Washington State cruises are one of the biggest draws to the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The Seattle waterfront has recently become a popular departure port for six major cruise lines. There are currently two cruise terminals in use by large cruise ships. The Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 services Norwegian Cruises Line and Celebrity Cruises, while the new Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91 services Holland America, Princess, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean cruise lines.
Alaska is the most popular cruise destination from Washington State, dominating Seattle's cruise industry during the summer months. The most common is a seven-day cruise through Alaska's inside passage. Most of these cruises stop in the Alaskan towns of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Others incorporate the Hubbard Glacier, the Tracy Arm Fjord, Glacier Bay, and Victoria BC into their itineraries. Fourteen-day Alaska cruises are also available from Seattle. These itineraries include the same destinations as the seven-day cruises, continuing to Anchorage, Homer Kodiak, and Sitka. Depending on the specific cruise line and destination port, Alaskan shore excursions often include seaplane flights, fly fishing, zip-lining, kayaking, encounters with a wildlife, hiking, dog-sledding, whale watching, and a ride on the world famous White Pass Scenic Railroad.
Canadian ports of call are found frequently on Washington State cruises, as the state shares a border with British Columbia. Cruises to Victoria BC are a popular day trip or weekend escape for many visitors to Washington State. The Victoria Clipper offers multiple cruises to Victoria BC that carry passengers to and from the Seattle waterfront daily. There is also a ferry from the city of Port Angeles on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula that offers daily cruises to Victoria BC. Many cruises to Alaska also stop in various Canadian ports of call, including Vancouver and Victoria.
Once Washington State's busy summer cruise season subsides, the destinations offered by Washington State cruises expands as ships reposition themselves for the autumn and winter seasons. Take advantage of these longer trips and generally lower prices by riding these vessels to their new ports in Hawaii, French Polynesia, the Caribbean, Asia and Australia.
Many cruise enthusiasts are eager to find Mexico cruises from Seattle, hoping to travel along the western coast of North and Central America. While Mexico cruises from Seattle are limited, though several of the major cruise lines offer a repositioning cruise through the Panama Canal after the Alaska season is over, usually in September. These cruises are typically two weeks or longer, traveling from the cooler climate of Washington State, past the western coast of Central America, through the Panama Canal and up into the Caribbean, where the ship will spend the autumn and winter season. These multi-national journeys are the best Mexico cruises from Seattle.
Some of the best Washington State cruises are within the state itself, as smaller vessels take passengers on a more intimate sailing in and throughout the beautiful San Juan Islands. These smaller cruise companies pride themselves in customizable itineraries, perfect for any sailing vacation. Do some shopping in Friday Harbor or enjoy the Victorian Gardens in Roche Harbor. Take advantage of excellent whale watching conditions. Enjoy a quieter pace, smaller ports, calmer waters and personalized service from these well-appointed sailing companies.