North America’s Best Cruise Ports

Cruising is becoming more and more popular these days, and to some, a preferred way of traveling because it often has multiple destinations included in one package. Many cruises these days have amenities that were once reserved for luxury liners like swimming pools, full-sized movie theaters, and celebrity chef restaurants which makes them all the more attractive. They also include all-inclusive deals that feature one-of-a-kind excursion and first-rate entertainment, which eliminates the stress of planning an itinerary. But what truly make cruise vacations all the more attractive are the ports of call. Many of them start their journeys from some of the biggest cities, all of which are destinations worthy of visiting themselves. Here are some of the best cruise ports in North America.

Best Cruise Ports in North America

Vancouver, British Columbia

Best Cruise Ports in North America: Canada Place, Vancouver
Canada Place, Vancouver

Destinations: Alaska

Cruise Lines: Over two-dozen ships including Princess Cruises, Norwegian, Disney Wonder, and Holland America

The scenic and environment friendly city of Vancouver, British Columbia is a favorite among tourists, not only because it has one of the largest concentration of top-rated cruises, but also because of its reputation as one of the most livable cities in the world. It’s very walkable and features a public transportation system that’s efficient and reliable. Vancouver is also very much an outdoor enthusiast city, featuring plenty of public parks and recreation facilities, beaches, and mountains nearby. Last but not least, the fact that Vancouver has a great food scene proves to be a bonus for many visitors.

New York, New York

Best Cruise Ports in North America: Times Square at Night
Times Square at Night

Destinations: Caribbean, Transatlantic, Canada and New England, the Bahamas, Bermuda

Cruise Lines: More than a dozen including Queen Mary 2, Norwegian, Carnival, and the Balmoral

What makes New York, New York one of the best cruise ports in North America is its diversity. There’s always something for everybody in New York, whether you’re looking for different types of food, activities or attractions. It has a number of great museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the American Museum of Natural History. There’s also Broadway for the theater geeks and world-class performing arts center like the Lincoln Center or Radio City Music Hall. The other thing that’s great about New York is that despite it’s reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world, you won’t have to venture far to have a great time on the cheap. Food trucks that sell restaurant quality food and shows like those presented by the Upright Citizens Brigade are mere 10-15 minute ride on the Subway from the glittering lights of Times Square.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Best Cruise Ports in North America: Balconies on Bourbon Street
Balconies on Bourbon Street

Destinations: Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, and in-land river systems in the United States

Cruise Lines: A combination of large and small companies like Carnival, Norwegian, American, and American Queen Steamboat Company

The jewel of the American South, New Orleans, Louisiana is increasingly becoming one of the best cruise ports in North America. Not so much because of the large number of cruise lines that depart from its harbor, but because of its accessibility and the city itself. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the metropolis, it rebuilt itself better than ever. Bourbon Street is filled with boisterous laughter once more while Frenchmen Street bars entertain folks with live jazz and blues. Then there’s the food scene. Cajun and Creole cuisines are the staples but you’ll also see a good mix of seafood, continental, and fusion dining establishments. Most importantly, New Orleans is renowned for its Southern hospitality. Locals do not take themselves too seriously in this town which makes it all the more fun.

Miami, Florida

Best Cruise Ports in North America: Early Morning on South Beach
Early Morning on South Beach

Destinations: Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mediterranean, Bahamas, World Cruise via Crystal Serenity (108 days), Central and South America

Cruise Lines: Several dozen liners from large and small fleets from Norwegian, Disney, MSC, Oceania, Regent, and Majesty of the Seas

The Port of Miami is one of the largest in the world and a gateway to the Caribbean and much of Central and South America, which is why it’s the cruise capital of the world. Every year, there are over 400,000 passengers embarking and disembarking from multi-day cruises to places like the Bahamas or Bora Bora. Miami also attracts a number of visitors thanks to its pristine beaches like South Beach, electrifying nightlife, and various art exhibits located in the city’s Wynwood and Art Deco districts. All of these, combined with the year-long warm weather, makes Miami, Florida one of the best cruise ports in North America.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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