring 50 blocks of restored 19th century Victorian homes and shops. You may also take a leisurely stroll along the shady tree-lined avenues and explore Amelia Island’s charm at your own pace.
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.