The coastline of the United States is home to a divergent array of landscapes, eco-systems, and human settlements. Just as an example, two of its most important ports are Boston and Mobile – two cities that are miles apart in every sense of the phrase. In terms of the landscape, an American cruise can take in both baking hot deserts and glaciers; cruises to Alaska have always had a particular draw for the more adventurous sort of tourist. If we were going to be technically correct then the most popular cruise ports in the USA are definitely those on the islands of Hawaii but we all knew that already. Many people, however, are beginning to rediscover the charm of homeports and (for Americans) the many benefits of not having to take a flight to your port of embarkation.
The American coastline can be roughly divided into three large stretches, namely the West Coast, East Coast and Gulf Coast. Many may be used to thinking of the country in terms of East and West but may be less familiar with the pleasures of the Gulf Coast. Ports located in this area include New Orleans, Tampa and Mobile areas which are well known for their tourist appeal, particularly New Orleans. Unfortunately, however, much of this area was devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and whereas Mobile was previously one of the most popular homeports many cruise operators have (at least for now) eliminated it from their itineraries.
One popular port on the East Coast is Boston, the state capital of Masachusetts and one of the oldest cities in the whole country. It also holds an important place in American history as being one of the birthplaces of the American Revolution with Faneuil Hall in particular having served as the site of many early pro-independence speeches. The Hall receives about 25 million visitors a year making it one of America’s most popular tourist destinations.
Or for something completely different visit Miami, one of the most popular spring break destinations in the United States and home to the famous Miami Beach. The beach itself is one of the most pleasant in the country and the city is well known for its cosmopolitan look and feel, incorporating influences from the nearby Spanish-speaking countries of Cuba and Mexico.
Finally, one of the most fascinating places to visit on the American coast is without a doubt Alaska. The wildlife alone would make it worthwhile with killer whales, penguins and moose often visible from the boat itself or on one of the common wildlife-spotting excursions that many cruise companies are beginning to offer. Most of the ports in Alaska have an oddly anachronistic pioneer feel with timber homes and shops being the norm. The area also provides many opportunities to experience Native American/First Peoples culture and purchase authentic handcrafts made in these areas.