If you've ever dreamed of the West, and wondered what it would be like to experience it, explore the Northwest from the sea. A Pacific Northwest Cruise is unmatched in sea travel itineraries, and the cruise packages include a lot of variety in their itineraries. A mysterious fog shrouds the North American coast from San Francisco to Vancouver. Remnants of the great coastal rain forest remain untouched in large expanses north of BC, Canada. The northwest, home to Indian tribes such as the Makah Tribe of Neah Bay, WA is the dramatic setting for the culmination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
A Pacific Northwest cruise might take you any where from San Francisco to Anchorage, and many Pacific Northwest cruise companies will have roundtrip Pacific Northwest cruises to Alaska that begin their voyage in San Francisco. Your west coast cruise ship will sail through the magnificent straight under the Golden Gate Bridge, and you will dock at Pier 35, a convenient west coast cruise starting point to attractions such as Pier 39, The Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach.
In the Puget Sound region of the state of Washington lies the well-known city of Seattle, which is another must in any Pacific Northwest cruises. West coast cruise lines stop at many of the Piers here, including Pier 30, 66, and the Victoria Clipper, a high speed ferry, departs from Pier 70. Near by the many ports is Pike Place, Seattle's number one toursit spot. The Puget Sound and Seattle are home to stunning views of the Olympic Mountains. On clear days you can see the brilliant snow covered face of Mount Rainier. To the east lies the Cascade Mountain range, so no matter where in the city you find yourself, you are surrounded by picturesque beauty.
On your way north, look to your left to see the San Juan Islands, where you might catch a glimpse of the elusive Orcas, which call this area home for part of the year. If you like fishing, visit Alaska, home of huge fishing fleets as well as native fishing tribes and villages. Old growth trees lie like toppled columns along the beaches of the northern Washington coast. Powerful waves stir these fallen giants like matchsticks and pound them against the rocky coast, creating new formations when the tide goes out to sea.
A U.S. coastal cruise route will take you past Victoria, BC, and to Vancouver. The Port of Vancouver is where more than 1 million cruise passengers stop in an average year during the peak season of May to September. Vancouver is a bright, clean city with crisp Canadian air and a distinct European feel.
As you're coming into one of the two terminals in Vancouver, you might catch a glimpse of Granville Island. This historical area used to be a commercial hub with a prized strategic position on the water near the center of town. In 1979 Granville Island opened its first farmers market, which has a fabulous array of delicacies for every palette - with fresh breads, cheeses and dried meats. You can enjoy a unique lunch here watching the vendors prepare their wares, then wander around and explore the galleries.
Alaska has a tremendous array of options if you're on a Pacific Coastal Cruise. Here, you can experience anywhere from 15 to almost 20 hours of daylight year-round, so there is lots of time to fit extra sightseeing into your visit. This city is full of stunning views - with the Cook Inlet and Chugach Mountains cradling the city, you are reminded of the Canadian terrain you experienced first further south.
Visiting the Native Heritage Center will add depth to your visit. Here, you can stroll through 26 acres filled with walking trails to discover.
Travel the Pacific Northwest, and experience the dark beauty and quiet nature of coastal travel. The vivid displays of color and elements where the mountains meet are sure to captivate you.