PICK OF THE COASTS

Head to the waterfront in Miami to sight cruise ships arriving or departing the busy Florida port.
Head to the waterfront in Miami to sight cruise ships arriving or departing the busy Florida port.

THE Australian dollar may have lost some strength against the America dollar, but that country remains a  favourite destination for Aussie travellers.

A recent Roy Morgan holiday tracking survey shows Australians want to holiday in the United States rather than any other country overseas. New Zealand was formerly front-runner for Aussies with England not far behind.

Survey figures show that over 14 per cent of Australians (2.8 million) plan to take a holiday in the United States in the next two years, up from 10 per cent five years ago.

australiancruisingnews.com notes that many of those surveyed have been to the USA before, most often on a family trip to Disneyland, and are likely to consider a cruise holiday on their next visit. So what cruise options are available out of America ports?

West coast cruises:  Los Angeles is the gateway for many Australians heading to the USA, ships from there cruises along California’s Pacific coast from sun-kissed southern ports to the cooler northern climates San Francisco, Vancouver (Canada) and Alaska.

Celebrity Century (celebritycruises.com.au)Norwegian SunNorwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jewel (norwegiancruiseline.com.au), and Crown Princess (princess.com), regularly take this Pacific coastal route.

Those sailing south of Los Angeles take in Catalina Island, San Diego, and Ensenada, a sleepy  port.across the Mexican border. This sun-kissed peninsula, know as Baja California, is where Hollywood celebrities have hideaways in places such as Cabo San Lucas (cruise ships here sail past impressive arched rock formations) and Puerto Vallarta.

East Coast cruises: New York is the hero port for cruises that sail north to New England, particularly in autumn (when falling tree leaves are a show stopper), and on to Canadian ports such as Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec City and Montreal. Carnival Splendor (carnival.com.au) and Norwegian Gem (norwegiancruiseline.com) are regulars on this northern route.

Cruises south sail to Florida and on to the Caribbean islands to chase the sun.

Australians visiting Disney World in Florida often add a Caribbean cruise to their holiday from the port of Miami or Fort Lauderdale to see if the islands there are any match for their own sun-kissed Queensland islands.

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