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Cruising USA

The USA has a lot to offer when it comes to cruising. Its vast Eastern and Western seaboards offer a fascinating array of ports of call for the wilderness seeker, culture vulture and history buff alike.

The warmer climates of the West Coast, Hawaii and Florida also offer a great choice of cruise itineraries and those that make the long journey to get there, are rarely disappointed. The increase in expedition cruise itineraries has seen Alaska shoot to the top of many people’s bucket lists and the ever growing popularity of river cruising means the USA’s famous, and not so famous, rivers are seeing more visitors from the UK than ever before.

Connecting with your cruise direct from the North East has also never been easier with the new United Airlines flight to New York set to return next May, and run through to September, with flights six days a week. Using New York as a gateway to reach other popular destinations across the USA opens up even more cruise itineraries, flying direct from Newcastle.

Adding a cruise to a longer multi-centre USA itinerary is a great idea as it allows you to see so much more of this vast country. Our personal travel experts can recommend a cruise that will fit with your specific travel plans, but here are a handful of recommendations to help inspire you.

The ultimate autumnal voyage of discovery, Azamara Quest will navigate the full Atlantic seaboard of the USA and Canada on a 32-night itinerary, visiting 19 ports of call on the way. Setting sail on 24 September 2016 this epic journey starts in Montreal and ends in New Orleans, stopping at the iconic cities of Boston, New York, Baltimore, Charleston and Miami. It will also visit the lesser known ports of Halifax, Bar Harbor, Norfolk and Mobile, amongst others. Nine overnight port stays ensure you really get to make the most of the places you visit. Cruise prices start from £6,210pp.

There are few places on earth that match Alaska when it comes to wildlife and awe-inspiring landscape – gigantic glaciers, jagged mountain and a myriad of islands and inlets not to mention whales and bears and hundreds of species of birds. Expedition cruise specialists PONANT have a range of itineraries which will introduce adventure seekers to this wild and unspoilt nature with unique stopovers, hikes and daily Zodiac dinghy outings included in the cruise. Follow in the wake of the American pioneers, journeying between Vancouver and Juneau on a 7 night itinerary aboard Le Soléal through the famous ‘Interior Passage’. Visit Alaska’s first city Ketchikan and the beautiful Tracy Arm Fjord, as well as Skagway, and Haines. The ‘In the Wake of the Pioneers’ itinerary departs June 18, 25 and July 2 2016. PONANT are currently offering an early booking discount with cruise prices starting from £2,200pp.

The five Great Lakes of Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario and Eire – a vast inland sea – also offer a unique and unforgettable USA summer cruise experience.  The vibrant city of Chicago is a great starting point with Detroit and Niagara Falls also featuring on many Great Lake itineraries, as well as the chance to experience true American Indian culture and dramatic scenery. The MS Saint Laurent sails a 10 days Great Lakes Grand Discovery itinerary from Chicago to Toronto on 17 July and 4 August 2016 taking in all the key landmarks. It also sails from Montreal down the St. Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes on alternative dates through summer 2016. Prices start from £4,698pp inclusive of international flights, full board cruise, drinks package and shore excursion programme. City add-ons can also be arranged.

Hawaii is the perfect US winter cruise destination with mild temperatures year round. It’s a fair trek to get there, so definitely for those with plenty of time on their hands to combine with a West Coast road trip or beach break. Norwegian Cruise Lines are the only cruise company to offer an inter-island itinerary sailing on board Pride of America to all four main islands. Explore active volcanos or enjoy beach life on Hawaii, spot humpback whales off the coast of Maui, kayak down the Wailua River on Kauai and experience traditional Hawaiian culture on Oahu. This 7 night itinerary departs year round with fly-cruise prices starting from £2,437pp.

The USA offers an abundance of options if you’re a river cruise fan. Whether you chose the mighty Mississippi with its ‘old south’ charm, music culture and civil war heritage, or opt for one of the lesser known rivers like the Cumberland, Columbia or Snake, you’re guaranteed to discover authentic America. The American Queen Steamboat Companyoffers a great range of itineraries across all of these rivers on board their two traditional steamboats American Queen and American Empress. Their 9 day ‘Taste of the True South’ itinerary from Memphis to New Orleans (and visa-versa) runs pretty much year round but see this magnificent river at its best during the summer months. Cruise prices start from £1,700pp throughout summer 2016 and are inclusive of meals, drinks and daily shore excursions.

For more recommendations on cruising USA speak to one of our personal travel experts today. Call 0191 285 9321 or email cruise@travelb.co.uk. Check out the best time to visit in our North America and Alaska destination overview.

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