“First and foremost, our hearts go out to those impacted by the hurricanes; they have been a cherished part of our cruise family for over 40 years,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Fortunately, the vast majority of ports in the Caribbean are welcoming guests, having sustained minimal or no direct damage from the storms. The Caribbean islands and destinations throughout the Americas rely on tourism and the cruise industry is dedicated to continuing to bring vacationers to these beautiful areas. I’m proud of the collective efforts of CLIA Cruise Line Members along with the industry associations, providing more than $30 million in financial resources, temporary housing, transporting families and pets as well as a variety of supplies to people in need.”
Highlights of Cruising through the Americas & the Caribbean
Diverse Destinations: From treks down the Mississippi to paddling the Panama Canal, there’s something for every type of traveler in the Americas and Caribbean.
• Sitka, Alaska: Alaska’s “most exotic” cruise port is full of storied history that includes being home to Tlingit Native Americans and formerly acting as a major pulp mill town. Travelers can visit the totem pole park or walk along Katlian Street on the Sitka Channel waterfront, full of sights of colorful fishing boats and harbor town houses.Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures: Travelers looking to kayak through glacier water or snorkel along exotic reefs can find a variety of special activities and excursions on a cruise through the Americas or Caribbean.
• Montevideo, Uruguay: This South American port city is a hidden gem full of old and new sights to see and architecture to take in, and offers a great spot to relax during a full itinerary with monuments, restaurants, and beaches. Travelers can walk the ultra-modern Plaza Independencia main square or take in afternoon tea in historical Ciudad Vieja.
• Quebec City, Quebec: This mostly French-speaking Canadian province offers travelers an unexpected taste of Europe with bistro and boutique-lined cobblestone streets. Adventure seekers and nature lovers can indulge in biking tours along famous waterfalls like the Montmorecny Falls, while history lovers can enjoy famed sites like the Basilique Cathedrale.
• Bonaire, Caribbean: The B in ABC islands, Bonaire is the original leader in ecology and eco-tourism, with bustling sanctuary colonies of flamingos, wild donkeys, and sea horses. Travelers to this island off the coast of Venezuela can participate in windsurfing, kayaking, bird watching, kite boarding, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding or “diver’s paradise” activities like diving and snorkeling.
• St. Kitts, Caribbean: This West Indies isle, originally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, offers travelers a peek into preserved history with its 17th and 18th century military architecture. The island also offers lush rainforests, with more than a quarter of its land protected as a National Park.
• Ride the River: Vacationers yearning to experience U.S. history have a chance of following in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark while viewing classic Americana with a trip down the Columbia/Snake River, complete with trips through Hells Canyon and views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood.CLIA Travel Tips when Cruising the Americas or the Caribbean
• Photos in Peggy’s Cove: Peggy’s Cove in Halifax is home to smooth boulders that have buoyed waves for 450 million years, in addition to perhaps the most photographed lighthouse in the world—a must-see and must-photograph spot for photo enthusiasts.
• Roatan Rum: Rum and sweets-loving cruise travelers can take part in authentic culture with Mayan chocolate and rum cake tastings in Roatan.
• High on the Haleakala: Nature lovers and photo buffs alike should experience the Haleakala Volcano in Maui, which rises 10,023 feet above sea level and offers some of the most beautiful volcanic sights in the world. Thrill seekers can even bike down the sides. To make the trip a once-in-a-lifetime event, travelers can also see the ahinahina plant, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Any vacation takes planning, and cruising is no different. CLIA has outlined tips for how to take the stress out of cruising in any waters, including the Americas or the Caribbean.
• Strike a Balance: Cruisers can benefit from striking a fine balance between scheduled excursions or entertainment and leaving time to relax. Travelers should be careful not to overbook their schedules on the ship or in port in order to leave room to enjoy the ship’s many amenities or sight see. Whether it b whale watching or a helicopter ride over active volcanoes, book two to three activities or excursions at most per day, with some downtime in between, when possible, to avoid travel fatigue.More about Plan a Cruise Month
• Ask the Question: Travelers should never hesitate to stop and ask questions when in doubt. Whether questions are directed at a cruise-certified travel agent while booking a cruise, or to the ship’s staff while aboard – there are knowledgeable resources to help provide answers to any question that arises.
• Rest Assured while Aboard: Travelers that take advantage of booking with cruise-certified travel agents can rest assured while resting up on any cruise, as a professional travel agent can help if things go wrong while cruising.
October is Plan a Cruise Month—a worldwide movement to learn more about cruising and how to plan and take a cruise vacation. The campaign, created by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community, offers insight on the best cruise destinations, special cruise line deals and promotions as well as experts to help navigate the many cruise vacation options available for every travel style and budget. More information is available at Cruising.org.