Every fall and spring, one of cruising’s best values takes place on the West Coast. We’re talking, of course, about Pacific Coastal Cruises that typically sail between Vancouver, Canada and Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, or reverse during the spring. Of course, you won’t want to fly across the country for one of these, just as those of us who reside on the West Coast aren’t likely to fly to Florida just for a three-day jaunt to the Bahamas. But for those who are close, or who are planning a longer trip to the Pacific Northwest, there’s a lot to like about these special, unique and shockingly affordable voyages.
5 reasons for a pacific coastal cruise
Pacific Coastal Cruises Are Quick - Pacific Coastal cruises, by definition, are typically shorter than one week (though weeklong repositioning voyages do exist). The average length of a Pacific Coastal cruise is between one and four days, with plenty of two and three day options in between. Some leave on a weekend, while others depart mid-week. They’re a great way to rest up and feel like you’ve been somewhere (on a cruise, no less!) without having to give up your precious vacation days.
Pacific Coastal Cruises Are Inexpensive - It’s like they’re giving them away. Per night, a Pacific Coastal voyage on a nice mainstream ship can set you back less than a night in the not-so-good hotel. Because of the reduced price of these voyages (pricing depends, of course, on the cruise line and the number of days), these can be a great way to get that “cruise fix” without spending a ton of cash.
They’re a Great Way to Try a New Line - Have you always been curious to try Line X but didn’t want to shell out a lot of money – or time – on something you weren’t sure you were going to like? Take a quick Pacific Coastal cruise. It can be as short as a single day, or as long as a full week depending on the ship and the itinerary it’s doing. In the spring, one-night cruises routinely run between Vancouver, Canada and Seattle as ships reposition south to the States to begin their Alaskan seasons.
They Visit Unusual Destinations - Because Pacific Coastal cruises are essentially repositioning cruises, many will just go directly from Point A to Point B with a handful of sea days in between. But a closer look can reveal cruises that go to some off-the-beaten-path locations. Many cruises will stop in Victoria, BC; Astoria, OR; along with San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Catalina Island, CA.
Pacific Coastal Cruises Can Act As Transportation - Now, obviously this final point of distinction doesn’t apply to everyone. But for those who reside in the Pacific Northwest, a Pacific Coastal repositioning cruise could actually be used as a legitimate form of transportation to a larger holiday or vacation. In fact, numerous travel agencies tend to sell voyages to or from Vancouver paired with a multi-night stay in Anaheim (for Disneyland), while some even go so far as to package coastal cruises with a getaway to Las Vegas.
Seattle is a young city with a rich history. Settlers first landed at Alki Point in 1851 and named the area after Sealth, the Suquamish Indian chief who befriended them. Rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1889, "The Emerald City" has a legacy of vision and strength. Seattle has hosted two World's Fairs (1909 and 1962) and is the birthplace of two modern marvels, Boeing and Microsoft.
Known for its rainy climate, Seattle actually averages less annual rainfall than many East Coast cities. Themild weather, spectacular natural surroundings and rich cultural diversity attract visitors from around the world. Points of interest: Pikes Place Market, Space Needle, Pioneer Square, Boeing Aviation Center, International District.
Cable cars, the Golden Gate rising from the fog - welcome to San Francisco, arguably the most romantic and cosmopolitan city in the United States. San Francisco has it all: a colorful history, superb restaurants, sophisticated museums, world-class shopping, and that elusive air of romance and abandon that's part of the tang of the city. Points of interest: Pier 39, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito.
The City of Angels always hovers between dream and reality. Perhaps no other city owes so much to the technological innovations of the 20th century, from the automobile to the airplane. Little wonder that LA is oft described as the "dream machine." In LA, reinvention is a way of life. Yet this talent for change has created a city with a rich ethnic diversity and a sizzling culture. LA is the source for trends that migrate across the country and then the world. Points of interest: Beverly Hills, Hollywood Studios, Hollywood Bowl, Santa Monica Pier.