Sail in the footsteps of famous navigators on a Transatlantic cruise, crossing the waves between the U.S. and Europe. Departing from Florida, Barcelona, Southampton and Copenhagen, these cruises include both tropical and cultural island stops, in ports such as the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Greenland and Iceland. These cruises are most likely to set sail in the spring and fall when the weather is still warm but prices are more affordable. Remember to pack for all weather conditions, as you will have warm summery port days, as well as cooler nights at sea.
Meanwhile, Transpacific cruises typically go from the South Pacific to the U.S., with plenty of white-sand-beach-filled ports in between. Transpacific sailings usually sail from May to October, and sometimes you'll also cross hemispheres, so may need clothing for summer and winter conditions if cruising from Sydney to Seattle, for example
Are you a museum buff? Stop in Copenhagen for both the National Museum and the National Gallery of Denmark. Or lounge in the white sand and turquoise waters of Mystery Island in Vanuatu. Enjoy the combo of urban and volcanic views at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Ocean Crossing cruises are all about choices, and the choice is yours!
Explore the ancient and modern wonders of the world side-by-side. Set sail on your cruise with sights of the Empire State Building in New York and end inside the Roman Parthenon. Walk the lavish streets of Dubai before exploring the rustic beauty of Venice on a gondola tour. Or simply soak up the sun on a French Polynesian Island, before heading to Sydney, Australia. Repositioning cruises allow you to do it all in one cruise.
Repositioning cruises often occur at the end of fall or spring and are long, one-way trips usually crossing the Atlantic or passing through the Panama Canal. Being a one-way cruise, you'll need to either fly home at the end of the trip or to your embarkation port at the beginning.
Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, is the departure point for many cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean, as well as domestic cruises to New England.
The cruise port offers lovely views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan and is only 10 minutes (7 mi/11 km) from New York City.
New York City
New York City has always been a city of superlatives: largest, tallest, trendiest, best. It's also one of the world's most dynamic places. The skyline seems to be ever-changing, and exciting new restaurants and shops continue to pop up in unexpected neighborhoods. First-time visitors and natives alike will experience variety at every turn.
New York offers more to see and do than you can manage in one visit. You'll find the finest selection of entertainment, museums and restaurants in the world. Some stunning new attractions have opened, and some old favorites have been rebuilt and refurbished like an old Broadway musical. But the New York City skyline is still the awe-inspiring star. Two amazing icons are still mourned, but the new Freedom Tower has already taken its place among the city's other world-famous landmarks: the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Lincoln Center, the Flatiron Building and the bridges—Brooklyn, Queensboro, Verrazano—to name just a few. Most reassuring of all: The Statue of Liberty is still there, waiting to say hello.
Getting around Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is half the fun on a vacation: One of Fort Lauderdale's main drags the New River, so visitors can hop on a water taxi and take in the sights.
This South Florida city's extensive system of waterways and reputation for gracious living have made Fort Lauderdale one of the country's largest yachting centers. Restaurants and bars overlook the canals and are accessible by water or from land by taxis and, believe it or not, from rickshaws. Several of the city's special events—including a winter holiday boat parade that draws local, national and international celebrities—revolve around boating and the water.
Redevelopment in the 1990s left Fort Lauderdale awash in museums, art galleries, restaurants, hotels and chic sidewalk cafes, all appealing to visitors. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts houses two theaters, which provide separate venues for the Symphony of the Americas, Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, Broadway road shows and top-name performers. An elegant beachfront promenade attracts vacationers from all over the world, including the spring-break college crowd.
More sedate than it used to be, but still livelier than Palm Beach, its northern neighbor, Fort Lauderdale has more to offer visitors than most beach towns. The passage of a casino gambling law revitalized this resort town, and the former Hollywood Dog Racing Track, Isle Casino Pompano Park and Gulfstream Race Track have built multimillion-dollar casinos and entertainment venues attracting more tourists and businesses to the area.
Miami, Florida, has always billed itself as a travel destination. Warm weather, sandy beaches and bright sunshine were selling points more than 100 years ago, just as they are today. But Miami's allure extends beyond its shores. People from all over the Caribbean and Latin America have settled in Miami, giving the city its distinctive, lively international character.
The warm-weather fun is still a big attraction, but the biggest draw is the cosmopolitan flavor coupled with all the great restaurants, sports teams (Dolphins, Heat, Hurricanes and Marlins) and upscale sheen—plus a long list of TV shows that have "Miami" in their titles.
South Beach, with its cheerful, sherbet-colored art-deco buildings and palm-tree-lined avenues, is the center of Miami's trendy dining and nightlife scene. Other corners of Miami, including Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, offer their own versions of fine living and colorful happenings.
And don't overlook the natural world—though you may have to drive to the Everglades to get a good view of it.
The NASA Kennedy Space Center dominates Cape Canaveral, so much so that the area is known as the Space Coast. Author Jules Verne envisioned the coast of central Florida as the world's portal into space in his 1865 science-fiction tale From the Earth to the Moon. That prediction became a reality.
But there's much more to do there than admire NASA's ingenuity. There are a string of pleasant oceanside communities, a 72-mi/115-km stretch of uncrowded beach and a first-rate national wildlife refuge to explore.
Tampa Bay, Florida, has much to recommend it: Busch Gardens (which predates Disney World), impressive museums, winning sports teams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning), fishing charters and one of the country's largest ports, rocking nightlife and a wealth of tourist attractions.
Tampa has sharks and rays at the Florida Aquarium and the more lovable manatees at the zoo. At Busch Gardens, you can ride across re-created African plains in a safari truck, stopping to hand-feed roaming giraffes. Or you can go to sea on a fishing charter and try to catch your own wildlife.
In Ybor City, the historic Cuban neighborhood, you can amble down brick streets, following your nose to bakeries to buy fragrant loaves of Cuban bread or to shops where tabaqueros hand-roll fine cigars. Lively Spanish conversation might lead you to an old-fashioned domino parlor where grandfathers with gnarled hands gather to play in friendly neighborhood matches. Antiques shops, boutiques and art galleries beckon. After dark, the nightclubs throw open their doors, and Ybor City metamorphoses into a hip nightlife spot.
St. Pete (the local name for St. Petersburg, Florida) is only a 30-minute drive away, and the gorgeous Gulf Coast beaches are about a 45-minute drive. The theme parks of Orlando, Florida, are about 90 minutes to the east.
The nation's second most-populous city (after New York), Los Angeles is a great place to do business or take a vacation. Its marvelous restaurants, Hollywood history, terrific nightlife, expansive green spaces, bustling beaches, diverse ethnic populations, eclectic cultural offerings, amusement parks and easygoing casual vibe converge in a vast Southern California landscape flooded with sunshine, filled with traffic and lined with palm trees.
Still the entertainment capital of the world, television shows and movies are filmed on the city's streets every day and star sightings are commonplace. Beyond the La La Land glamour, there are dozens of museums, sports facilities, shops for every budget, food trucks, world-class concerts, tranquil gardens and parks, ample venues for staying active and myriad experiences waiting to be discovered in the patchwork quilt of communities that make up greater LA.
Visitors should see Los Angeles at least once, though a single visit will hardly be enough to appreciate such a large area jam-packed with attractions and unique characters.
San Francisco, California, is a world-class destination, a favorite of international travelers and domestic tourists alike. An unmatched spectrum of dining experiences, first-class cultural events, exceptional scenery and a pleasant climate combine for an enjoyable visit. Compared with cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Paris or London, San Francisco is a small, almost provincial city. It is a mere 8 mi/13 km from the Embarcadero, on the Bay, to the Great Highway and the Pacific Ocean.
Despite the notable influx of tech companies such as Google, Facebook, SalesForce and Twitter, tourism remains its prime industry, and the city has a thriving convention business that keeps its hotels and restaurants busy throughout the year.
You'll find San Francisco one of the world's most scenic cities—the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Chinatown, the crazy quilt of Victorians, precipitous hills, extraordinary restaurants and, of course, earthquakes and fog. See the white-capped waters of San Francisco Bay, eat crab cakes along Fisherman's Wharf, attend a free concert in Golden Gate Park or a game with one of the Bay Area teams—the Warriors, 49ers or the Giants.
San Francisco's roller-coastering landscape cuts through dozens of distinct neighborhoods and its diverse population is every bit as colorful as the city's iconic landmarks and topography.
Set along the protected waters of Resurrection Bay on the eastern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, Seward, Alaska, is a terminus for many Gulf of Alaska cruises and is a base for exploring nearby Kenai Fjords National Park.
It's surrounded by forest and park preserves, snowcapped peaks, calving glaciers, waterfalls and cliffs. Visitors can easily reach Seward by air, cruise ship, ferry, motorcoach or car.
Experience all that a ship has to offer with more uninterrupted days at sea
Take in mesmerizing live entertainment or double down on the action in the casino, relax at award-winning spas onboard, or even stargaze at constellations more vivid than you can imagine.
From Australia to the Azores, Transatlantic and Transpacific cruises expose you to several cuisines, including Caribbean, American and Pacific Islander. Or maybe you would rather return each evening to your ship and select from a dozens of tempting restaurants.