Cruise fans in the U.S. and Canada have an abundance of close-to-home cruise options, including the coast of New England and Maritime Canada; the Bahamas; the Eastern, Western or Southern Caribbean; the Mexican Riviera; and the coast of Alaska. And, if you’re looking for something a bit off the usual cruise pathways, there’s yet another option: the Pacific Coast.
Cruise lines like Princess and Holland America Line cruise the coastline of California, Oregon and Washington: some itineraries also include British Columbia. There are a number of appealing ports, including San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Calif.; Astoria, Ore.; and Seattle, Wash.
San Diego has enviable weather nearly every day and many wonderful attractions, starting with the shops, restaurants and galleries of Seaport Village, near the cruise terminal. The San Diego Zoo is one of the world’s best: don’t miss the giant pandas. The zoo is just one of the attractions in Balboa Park, which has numerous museums and gardens.
Los Angeles is a cultural generator and a great place to spot trends in fashion, food and entertainment. For a look at what makes Los Angeles run, tour a movie studio; head to Disneyland; browse the boutiques of Rodeo Drive; or visit Hollywood Boulevard to the Walk of Fame and the TCL (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theater.
Cruise ships dock at Pier 35 on San Diego’s Embarcadero (a new terminal at Pier 27 is scheduled to open this fall). You don’t need to go far to experience the charm of this city: Pier 39 is a busy marketplace of shops, restaurants and street performers. From there, venture out to Fisherman’s Wharf, the redwood trees of Muir Woods, the galleries of Sausalito or the infamous former prison on Alcatraz Island.
At the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria offers stunning natural beauty and a gateway to Oregon’s wine country. If you prefer brewed beverages, follow the Astoria Ale Trail to a collection of excellent craft breweries. Visit historic forts built by Lewis and Clark and John Jacob Astor; or, take an excursion to Cannon Beach and its iconic Haystack Rock.
Seattle’s climate produces beautiful greenery that earned it the nickname “Emerald City.” At Pike Place Market, check out the famous flying fish and the work of local artisans, antique collectors and farmers. Take a ride up the Space Needle for gorgeous views; or visit Pioneer Square, Seattle’s oldest neighborhood.
To find out more about a relaxing Pacific Coastal cruise, talk with your personal cruise expert.