American Cruise Lines new Yankee Seaports cruise is underway with eight...

American Cruise Lines new Yankee Seaports cruise is underway with eight ports of call; Sag Harbor, Old Saybrook, New London, Mystic, Newport, Plymouth and Boston.  Credit: American Cruise Lines

What would ocean cruising be without its exotic ports of call? Alaska, Puerto Vallarta, Grand Cayman, Sag Harbor …

Say, what now?

That’s right, for the first time, Sag Harbor, already deluged by a seasonal onslaught of jitneys, helicopters and mile-long traffic on Scuttle Hole Road, now has something else to contend with: 100 or so passengers arriving at its shores courtesy of American Cruise Lines’ eight-day, seven-night Yankee Seaports cruises. Indeed, the American Eagle made its inaugural stop just offshore on May 7, at which point passengers boarded a 25-person tender for the final leg of the journey to Long Wharf. A second ship, the American Independence, sets sail from Boston on May 27, stopping at Sag Harbor five days later.

“Sag Harbor is a beautiful coastal village and is just the sort of off-the-beaten path place our customers love exploring,” Alexa Paolella, the cruise company's public relations manager, wrote in an email. As with ACL’s other East Coast sailings, she added, the goal of the Yankee Seaports cruises is to highlight “the local character, fun, and most intriguing attractions in every place we visit.”

Lest any of the village's year-round and summer residents fear their village might become another Cozumel or Nassau (the Bahamian one, not the county), there is only one other ACL sailing from Boston in the weeks ahead (the American Eagle, departing June 25). The next ship won’t make its way to these shores until Sept. 30, as part of a 15-day and 14-night fall foliage cruise leaving from Portland, Maine. After that, three more cruises will follow this year, on Oct. 4, 14 and 21. Six cruises are planned for 2025 and 12 in 2026.

Locals interested in the sailings — which also stop at Newport, Rhode Island,  and Mystic, Connecticut, on the way to their final destination, Pier 81 on Manhattan's west side — should know that American Cruise Lines offers what might be termed a boutique cruise experience. Not only is its 100-passenger capacity a fraction of what you’ll find on other cruise lines, the ships eschew pools and casinos in favor of larger accommodations. Prices for the May 27 cruise range from $5,145 a person, double occupancy for a 310-square-foot standard stateroom with picture windows, to $8,145 for a 350-square-foot suite with private balcony. Incidentally, that particular sailing, themed around art immersion, will feature an artist-in-residence offering “step-by-step watercolor and mixed-media instruction to budding artists as well as seasoned professionals.” Rooms for the 15-day fall foliage cruise range from $12,605 a person, double occupancy, for a standard room to $24,470 a person for a 620-square-foot suite with a 25-foot-long private balcony. Details at


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