North America Fähre

The holiday destination North America has a lot of charms. Who wouldn’t want to drive past the great Statue of Liberty in front of New York and feel a little bit of that American sense of freedom? Combined with that, there are natural beauties like Niagara Falls or you might meet a brown bear while hiking in Canada. And you can experience all of this on a North America trip in one trip.


North America Fähre

You want to travel to North America by ship? Then take a look at our current North America offers:

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Best time to travel to North America

In northern North America, winters are very cold. The best time to travel to the east coast of Canada is from around mid-May until the end of September. For Newfoundland and northeastern Nova Scotia, this is even only the months of July to September. In autumn you can also experience the famous Indian Summer, best in the Portland and Bar Harbor area. Note, however, that even in the most beautiful months it rains on average 12 – 13 days a month. Towards the south, the USA gradually becomes warmer and warmer, there are several climate zones. In the south of Florida, on the Bermudas and the Bahamas the travel time from May to August is rather to be avoided because of violent hurricanes. The best time to travel here is around November to March. It’s kind of like that on the west coast. The best time to travel to Alaska is from May to mid-September, with many tourists visiting the national parks in July/August. Around Vancouver the weather is particularly mild. However, it rains least during the months of June to August. April, July and August are the best months to travel to San Diego, California. Los Angeles and San Francisco are best visited from June to October, although travel in July to September can be quite expensive due to the summer holidays there.

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Ports in North America

Corner Brook (Newfoundland)

The Port of Corner Brook is an ice-free port where container ships and cargo vessels have been docked for about 100 years. There is also room for cruise ships in this port, as the quay is very spacious. Ferries operate between Corner Brook and the southern Labrador region. The terminal is located in the western part of the port. Corner Brook is dominated by a 100-year-old paper mill. From here you can go on excursions to the Gros Morne National Park, which is also home to moose.

Sydney (Nova Scotia)

Located on the island of Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia) in the northeast is Sydney. The harbour is a natural harbour. Many Scottish emigrants arrived here in the last centuries, the giant fiddle in the harbour is a reminder of this. The district capital of Cape Breton is the starting point of many a cruise due to its seaport. Worth a visit is St. Patricks, the first Roman Catholic church on the island. It dates from the first third of the 19th century and is located directly near the harbour.

Halifax (Nova Scotia)

Halifax on the Nova Scotia Peninsula (Nova Scotia) has a modern cruise terminal called Halifax Seaport. It is directly adjacent to the Halifax Seafront promenade at its southern end. The ice-free port is one of the largest ports in the world and is located on the south coast of the city. It was founded in 1749 by the British, whose history is still recognizable today. The Citadel in the centre of the city is just as interesting as a visit to the Halifax Public Gardens, which were laid out in 1867. It was laid out in the Victorian style. Approximately 40% of Nova Scotia’s total population lives in the Halifax Metro Area (HMA). In addition to Halifax, these include Dartmouth, Sackville and Bedford. The skyscrapers give a nice contrast to the historical legacies. By the way, at Pier 21 you can see a national monument and a museum about the immigrants who arrived here over a long time. The last ones arrived here after the end of the Second World War.

Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

Charlottetown is a Canadian town founded in 1764 and named after the then English Queen Sophie Charlotte. Charlottetown Harbour is a natural harbour. Here the three rivers Hillsborough, Yorke and Eliot flow together. At the terminal taxi drivers wait for day passengers of the cruise ships.

Quebec

Québec is located on Cap Diamant, a huge rock jutting into the St. Lawrence River. Because of the still completely preserved fortifications, Québec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are two possibilities for cruise ships to dock: in the old port Le Vieux Port or in the port at the old town Le Basse Ville. Both ports are not far from the old town, so you can walk to the main sights of the city. From the old port you can also take a taxi to the old town. The old town is divided into Lower and Upper Town. The two parts of the city are connected by a cable car.

Montreal

The Port of Montreal is an inland port on the Saint Lawrence River. This mighty current also makes it possible for ocean-going vessels to enter the interior of the continent without difficulty. On the west bank of the Saint Lawrence River are the piers on Montreal Island.

Saint John (New Brunswick)

In the port of Saint John, the old warehouses have been renovated and rebuilt. Now they are attracting the cruise tourists. Double-decker buses in pink colour wait in the harbour for those cruise ship passengers who have booked a city tour. Beacons still exist at the harbour, they convey some nostalgia. Trips to Newfoundland to see the bird cliffs are offered here. By the way, the Saint John River flows in two directions. As soon as the tide comes in, it flows backwards.

Bar Harbor (Maine)

Off Bar Harbor, the ships anchor in the wide Frenchman Bay. There are no quays where passengers can go ashore. Therefore, the guests are brought ashore by tender boats. It is not far to the centre of the village from the landing stage of the tender boats. Instead of a city tour, you can also choose to visit Acadia National Park, for example. It begins just a few minutes from the village in a westerly direction.

Portland (Maine)

Cruise ships dock at the modern Portland Ocean Gateway. Portland is considered a very popular destination for cruises. At the cruise terminal, buses for excursions are ready every day as soon as you dock. The city of Portland was rebuilt in the Victorian style after a major fire in 1866, and the brick buildings standing in the center are all part of that. Also worth seeing is the Old Port District with its restored merchant houses. Shops, restaurants and bars can now be found here.

Boston (Massachusetts)

Boston Harbor is a very large seaport. It is located southeast of the city center. You can reach the excursion buses after a short walk from the harbour. The cruise ships dock at Boston South across the street from Logan International Airport. To get downtown, you can take the shuttle bus, a taxi or a public bus from Falcon Avenue. A walk will take you to the city centre in about 30 minutes. A red-marked trail leads to 16 historic sites in the city as the Freedom Trail. This trail is 4 km long in total.

Big Apple

The New York cruise port has three terminals. The Manhattan Cruise Terminal is also called the Passenger Port of New York. It has a total of 5 berths at piers nos. 88, 90 and 92. The city centre is within easy walking distance of this terminal.

The second terminal is located in the industrial area of the city and is called Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Cruise ships dock here at Pier 12. From the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal you can take a taxi to downtown or (with a change) public transportation from the Columbus Circle Subway.

The third terminal is located at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, 10 km from downtown New York. A taxi ride from here would be way too expensive. You can, however, take the harbor shuttle to the Bayonne 34th Street station and from here take a train first to the Hudson Bergen Light Rail station and then from the nearby Exchange Place PATH subway station to downtown Manhattan. For this you need about 1.5 hours. In addition to several historic facilities, the port includes seven other major docks and the natural harbor at the mouth of the Hudson River. Entering the harbor with the sight of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline is very overwhelming.

Baltimore (Maryland)

The port of Baltimore is mainly used by American cruise ships, e.g. Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Approximately 200,000 passengers annually necessitated expansions at the Cruise Maryland Terminal. As soon as a ship has docked, taxis are waiting at the terminal. In about 30 minutes you can reach the Fort Mc Henry, a national monument. Free buses will run from the fire station to the city centre.

Norfolk (Virginia)

Norfolk has a very lively harbour. Since 2007, the port has had a modern cruise terminal, the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center. The harbour is located directly in the city centre and also offers casinos and duty free shops. It is a 15-minute drive from Norfolk International Airport. Right next to the harbour you will find the Town Point Park, a water city park, on the Elizabeth River. Concerts or festivals are often held here. The MacArthur Center, also nearby, contains about 140 stores, 18 movie theaters and 6 restaurants. And here near the harbor is also the world’s largest US Navy base.

Charleston (South Carolina)

Charleston Harbor originated as a natural harbor at the point where the Ashley River and Cooper River meet. The terminals are partly private and partly public. The public ones are owned and operated by the South Carolina State Ports Authority. The port city was founded on the land between the rivers in 1670 and the old town with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Many of the beautifully renovated homes have gardens and exude a Southern charm.

Port Canaveral (Florida)

The cruise port in Port Canaveral is very large. It has 6 terminals that run along the land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River. The more westerly terminals transport passengers in shared taxis to Cocoa Beach to the east. Public buses depart from the middle terminals. The port has about 3 million guests every year. The modern ships of the Disney Cruise Lines are also moored here.

Fort Lauderdale (Florida)

The Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is a very extensive cruise port with eleven terminals, making it one of the largest cruise ports in the world after Miami. In addition, the port is also home to the second largest marina in America. Fort Lauderdale is easily accessible from Germany via three airports: Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami. You can get to the city quickly on foot. Here, historic colonial buildings as well as long white beaches with many restaurants attract visitors.

Miami (Florida)

The port is called Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami. It is the largest port for cruise ships in the world with its 7 terminals. More than 10,000 passengers embark here every day. The port is directly connected to the city centre via a tunnel. Worth seeing are the Art Deco quarter in Miami Beach, the Cuban quarter around Calle Ocho or the Miami Seaquarium on Key Biscayne. The port is also considered a hub for travel to Central America.

Hamilton (Bermuda)

In Hamilton, the ships are usually anchored and tender the passengers ashore in large tender boats (600 guests). The crossing to the pier takes about 40 minutes. It is located right in the centre of Hamilton at Waterfront Square Deck 1. Next to City Hall is the bus terminal from where buses run in all directions across the island.

Nassau (Bahamas)

The Bahamas consists of more than 700 islands. The capital of which is Nassau. The city is located on the east side of the island of New Providence. The colonial charm of the old town can still be felt with the two forts Fincastle and Charlotte. To the north of Nassau lies the harbour entrance, barely 200 metres from Nassau’s Paradise Island. This islet used to be called Hog Island. It can be reached directly via a bridge. At the pier of the port of Nassau sometimes more than 5 ships are moored at the same time. The cruise terminal is modern and also has a tourist information office, shops, a post office and fast food.

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TOP10 Destinations & Sights in North America

Central Park in New York

Big Apple, as New York is also called, has besides countless sights also a 340 hectare park in the middle of Manhattan. It is a very popular meeting place and has even been featured many times in movie scenes. A large meadow is called Sheep Meadow. A walk around the artificial lake is pleasant and the Bethesda Fountain with the “Angel over the Waters” is a popular photo motif. From the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, the fountain is about 2 km away.

Dartmouth east of Halifax (Nova Scotia)

A trip to Dartmouth is not far from the Port of Halifax. Basically all you have to do is cross the bridge from Halifax to Dartmouth. North of the terminal, buses on routes 29 and 41 leave every 15-20 minutes. Besides a shopping mall and the old Christ Church, this place is especially popular with nature lovers. You can go cycling, paddling or simply hiking.

Whale Watching in the Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy is located between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Here the chance is very high to be able to observe humpback whales. You can book a whale watching tour and many operators will even refund your money if you don’t see a whale. Besides whales, dolphins and puffins can be seen. A special experience is to see the whales jump out of the water. The best seasons for whale watching are summer and autumn.

Two Rivers Wildlife Park in Huntington

The Wildlife Park offers the opportunity to observe harmless free-living animals in their natural environment. Animals native to Nova Scotia such as cougars, black bears, lynx and wolves are special attractions. For children there is also a large playground and a petting zoo. The animal park in Huntington is located south of Sydney and can be reached in 30 minutes by car. The road runs along Gabarus Highway/NS-327 and Grand Mira Road.

Gros Morne National Park Newfoundland

Trips to Gros Morne National Park are available from Corner Brook. You will see Canadian moose as well as caribou, sea eagles and other animals. It is located north of Corner Brook on the west coast of Newfoundland and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The drive to the park takes about an hour and is via the Trans Canada Highway/NL-1 E and NL-430 N. The park is 1805 km² in size. Especially worth seeing are the Pissing Mare Falls. They have a drop height of 350 meters.

Rolling Hills on Prince Edward Island from Charlottetown

If you search for “Rolling Hills” on the island in your route planner, you won’t find it. This means the entire hilly landscape of the island. Here the way is the goal, so to speak. The best place to start your journey is at the cruise terminal in the port, where taxi drivers are waiting for passengers. Via the PE-6 E or PE-2 W and PE-13 N you reach the Green Gables Heritage Place. The one-way trip takes about 40 minutes. The small town of North Rustico has a harbour, a beacon and spits of sand barrier islands. This is where the lobster fishermen live.

Niagara Falls

You can reach Niagara Falls from Montreal or New York City in about 6 hours by car. Cruises usually don’t allow for such long excursions in terms of time. Alternatively, there are flights from New York City that reach the Falls in 1 hr and 20 minutes. Non-stop flights leave about 14-20 times a day. Niagara Falls is located on the border between Canada and the United States of the USA. The Niagara River falls here up to 57 meters into the depth. The spectacular thing about Niagara Falls here, however, is the width over which the water falls. The Horseshoe Falls falls over a width of 670 meters, the American Falls over 260 meters.

Muir Woods and Sausalito near San Francisco

From San Francisco you drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and then the highway to Muir Woods. The approximately half-hour drive takes you along a panoramic road with a wonderful view. The Muir Woods are redwoods that are up to 79 feet tall. The oldest trees are 800 to 1100 years old. The way back goes via Sausalito and from there by Fähre.

White Mountain National Forest near Portland

From Portland you drive about 2 hours via the ME-25 W and the NH-25 W. At Marshfield Base Station, you have the option of taking the cogwheel train up Mount Washington. The top station of the Cog Railway is located at 1,917 metres, the bottom station at 823 metres. A ride takes about 1.5 hours. In total you should plan at least 8 hours for this trip.

Magnolia Plantation near Charleston

From Charleston, you can reach Magnolia Plantation in about 40 minutes by car. It’s right on the Ashley River. Built in 1676, the plantation contains extensive gardens of camelias and azaleas. The path along the river leads through woods and along swamps and from time to time you can see sunbathing alligators. Part of this excursion takes place by means of a small train. The excursion is also called “Gardens and Marshes”. It takes about 6 hours in total and can only be booked as an organized trip.

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Questions & Answers about North America Vacation

Which shipping companies offer North America cruises?

By far the largest cruise operator in North America is Carnival Cruise Line, followed by Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Other cruise lines with North America on their itineraries include: Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Cunard, AIDA Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Seabourn, TUI Cruises, P&O Cruises, Hurtigruten, Phoenix and Plantours Cruises.

What is the climate in North America?

Canada is framed by three oceans, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Arctic Ocean to the north. These seas influence the climate as do the Rocky Mountains, which run parallel to the Pacific Ocean in the southeast. In the east of the mountains, the influence of arctic winds is felt. The maximum temperatures in summer are on average 26 degrees Celsius and the coldest temperatures are in January at -14 degrees Celsius. Even in summer there are still 12 rainy days a month and on the Atlantic and near the coast it is often very fresh even in summer. Northern Canada with Newfoundland and northern Nova Scotia, on the other hand, are very cold from November to mid-May and have high precipitation. In New England, as far north as Washington, the weather is humid continental, but rather temperate, with hot summers and quite cold winters. The further south you go, the more subtropical the climate in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and large parts of Florida. South Florida is already part of the tropics and has both dry and rainy seasons. Hurricanes often occur here from May to August. The same applies to Bermuda and the Bahamas. If you want to go on a cruise in Alaska, on the other hand, you will not only have to deal with many tourists in high summer, but also with mosquitoes. Alaska is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the south, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Bering Sea to the west. The climate here south of the Alaska Range is rather mild due to the warm ocean current of the Kuroschio. Also in British Columbia with Vancouver, temperatures are about 5 degrees warmer in winter and 5 degrees colder in summer than the rest of Canada. Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego in California have primarily dry and warm climates.

What clothes should I take with me?

Basically, the clothes are no different from the pieces required for air travel. However, there is the special feature on this holiday that you will sometimes spend a whole day on the ship. Inside it is warm, on deck a cold and damp wind can easily blow. Since it often rains in Canada, rain gear and a sturdy windbreaker are a must, as are sturdy walking shoes. Warm clothing is also the order of the day if you are going to be moving around Florida more in the south. On the sea it is really cool from time to time. You will need swimwear and sportswear on board, but not a bathrobe. It’s in every room. You can easily have your laundry washed on board, so you don’t have to pack too much.

Is a North America cruise with baby or toddler possible and recommended?

All cruise ships are adapted for small children and babies. There is childcare and even children’s events on most ships. Medical care is also provided. If tropical destinations are also on your list, you should check with a tropical institute before you travel to see what precautions would make sense. Some shipping companies offer special cruises for families. MSC Cruises and AIDA offer free travel for children 15 and 17, respectively.

What shore excursions are recommended in North America?

No matter which cruise ship you have planned your vacation with, organized excursions are offered for every port. In northern Canada, the most popular trips are to the countryside. It goes to spectacular waterfalls, to large lakes, in nature parks with free-living animals or on the water for whale watching. But also the cities themselves are often very popular, especially if they have historic fortresses, churches or other buildings to offer. In the south around Florida then already times the snow-white beaches are a popular destination.

Can I organize my own excursions in North America?

You can always organize excursions on your cruise in North America yourself. Please note, however, that you must adhere to the specified times for the return. Unforeseen closures, controls or an accident on the route can rob you of your most valuable time. Therefore, as a precaution, plan for larger time reserves in these cases.

Is the sea state in North America very strong?

A strong swell is always possible anywhere on the seas. It can also occur suddenly. In the south you have to expect hurricanes in certain months. However, the swell is not felt as much in cruise ships as the ship largely balances the waves. The bigger the ship, the less you’ll feel anything. However, it can happen that the route or the port of call is changed at short notice due to weather conditions.

Do I need a passport or is an ID card sufficient for the North American trip?

A valid passport is always required when traveling to North America. And the passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of your trip. For the USA there is even mandatory ESTA approval. It must be applied for online at least 72 hours before travel. Passports must be electronically readable, including children’s passports. Photographs and fingerprints are required. These German passports can be recognized by their burgundy color. In addition, it is important to carry copies of your travel and identification documents with you and keep them in a different place than the originals in case you lose them.

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North America Map

On the map you get a rough overview of North America.

North America Map

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Our conclusion to the vacation North America

An America trip is a trip that offers a little bit of everything. Large and worth seeing cities are approached one after the other on the east coast and in between there is breathtaking nature. Especially if the trip also has Canada on the route. Spectacular waterfalls like Niagara Falls, whale watching or wildlife on land, there is always something for everyone.

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North America Fähre Experiences & Travelogues

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