East Coast cruise options offer a taste of America.
New York Cruise Diversity
I love New York. It's a city where the vast majority of people don't even own a car because they just don't need one. But there are two times of year when you need to escape the city, in the dead of winter when it is too cold, and in the height of summer when the countryside has come back to life. There are now more year-round and summer cruise options out of New York City than ever before.
This week in CruiseMates we highlight a deep-winter Escape from New York City on Norwegian Gem, round trip from the docks of Manhattan to Port Canaveral Florida and Nassau, Bahamas. This is a great way to escape the city, and find hot weather, in the dead of winter without the need to book a flight. You can catch your ship right at the docks on 57th St.
Beginning April 24 Norwegian Jewel takes over this itinerary for NCL, sailing every seven days throughout the summer and into next autumn.
With so many cruises sailing out of New York these days, the city is once again the passenger ship hub it was back in the heyday of ocean liners. Besides Manhattan, you can now leave from Bayonne New Jersey or Red Hook, Brooklyn. These ports were added because ships are bigger than ever, and many of them cannot fit inside the docks on the Hudson River.
This size constraint includes the wonderful Cunard Queen Mary 2, the definitive ocean liner of our age. QM2 still sails transatlantic voyages regularly between New York and Southampton. This is an experience every ship enthusiast should try at least once.
In less than five weeks Carnival Miracle begins sailing regularly out of New York, the first cruise is a six-day cruise to Bermuda leaving April 15th. Beginning April 21 the ship sails regular 8-night cruises from New York to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay (The Holland America private island) and Nassau. Prices start as low as $549 per person.
One of our favorite New York itineraries is the nine-day cruise on Caribbean Princess sailing from the Brooklyn docks to one night in Bermuda, San Juan Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and Grand Turk with two days at sea to return to New York. This is a beautiful new ship and prices start as low as $781 per person, $1072 for a balcony.
Caribbean Princess alternates this itinerary with another nine-day option to the Eastern Caribbean with calls in San Juan Puerto Rico, St. Martin, St. Thomas and Grand Turk with two days at sea to return to New York. This cruises sails on May 9 and June 14.
These New York cruise options are extremely popular but rarely mentioned; the four or five-day getaway cruises from the city to New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. These destination ports are charming college towns with thriving street scenes amidst dramatic rocky coastlines. But the ports are not the only reason for taking these cruises. You also take these cruises for the ships, which offer fun, great food, and fantastic value, starting at just $279 pp!
This year Carnival Glory is handling the four and five-day Canada cruise getaways. The four-day only calls in Saint John, New Brunswick, but the five-day stops there and adds a call in Halifax Nova Scotia. The four-day has balcony cabins as low as $379 to $579 per person (depending on your sail date). The five-night option starts as low as $379 and balcony cabins range from $579 to $779 per person.
In August, Caribbean Princess offers four seven-night cruises similar to the above, but adding stops in Newport Rhode Island, Boston Massachusetts and Bar Harbor Maine to Saint John and Halifax. This is wonderful itinerary, especially for people who have never seen the East Coast. I cannot urge you strongly enough, if you have never seen these great American cities, to try this cruise.
We covered Bermuda cruises in a newsletter last month, but one of our top recommendations there, if your goal is to spend as much time on the island as possible, is the Holland America Veendam. The ship sails every Sunday with a day at sea, four days on Bermuda, and a day at sea to return. This is the only ship that is able to dock in Hamilton, Bermuda, due to its smaller size. Prices start at $899 per person.
For a more affordable Bermuda cruise from New York, try Norwegian Dawn also sailing on Sundays, with prices starting as low as $449 per person, $679 balcony cabins.
New Yorkers, there are many great cruises available to you, all you need to do is pack your tropical clothes and hail a taxi. The docks are so close, you could even take the subway.
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