More Americans choosing home port cruises than ever before
LONDON, England - There's been a distinct rise in US travelers interested in visiting Europe in the last year, and the cruise industry is busy moving vessels to Australia to meet an increased demand. However, with 24 North American ports and increased competition amongst cruise retailers, home port cruise vacations are a great alternative to flying to a distant embarkation port, as they have become easier to get to and even cheaper to enjoy.
Located on a barrier island off the south eastern Texas coast line, Galveston is a unique spot to visit, let alone being the jumping off point for thousands cruise vacationers. We highly recommend flying in to George W. Bush International Airport a day early and staying an extra day following a cruise to enjoy all that this unique embarkation point has to offer cruise vacationers.
One thing to keep in mind when cruising from Galveston is the 70-mile trip from IAH Airport. There are several reputable limo and car services that run this route regularly for cruise passengers at an approximate rate of $100 (per person/roundtrip).
Recently, the port of Galveston received some exciting news – Disney Cruise Lines announced that the Disney Magic starts home porting out of Galveston in September 2012. Adding to the list of cruise lines placing ships in the reach of millions of Texas based and Gulf Coast cruisers are Princess Cruises (Crown Princess – 2012) and Carnival Cruise Lines (Magic -May 2011).
Baltimore represents another great embarkation point for many cruise passengers looking to save on airfare and cruise close to home. In 2010, the port of Baltimore saw the largest increase in ships of any US port. In 2011, Baltimore will host 112 cruises and 230,000 cruise passengers.
Celebrity, Carnival and Royal Caribbean are all major cruise lines sailing out of this Mid-Atlantic terminal. Royal Caribbean recently added a series of Bermuda and New England itineraries leaving from Baltimore.
Recently, the Jacksonville Port Authority or JaxPort welcomed its 1 millionth passenger. Emily Wilt and her family were in from Arkansas to board the Carnival Fascination. The Fascination has been using Jacksonville as a US homeport since 2003. It's as yet unknown if JaxPort will greet its two millionth passenger, as the cruise terminal used by the Fascination is really a cargo terminal, the shipping company Hanjin has a contract with the city to build a brand new cargo facility. Local, state, and cruise terminal officials along with Mayport and Jacksonville residents are currently determining the fate of this cruise embarkation point convenient to so many Southeast US residents.
CruisePort Boston's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal recently underwent a $11 million renovation and the terminal sees over 300,000 passengers pass through its doors each year. The April to October cruise season in Boston plays host to more than 100 ship visits – with vessels sailing up the New England and Canadian coastlines for glimpses of spectacular Fall foliage.
East Coast residents, especially those in New England, can avoid busy ultra-metropolitan areas such as New York and board cruises bound for Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. International visitors may also want to consider Logan International Airport and CruisePort Boston's Black Falcon Terminal as an embarkation for ease of travel and shorter flights from Heathrow and other continental European airports.