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Cruises to Newport

246 Reviews
Newport (Photo:Enfi/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Newport

A stop at Newport makes for a great day ashore. There are simply so many dimensions to enjoy, from the well-known Gilded Age mansions to a Historic District that is one of the best preserved Colonial neighborhoods in the United States, boasting more than 200 structures that predate the American Revolution.



Fine early churches like the 1726 Trinity Episcopal Church, the oldest synagogue in North America, historical centers dedicated to tennis and yachting, the nation's oldest library and the largest coastal military fortifications in the U.S. make Newport a fine destination for any history buff. Newport's also an exceptional destination for its famous 3.5-mile Cliff Walk winding between the mansions and the sea, the super-scenic Ocean Drive and Bellevue Avenue, plus several accessible beaches, a magnificent harbor and myriad shops and seafood restaurants along the wharves off Thames Street.



Newport, Rhode Island, has enjoyed a long and complex history. Unlike puritanical Boston, it was a haven for religious freedom, welcoming Quakers and Jews whose meeting house and synagogue are among the historic buildings surviving today. By the 1760s, Newport was one of the five largest ports in Colonial America and was a major exporter, as well as part of the infamous slave trade. Many fine Colonial homes went up during this period, and Newport-made furniture was among the finest in the colonies. The first American Navy was established there in 1775, but this prosperous period ended when the British burned the harbor and fleet, once during the Revolutionary War and again during the War of 1812.



The scenic beauty of the town and its beaches began to attract summer residents. By the late 19th century, Newport had become a mecca for the wealthy. Families like the Vanderbilts and Astors put up opulent palaces by the sea, which they called "cottages," to be used for a feverish six-week summer season that was America's most elaborate social scene. Though wealthy residents remain, that legendary Gilded Age died out with changing times. The mansions, saved and restored by the Preservation Society of Newport County, serve as major tourist attractions drawing millions of visitors each year.



The Navy kept its ties to Newport over the years, and the U.S. Naval War College and Naval Undersea Warfare Center still are headquartered here, but the naval base that had helped support the local economy was closed in 1973. It was after the naval destroyers moved out that the yachts began to move in. The city fathers turned their attention to tourism, the waterfront wharves were restored, shops and restaurants bloomed, and visitors flocked.



With its many assets, Newport has emerged as one of New England's most popular resorts and a major stop for cruise ships, especially during the fall foliage season.

  • More about Newport

  • Why Cruise to Newport?

  • Newport Cruise Port Facilities?

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Insignia
Insignia

11 Night
Canada Cruise

230 Reviews
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Volendam
Volendam

13 Night
The Atlantic Coast

590 Reviews
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Nautica
Nautica

7 Night
Bermuda Cruise

397 Reviews
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Insignia
Insignia

7 Night
Bermuda Cruise

230 Reviews
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MSC Cruises

Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

1,872 Reviews
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25 Night
World Cruise

230 Reviews
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41 Night
World Cruise

230 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

15 Night
Atlantic Seaboard & Colonial New England: Quebec C...

1,028 Reviews
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16 Night
Caribbean - Southern Cruise

230 Reviews
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8 Night
Canada / New England Cruise

817 Reviews
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7 Night
Bermuda Cruise

230 Reviews
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18 Night
World Cruise

397 Reviews
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7 Night
Canada & New England - New York

3,874 Reviews
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51 Night
World Cruise

230 Reviews
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10 Night
Canada & New England - Other

2,150 Reviews
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More about Newport

Why Cruise to Newport?

Pros:

Newport's Gilded Age mansions are a dazzling site

Cons:

During the busy season, you might have to wait in line to visit the more popular mansions

Bottom Line:

History buffs leaf-peepers and seafood-lovers will love this scenic beach town

Newport Cruise Port Facilities?

There's lots to do within an easy walk of the docks in Perrotti Park. Walk along Thames Street (pronounce the "TH" as in the), the harborfront street lined with shops and restaurants. When you see something that interests you on one of the cobblestoned wharves (Bowen's, Bannister's, Perry Mill, Brown and Howard), turn right and go exploring. Find a seat and watch the busy harbor traffic, sailboat races and ferries plying out of Narragansett Bay to Block Island and under the sweeping Jamestown-Newport suspension bridge to Providence.

Good to Know?

You'll find little to worry about in Newport, but as in any popular port, it's best to keep your money stashed out of sight in a secure purse or inside pocket. Leave excess cash in your stateroom safe.

Getting Around?

By Bus and Trolley: Newport offers excellent public transportation for visitors. RIPTA (Rhode Island Transportation Authority) buses and trolleys leave from the visitor center to most of the popular attractions in town, including downtown, the Cliff Walk, beaches and Fort Adams; No. 67 goes to the mansions. All-day passes are available for about $6. Viking Tours offers trolley and bus narrated tours from the center that include scenic drives along Bellevue Avenue and the spectacular Ocean Drive. Tours also can include mansion visits.



By Taxi: Cabs are available at the visitor center. A ride from town to The Breakers, the Vanderbilt mansion, is around $9.



By Boat: From Memorial Day to Columbus Day, you can sightsee by boat from Perrotti Park aboard the Newport Harbor Shuttle, which makes seven stops around the harbor. Riders can get on and off all day for $10.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

ATM machines are available at the visitor information center, one block from the tender dock in Perrotti Park. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Bank of America also has several centrally located ATMs -- at 62 Americas Cup Avenue near Bowens Wharf, 514 Thames Street and 181 Bellevue Avenue.

Language?

English is spoken in Newport.

Where You're Docked?

Most cruise ships anchor in Narragansett Bay off Newport and use tenders to take passengers to Perrotti Park, within easy walking distance of the visitor center and local public transportation as well as shopping.


Newport Cruise Reviews
Newport, a tender port, requires some planning. Make sure to book your tender spot in advance, especially if you have a planned excursion. These spots fill up quickly, but they do have a specific waiting area for thoRead More
nurseinbklyn
Newport is one of the quintessential New England seaports. There are many shops and eateries within blocks of where the tenders drop you off. For us, we prefer to take the mile walk down to the head of the Cliff WaRead More
SeaMaverick
Newport was easy to navigate - you can see what you like, how you like it. The bus is free and easy to navigate. The mansions are simply extravagant. The Cliff Walk is enjoyable but know to wear the right shoes anRead More
TimJansen
We did the Newport Land and Sea. It was ok. Bus showed us many of the homes from the back and Sea showed us the homes from the front. Most of the same history.Read More
mzwiz001

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