Best Alaska Cruise Itineraries for West Coasters

Take advantage of a West Coast dream vacation with an Alaska cruise!

Alaska has several nicknames, but it is the “America’s Last Frontier” moniker that probably most has people feeling daunted about visiting. It’s so far north, it’s covered in wilderness and wild animals, and there are glaciers and ice all around…so that must make it challenging to travel to, right? Wrong – especially if you live on the west coast of the United States’ mainland. Alaska isn’t as hard to visit and get around as you might think and that is thanks to cruising.

Cruising by Hubbard Glacier in Alaska
Celebrity Millennium by Hubbard Glacier

A Celebrity Cruises sailing to Alaska means you don’t have to worry about a long flight up to Alaska’s larger cities of Anchorage or Juneau. Celebrity Cruises has Alaska itineraries that depart from Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, which are quite easy for most west coasters to get to. You can even drive to the ship depending on where you live!

From major airport hubs like LAX (Los Angeles) and SFO (San Francisco) you can often find round-trip flights for under $200. Use Flights by Celebrity to make booking flights even easier – you can do it at the same time you book your cruise – and rest assured you’re getting a good rate thanks to Celebrity’s Lowest Airfare Guarantee.

Plus, sailing from Seattle or Vancouver means you’ll have extra time in the actual state of Alaska compared to Alaska itineraries that embark from farther south (such as from San Francisco) and have to spend a day or two getting up past the Pacific Northwest.

After you embark on your cruise from Seattle or Vancouver, you can settle into your ship and relax. On the way up to your first port in Alaska, you won’t be cramped in a tight airplane seat, and can instead rest comfortably in luxurious accommodations, dine on gourmet cuisine, and watch entertaining shows. During the day you can head out on your verandah or the ship deck to watch the gorgeous Alaskan scenery unfold around you as you sail through gorgeous passages and by icy glaciers.

In port you’ll get the chance to explore fishing villages and old mining towns. You can also partake in a shore excursion and head out into the Alaskan wild: helicopter to the top of a glacier, kayak around a scenic bay, go dog sledding through the snow, or trying your hand at mining for gold.

To experience even a wider range of Alaska’s sights, make your cruise a cruisetour. This is an amazing way to experience all the beauty and splendor of Alaska since you’ll be seeing the coastal sights like Hubbard Glacier and the cute seaside town of Ketchikan, plus you’ll get to travel through Alaska’s inland wilderness.

Explore Alaska by land via a Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruisetour.
Explore Alaska by land and sea via a Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruisetour.

An Alaska cruisetour with Celebrity Cruises typically combines a full length Alaska cruise with a 3- to 5-night escorted tour via a comfortable motor coach and glass-dome train to Denali National Park and beyond. You’ll stay in rustic lodges and travel with a guide who will get you settled in each new spot. Your guide will also be a knowledgeable expert on Alaska and will teach you all about the region you’re traveling through. Learn more about Alaska cruisetours here.

Huge Cruise Savings for Alaska with the Sail Beyond Event

Now is the perfect time to book your Alaska cruise since Celebrity Cruises’ Sail Beyond Event is happening for a limited time.

With the Sail Beyond Event you get two free perks during your cruise when you book an ocean view stateroom or higher category. These perks help to make your cruise feel like an all-inclusive vacation.

You get to choose the perks that will give you the most value based on how you like to vacation and what’s important to you. Here are the perks you can choose your two from:

  • Classic Beverage Package, which includes alcoholic drinks and lets you have unlimited drinks for the duration of your cruise.
  • $150 On Board Credit, which you can spend on spa treatments, specialty restaurants, premium drinks, shore excursions, and more.
  • Prepaid Gratuities, which cover the recommended daily tip amount for your stateroom attendant and other services.
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi. Get access to high-speed Wi-Fi for the duration of your cruise.

If you stay in a suite, you get an even better deal – all four perks plus your Classic Beverage Package is upgraded to a Premium Beverage Package. Suites also come with concierge or butler service and access to exclusive restaurants and lounge spaces on board.

The best staterooms and suites on Alaska cruises sell out quickly – especially for the Seattle departure sailings – so don’t delay on booking your cruise adventure to Alaska. To book your Alaska cruise, click here or speak with your travel agent.

Where to Cruise in 2018 for West Coasters

It’s a new year full of new opportunities to travel. If the travel bug is already itching for you this year, we’ve compiled some top places you should consider cruising to in 2018.

Alaska from Seattle

An Alaska cruise is an excellent way to see America’s Last Frontier since it lets you experience the state from both a land and sea perspective. West Coasters should look for an itinerary that departs from Seattle or Vancouver. It’s an easy flight or even drive for most residents and you won’t even need to go through airport customs (though you do still need a passport since your ship will stop in beautiful Victoria or Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada).

Here are the sailings that cruise to Alaska from Seattle in 2018:

Alaska Tracy Arm Fjord Cruise Departing May 18
Alaska Tracy Arm Fjord Cruise Departing May 25
Alaska Tracy Arm Fjord Cruise Departing June 1

Panama Canal from San Diego

The Panama Canal may seem like it’s far away, but a cruise makes it marvelously accessible, especially for west coasters who can choose to start or end their cruise in San Diego, California. A Panama Canal cruise with Celebrity Cruises departs from San Diego and ends in Florida or vice versa. Along the way, you’ll stop in alluring ports of call such as Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and others. The highlight, however, is sailing through the Panama Canal and seeing the way its innovative lock system works directly from the ship. It’s an unforgettable experience.

Here are a couple itineraries, one sailing east and one sailing west, to the Panama Canal:

Eastbound Panama Canal Cruise
Westbound Panama Canal Cruise

New Zealand/Australia

New Zealand and Australia may be an entire day ahead in time, but for west coasters, it’s not as long as a flight as you may think since you can fly over the Pacific Ocean directly there.

Celebrity Cruises offers a variety of cruises around New Zealand and Australia, some that visit both countries and others that focus on just one country. New Zealand is known for its rugged coastline and towering mountains and glaciers, while Australia is famous for its beach life, laidback cosmopolitan cities, wild outback, and the Great Barrier Reef.

Here are a few itineraries to get your planning to the South Pacific started:

Australia and New Zealand Cruise
Great Barrier Reef Cruise
New Zealand Cruise

Plus, if you travel to Australia or New Zealand you get the added fun of time traveling (wink wink). Thanks to crossing the International date line you’ll skip a whole day on your flight there if flying direct!

Western Europe

The sights of western Europe have long been on must-see travel lists, but traveling to Western Europe never gets old and if you have a desire to go back – or to finally go for the first time – here are three especially hot destinations you should make sure your cruise stops in:

Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal is a hot destination right now, and if you’re a west coaster you probably love beaches, vibrant cities, and gorgeous scenery. Lisbon has all that plus some pretty incredible historic sites. Amble along the edge of São Jorge Castle ruins, which also boast panoramic views of the ocean. Hop on a yellow tram and glide by top sights like the Sé Cathedral. Or head to the beach on an excursion and enjoy lounging by the glistening Atlantic with views of mountains around you.

Valletta, Malta

Valletta, the capital of Malta, is the European Capital of Culture in 2018 and it also just so conveniently happens to be a cruise port. Sail to Malta on a Mediterranean cruise and partake in one of the many events for the European Capital of Culture if they’re going on while you’re there, or opt for one of the exciting Malta shore excursions.

Bruges, Belgium 

The West Coast is known for its craft beer scene. If you want to get away from the prevalence of IPAs and stouts for awhile, head to Belgium and try some Belgian beer in the place it originated. Celebrity Cruises sails to Bruges and while in port you can explore the gorgeous city and try a variety of beers (plus Belgian chocolate and waffles!).

Here are some Western Mediterranean itineraries to get you dreaming about sea views, culture, and beer:

14-Night Western Mediterranean Cruise (with a stop in Lisbon)
10-Night Italy and Greek Isles Cruise (with a stop in Valletta)
12-Night Iberian Peninsula Cruise (with a stop in Bruges)

All that Jazz in New Orleans (+ Caribbean Dreamin’)

New Orleans is celebrating its tricentennial anniversary this year, making it a great year to experience this iconic U.S. city. And since west coasters have access to gorgeous beaches, but not always pleasantly warm water, combine your New Orleans vacation with some Caribbean ports of call on one of Celebrity Cruises’ western Caribbean cruises that stop in New Orleans. Even better, book the April 23 departure on the Celebrity Equinox and be in New Orleans during its iconic Jazz Fest. You’ll have two nights in New Orleans and Celebrity Cruises will get you set up with tickets for Jazz Fest as part of its Signature Event Sailing offerings. This makes your time in the Big Easy truly easy to experience before sailing onto the gorgeous destinations of Grand Bahama Island; Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; and Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico, before ending your roundtrip cruise in Miami, Florida.

To learn more about this unique Signature Event Sailing, click here.

Where Do You Want to Cruise in 2018?

There are so many great destinations to choose from in 2018. Drop us a comment below and let us know where you would most like to visit. Is there somewhere else on your mind that you’re hoping to visit in 2018? Let us know that, too!