The United States wears many hats in the cruise industry. It's the homeport for almost all cruise ships that sail in the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera and Canada, as well as the Panama Canal. Florida has the most homeports, but New York City, Seattle, Galveston and other coastal cities are also cruising hubs. But the U.S. is more than just homeports. Bucket list itineraries like Alaska and Hawaii, and scenic rivers (primarily Mississippi, Ohio, and Columbia) not only draw cruisers from the U.S. but around the world.
Think of Lake Michigan, the only one of the five Great Lakes located entirely within the United States, as a mini-ocean rather than a peaceful lagoon. The lake is so large that most of the time you'll feel as though you're out to sea; you can't see the shore, no matter which direction you look. One day this expanse of water can be totally calm, the next you're cruising on choppy, churning waters. (So, yes, you can get seasick.) Just how large is Lake Michigan? The teardrop-shaped lake is 307 miles long and 118 miles at its widest point. It borders Wisconsin on the west, Illinois and Indiana to the south and Michigan on the east and north. Its name is thought to have come from the Ojibwe word mishigami meaning "great water."