East Coast Inland Passage Cruise

Cruise the East Coast Inland Passage through a rich past that has influenced our country since the days of early exploration. Enjoy the rejuvenated maritime spirit of Baltimore aboard the decks of celebrated ships and Norfolk where tall schooners share the surrounding waters with naval vessels.

Continue your journey in Kitty Hawk and hear the fascinating story of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, from our resident park ranger. View captivating sites and magnificent mansions on a narrated trolley tour through Wilmington’s historic district. Arrive in Charleston a city with a wonderful blend of antebellum architecture, cobblestone streets, flickering lanterns, and historic landmarks.

Take a step back in time in Beaufort, and learn what life was like living on a southern plantation from our resident expert who greets you in period costume.Explore Savannah with its renowned historic districts that preserve 19th-century wealth and opulence. Learn about the fascinating history of Jekyll Island once owned by the wealthiest men in America.

Early Bird Discount: Book early and Save $800 or more per stateroom on this cruise.

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Cruise Itinerary

Day
Ports of Call
1
Baltimore, MD
2
St. Michaels, MD
3
Norfolk, VA
4
Kitty Hawk, NC
5
Beaufort, NC / Morehead City, NC
6
Wilmington, NC
7
Day of Cruising
8
Charleston, SC
9
Beaufort, SC
10
Hilton Head, SC
11
Savannah, GA
12
St. Simon's Island, GA
13
Jekyll Island, GA
14
Fernandina Beach, FL
15
Jacksonville, FL

East Coast Inland Passage Cruise

The East Coast Inland Passage, comprised of connecting rivers, bays, estuaries, and canals, allows our guests to fully appreciate the unspoiled beauty of some of the most preserved areas in the country. From the unique vantage point of our small ship, discover the soaring birds and wildlife that call this passage their home. 

Ports of Call

  • Baltimore, MD
  • St. Michaels, MD
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Kitty Hawk, NC
  • Beaufort, NC / Morehead City, NC
  • Wilmington, NC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Beaufort, SC
  • Hilton Head, SC
  • Savannah, GA
  • St. Simon's Island, GA
  • Jekyll Island, GA
  • Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Jacksonville, FL
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Day by Day

Reverse itineraries available. Please contact your Cruise Specialist for your specific Day By Day agenda.

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Day  1
Baltimore, MD

Baltimore is a great American city, bustling with excitement, Colonial history, and a rejuvenated maritime spirit. Explore its history aboard the decks of celebrated ships and on the cobbled streets of the charming Inner Harbor. Visit Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key was inspired to pen "The Star-Spangled Banner".

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Day  2
St. Michaels, MD

Stroll along the waterfront of St. Michaels, or peruse the charming gift shops and boutiques on tree-lined Talbot Street. As you dock at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, once a famed shipbuilding village, get a glimpse of life in the 1800's.

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Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

This 18-acre waterfront museum, which is dedicated to furthering the understanding of the maritime heritage of the Chesapeake Bay area, features 10 exhibit buildings, a historic lighthouse, and a working boatyard. Docking right in the heart of the museum, American Cruise Lines’ passengers will enjoy a private tour of this fascinating site.

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Winnie Estelle Ecology Cruise

Enjoy this amazing cruise which focuses on Chesapeake Bay’s history, ecology, and economics. During your journey, witness critters on an oyster reef and try your hand at water quality testing. Bird watchers will enjoy the route, known for its eagle and osprey population and heron rookery.  Don’t forget your camera!  

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Day  3
Norfolk, VA

Located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk has enjoyed a dramatic history dating back to 1607, when British settlers first arrived on American shores. Today, the city embraces its colorful past while thriving as a modern metropolis. Tall schooners share the surrounding waters with naval vessels and oystermen. Enjoy tours of historic districts, museums, restored homes, and the Norfolk Naval Station.

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Naval Station & MacArthur Memorial Tour

Norfolk is home to the largest Naval Station in the world with its beginnings closely tied to the U.S. entry into World War I. Today, Naval Station Norfolk is the hub of the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet, and home port to dozens of ships, submarines, aircraft, and more. Led by our expert guide, witness aircraft carriers, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, and learn about the fascinating history of the Naval Base. The tour will also stop at the MacArthur Memorial, a memorial celebrating Army General Douglas MacArthur, one of the most controversial figures in American history.

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Old Cape Henry Lighthouse & Botanical Gardens Tour

Explore Virginia Beach on a relaxing riding tour. This guided bus tour includes stops at the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse as well as the breathtaking Norfolk Botanical Gardens, which are made up of 155 beautiful acres intertwined by bridges, coastal waterways, and 12 miles of pedestrian trails.

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Day  4
Kitty Hawk, NC

Learn about the birth of flight in Kitty Hawk, where the Wright Brothers successfully piloted sustained powered flights in the first incarnations of modern airplanes.

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Wright Brothers National Memorial

Learn about the history, legends, and lore of the Outer Banks as you travel to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, NC. Enjoy an introduction by a park ranger and learn about the fascinating history of aviation that took place at this site. After the introduction, tour the Visitor Center where the Wright brothers' story is told through exhibits and reproductions. You may also climb Big Kill Devil Hill for a breathtaking view of the area from sound to sea.

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Day  5
Beaufort, NC / Morehead City, NC

Tour the meticulously restored town of Beaufort, NC, the third oldest town in North Carolina. Explore the 21-block historic district that includes a boardwalk lined with boats on one side and unique shops perfect for browsing on the other. Just across the Newport River is Morehead City, a bustling port town, with a mix of fishing boats, art galleries, antiques, and a rich seafaring history. 

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Historic Beaufort Exploration

From atop a 1967 English double-decker bus, local narrators weave stories about Beaufort’s past, featuring pirates, star-crossed lovers, and Confederate spies. After you finish making your way through the historic district, you will visit two of Beaufort’s most beautiful historic homes.

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Day  6
Wilmington, NC

Founded in 1739, Wilmington prospered during its early years as a major port and ship-building center. Today, the city continues to flourish and boasts an outstanding reputation as a leader in preservation efforts. Explore Georgian, Victorian, and antebellum-style homes restored to their original grandeur. Stroll through beautiful gardens and city streets lined with shopping venues and seafood eateries.

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Historic Mansion Tour

Enjoy a narrated trolley tour of Wilmington’s historic district where you can view numerous historical sites and magnificent mansions. Following the tour, you will visit Bellamy Mansion, one of North Carolina’s most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture. Make sure you take time to browse the many shops and attractions within walking distance from the ship.

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Day  7
Day of Cruising

Enjoy a leisurely day of cruising as you continue on your journey through the East Coast Inland Passage. Delight in breathtaking views of the shoreline and relax in one of our ship's comfortable lounges.

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Day  8
Charleston, SC

The port city of Charleston is known for its cobblestone streets, gas-lit lamps, and pastel antebellum houses. The scene of Revolutionary War naval battles, legendary pirate tales, and Civil War sieges, it is considered by many to be a living museum. Visit historic Fort Sumter National Monument, where the first shots of the Civil War rang out. Learn how Charleston’s African-American heritage has contributed to the city’s history and unique culture. Enjoy the beauty of the area with a stroll through magnificent parks and gardens.

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Charleston Experience

The city of Charleston is exquisitely preserved and aesthetically pleasing with its charming blend of antebellum architecture, cobblestone streets, and historic landmarks.  Travel through narrow streets lined with the townhouses of colonial planters. Witness where generations of patriots lived, worked, and worshiped in some of America’s oldest religious buildings. Listen to fascinating stories of the American Revolution and the War between the States. Your journey will include a stop at the Battery Waterfront and a tour of the elegant interior of a restored historic home, the Joseph Manigault House.

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Day  9
Beaufort, SC

Beaufort’s history includes European explorers, Native American inhabitants, British settlements, and Civil War battles. Today, horse-drawn carriages bring you through the narrow streets of this district, past 18th and 19th-century homes, famous for unique Beaufort-style architecture. Visit historic forts, elegant homes, and majestic plantations, to discover why Beaufort was once heralded as the “Newport of the South."

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Lowcountry Heritage Tour

Take a step back in time as we visit scenic Beaufort, and explore what life was like living on a southern plantation. Led by guides in period dress who tell stories and sing songs, explore a Gullah community. Visit Lady’s Island and St. Helena, where you will view the grounds of a plantation, a slave cemetery, and an old praise house. Learn the history of Penn Center, the first school for newly freed slaves in the Deep South, and discover what happened to the former slave communities from the Civil War days to the present.

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Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour

After a southern inspired luncheon, embark on a tour of Beaufort’s popular Bay St. from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. This narrated journey follows the historic tree-lined streets of Beaufort, as you make your way to the area’s antebellum homes, parks, and shops. Many of the local buildings remain untouched and are preserved as they were originally constructed after being used as hospitals, offices, and commander’s quarters during the Civil War. At the conclusion of the tour, you will have free time to explore Beaufort and experience its southern charm on your own.

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Day  10
Hilton Head, SC

Hilton Head is a first class resort known for its championship golf courses and miles of pristine beaches. A boat tour of The Sea Pines Forest Preserve gives you a close-up view of Hilton Head's indigenous plant and animal life, including the American Alligator.

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Alligator & Wildlife Tour

We will anchor in Hilton Head and tender into shore, where you will be greeted by our local guide for one of our most popular shore excursions in the area. Embark on a private boat tour of the Sea Pines Resort Forest Preserve. This 600-acre preserve features some of Hilton Head’s many indigenous plants and animal species, including the American alligator. Your guide will provide an engaging and educational tour while you enjoy the breathtaking views of the freshwater lake. In the afternoon, take time to explore Hilton Head’s popular shopping district or relax back on board before the evening’s entertainment.

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Dolphin Discovery Cruise

Take a cruise to find out how playful, endearing and amazing bottle-nose dolphins truly are. Not long into your tour, someone will catch sight of a pod of dolphins swimming nearby as they come up for air every few seconds. You will witness dolphins riding alongside the boat, or surfing in the wake behind, so be sure to bring your camera for this excellent opportunity to take some great photos. Your knowledgeable guide will share bottle-nose dolphin facts with you, such as how the shallow waters around the island provide the perfect places for dolphins to find food. With this insight, you will able to appreciate these intelligent and beautiful water creatures even more.

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Day  11
Savannah, GA

With its emerald tree canopy, quaint cobblestone streets, and majestic architecture, Savannah is a bustling seaport with renowned historic districts that preserve its 19th-century opulence. Join a narrated tour of Savannah’s “Historic and Victorian Districts," brave an evening Ghost Walk, or explore the area's magnificent shops.

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Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum

The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum houses an impressive collection of WWII aviation memorabilia. Upon entering the museum, you will immediately be awed by the breathtaking collection of fully restored aircraft that helped serve our brave troops during the war. You will be welcomed by a tour guide who will provide the group with an overview of the museum and a brief history lesson regarding the famed Eighth Air Force Division. After introductions, you are welcome to explore the museum on a self-guided tour or stay with your guide to be personally escorted around the museum grounds. Your visit includes an educational film, engaging World War II exhibits, airman memorials, and the rare collection of planes that served the Mighty Eighth men and women.

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Historic Savannah Trolley

Don’t miss our highly acclaimed trolley tour of this exquisite city. Visit Savannah’s Historic and Victorian Districts including Factor’s Walk, the Cotton Exchange, and the city’s beautiful streets and green squares. Visit the historical Massie Heritage Center. Built in 1856, this Greek Revival home was originally the first public school that educated the young community of Savannah for over a century.

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Savannah Exploration

Amid the bustling River Street section of Savannah, you will meet with our local guide who will lead the group on a narrated walking tour of historic Savannah. Visit key attractions including Savannah’s oldest neighborhood, Colonial Park Cemetery, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and a few of Savannah’s 22 squares that provide greenery amid all of the businesses and historic houses. As you explore the various gardens, admire the architecture, and learn about the city’s history, your guide will tailor the tour to suit the group’s interests.

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Day  12
St. Simon's Island, GA

St. Simons Island offers guests a view of the area’s rich past, including the momentous 18th-century battlefields and sprawling, antebellum plantations. Enjoy its diverse wildlife as well as the moss-draped oaks that shade walkways. Make sure to visit St. Simons Lighthouse, which houses a fantastic museum devoted to the history of the Georgia Coast.

 

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St. Simons Island Tour

St. Simons Island is the largest of the Golden Isles with a deep-rooted history spanning over four centuries. Nowhere is the island’s rich history better told or preserved than the Bloody Marsh Battle Site or Christ Church. Our lively private tour guide will take you through the battlegrounds and explain the military strategies employed by both sides. Afterward, visit Christ Church, one of St. Simons most treasured landmarks, with magnificent stained glass art that is sure to impress. 

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Lady Jane Shrimp Boat Experience

After a hearty breakfast, meet your skipper for the day at the gangway of the ship before making your way to the Lady Jane. Relax while the refreshing scent of salt water fills the air as you sail to your captain’s favorite shrimping grounds.  As the retired shrimping vessel makes its way through the scenic Marshes of Glynn, south of St. Simons Sound, be sure to be on the lookout for wildlife such as dolphins and pelicans.  Once you arrive at your captain’s favorite spot, you will have the opportunity to pull in your very own catch!

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Day  13
Jekyll Island, GA

Discover the fascinating history of Jekyll Island. At the end of the 19th century, wealthy men in America, including J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt, purchased the entire island as a hunting resort prized for its “splendid isolation." Today, Jekyll Island is part of Georgia’s Sea Isles and boasts “Millionaire’s Village,” 240 acres of extravagant homes and winter cottages recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

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Sea Turtle Center & Jekyll Island Tram Tour

Your tour begins with a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center where you will view exhibits on sea turtle conservation, rehabilitation, and their amazing journey of life. Following your visit to the center, board a narrated tram tour of Jekyll Island’s Historic District, also called Millionaire's Village. Many of the areas historic cottages that belonged to some of history’s wealthiest men such as J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, Marshall Field, William Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt, have been restored. In fact, the current restoration project is one of the largest in the Southeastern United States.

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Day  14
Fernandina Beach, FL

Discover the unspoiled beauty of Amelia Island, with miles of quartz beaches and rolling sand dunes. Fernandina Beach, the island's only city, harbors a treasure trove of history, antiques, and collectibles. Join a walking tour of Centre Street's Historic District, featuring restored 19th-century Victorian homes and shops. Explore Amelia Island's charm as you stroll along the tree-lined avenues.

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Amelia Island River Cruise

Take in the view of Florida’s third oldest city, beautiful Fernandina Beach, on a relaxing riverboat tour.  A benefit of touring the island from the water is the increased chance of seeing the unique marine life that inhabits the islands surrounding waters. In addition, your tour will include the island’s main attractions such as Fort Clinch and the Amelia Island Lighthouse.  

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Amelia Island Seaport Tour

Join a local guide for a leisurely walking tour through the lovely seaport of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Your walk will begin at the City Marina. Continue on to the seafood house for an educational background on the pelican population and fisherman duties. Stroll through the historic streets and admire blocks of restored Victorian homes, inns, churches, and more.

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Day  15
Jacksonville, FL

Take in the beautiful weather of northern Florida as you disembark from your tour of the South. Jacksonville offers a number of wonderful activities, including a tour of Cummer Art Museum, which house an exclusive collection of art, including rare porcelain.

Experiences

This 15-day voyage along the East Coast Inland Passage is the perfect blend of scenic landscapes, rich history, and amazing wildlife. As you experience all the area has to offer, be entertained and enlightened by our talented onboard experts.

Your Cruise Includes

Independence

The Independence is equipped with the largest staterooms in the industry, most featuring a private balcony. With the latest in navigation and safety technology, the Independence is fully stabilized, allowing American Cruise Lines to reach even more fascinating destinations in smooth comfort. Complete with an exercise area and putting green, the Independence offers guests a relaxed and casual atmosphere.


Click a Category

Owner's Suite (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

Experience complete comfort in this spacious private sanctuary where you can feel right at home.  At 350 sq. ft. the Owner’s Suite is quite roomy and features a full-size bathroom. Enjoy a large sitting area, writing desk, closet, and a private balcony offering expansive views from a stunning vantage point.

AAC (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

These staterooms are centrally located on the top deck which provides stunning panoramic views. Enjoy 283 sq. ft. of comfortable living space, comparable to a fine hotel room. All also offer private walk-out balconies and a generously sized bathroom.

AAL (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

AAL staterooms are a spacious retreat with all the amenities a modern traveler expects. Each room offers 263 sq. ft. of space encompassing a full-size bathroom and a private balcony with scenic views.

A

Deckplan

These comfortable staterooms located on the main deck offer 258 sq. ft. of living space and are a perfect place to unwind after a day of exploration. They feature full-size bathrooms, interior entrances, and large opening picture windows for scenic views.

Single (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

Single staterooms offer the solo traveler a quiet enclave to rest and relax. At 248 sq. ft., our Single suites feature twin beds, spacious bathrooms, and your very own private balcony.

Single

Deckplan

Located on the main deck, our Single staterooms offer guests 207 sq. ft. of space with premium beds, spacious bathrooms, and an opening picture window with private views.

Independence Deck Plan

Deck

American Star

The American Star offers guests the same style of cruising that has become the hallmark of American Cruise Lines. From charming small towns to gracious ports, the American Star brings guests to places of historic interest and magnificent beauty. Onboard, guests can unwind in the friendly and accommodating atmosphere, as they enjoy personalized service by an attentive, all-American staff.


Click a Category

Owner's Suite (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

Experience complete comfort in this spacious private sanctuary where you can feel right at home. At 350 sq. ft. the Owner’s Suite is quite roomy and offers a full-size bathroom. Enjoy a large sitting area, a writing desk, closet, and a private balcony offering expansive views from a stunning vantage point.

AAC (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

These 283 sq. ft. staterooms are located on the top deck which provides privacy and great panoramic views. The living space is comparable to that of a fine hotel room and offers a writing desk, a closet, a full-size bathroom and a private balcony.

AAL (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

AAL staterooms are a spacious retreat with all the amenities a modern traveler expects. Each room offers 263 sq. ft. of space encompassing a full-size bathroom, a private balcony, and a large opening picture window.

AA

Deckplan

AA Category staterooms are the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploration. Each 258 sq. ft. room has a large opening picture window with views of the passing scenery. The rooms also offer full-size bathrooms and plenty of closet space.

A

Deckplan

A category rooms are a quiet enclave for total relaxation. They come equipped with a full assortment of modern amenities and a large opening picture window. Each room is 258 sq. ft. and is ideal for cruising the inland waterways of the East Coast.

Single (Private Balcony)

Deckplan

The intimate atmosphere of each Single stateroom is ideal for the solo traveler. At 248 sq. ft. each room has a twin bed, a full-size bathroom, a private balcony, and plenty of room to spread out and make yourself at home.

American Star Deck Plan

Deck

Thanksgiving Cruise


Celebrate Thanksgiving with American Cruise Lines, as we cruise the East Coast Inland Passage from Baltimore to Jacksonville.

Enjoy festive decorations aboard the ship and a holiday-inspired cocktail reception. Revel in the holiday spirit of each community we visit along the way. Our culinary team has prepared a traditional Thanksgiving feast with roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Every detail will be handled precisely, allowing you to enjoy a relaxed and a memorable holiday.

American Cruise Lines will continue its annual "Give-Back" program this holiday season. For each ticket sold on our Thanksgiving cruises, we make a donation to a local Food Bank. Last year we raised over $13,000 to help alleviate hunger.

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Reserve Cruise

Crabfest Cruise


Cruise along the scenic southeast coast and delight your palate with fresh seafood from the "Blue Crab Capital of the World." On our 15-day East Coast Inland Passage Crabfest cruise, you will sample tasty blue crab, while learning about the culinary and economic importance of these Callinectes sapidus, or "beautiful swimmers."

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Reserve Cruise

Eagle Society Cruise


On this captivating 15-day voyage, delight in the unspoiled natural beauty of some of the most preserved areas in the country. Enjoy customized excursions to historic sites, charming cities, and islands that were once a summer retreat for the wealthy. From your private balcony, witness the incredible wildlife that inhabits the East Coast Intracoastal Waterway. Along the way, Eagle Society members will be treated to an exclusive reception held at one of the exciting ports of call.

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Reserve Cruise

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