North America is generally a cruise departure point, not a destination, and even when a cruise destination is in North America, like Alaska or Hawaii, the cruise is generally marketed as a cruise to that particular destination. Thus, you hear of plenty of cruises to Alaska, but not many “cruises to North America.” However, Costco Travel does market North America as a cruise destination – that is, there are a number of Costco cruises to North America – and below we have outlined what these cruises are (often cruises to New England and Canada). We have also included a couple of notes related to booking Costco cruises to North America because of the way Costco organizes their listings.
As we said above, a lot of the cruises to North America are cruises to New England and Canada, and this is the immediate impression you get when visiting the Costco Travel page for North America. (For the record, it is always a good idea to check out the featured deals on this page before moving on to further research. You may find just the cruise you want at a discounted price.) On this page, a number of “featured deals” are listed, and all of these are cruises to New England and Canada. Generally, cruises of this nature start at a large East Coast port, often New York City, and then sail north up the coast, stopping at a few destinations in the U.S. and Canada. The cruises are round-trip and tend to last about one or two weeks. While Costco does offer plenty of these cruises, when you actually list “North America” as your cruise destination using the site’s search tool, the results are a lot more diverse.
One reason the results are diverse is that they include several sailings that in no sense are cruises to North America. For instance, a cruise from Dubai to Rome that goes nowhere near North America is nevertheless listed as a North American cruise, as is a sailing from Sydney to Fremantle, a cruise that never strays far from the Australian coast. We came across many of these obviously absurd listings – generally each month you search has several “North American cruises” that may not even be in the same hemisphere as North America – but these must simply be ignored as you look through the results. These results of course include all the cruises to New England and Canada, but they also include cruises like a two-day trip up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, as well as short cruises to nowhere that leave and return to New York City. There are also a few cruises to Mexico, which is a part of North America, but in general Mexico is treated as a separate cruise destination that can be searched independently on the Costco site, as is the case with other North American destinations, like Hawaii and Alaska. Finally, there are lots of one-way cruises to North America in Costco’s offerings. The majority of these are short trips between the U.S. and Canada that appear to operate like extended ferry services, and thus they aren’t repositioning cruises, although there are some repositioning cruises available as well during the transitional months (in spring and fall) of the cruise seasons.
So, the Costco cruises to North America are essentially cruises to New England and Canada; cruises that begin and end in North America, but aren’t cruises to famous North American cruise destinations (e.g., Alaska); and one-way or repositioning cruises that terminate somewhere in North America. There are also a bunch of random cruises that clearly have nothing to do with North America that are categorized as “North American cruises” by Costco, but obviously this is just a mistake that needs to be disregarded. Because of the diversity of Costco’s cruises to North America, it is a little hard to find something you might be interested in. However, if the idea of staying in North America appeals to you for your vacation, Costco’s offerings are worth checking out.