Fall cruises are a great opportunity for a family getaway before all the chaos of the holiday season begins. Fall cruises are also frequently less expensive than peak season cruises, which means they’re a great time to score a bargain.
Here are some of the best cruises to embark on during the fall season.
New England and Atlantic Canada
New England and Atlantic Canada are famous for their brilliant fall foliage. Also famous in New England is the horrendous traffic caused by all the leaf peepers, so cruising is a spectacular way to take in the fall foliage from the luxury of a cruise ship.
New England cruises typically depart from Boston or New York, and sail up to Nova Scotia or even along the Saint Lawrence river farther north. Common ports of call are located in Maine, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and New Brunswick.
Summer is the most popular time to visit the Mediterranean, meaning that the ports are packed with tourists from all over the world. This can make sightseeing in ports of call difficult – you may end up spending most of your very limited shore time waiting in line. Airfare to the Mediterranean is also more expensive in peak months.
In contrast, fall weather in the Mediterranean is cooler, and crowds are far fewer. In the fall, you will be able to explore at your leisure. Popular sightseeing attractions such as museums will be much less crowded, meaning that you will be able to spend more time in museums admiring masterpieces and artifacts, and less time waiting in line.
The only downside to a fall cruise in the Mediterranean is that you may be unable to swim in the legendary blue waters.
Great Rivers of Europe
Fall European river cruises allow you to do some leaf peeping in Europe. Hardwood forests and vineyards lining the great rivers take on brilliant colors in Autumn, and the weather is cool and crisp, similar to New England.
European river cruises have recently grown in popularity, and there are now many more cruise ships, allowing cruises to sail late into the fall.
Repositioning cruises, sometimes also referred to as transatlantic cruises, are a favorite of seasoned cruisers. Cruise ships must be repositioned from their summer ports to their winter ports.
Repositioning cruises are a wonderful fall cruise experience, and are usually an excellent bargain. Repositioning cruises are often longer, lasting from 10 days to over two weeks. There will also likely be fewer ports of call.
Common repositioning cruises are from Alaska to Hawaii, Hawaii to California, California to the Caribbean through the Panama Canal, or from Europe to the Caribbean.
Any time of year is a wonderful time to visit the Hawaiian Islands. However, during the fall, there are far fewer tourists than in peak summer and holiday seasons. The islands also get the least rain during the fall, so you have much less chance of getting rained out on your shore excursions.
A fall cruise is a wonderful way to explore multiple Hawaiian islands at your leisure, without having to check in and out of multiple hotels. Most fall cruises of the Hawaiian Islands depart from and return to Honolulu, and make stops at Maui, Kauai, and the big island. Seasoned cruisers often opt to arrive a day early or stay an extra day in Honolulu.
Fall cruises provide a perfect opportunity to explore the Caribbean. The heat and humidity of summer have subsided, peak hurricane season has passed, and the winter crowds have yet to materialize.
Caribbean cruises also involve less air travel for US passengers. Most Caribbean cruises depart from South Florida or San Juan, Puerto Rico. Common ports of call for Caribbean cruises include Jamaica, St. Thomas, the Bahamas, and the islands of the lesser Antilles such as St. Martin and the St. Kitts.
Most cruisers hope to one day embark on an Alaska cruise, but they are generally quite expensive. A fall Alaska cruise is typically much more reasonably priced.
The last few Alaska sailings generally take place in early September. Prices are often half of what you’d pay during the peak summer months. However, the downside to a fall cruise in Alaska is that rain is more likely, and the temperatures are often cold.
Still not sure? You’ve got a bit of time left, but don’t wait too long.
A fall cruise is a great way to relax and recharge before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, often at bargain prices, but as the summer winds down fewer spots will be available. Take the time now to do your research so you don’t miss out!
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.