New York has nearly always been the final destination for European liners that began Transatlantic cruises in 1840. The city has seen ships bring waves of immigrants and scores of millionaires and movie stars. The Big Apple has welcomed the world’s greatest sailing ships, stately icons that symbolized a time of great glamour, elegance and tradition.
But the advent of transatlantic jet service in the late 1950s put the oceangoing liners out of business, and transatlantic cruises slowed to a trickle. Though cruise ships still sail into New York’s harbor, Queen Mary 2 is the only one regularly cruising between Europe and America.
The journey between Southampton, a bustling harbor in southern England, and New York takes only six days. Leaving Southampton, quite near where the Mayflower departed in the 1600s for the land that would become America, today’s cruise passengers sail past some of America’s greatest icons when entering New York’s storied harbor — the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Manhattan’s towering skyline. Within an hour, they will disembark a few blocks from Times Square, having completed a classic cruise — crossing the Atlantic.
For nostalgia buffs or anyone that longs for the elegance of a bygone era, a transatlantic cruise is an absolute must.