Have you ever considered cruising the United States coastline? Imagine discovering hidden towns, bays, and harbors along the way. Cruise ships give you access to everything from wonderful scenery to experiences you won't get anywhere but on a boat.
Cruises are also the perfect way to learn more about the country, take in nature's delights, and admire some of the most famous sights in the United States. Plus, there are options for adventurous families as well as those aiming for romantic, luxurious vacations.
If you're ready to book your next coastal cruise, these three options are a great place to start.
American Revolution Cruise
This voyage from American Cruise Lines is the perfect option for anyone looking for a more intimate cruise experience. That's because this cruise line utilizes smaller ships, which differentiates it from other cruise lines with mega cruise vessels.
Not only does American Cruise lines offer a more intimate experience, but it also visits ports that can't cater to larger ships. This particular trip on the American Constitution maxes out at 175 passengers. You'll have plenty of space to relax and opportunity to explore the on-board amenities.
The American Revolution Cruise is an 11-day journey that starts and ends in Baltimore, Maryland. During the trip, cruisers will learn more about the nation's history. Excursions include battlefield explorations and visits to American settlements. The ship also stops for a day in Washington, D.C., so you can visit the museums and monuments in the nation's capital.
Fodor's Travel notes that the cruise line often invites a panel of experts to join each voyage. These experts provide informal lectures and group discussions about American culture, history and heritage. They will add context and history to many of the sights you'll see on excursions. It's the ideal cruise for anyone who delights in cultured and refined experiences.
The American Revolution Cruise highlights unique themes at different times of the year. Those traveling during the holidays will enjoy Colonial Christmas celebrations. Meanwhile, springtime cruisers will get to experience a cherry blossom cruise, where they'll see budding cherry trees along the East Coast. Cruises start at around $4,500 for spacious rooms with windows and full-sized bathrooms.
Pacific Coastal Cruise
Cruise fans appreciate Royal Caribbean's opulence and extensive itinerary options. This cruise line scores a respectable 3.5 out of five stars at the Consumer Affairs website. Cruises on the ships are great for the entire family, too. There are plenty of activities to keep kids busy and parents happy.
Excursion offerings vary enough to suit any taste and activity level. That's part of what makes the cruise line's seven-day journey up the Pacific Coast on the Serenade of the Seas an amazing experience.
Starting off in San Diego, cruise ships travel up the western coast of the United States and dock in Vancouver, British Columbia. Along the way, you can explore locations like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz prison, and Pike's Place Market. It's a trip filled with historical venues and jaw-dropping coastal scenery.
And while the sights on land will captivate you, the on-board experience will immerse you in luxury and comfort. Choose from 16 lounges and find the perfect spot for a date night or dinner with the family. There's plenty of great entertainment, too. You'll get to hear live bands and orchestras. Entertainment not your style? Take a class on how to make the perfect cupcake!
Prices for this cruise start at a reasonable $749 for an interior cabin and go up to $1299 for a balcony room. Looking for other cruises that start on the West Coast? Check out four of the best Hawaiian cruises.
Fall Foliage on the East Coast
The East Coast is famous for its fall foliage. Every autumn, the green forests of New England transform into gorgeous splashes of red, orange, and yellow. People come from all over the world to see the colors and enjoy a fall show they won't find anywhere else. Sometimes, however, there's no better way to see those fall colors than from aboard a cruise ship. And Crystal Cruises has the perfect seven-night cruise to show you every leaf.
Crystal Cruise vacations represent the pinnacle of luxury. In 2014, Conde Nast Traveler readers voted the cruise company the number one line for medium-sized ships. It also earned second place for small ship cruises. Each room aboard a Crystal Cruise ship comes with its own butler service, and some ships even feature Nobu sushi restaurants. This cruise line has built a reputation for catering to those with discerning tastes. It's perfect for couples looking for a more grown-up experience on board.
With all the delightful experiences, you may find it difficult to leave the ship for your excursions. However, you'll find it worth your time to do so. The New England Classic cruise starts in New York City, where you can decide to stay for a few days before your cruise commences. You'll love taking in the sights and sounds of the City That Never Sleeps.
Once on board, you'll head up the East Coast, venturing from Rhode Island to Boston, then on to Bar Harbor, Maine. Your final stop will be in Saint John, New Brunswick, in Canada. Onshore activities include leaf peeping excursions through bike rides or guided car tours. You'll also have a chance to enjoy a good old-fashioned New England lobster bake.
So, how much does all of this cost? You can take in all of the sights and experience the on-board luxury starting at around $3,200 with the 2-for-1 fare promotions. Booking early is recommended, as these top-of-the-line cruises book up quickly!