Cruising doesn't have to be all about a week in the Caribbean on a monster city at sea. Who really needs to play mini golf or go rock climbing while setting sail, anyway? For a less intense overwater getaway, turn to river cruises. With less-crowded waters and shore excursions to intimate places, it's no surprise passenger numbers are up 15 percent annually on river cruises.
But, with 165 major rivers in the world – and countless more minor ones – choosing the right one can be intimidating. From a tour of French canals on a converted cargo ship to an Amazonian adventure through the flooded forests of Brazil, we've narrowed down eight of the best river cruises on the water.