As you might expect, Seattle cruises are incredibly popular thanks to the fact that Seattle is largely surrounded by water. Cruises from Seattle can far north to Alaska, or south toward Disney Land, Mexico and even the Bahamas. There are also some excellent day cruises from Seattle which take visitors on tours of the city by water, which is a great way to experience it. Despite the often grey skies of Seattle, Seattle cruises are a great way to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding mountains and endless ocean.
Seattle cruises leave from the Port of Seattle, at Pier 66 from the main cruise terminal. Pier 66 is located along Alaskan Way, near the Seattle Waterfront, and is a busy street without much parking. Some travelers choose to park their car in a garage for the length of their trip and take advantage of shuttle service to the terminal through private companies. This cost, at about $20-$30 per day, can add up quickly. Taking a taxi to the terminal or finding a ride is often a most cost-effective alternative.
Major cruise lines with cruises from Seattle include the Holland America Line, the Celebrity Cruise Lines Seattle, the Norwegian Cruise Line, and the Princess Cruise Line. Celebrity cruises from Seattle offer 3, 4 and 7-day cruise from Seattle options around the Northwest. The Holland America line and the Norwegian Cruise Lines Seattle offer a 7-day cruise from Seattle to Alaska and back. Princess Cruises also head north to Alaska, which the Royal Caribbean heads south toward Mexico. To book these cruise lines Seattle, you will need to contact the cruise lines directly.
In addition to these larger cruise lines sailing out from Seattle, there are also some smaller cruise ships heading out of port for daytime excursions or dinner cruises. Particularly in the early spring, whale watching tours are a popular way to spend the day at sea. These tours can be book in person at the Port of Seattle office at Pier 66, or online directly through a private company. For a dinner and sightseeing trip combined, try booking passage on the Victoria Clipper, which makes daily trips to the island of Victoria in Canada from Seattle in the summer. The cruise lasts about four hours round trip, and takes guests to Seattle in the morning (usually around 9am) and back in the evening at sunset. The cost of your passage includes dinner on the covered deck of the Clipper serviced by waiters. Since you will be crossing into Canada, be sure to bring along picture ID and your birth certificate or passport.
It is also possible to take a cruise from Seattle to see the city of Seattle for a day. Known as the, “Duck Tours,” this popular Seattle cruise is conducted on both land and sea. These vehicles can not only cruise through the water, but can also drive along the land, and were actually created for World War II use. Today, they are unmistakable throughout the city for the bright colors and tourists onboard making quacking sounds as they scoot through the city. Although this is not a major way for the locals to see the city, it is quite popular among tourists and gives an excellent overview of Seattle’s best water and land attractions. Guides are onboard to provide useful information, and the tour lasts about 2 hours.
Shorter cruises to the San Juan Islands or Whidbey Island just west of Seattle are also possible. Even though you will ride a Washington State Ferry rather than an authentic cruise line, you will still see some of the most beautiful island and water landscapes, and during whale watching season (early spring), you will also have a chance to see a breaching whale or two. Ferry costs are about $30 for a vehicle, or about $15 as a walk-on passenger without a vehicle. Some walk-on passengers bring along their bicycle for bike riding all around Whidbey Island or the San Juan Islands. You cannot make ferry reservations, but during the summer be sure to leave yourself plenty of time. Lines can be extremely long for the ferry and if you miss a ferry, you will simply have to wait for the next one.