The southeast corner of the United States is the world’s biggest cruise hub. The three busiest ports in the world – Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando – are in the state of Florida and between them transport almost 15 million passengers each year. Their warm climate and close proximity to the Caribbean (the most popular cruise destination in the world) means that cruise ships are sailing from these ports year round.
Miami sits at the southeastern tip of Florida and is the undisputed cruise capital of the world. It’s known for its gorgeous beaches, colourful art deco buildings and distinctly Latino vibe with a strong Cuban influence. Orlando is home to some of the country’s biggest and best theme parks, and a top destination for families. Fort Lauderdale is the jumping off point for the famed Everglades and also the homeport for the largest ship in the world, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas.
Further around the coast, the ports of Houston, Texas, and New Orleans, Louisiana, sit on the Gulf of Mexico. Cruises from Houston head down towards Mexico or to Honduras and Belize in the Western Caribbean. New Orleans offers both ocean and river cruises with traditional paddlesteamers cruising up the famed Mississippi.
Both cities offer a uniquely American experience. Texas is known as the place for cowboys, horses and barbecue, but Houston (America’s fourth largest city) is a vibrant, cosmopolitan hub that’s great for shopping and is the home of NASA’s Space Centre. New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and you’ll hear live music spilling out onto the streets of the historic French Quarter every night.