Most Seattle cruises depart from Pier 66, on the Seattle waterfront. Five major cruise lines use the Seattle cruise ship terminal as a jumping off point for cruises to Alaska. The Seattle cruise terminal has been open since 2000. This well-known port of call saw nearly 300,000 passengers come through in 2004. The waterfront of Seattle is bustling not only with cruise ships but also with the vessels of the Seattle Ferry system.
Cruises to Alaska come here because Seattle offers so much to the visitor that wants to see the Pacific Northwest. You can enjoy the Pike Place Market, the Seattle waterfront, and other areas of town, which are only a short trip from the cruise terminal. You can take the waterfront streetcar down to the Pier which has all the shops and restaurants, or you can opt to simply walk. Either is an easy way to reach the center of Seattle.
Seven different sailing vessels visit the Seattle cruise ship terminal. Every week, there is a different ship coming here. There are two different terminals on at the Seattle cruise terminal; there is the old Bell Street Pier Cruise terminal, and there is the newer Terminal 30. The Bell Street terminal serves the Celebrity and Norwegian Cruise lines, while the Terminal 30 is for the Holland American and Princess Cruise lines. All of these major cruise lines, including Silver Sea cruises, also have a Seattle to Alaska cruise.
The Seattle cruise ship terminal is also important to smaller ships that cruise to the nearby San Juan Islands and up to BC. When you try one of the cruises to Alaska, and include a stop at the Seattle cruise terminal, you can see nearly all of the Pacific Northwest, so you can make the most of your experience. You can include whale watching on Orcas Island as part of your trip, or continue the maritime theme by taking a ride on the Washington State Ferries over to the peninsula for a fun day or weekend trip.
Smaller cruise ship companies such as the American West Steamboat company take the Northwest experience even further. Not only do they offer smaller, unique alternatives to the larger cruise lines, but they also go to Portland and BC. The 32 passenger ship of Fantasy Cruises is an intimate experience that, along with the Seattle Ferry, goes to BC and the San Juan Islands. The Victoria Clipper also can put you close to BC, but this is for people who want to get there quickly, and use the clipper more as a convenient alternative to driving or flying.
Also leading the market in the ever popular Seattle to Alaska cruise is the Glacier Bay cruise line. They offer two spring cruises to Alaska, and two trips to Seattle when they return from their Seattle to Alaska cruise.
You should spend some time exploring the areas you are leaving from and arriving to if you are taking cruises to Alaska. Seattle is a popular destination in the Northwest, and there are tons of other things to do in the area, like visiting breweries or Washington wineries, both of which the state is known for. You can take a Seattle ferry up to Orcas Island for some whale watching, or go shopping at the excellent stores in downtown Seattle and Vancouver, BC.
Whether you book with a travel agent, or take a "fly by the seat of your pants" approach to getting cruises to Alaska, you are sure to find the perfect vessel and itinerary for your Seattle cruises.