Top 15 Cruise Ports for the Start of a Cruise

Embarking on a cruise is an exciting adventure, but the decision of where to start your journey can greatly impact the overall experience. Based on a survey conducted on Facebook, the top 15 favorite cruise departure ports have been determined. These ports were selected based on various factors such as their proximity to travelers’ homes, nearby airports, desirable ports of call, and the presence of iconic landmarks. From the bustling city of New York to the stunning coastal cities of Barcelona and Sydney, these embarkation ports offer the perfect start to an unforgettable cruise vacation. Whether you prefer the sunny shores of Miami or the historical charm of Rome, there is a departure port that will surely capture your heart.

Long Beach

Long Beach is one of the favorite departure ports for cruise travelers, and it’s no wonder why. Situated on the beautiful coast of California, Long Beach offers a variety of attractions and amenities that make it an ideal starting point for a cruise vacation. Conveniently located near the bustling city of Los Angeles, Long Beach offers easy access to two major airports, making it a convenient choice for travelers coming from all over the country.

One of the biggest draws of Long Beach is its proximity to iconic landmarks such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. These attractions are just a short drive away, allowing cruise passengers to extend their vacation and explore the entertainment capital of the world. Additionally, Long Beach itself has plenty to offer in terms of shopping, dining, and nightlife, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy before setting sail.


Barcelona is another popular departure port for cruise travelers, and it’s easy to see why. This vibrant city in Spain is known for its stunning architecture, lively nightlife, and rich history. Cruise passengers who choose Barcelona as their starting point can take advantage of the city’s convenient location near El Prat Airport, which offers flights to destinations all over the world.

One of the highlights of Barcelona is its iconic landmarks, including the awe-inspiring Sagrada Familia and the beautiful Park Guell, both of which were designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. These architectural marvels are just a taste of what Barcelona has to offer, as the city is also home to numerous museums, art galleries, and charming neighborhoods filled with narrow medieval streets and hidden squares.


Malta may be a small island nation, but it packs a punch when it comes to cruise departures. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, this picturesque destination offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Cruise travelers who choose Malta as their starting point can immerse themselves in ancient history by exploring well-preserved temples and historic sites dating back more than 4,000 years.

In addition to its rich history, Malta boasts crystal-clear waters and stunning coastlines that are perfect for snorkeling, diving, or simply relaxing on the beach. The island is also home to a vibrant culinary scene, with a wide variety of restaurants serving both traditional Maltese dishes and international cuisine. With its warm climate and welcoming locals, Malta is a top choice for cruise travelers looking for a unique and unforgettable vacation.


Situated on the south coast of England, Southampton is a popular departure port for cruises to the British Isles and beyond. With its easy access to London and multiple airports, it’s no surprise that Southampton is a favored choice for many travelers. Not only does Southampton offer convenient transportation options, but it also boasts a rich maritime heritage and a bustling city center.

Visitors to Southampton can explore historic sites such as the medieval city walls and the Tudor House and Garden, or indulge in some retail therapy at the Westquay Shopping Centre. Nature lovers will also find solace in Southampton, as the city is surrounded by beautiful countryside, including the stunning New Forest National Park. Whether you’re a history buff, a shopaholic, or an outdoor enthusiast, Southampton has something to offer everyone.


Baltimore is a hidden gem among departure ports, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and maritime heritage. Located on the east coast of the United States, Baltimore is easily accessible from major cities such as Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Travelers who choose Baltimore as their starting point can explore the city’s rich history by visiting attractions such as Fort McHenry, the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner.

In addition to its historical significance, Baltimore is also known for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues scattered throughout the city. Food lovers will also be delighted by the local cuisine, which includes famous dishes such as crab cakes and pit beef sandwiches. With its welcoming atmosphere and diverse attractions, Baltimore is a departure port that should not be overlooked.


Tampa is a departure port that offers a little something for everyone. Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, this vibrant city is known for its beautiful beaches, lively entertainment scene, and rich cultural heritage. Travelers who choose Tampa as their starting point can enjoy a wide range of activities, from exploring the various museums and art galleries to catching a baseball game at Tropicana Field.

One of the highlights of Tampa is its close proximity to the stunning beaches of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, known for their white sand and warm waters. Visitors can also take a short drive to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, a theme park that combines thrilling rides with exotic animal exhibits. With its sunny weather, friendly locals, and abundance of attractions, Tampa is a departure port that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Located in New Jersey, Bayonne is a departure port that offers easy access to both the excitement of New York City and the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Travelers who choose Bayonne as their starting point can take advantage of its convenient location near Newark Liberty International Airport, as well as its proximity to the famous attractions of Manhattan.

In addition to its access to New York City, Bayonne has its own unique attractions to offer. The city is home to the Bayonne Bridge, an iconic suspension bridge that offers stunning views of the New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline. Bayonne also boasts a thriving arts scene, with several galleries and theaters showcasing local talent. With its combination of urban excitement and natural beauty, Bayonne is a departure port that has something for everyone.


Sydney is a departure port that is as iconic as the city itself. Situated on Australia’s east coast, Sydney is known for its stunning harbor, world-famous Opera House, and lively atmosphere. Travelers who choose Sydney as their starting point can explore the city’s many attractions, including the historic Rocks district, the vibrant Darling Harbour, and the beautiful beaches of Bondi and Manly.

In addition to its urban attractions, Sydney offers easy access to the natural wonders of Australia. From the breathtaking Blue Mountains to the stunning Great Barrier Reef, there is no shortage of natural beauty to explore. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the local culture by trying traditional Australian cuisine, attending a sporting event, or exploring the city’s thriving arts scene. With its combination of iconic landmarks and natural beauty, Sydney is a departure port that is sure to captivate any traveler.


New York City, specifically Manhattan, is a departure port that needs no introduction. Known as the “Big Apple,” this bustling metropolis is a world-renowned destination that offers something for everyone. Travelers who choose NYC-Manhattan as their starting point can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of the city, which is filled with iconic landmarks, Broadway shows, and a diverse culinary scene.

In addition to its urban attractions, Manhattan also offers easy access to the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding area. From the serene Central Park to the breathtaking views from the top of the Empire State Building, there is no shortage of sights to see. Visitors can also explore the various neighborhoods of Manhattan, each with its own unique charm and character. With its endless possibilities and vibrant energy, NYC-Manhattan is a departure port that will leave you wanting more.

Other notable mentions

While the top 15 favorite embarkation ports have been mentioned, there are several other notable departures ports that deserve recognition. Los Angeles, with its proximity to Hollywood and its stunning coastline, offers a unique departure experience. Genoa, Rome, and Venice in Italy are known for their rich history, beautiful architecture, and delicious cuisine. Seattle, Vancouver, and San Francisco offer stunning views of the Pacific Northwest and have a vibrant arts scene. Amsterdam in the Netherlands is famous for its picturesque canals and vibrant nightlife. Jacksonville and Norfolk in the United States have a rich maritime heritage and offer easy access to nearby attractions. These departure ports, along with many others, provide a wide range of experiences and destinations for cruise travelers to choose from.