One of the MICE cruise trends we’ve noticed in 2017: More planners are requesting close to home cruises. With new and expanding domestic ports, your incentive cruise or meeting at sea attendees now have more access to a greater number of premium cruise ships – and many are within driving distance of major cities.
American river cruising is also gaining in popularity – with new ships, more active adventures, and tax-deductibility on U.S.-built vessels.
Close-to-home cruises – destinations & ships for upscale groups
Discover America’s last frontier – the Great Land of Alaska! From abundant wildlife and stunning glaciers to native culture and frontier towns, an Alaska cruise is an inspiring experience like no other. There are ships of all types and sizes sailing through the Inside Passage and along the majestic route of the glaciers.
A Few Recommended Ships:
- Seven Seas Mariner (mid-sized luxury ship)
Silver Shadow (small luxury ship)
Norwegian Bliss (NEW large contemporary ship)
Celebrity Solstice (large premium ship)
Lindblad National Geographic Quest (NEW premium expedition ship)
American River Cruises
There’s no better way to discover the natural beauty, history, and culture of America’s heartland than by cruising down one of our legendary rivers. From an all-suite opulent paddlewheeler to a premium “boutique-style” vessel, new American-built river ships boast state-of-the-art technology and luxury amenities.
Their intimate size makes them perfect for private charter, and since they’re registered in the U.S.A., your river cruise event might be fully tax-deductible!
Sample American river journeys include:
Columbia & Snake Rivers
Discover the legendary Columbia River as you cruise along the epic path made famous by Lewis and Clark. Dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife, and fascinating frontier spirit await in the pristine Pacific Northwest. Cruise through the towering canyons of the Columbia River Gorge, hike or bike along breathtaking vistas, and explore the coastline by kayak.
Recommended Cruise Lines: American Cruise Lines, Lindblad Expeditions
Rich history and authentic southern culture come alive as you sail on the mighty Mississippi. Discover legendary jazz and cajun zydeco in New Orleans, tour lovingly restored antebellum homes and renowned plantations, and delve deep into the history of the Civil War.
Featured ship: Louisiane – Premium French America Line celebrates the cultural and epicurean influences of France mixed with warm Southern hospitality. The ship was designed for boutique cruising, with 75 indulgent suites and staterooms; the finest cuisine on the river; refined service; and complimentary amenities including iPads in each sleeping room, pre-loaded with e-books, shore excursions, daily programs, and menus.
The Ohio & Cumberland Rivers
Wind through forest-covered hills to discover America’s cultural quilt in the big cities and small towns along the Ohio & Cumberland Rivers. From Civil War battlefields to Nashville’s legendary Grand Ole Opry, this region will inspire your attendees with its storied history and beauty.
Featured ship: American Duchess – American Queen Steamboat Company’s new American Duchess is the first all-suite paddlewheeler with 83 suites, including 4 two-story, 550-square-foot loft suites. This beautiful new “lady of the river” will cruise the Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois and Cumberland rivers and epitomize the grace and grandeur that has made river cruising a cherished American tradition.
New England & Eastern Canada
New England and Canada cruises offer sophisticated ports of call and the opportunity to experience spectacular fall foliage.Sail along dramatic coastlines adorned with gilded mansions, visit quaint towns with lighthouses and crab shacks, explore Canada’s Maritime provinces, and immerse yourself in French Canada with stops in Quebec’s cities and countryside.
Queen Mary 2 (ultra-premium oceanliner) – Cunard Line’s flagship was recently refit with elegant suites and staterooms, new restaurants and a re-imagined Grills experience The QM2 boasts the largest ballroom at sea and a lavish theatre with seating for almost 1,000 people and state-of-the-art facilities.
Crystal Serenity (luxury ship) – The readers of Condé Nast Traveler consistently vote Crystal Serenity the number one cruise ship in the world. Accommodating 1,070 guests, Crystal Serenity maintains one of the highest space-per-guest ratios at sea. The ship boasts a chic and contemporary style, award-winning service, 8 evening dining venues, and the highest-rated activities and entertainment in luxury cruising.
East Coast Waterways
Visit colorful harbors and colonial port cities while sailing the waterways of New England Islands, Maine Coast, Historic South & Golden Isles, Hudson River, and the Mid-Atlantic Inland Passage. Small ships dock in the heart of each historic harbor, only steps away from fascinating maritime museums, scenic bluffs, and quaint shops.
Featured Ship: American Constellation – American Cruise Line’s new 170-passenger ship is uniquely designed to navigate the inland waterways of the East Coast where big ships can’t go. This made-in-America ship has spacious lounges and observation decks, local and large staterooms – all with private balconies or large opening picture windows to view the passing landscapes. Amenities include free WiFi and complimentary cocktail hour each evening.