We see near-shore cruising as an area that will fill the gap of the missing international trips. Our favorite place to cruise in North America is the Great Lakes. The 5 great lakes border 8 U.S. states and a few Canadian provinces. They offer unspoiled beauty, quaint ports of call, and excellent small-ship cruising. The unique thing about Great Lakes cruises is that all the ships host less than 200 passengers. This is due to the fact that only smaller ships fit through the locks that regulate the water levels between each lake.
Itineraries vary from 8 to 12 days, and ports of call range from metropolises like Chicago and Toronto, to small towns of Parry Sound and Charlottetown PEI. You'll always have the peace of mind that ever night is spent in port in either the USA or Canada, so you're always close to home and easy access to an airport or good health care.
Review the Great Lakes cruise lines operating this year, and see if any of them fit into your closer-to-home vacation plans.