There is a lot to consider when traveling—food, lodging, activities, and not to mention destination.
But what if you could have it all?
Going on cruise lets you enjoy food, fun, and entertainment right at your fingertips. The best part? You never have to leave the country to do it.
When you think of going on a cruise, heading to a tropical island is what comes to mind, but there are great destination spots right here in our nation’s own backyard.
As Lisa Niver, a Virtuoso travel advisor and cruise expert writes, “Domestic cruising is brilliant.”
“For a while, travelers felt they had to fly far away to see something interesting or exciting, and now they’re realizing how much the United States and nearby has to offer.”
Staying domestic definitely has its advantages. You don’t have to deal with the nuisance of time changes and jetlag. Plus, no passports are needed, meaning you don’t have to stress that yours expired in 1996.
So, let’s look at the top eight places you’ll want to book your next cruise, ensuring all your troubles stay shoreside.
1. Hawaii Island Hopping
Hawaii is a beautiful group of islands with so much to offer. Credited as being one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, you will never run out of things to do and see.
In addition to catching a glimpse of hammerhead sharks and Hawaiian green sea turtles, you can visit Pearl Harbor on Oahu and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the main island.
Norwegian Cruise Lines offer excellent cruises year-round that depart from Honolulu. If you book at the right time, you can also get free airfare or excursion bonuses.
Trips average about $1,449 per person for a full week of adventure which, considering all that it includes, is a steal.
2. California Wine Dreaming
Cruising with this bunch of connoisseurs, you may want to leave the kids at home. This is a classy booze cruise where the best vineyards on the west coast will be experienced and appreciated.
You’ll get to join other trendy enthusiasts in Santa Barbara’s The Funk Zone, where countless tasting rooms, galleries, and renowned restaurants take your taste buds to another dimension.
Princess Cruises offers a Pacific Wine Country cruise that travels up the west coast to Vancouver—but don’t worry, no passports are required.
You have the option to depart from Los Angeles or Vancouver at $689 per person for the whole week.
3. Go On An Expedition With The Pros
We all learned in history class about the famous duo Lewis and Clark, but now you can have the opportunity to experience their journey for yourself.
Beginning in Portland, Oregon, this exciting excursion takes you along both the Columbia and Snake River, all the way to the Idaho border.
Not much of a history buff? No problem! The voyage is run by National Geographic-Lindblad, so each ship comes equipped with an expedition team to fill you in on the history, culture, and best photography locations.
Running about $4,990 per person for the week, you are sure to feel like you’ve traveled back in time on this daring adventure.
4. Take in the sights of Alaska
Alaska is one of the United States hidden gems. Traveling around Victoria, Anchorage, Kodak, and more, this 17-day adventure is mind-blowing.
The Northern Lights will brighten your path through fjords and glaciers, while the ship navigates around diverse ecosystems.
If you are lucky, you’ll spot a grizzly bear or moose… hopefully from a distance. Enjoy invigorating stories aboard Celebrity Cruises at around $2,859 per person.
5. Travel Down The Mississippi In A Real Steamboat
Louisiana is known for its culture, cuisine, and jambalaya. What you may not know is that it also offers some of the best river cruises on this side of the Mississippi.
USA River Cruises takes you on a gentle ride through St. Francisville and Nottoway on a true paddle-wheel steamboat, the American Duchess—perfect for the southern belle and gentleman.
Averaging about $1,199 per person, you’ll enjoy some good old-fashioned fun on the iconic Mississippi River.
6. Hit The Sand Running In The Caribbean
The Caribbean is THE spot when it comes to cruises. Its white sandy beaches, balmy weather, and unbeatable prices makes it one of the hottest destinations for a tropical getaway.
You may be thinking, “Hey! This isn’t a domestic cruise.” But au contraire. Many of the popular Caribbean islands are on U.S. territory, like St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and St. Croix.
So don’t worry about the passports you’ve hidden so well you can’t even find. Just enjoy your margaritas aboard a 7-day Carnival Cruise for only $399 per person.
7. Go Big With The Great Lakes
Get in with the big-wigs and take a cruise between Chicago and New York—and don’t forget your evening gown and tux.
Take in breathtaking views as your ship maneuvers effortlessly through twelve different waterways.
The Great American Waterways cruise glides along the Great Lakes, Erie Canal, and the Hudson River, just to name a few.
Highlighted on this trip are the industries that made American craftsmanship so great. You will see a modern blacksmith shop and the Henry Ford Museum.
This fancy cruise is going to cost about $5,149 per person, but offers a 16-day excursion of elegance.
8. Cruise South For The Winter
Hop aboard the Grandeur of the Seas and take a relaxing getaway from Baltimore, Maryland to Florida’s best port destinations.
Hang out poolside and catch some rays while the ship drifts you to tranquil and warm places.
The cuisine is plentiful and delicious, so you’ll want to pace yourself at the all-you-can-eat buffet, as Proud American Traveler has previously advised.
While the ship loops back around to head north, it will stop at the Bahamas to give you a taste of paradise before going home.
These cruises are around $529 per person and on the shorter side, making it perfect for a quick retreat or anniversary celebration.
So don’t sell yourself short! Book a U.S. cruise for your next vacation and experience an all-inclusive extravaganza of the wondrous sites our nation has to offer.