Located on the shores of Maine, the seaside city of Portland is a wonderful port to take a river cruise from. Many cruises visit Portland, but there is also a small selection of cruises from Portland, which are typically available from June to September. Portland is an interesting city where you can experience “big city” amenities and the charms of an old coastal town at once. Many travelers who take cruises from Portland, Maine choose to stay a few nights before or after their cruise.
Maine coastal cruises are the only kind of cruises available from this port, through American Cruise Lines and Lindblad Expeditions. American Cruise Lines offers pre-cruise packages that allow you to stay in Portland, Maine, the day before your cruise departs. This is a great option if you would truly like to immerse yourself in this funky coastal community. With a downtown hotel location and plenty of opportunities for public transportation, this is a great option to add on before your cruise!
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Portland, ME. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Portland, ME. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Portland, ME:
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Portland, along with a brief description:
♦ The Portland Lobster Company
For a true New England culinary experience, you might consider enjoying a meal at the Portland Lobster Company. Located less than half a mile from the port, this casual restaurant is just a short 10-minute walk from your ship. Menu items include choices such as New England clam chowder, lobster bisque, crab cakes, fish and chips, and buttery lobster rolls of course. If you’re really feeling adventurous, they also offer big dinner plates where you can try a little bit of everything (for example, a dinner might consist of a lobster, steamers, French fries, corn on the cob, and coleslaw). Get ready to start cracking!
♦ Shopping Opportunities
There are a couple of really nice shops located just a few minutes from the cruise port, where you can search for some awesome great New England-inspired souvenirs! You can find everything from fine jewelry to nautical-themed items and even water-resistant bags that are made from recycled sailboat sails. If you are into nautical décor, you will definitely love some of the items you can purchase when cruising from Portland.
♦ Bar Harbor
This gorgeous coastal city embodies a natural beauty unlike anywhere else in New England. From ocean cliffs and mountains to lakes and forests, you can admire this natural beauty for yourself when you cruise from Portland, Maine. While here, you can learn all about the lobster industry and boat-building. There are many museums, landmarks, and cultural experiences you can take advantage of while here. Particularly interesting to nature lovers is Arcadia National Park, which you can tour and take in the scenic wonders.
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