Cruising in the USA is mostly about big ocean liners and coastal cruises; however river cruises have become more popular in recent years.
There is something for everyone in the U.S. There are cruises for those going solo, looking for luxury, seniors or families. Trends include themed cruises for romance fans, and niche market cruises for book lovers, wine aficionados, adventurers and sports enthusiasts. Holiday cruises and family cruises are gaining steam with nature programs, language classes and port excursions for the kids.
You can take an ocean cruise from many home ports around the American coastline to various destinations both near and far. Get a taste of cruising life aboard a one or two day ocean cruise out to sea and back, departing from major home ports around the country. Cruise south to Miami and the mega ports or Florida and to Mexico, Caribbean and the Bahamas. Cruise north from California along the Pacific Coast or do the East Coast – from New York or Boston then north to New England, Canada and Alaska. If you have more time, experience a transatlantic cruise to Europe, or a cruise to the Pacific and the Hawaiian Islands, or even south to Australia, visiting the Pacific Islands along the way. Why stop there? A round the world cruise for a hundred days is another tempting option.
River & Small ships
Scenic river cruise go from New Orleans along the mighty Mississippi. From Portland, Oregon you can take anything from a dinner cruise to a National Geographic Adventure Cruise along the Ohio, Columbia and Snake Rivers.
Itinerary: Seattle Waterways
Departing from: Seattle WA
Overnight small-ship cruises explore the coastal waters close to Seattle, visiting five ports. Cruise the Puget Sound & San Juan Islands.
Itinerary: Chesapeake Bay
Departing From: Baltimore, MA
Sail around Chesapeake Bay and down the calm, shallow Intracoastal Waterway.
Itinerary: Florida Rivers
Departing From: Jacksonville, FA
Small ship inland waterway cruises out of Jacksonville to the historic Southern coast and Florida Rivers.
Itinerary: Golden Isles of Georgia
Departing from Charleston SC
Cruise down the southern coast exploring small, charming ports, historic towns and beautiful barrier islands along the inland waterway.
Itinerary: River Cruises of the Mississippi
Departing From: Cruises are either round-trips from New Orleans or one-way to Memphis.
Take a steamboat paddlewheel cruise down the mighty Mississippi’, and stop in for ribs in Memphis, a blues concert in the Delta or some jazz in New Orleans. Explore quaint river towns and antebellum mansions, Civil War battlefields, and more. Enjoy delicious food, entertainment and spacious staterooms.
Departing From: Seattle WA
Cruises are the way to see Alaska because no other form of travel can get you there. Go for whales, bears, other wildlife, glaciers, local culture, and interesting port towns. A voyage to Alaska is a bucket list adventure, with amazing tours from the ports. The little towns are cute – like Juno and Ketchikan, but it’s all about the untamed Alaskan wilderness so get on a wilderness tour. Ships that visit Alaska on a seven-day itinerary typically sail along the Inside Passage and visit Glacier Bay National Park (look out for ice falling off glaciers) or Hubbard Glacier, stopping at four ports along the way. Most cruise lines also offer a variety of extended cruise-tour package options.
Itinerary: New England & Quebec, Canada
Departing From: Boston MA, Baltimore MD
A great cruise to do in October or early November, they call it the “Foliage Cruise” or the “Fall Cruise”. Travel up the east coast from Boston to Maine, Bar Harbour and Newport. It’s stunning that time of year with forests of leaves turning golden and red. Some cruises head to stunning Quebec, Canada, with cobbled streets and the amazing architecture of the old city and the incredible indigenous heritage of the Indians.
Itinerary: Pacific North Coast:
Departing From: From San Diego CA, San Francisco CA, Seattle WA
See the stunning scenery of the Pacific Northwest. Stop at port cities in California and Oregon, and arrive in Vancouver.
Departing From: Los Angeles CA, San Francisco CA, Miami FL, New York NY
Cruises are very popular in the Hawaiian Islands. Since the various tourist attractions of Hawaii are scattered about several different islands, cruising is a popular way of visiting the many sights. Most cruises visit four islands.
Itineraries: Trans Atlantic, Trans Pacific, Australia, World
Departing From: Tampa FL, Miami FL, New York NY Los Angeles CA, San Francisco CA,
Departing From: Most USA ports
Ever popular are affordable, year round cruises to the coast of Mexico. Cruises sail down to the Gulf Coast or from Miami to ports like Cozumel, Progresso, Honduras, Belize and Jamaica. You’ll love the exotic ports and warm weather of the relaxed Mexican Riviera. They also offer cruises to the Bahamas. Departures all year-round.
Itinerary: Disney’s Caribbean
Departing From: Port Canaveral (the home of the Disney Line), New York, and Miami
The Disney Line offer family cruises to the Bahamas or Caribbean
Itinerary: Tropical Bermuda
Departing From: Boston MA, Baltimore MD, Norfolk VA, Miami FL
Itinerary: The Panama Canal
Departing From: Fort Lauderdale FL, Miami FL, San Diego CA, Los Angeles CA, San Francisco CA
Visit beach resorts and islands along the way.
Itinerary: The Bahamas.
Departing From: Charleston SC, Jacksonville, FL, Norfolk VA, Baltimore MD
4-day and 5-day cruises take you to Bahamas ports like Nassau, Freeport and Half Moon Cay (a private island). These are quick, inexpensive vacations.