Autumn is one of the best times to go on a cruise. To start, if you’re keen to head to uber popular places like the Mediterranean, you’ll miss the busy summer crowds. Secondly, the scorching hot summer weather will have cooled off a bit in most places, making it much more bearable when you head out sightseeing. Autumn is also good for your pocket, as there’ll be plenty of low-season deals on offer – you might even find some additional onboard perks thrown in too.
America, the Caribbean, Asia and Australia are just a few top autumn destinations. Another option is getting onboard a repositioning cruise, which means you won’t embark and disembark at the same place. One of autumn’s most common repositioning cruises is Alaska to the Caribbean via the Panama Canal – however, there are always transoceanic options including Europe to Asia for something a bit more exotic.
If you’re searching for a good all-rounder and hope to end up back where you started, there are still plenty of varied and exciting itineraries to choose from. Here are some of the best destinations for top autumn cruises.
Autumn can be an incredible time to see France’s busy capital city steeped in rich oranges and yellows, or the cobbled lanes of its countryside towns embracing the slowly setting chill before winter. Some of the tinier country towns might close up shop at the end of the autumn, but Paris is very much a working city, so there’s really no bad time to see the City of Love up close.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines embarks on a river-bound trip to France, cruising down the historic River Seine into Rouen, Guernsey and up to Paris – all of which offer shopping opportunities and picturesque streets straight out of a fashion magazine.
New England and Canada
In terms of autumn foliage, nothing quite compares to New England and Canada. Famous across the world, the New England landscape is drenched in rich reds, oranges and yellows come autumn, attracting visitors from all over hoping to get a glimpse of one of nature’s most beautiful transitions. Popular destinations in New England for cruising are Boston, Portland in Maine, all the way up to Canada in Newport and Quebec City. Up here, cruises are all about history and rocky coastlines speckled with lighthouses.
Because New England and Canada are so close together, you’ll often get cruises that hit both regions on the same voyage. Offering some of the best cruises for the autumn months, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises®, Holland America Line and Royal Caribbean® all hit New England and Canada at this time of year.
If the UK’s autumn temperatures are too far on the chilly side for you, the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean will quickly heat you up. Seasonal activities and delightfully warm weather tend to stick around until October, so you’ve got a good chunk of the autumn to experience the shores of the Greek islands, gorgeous Spain and the rust-coloured coasts of Portugal.
MSC Cruises is Italy-based and regularly hits all the Mediterranean stars, with other ports on the agenda like Greece, Spain and Malta. Royal Caribbean runs voyages that are island-heavy as well, hitting Mykonos, Athens, Santorini and Naples.
Hawaii famously only really has two seasons – summer and winter. While winter is generally lumped in with spring, summer and autumn mesh together. When you hit these parts at this time of year, you’re getting all the benefits of summer’s warm weather but with less of the hype. The water is still gorgeously warm for those much-anticipated surf lessons, and while the rainy season does swoop in at the end of autumn, the sea temperatures tend to always stay in bath territory.
Royal Caribbean does an amazing Hawaii trip that hits four of the eight Hawaiian Islands – Honolulu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island, before rounding up all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver. On your trip, you can stop in at coffee bean farms, kayak past volcanic landscapes and sunbathe on the iconic Waikiki Beach.
The Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is one of those spots that looks good under any light, in any season – but we especially love trips up this far north because of their Northern Light potential. The Northern Lights are most visible between September and April and are at their brightest around these two months too. By visiting the Arctic Circle – which includes Greenland, bits of Canada, Norway, Alaska and other northern territories – along with Iceland and other snow-capped spots in the autumn, you’re ramping up your chances of seeing these natural wonders in action.
P&O Cruises casts off to Norway specifically in search of the Northern Lights, as does Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Hurtigruten even offers 12-day voyages up the coast of Norway with a 100% guarantee that you will, at some point, spot the Northern Lights on your trip.
If autumn is around the corner – you know what to do. Get your transitional wardrobe ready and keep an eye out for some money-saving autumn cruise deals.
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