Cruising 101: A Look at Convenient Departure Cities Across the Country

The best locations to start your next vacation are closer than you think.
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Many of our ships sail from the cruise capital of the world, Miami, to the colorful Caribbean.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

If you think the only way to enjoy a cruise is to hop on a plane first, think again: Royal Caribbean ships set sail from destinations all around the U.S., many within driving distance of travelers’ homes. Whether sailing to crystal-clear Caribbean waters, leaf peeping in Canada, exploring the Last Frontier, or even parading down the French Quarter, it’s never been easier to embark on your next vacation and visit multiple destinations without all the logistics of vacationing on land.

Check out these convenient departure cities in different regions and skip the airport: 

Tristate travelers can cruise away from the cold on cruises departing from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Northeast

For those based anywhere from Portland, Maine to Philadelphia, a departure city is less than a two-hour drive away. From Boston, for example, warmer weather awaits on sailings to Bermuda, or fall foliage and renowned seafood on cruises heading north to Canada.

If you’re in the New York metropolitan area, you can easily make your way to Cape Liberty, New Jersey (just a 20-minute drive from Jersey City, New Jersey) for a variety of sailings that range from a five-night Bermuda cruise on Adventure of the Seas, to an 11-night Southern Caribbean sailing on Anthem of the Seas.

Beginning May 2020, the newly amplified Oasis of the Seas will sail from the Big Apple–the first Oasis Class ship to sail from Cape Liberty–offering seven-night itineraries to The Bahamas, including an unforgettable day at our private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Find your cruise departing from a place near you in the Northeast here.

Royal Caribbean ships dock near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Mid-Atlantic

A bit further south, Baltimore offers easy access for Marylanders and everyone in the D.C. metro area. This departure city features cruises that visit many of the same destinations as Cape Liberty but include added options with eight-night Southeast Coast and The Bahamas sailings to popular U.S. destinations like Charleston, South Carolina as well as Orlando and Miami, Florida. When heading to The Bahamas, you can enjoy historic architecture, rum tastings and, of course, beautiful beaches.

Explore Caribbean itineraries from Baltimore here.

In Miami, Florida, the Caribbean is king: a number of cruise ports offer sun-soaked adventures.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Southern Coast

To start, Florida offers some of the most popular cruise ports–Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami—with sailings ranging from three- and four-nights to The Bahamas, to 12-night trips to the Southern Caribbean, and even some as far off as Europe. But Royal Caribbean also sails from other locations along the Southern Coast.

If you’re based near the bayou, you’ve got more options than ever with week-long itineraries on Majesty of the Seas. The ship sails to The Bahamas year round from New Orleans, including visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay. Further west, Galveston offers a Texas-sized adventure with a mix of short Caribbean and seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries, visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Falmouth, Jamaica, among others. Pro tip: Don’t miss Allure of the Seas when she calls Galveston home in 2021, becoming the largest ship to sail from Texas, thanks to an all-new terminal.

Discover your next escape departing from the Southern Coast of the U.S. here.

The Pacific Northwest is your gateway to the Last Frontier.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Pacific Northwest

In the Northwest, the Port of Seattle offers seven-night cruises to Alaska on Ovation of the Seas, uncovering the Last Frontier—from reliving the Klondike gold rush in Skagway, Alaska to glimpsing the glaciers and wildlife of the Inside Passage. With the North Star all-glass observation capsule, you’ll have unparalleled views of glaciers, too!

A short drive north to Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada may be easier to get to for some vacationers. Look no further: you can embark on a seven-night sailing that will take you through the 500 miles of shoreline that is the Inside Passage, calling on Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska.

Want more adventure? Nine- through 13-night cruise tours let you explore the wonders of Alaska’s interior before or after your cruise, including coveted places like Denali National Park, or ride on the Tundra Express train and more.

If ice isn’t your thing, 10-night Hawaii cruises could be the ticket with stops in Maui, Oahu and “the Big Island” of Hawaii.

Browse for your Pacific Northwest cruises to the glaciers here, or islands of Hawaii here.

Found a departure city near you? Check out everything your next vacation has to offer and book an unforgettable trip.