Cruising might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of New York City, but with Manhattan Cruise Terminal, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, and the Port of Cape Liberty just a quick car ride away, it’s become a popular jumping off point for those looking to take a break from the city lights without having to head to an airport.
With cruises that stop at several of the world’s most exotic tropical islands — like Bermuda, St. Maarten and cruise line-specific private islands, it has never been easier to plan the perfect getaway near you. And for vacationers who dream of windswept seaside villages and spectacular fall foliage, there are voyages along the northeast coast to charming postcard towns in Maine, Nova Scotia and eastern Canada.
Bermuda’s world-class diving and golf courses have long attracted visitors from all over the world. But it’s the island’s heavenly beaches, laid back vibes and candy-colored city streets that make it one of the best destinations for a tropical vacation.
Centuries-old ruins, lush tropical forests, secluded shores and a legendary food scene shaped by more than 120 nationalities are just some of the reasons why St. Maarten tops many travelers’ vacation lists.
Puerto Rico is an inspiring Caribbean gem that is bouncing back even grander than before. El Yunque National Forest might still be in the final stages of recovery, but thanks to non-stop rebuilding efforts, lively Old San Juan has been restored to its captivating Old-World glory, many beaches are once again pristine and picture-perfect, and much of the island is ready to welcome visitors with open arms and an ice-cold piña colada.
Charleston is a timeless treasure of America’s Old South— and every aspect of life in the Lowcountry is captivating. Whether you’re a history buff, beach bum or foodie, there’s plenty of adventure and southern hospitality to go round. Hop in a horse-drawn carriage for a sightseeing ride past pastel-hued mansions on Rainbow Row. Roam Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the American Civil War rang out. Aptly nicknamed “The Holy City” for its abundance of churches, Charleston evokes a genuine American spirit through its colonial relics, laid-back coastal culture and deep-rooted traditions.
It’s easy to see why Grand Bahama Island is one of the most popular in The Bahamas chain. Its postcard-perfect beaches are made of sand that shimmers like pearls, fronting crystal-clear waters in every hue of blue. There are plenty of thrills for everyone, from golfing and gambling to eco-adventures and watersports. Hike Rand Nature Center’s forest-lined trails and discover cascading waterfalls at the Garden of the Groves. Dive deep into acclaimed underwater spots or join in a wildly festive junkanoo parade.
Caribbean charm shines in the Bahamian capital of Nassau, where you’re never more than a few steps away from rhythmic percussions, appetizing flavors, white-sand beaches, and some of the clearest waters in the world. This picture-perfect paradise was once a pirate’s haven— and you can explore its colorful past of buccaneers, blockade-runners and bootleggers along historical streets and at the three colonial fortresses that line the shores. Cruise to Nassau and swim with stingrays, dive with dolphins, or spot colorful coral on a glass-bottom boat.
You don’t need to venture outside the United States to find the perfect island getaway. Famously known as the southernmost tip of the country, Key West is closer to Havana than it is to Miami. Cruise to Key West and feel a world away from the bustle of the Magic City. Here, time seems to move more slowly than on the mainland. Locals pedal bikes past charming pastel-colored Bahamian porches and live music spills out of the bars and restaurants that line Duval Street. From its fascinating history and beautiful natural landscape, to its diverse residents and their warm, laid-back attitude, Key West marches to the beat of its own steel drum.
As the home of Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral is the launching point for all-out adventure in Central Florida. Its beaches offer a mix of family-friendly shores and secluded swaths of sand. And with Orlando’s theme park sprawl only an hour away, you can easily mingle with your favorite characters. Beyond the parks lie equally amusing gems packed with Old Florida character. Kayak past manatees in the Banana River Lagoon and zip line above alligators at Brevard Zoo.
New England charm, scenic vistas and outdoor adventure have kept visitors returning to Bar Harbor for over 100 years. Unwind on the beach and take in views of the soaring granite cliffs. Stretch your legs with a relaxed walk along the Shore Path. Explore the cobblestone streets of the town center and fuel up on fresh-caught lobster. Then, explore wild Acadia, Maine's only national park — hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Atlantic seaboard. At the summit, enjoy panoramic views of the lush surrounding forests and ocean.
Prince Edward Island
Soak in the Victorian-era vibe of Charlottetown, the provincial capital of Prince Edward Island. Hit the city's compact waterfront boardwalks to stroll its historical sights and maritime heritage. Take a guided walking tour, board a double-decker bus, or step back in time with a horse-drawn carriage ride. Take a drive to the North Shore, where you'll see the quaint villages and farmland that inspired the classic novel "Anne of Green Gables."
Newport, Rhode Island, offers New England charm — with a little eccentricity. Built by early American rebels and defined by the ocean, Newport has one of the best coastlines in New England, which you can explore as you walk along the cliffside that towers over it. Find colonial architecture in the Newport Historic District and regal 19th-century mansions along Bellevue Avenue. Head downtown and explore Thames Street and Broadway, where there are countless shops, restaurants — you can find everything from seafood classics to Japanese ramen noodles — and a lively nightlife scene.
The sight of the world's largest fiddle welcomes you to Sydney, Nova Scotia. In this enclave on Cape Breton Island, metropolitan charm meets down-home hospitality. Originally founded by Loyalists spooked by the American Revolution, Sydney remains a haven — but today, it's one replete with golf courses, a hearty music scene and the world-famous Cabot Trail. Step back into the 18th century while you walk among the town's classically inspired buildings and dramatically steepled churches. Stroll the boardwalk, indulge your inner lover of learning at the Cape Breton Centre for Heritage and Science, and end your day toe-tapping to Celtic beats.
Whether you long for thrills and new discoveries, rest and relaxation, or a healthy mix of everything, it’s time to start planning that much-deserved vacation. Click here to schedule a quick hello call with me to start planning your next cruise adventure.