Taking a cruise is a fun way to explore the world in comfort without having to worry about logistics. Once you’re on board everything is handled and you can just sit back and enjoy yourself. If you’re looking for a luxurious and hassle-free vacation, a cruise might be the perfect choice for your next girls’ getaway, family trip, or couples trip.
With an array of amenities such as drinks packages, multiple restaurants, entertainment, swimming pools, and other activities, you can enjoy an all-inclusive experience while exploring new destinations and even new countries.
A cruise offers the perfect combination of convenience and adventure and there are so many cruises to explore! Here are 12 of the best cruises leaving from the United States!
Top 12 Cruises From The United States
North America and the Caribbean are some of the most popular cruises in the world, with extensive cities and destinations to explore and enjoy every day.
Cruises leaving from North America tend to depart from American coastal cities, including Miami, New Orleans, Vancouver, Galveston, Port Canaveral, Tampa and Boston, or further afield, Seattle and Vancouver.
Here are the ten of the best cruises leaving from North America.
1) Alaska Cruises
Alaskan cruises stand out from other cruises because many of the destinations or ports they visit are only reachable by boat or by a long train or car journey. These cruises typically depart from Vancouver, Seattle, or Anchorage and provide a unique experience of sailing past glaciers, anchoring in National Parks, and docking in small towns offering various activities to explore.
The choice of cruise route will depend on what you and your family or friends want to see. Smaller cruise ships can visit the internal passages and national parks, where you can witness the stunning beauty of natural wonders such as the Hubbard Glacier.
Popular routes include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka and Whittier stops.
When To Travel: May to October
Book Your Cruise: 7-night Alaska Cruise
2) Hawaii Cruises
Hawaiian cruises are more common than other cruises as they occur all year round, thanks to the warm tropical climate.
The Hawaiian islands are a great cruising destination with many things to do and see. With black-sand beaches, volcanoes, a unique culture and crystal clear waters.
A Hawaiian cruise can be easily combined with a French Polynesia cruise to experience the untouched South Pacific islands.
Popular routes include stops in Honolulu, Hilo, Kauai, Lahaina, Na Pali Coast, Kahului-Maui, Kailua-Kona and Nawiliwili Kauai.
When to Travel: Year-round
Book Your Cruise: 7-night Hawaiian Cruise
3) Pacific Coastal Cruises
A Pacific Coastal cruise is an ideal option for those who are looking for a relaxing and adventurous vacation. It is a popular choice among first-time cruisers or those who are looking for a quick weekend getaway. The Pacific Coastal cruise offers a breathtaking view of the cities, natural landscapes and architectural marvels that span the coastline.
The cruise covers a wide range of stops along the Pacific coast, including some of the most famous destinations such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Santa Barbara, Astoria, Vancouver, and Victoria in Canada. Each of these stops has a unique flavor and charm that leaves a lasting impression on the visitors.
A Pacific Coastal cruise is an incredible experience that is sure to leave you amazed. With the best of both worlds – the natural beauty of the Pacific coast and the luxury of a cruise – this trip is undoubtedly an unforgettable one.
When to Travel: March and October
Book Your Cruise: 3-night Pacific Coastal
4) New England & Canada Cruises
New England and Canada are popular destinations for cruise enthusiasts and offer various itineraries, including four-, seven-, or twelve-night cruises. Most of these cruises start from major cities such as Quebec City, New York, Boston, or Baltimore.
The cruises have several stops, including Sydney (Canada), Halifax, Saint John, Portland, Newport, Boston, Gloucester and Charlotte Town. During these stops, you can explore nature’s beauty, visit award-winning restaurants, and UNESCO Heritage Sites and indulge in incredible food.
When to Travel: September or October
Book Your Cruise: 7-night Canada/New England Cruise
5) Caribbean Cruises
Many Caribbean cruises depart from ports in the United States and often stop in Miami or Key West en route to the Caribbean. These cruises offer something for everyone with endless possibilities of destinations. The options are limitless with multiple countries to choose from for week-long, ten-day, five-night, four-night, or six-night cruises. Each cruise company offers distinct options, so there is something for everyone, regardless of the time frame.
Popular Caribbean routes include stops in the Bahamas, Philipsburg (Sint Maarten), Cozumel (Mexico), Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), Labadee (Haiti), Grand Cayman, Bay Islands (Honduras), Belize City, Turks and Caicos, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Aruba.
When to Travel: November to April or June & July
Book Your Cruise: 5-night Caribbean Cruise
6) Mexico Cruises
Usually departing from Long Beach, California, Mexican cruises are excellent cruises for first-timers or a weekend trip, with either three or four-night options if you are pressed for time.
In 2022, I embarked on a four-day Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. I was pleasantly surprised by the charm and excellent maintenance of Puerta Maya, which offered numerous activities. Plenty of activities were available, including swimming with dolphins, catamaran sailing, scuba diving, and exploring the ancient city of Tulum. These activities were available as add-ons to our Carnival cruise.
Mexican cruises tend to stop in Ensenada in Mexico and/or Catalina in the United States, depending on the number of nights you decide to do.
Book Your Cruise: 4-night Mexico Cruise
When to Travel: October to April
Read More: Vanessa’s Cozumel Cruise
7) South Pacific Cruises
Experience the untouched beauty of the South Pacific’s islands: lush forests, crystal-clear waters and colorful undersea life. The South Pacific is a unique cruising destination with plenty of activities, from paddle boarding to skydiving and tropical paradise islands.
A South Pacific cruise typically begins in Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral or Honolulu on the United States side, or Brisbane or Sydney from the Australian side.
Popular routes include stops in Castaway, Fiji, Papeete, Moorea, or Raiaitea in French Polynesia and Honolulu or Kauai in Hawaii.
When to Travel: October to March
Book Your Cruise: South Pacific Cruises
8) Bahamas Cruises
If you are a first-timer looking for a great cruise experience, then you should consider a cruise to the Bahamas. These cruises offer the possibility of a three or four-night stay, which makes them perfect if you are short on time or looking for a long weekend getaway.
The popular routes usually start in Miami or Port Canaveral and include stops at Key West, Ocean Cay Marine Reserve (Private Island), Nassau, Bimini, or Princess Cays. These shorter routes often end in the Bahamas, allowing you to explore the islands and stay for a few days after the cruise.
When to Travel: November to February or May
Book Your Cruise: 3-night Bahamas Cruise
9) Bermuda Cruises
Bermuda cruises usually last between four and six nights, making it an excellent option for a short getaway with your friends or family.
Bermuda cruises typically travel from the East Coast of the United States to Bermuda, offering a wide variety of activities to enjoy both on and off land. From building your first pink sand castle to exploring the colorful underwater life, Bermuda has something for everyone. Golf enthusiasts can also take advantage of the world-renowned Port Royal Golf Course, which is considered one of the best public golf courses in the world.
Popular routes start from Baltimore, Boston, Cape Liberty, or New York.
Most routes include stops in Kings Wharf (Bermuda) and East Coast cities.
When to Travel: March to August
Book Your Cruise: 6-night Bermuda Cruise
10) Panama Canal Cruises
Embarking on a Panama Canal cruise from Miami is an extraordinary way to discover the diverse cultures of Latin America. Traversing the 40-mile Panama Canal is a memorable experience that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Your Panama Canal cruise vacation will be enriched with possible itineraries including stops in fascinating ports like Cartagena, Huatulco and Puerto Vallarta, which will provide you with a unique adventure.
From the United States, popular Panama Canal cruising routes include stops in Miami, Puerto Plata and Catalina Island (Dominican Republic), Willemstad (Curaçao), Oranjestad (Aruba), Panama Canal and Panama City (Panama).
When to Travel: November to March
Book Your Cruise: 9-night Panama Canal Cruise
11) World Cruises
World cruises are a great way to explore different countries while enjoying the comfort and luxury of a cruise ship. These cruises usually last longer than regular ones, ranging from 5 to 20 nights, and often depart from United States cities like Ft. Lauderdale or New York City.
If you prefer to take your time and immerse yourself in the culture and sights of each destination, a world cruise is the perfect option. Popular world cruise destinations from the United States include Fiji, the Bahamas, Panama, Mexico, France, Spain, Greece, Aruba, Jamaica, Chile, Belize, Brazil, and Portugal.
However, do keep in mind that world cruises involve several extended periods at sea, which can last for several days. These longer cruises provide a fantastic opportunity to explore some of the world’s most fascinating destinations.
When to Travel: Year-round
Book Your Cruise: World Cruise Options
12) Transatlantic Cruises
Cruise ships provide a distinct method of travel and are a popular choice among passengers. They usually operate during two seasons – a European summer season and a Caribbean winter season – and utilize the same ships for both. In order to move between seasons, the ships must cross the Atlantic. These crossings are often enjoyable cruises that are more affordable than other types of cruises.
These Atlantic crossings make for great cruises and are often significantly cheaper than other cruises. Passengers can enjoy many amenities onboard, such as swimming pools, theatres, multiple restaurants, evening entertainment, and many activities.
These cruises also typically include stops at destinations such as Tenerife, Portugal, Spain, the UK, the Caribbean and the Netherlands. They usually begin at a port in the United States or Europe and end at the opposite end, stopping at various islands along the way. However, be prepared for long and multiple-day periods at sea.
Book Your Cruise: Transatlantic Cruises
Best Time Of Year To Go On A United States Cruise
Cruises in the North American region typically occur in different seasons, with some ships operating year-round. The Alaskan cruise season usually occurs between May and October when the weather is warmer in the north of the United States.
New England cruises operate in September and October and Caribbean or Southern United States cruises tend to occur between November and April.
Ultimately, the best time to go on a cruise depends on where you want to go within the United States.
Best 12 Cruises From The United States Wrap-Up
Embarking on a cruise feels like stepping into a magical floating city designed for fun and enjoyment! Everyone aboard is there to have a good time, and it’s also hard not to get swept up in the happy atmosphere!
Onboard, you can find a wide range of bars, nightclubs, skating rinks, water slides, wave pools, kids clubs, outdoor movie theaters, evening entertainment, and much more to experience. With so much to enjoy, there’s truly something for everyone.
I hope you’ve found this best cruises guide helpful. Alaska, New England, the Caribbean, and Mexico are some of the most popular cruise destinations. If you’re interested in exploring other cruises, you can check out all our cruise articles for inspiration! Happy sailing!
We hope that this article has inspired you to go on a cruise! If you have questions or advice to share with our readers, please leave these in the comments below.
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Read More About Cruises
- What to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise
- A First Timers Guide to Taking an Alaskan Cruise
- 10 Reasons to Visit Alaska on A Cruise
- 10 Reasons to Take a Carnival Cruise to Cozumel
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