Just in time for cruising's busy summer season, two cruise lines are gearing up to provide passengers with ever-easier access to domestic home ports. Norwegian Cruise Line and American West Steamboat Company have joined Amtrak's "Rail and Cruise" program, which provides discounts of 10 to 25 percent for travel to select home port cities in the U.S. and Canada.
Amtrak currently partners with Carnival, Holland America and Windjammer Cruises in its "Rail and Cruise" program, and is happy to welcome NCL and American West Steamboat aboard -- perhaps hoping to add new life to the timeworn tradition of train travel. "Obviously, the idea is to get passengers on the rails, enjoying the beauty of America before boarding their cruise vacation," an Amtrak spokesperson tells us. "If you plan it right, you can get two vacations in one."
The rail-cruise combination presents scenic travel opportunities for cruisers throughout the country. For example, West Coast passengers bound for Alaska can enjoy the California, Oregon and Washington coasts on Amtrak's "Coast Starlight." Caribbean-bound passengers on the East coast can relax all the way to Florida on Amtrak's "Silver Service."
The amount of the discount varies depending on date of travel. Amtrak discounts are also available for group travel, with one free escort ticket for every 20 paid passengers. These Amtrak discounts are available through December 31, 2005.