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From the skyscrapers of Manhattan and New England’s white picket-fenced cottages, to the palm trees and white sands of the Florida Keys and San Francisco’s majestic Golden Gate Bridge, the cultural and physical diversity of North America makes for a cruise jam-packed full of adventure.
Whether it is a fun-filled family break, or a sophisticated, romantic getaway you have in mind, with each of the major cruise lines offering trips around North America’s waters, there is a cruise for every taste.
Given the sheer size of the continent, you will have to choose between a cruise of New England and Canada on the East Coast, or the West Coast, including the outlying islands of Alaska and Hawaii. Either way, each of these North American cruises offers a wildly distinctive experience.
Those who go for the East Coast option will discover the architectural gems of Boston and Philadelphia, the seats of liberty, and encounter the contrast of the Deep South, as they explore the tree-lined boulevards and legendary hospitality of Charleston and Savannah. On the West Coast, there are the surf towns of California, hippie-haven San Francisco, and the spectacular scenery of Alaska and Vancouver.
Voyage the waters of the Land of the Free aboard one of Royal Caribbean’s innovative vessels, with itineraries stretching from 7 to 17 nights. Or make the ultimate transatlantic crossing with British stalwart, Cunard, aboard the Queen Mary 2. With onboard facilities including a 3-D cinema and a planetarium, the QM2 successfully blends the best traditional cruise experiences with a choice of modern features.
Fred Olsen’s largest and newest cruise ship, the Balmoral, sails several itineraries across North America and beyond. Named after the Scottish seat of the Royal Family, the ‘North of the Border’ theme pervades the ship’s restaurants, bars, casino and sports complexes. P&O’s Aurora offers the classic ocean travel experience – from the Lalique-inspired waterfall at its centre to the sophisticated wood panelling of the Anderson bar.
Days at sea on a Cunard ship are all about you. As you edge away from Southampton or New York, there’s nothing quite like watching the sun set from the scenic Commodore Club, clinking flutes in the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar or the social hubbub of the Captain’s Cocktail reception.
If you’ve never been on Queen Mary 2 before, there’s the opportunity to experience a virtual adventure to distant galaxies in the only planetarium at sea. There is normally a movie showing in the afternoon, frequently in 3D. Now feels like the perfect time to indulge in the blissful wraps, massages or cleansing body scrubs at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub®. Soon enough it will be time for our famous Afternoon Tea, served with freshly baked scones and mouth-watering sandwiches.
Princess Cruises Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit popular destinations both before and after this exhilarating voyage, with Princess Cruises’ Stay & Cruise options. Enjoy four nights in San Francisco, including a tour of the world famous Napa Valley wine region, before you set sail for a 10-night Alaskan cruise, calling at Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan, finally crossing into Canadian waters to stop at Victoria. An excursion to the spectacular Juneau Ice Fields is an absolute must, including the massive Mendenhall Glacier. Shop downtown or kayak, dogsled, hike, whale-watch, sightsee or fish – Alaska’s misty capital is one of the best kept secrets on earth.
Experience sophisticated New England on a 10-day cruise aboard the Emerald Princess. Start with all the excitement of the Big Apple, before heading for chic Rhode Island, Boston and Maine. Canadian ports include St John, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec. Quebec is well worth a few days’ exploration – you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in France as you explore the pavement cafes of the Latin Quarter, and wander the historic brick and stone houses of Old Quebec, the only remaining walled city north of Mexico.
The Celebrity Century’s 7-night Pacific Coastal cruise sets sail for sunnier climes, sailing from Los Angeles to the pretty Spanish-style Santa Barbara, while also taking in San Francisco, Monterey and Catalina Island before calling at Ensenada in Mexico as the final port of call before returning to LA. Whilst in Ensenada, take some time out to enjoy the world-class snorkelling and scuba diving before heading to the spectacular sight of La Bufadora Geyser, one of the largest geysers in the world, where water shoots high towards the sky from an underwater cavern.