Coastal Cruising
Global Traveler|November 2020
Explore the ports of New England and Eastern Canada.
By J.D. Brown and Margaret Backenheimer

North Americans are familiar with several major cruise destinations they can reach by sea directly without resorting to expensive, tiring international flights. Plenty of Alaskan and Caribbean cruises depart from American and Canadian sports. Often overlooked, however, are the coastal waters of New England and Eastern Canada, where cruise companies are already harvesting rafts of bookings for 2021, largely from mature passengers more interested in historical, cultural, and natural treasures than in watersports, gambling, and Broadway shows.

There are many small-ship (about 200-passenger) coastal cruise lines in the region, but three stand out for their high standards of service and fine facilities: American Cruise Lines, Pearl Seas Cruises, and Victory Cruise Lines.

The largest of the three, American Cruise Lines employs a modern coastal fleet hailed as the newest among all its New England competitors. American Cruise Lines also boasts spacious, hotel-style staterooms, dubbing them “the largest in the small ship industry.”

American Cruise Lines’ newest vessel is the surprisingly elegant 175-passenger American Constitution, making an 11-day Grand New England Cruise with multiple departures June through September. This popular itinerary, visiting historic harbors from Boston to Bar Harbor, Maine, is quickly selling out.

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