Transatlantic cruises are considered the ultimate in luxury vacations. Traditionally, these cruises begin in New York City and end in London, mimicking the route taken by immigrants to the New World several centuries ago. The historic aspect is one of the main attractions for a transatlantic cruise, particular for those whose ancestors made the journey from the London docks to Ellis Island. However, not all transatlantic cruises follow this iconic route. Some take side trips through the Caribbean islands
Traditional trans-atlantic cruises typically take between six and seven days to complete the crossing. Because there are no ports of call available along this particular route, this type of cruise is best for those who enjoy relaxing onboard and enjoying the amenities of the cruise ship — which isn't hard to do, since the only ship that routinely makes this type of Atlantic crossing large and luxurious. The ship was built in 2004 and is called The Queen Mary II.
The Queen Mary II
At the time it was built, The Queen Mary II was the largest passenger ship on the planet. Its size has since been eclipsed by behemoths such as Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships Symphony of the Seas, the Allure of the Seas, and the Oasis of the Seas. These are basically floating cities providing such a dazzling array of amenities and activities that there's something on these ships for everyone. However, these ships weren't designed for open ocean travel — they're meant to stick close enough to land to be able to visit ports of call on a regular basis.
The Queen Mary II was specifically designed and built for long cruises involving open ocean travel. Because it doesn't involve ports of call on a daily basis, the ship itself is the focus of the trip. Not only does The Queen Mary II offer optimal luxury, it retains something of its utilitarian heritage when these crossings were for purposes of relocation rather than pleasure. For instance, The Queen Mary II is one of the few ships in service that provides kennels for the canine companions of the passengers.
The best way to enjoy a cruise on The Queen Mary II is to pair it with time in both New York City and London. Arrive in New York in time to savor the sights and sounds of the city, and plan to stay in London for a few days as well.
Alternatives to The Queen Mary II for Transatlantic Cruises
The Queen Mary II isn't the only game in town when it comes to enjoying a transatlantic cruise, however. Cunard Line, which operates The Queen Mary II, also offers transatlantic cruises on The Queen Victoria. Other cruise ship companies, such as Royal Caribbean International, Windstar Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. However, unlike The Queen Mary II, these cruises don't follow the trail blazed in past centuries by immigrants seeking a better life in the New World. Their points of departure and final destinations range from Germany south to Puerto Rico, with all manner of interesting and exciting ports of call along the way. The Queen Victoria even offers a 28-day transatlantic cruise that departs from Santiago, Chile and sails through South American waters before heading north to Florida and across the sea to Southampton.
The best trans-atlantic cruise itinerary varies by traveler. Those seeking a historic experience that mirrors the voyage of their ancestors may want to choose The Queen Mary, especially if they'd prefer a more leisurely cruise experience instead of pursuing activities in various ports of call. Those desiring to combine their transatlantic cruise with a tropical side trip should consider taking The Queen Victoria from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale with port of call stops in Bermuda and The Everglades.
As you can see, there's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the right transatlantic cruise. With itineraries ranging from one week at sea to nearly a month exploring Caribbean and South American port cities before turning for England, there's a transatlantic cruise to suit anyone's needs and preferences. Please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience for more information on choosing a cruise itinerary.