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Perhaps you've done the whole flying-over-the-Atlantic thing before, and it's time to spice things up. Or, maybe you're unable to hop a plane and you're looking for an alternative method for crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Either way, transatlantic ocean liners offer another option for traveling to America from Europe, or vise versa. Of course, this method of crossing the Atlantic Ocean is much slower than its airborne alternatives, but some travelers find it much more interesting.

How Long It Takes

Most transatlantic cruises travel from the East Coast of the United States to the United Kingdom – usually England. By air, this trip might take only six or seven hours, but by sea, you can expect to spend closer to six or seven days in transit, and sometimes longer. The most popular cruise line that still offers transatlantic crossings is Cunard, which sails its Queen Mary 2 between New York and Southampton, England, every few weeks, and sometimes all the way to Hamburg, Germany. The trip between New York and Southampton typically takes about a week, but if you're traveling to or from Hamburg, it can take up to 11 days (10 nights) to make the journey.

The Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise lines also offer transatlantic options, though their intercontinental cruises usually take even longer than Cunard's. For example, the Royal Caribbean line between New York and Southampton takes 12 days, and its trip from Miami to Southampton takes 13. These cruise lines also offer their transatlantic crossings less frequently than Cunard.

Perks of Transatlantic Cruising

If you're going to spend a week or more on a ship traveling between continents, the journey becomes more than just a method of transit. In most cases, a transatlantic cruise offers dining and entertainment for its passengers, making the travel experience part of the destination. Cunard's Queen Mary 2, for instance, offers a luxurious cruise experience, with fine dining, spa packages, a library, shows, dances and public speakers for its passengers. The ship also features a variety of accommodation options, from high-class suites to simple rooms with views, all aimed at creating a comfortable travel experience for the ship's patrons.

Travelers taking their pets between continents sometimes choose ocean liners for their pet transport. Cunard's Queen Mary 2 offers kennels and claims its kennels are the only ones at sea. Some pets might thrive better in a kennel on a ship than a crate on a plane – another point of interest for travelers considering transatlantic sailing.