Category Archives: Americas

Port of Call Spotlight: Los Angeles

The southern California city of Los Angeles (LA) is a massive metropolis, a surfer beach town, a vibrant cultural center, a natural wonderland, and…a cruise port. Many people don’t realize you can visit Los Angeles on a cruise and it’s a great way to experience the city without having the deal with LAX (Los Angeles’ huge airport) or the epic traffic LA is famous for.

You can visit Los Angeles during a Celebrity Cruises Pacific Coastal cruise. Many of the cruise itineraries for this cruise route include a stop in Los Angeles and some even start or end in LA, meaning you can add a couple more days in LA before or after being on the ship.

Where the Cruise Ship Docks

Your cruise ship will pull into port in San Pedro, which is located in an industrial area of California just south of LA near Long Beach.

What to Do While in Port in Los Angeles

Hollywood

It’s hard to think of LA without picturing your favorite celebrities. If learning more about tinsel town excites you when you think about visiting Los Angeles, then don’t visit the parts of LA where movie magic happens. Top picks include:

  • Universal Studios – you can visit actual working film studios at this amusement park, and — if you’re lucky — during the tour you might even spot a celebrity. In addition, you’ll see movie memorabilia from some of your favorite films and go on some movie-inspired rides.
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame – Find the stars with your favorite celebrity’s names on it, then go and check out the handprints and footprints in front of TCL Chinese Theatre. This iconic movie theater has also been the location of many movie premieres so imagine you’re walking down your own red carpet while there.

LA Beaches

Los Angeles is home to some quintessential southern California beaches. If you want the full LA beach experience, head to one of these beaches:

  • Venice Beach – This beach has beautiful sand and beautiful people — and some interesting characters that make it a great place for people watching. Meander down the boardwalk, check out the nearby surf shops, or find a space of sand to lie on.
  • Santa Monica – If you like some classic entertainment with your beach going experience, spend your day in the LA community of Santa Monica, where you can walk down sandy beaches or ride on roller coasters and play carnival-style games on the Santa Monica Pier.
  • Malibu – The beaches here are rugged and less crowded than down south. Head to the pier for a picturesque walk or marvel at the coastal rock structures at El Matador Beach.

Hiking in Los Angeles

Los Angeles isn’t just glitz, glam, and skyscrapers. It is also home to some gorgeous natural landscapes and hiking trails. If you’d like to get your heart rate up while in port in LA, consider a hiking adventure. Check out this article for tips on hiking one of the top trails in LA.

Art and Culture

Los Angeles is home to a variety of museums and cultural centers. Some of the must-see ones include:

  • The Getty Center – Not only is the Getty Center home to an impressive art collection, it also has incredible architecture and an expansive manicured garden to walk through.
  • Griffith Observatory – The Griffith Observatory is home to a neat planetarium that draws in space enthusiasts, but is also one of the best places to go for views of LA. From its Mount Hollywood location, you can see the Hollywood Sign and downtown LA.
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County – Love dinosaurs? How about insects and rocks? You’ll find all that and much more to be mesmerized by and learn about at this informative LA museum.

Book Your Trip to Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a massive metropolitan and while these are some of the top things you can do in the city, they’re far from the only things. There’s something for everyone in LA and you can experience it while in port in Los Angeles on a Celebrity Cruises vacation. To book your Celebrity cruise to LA, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Drive to Your Next Vacation Thanks to West Coast Cruise Departures

Want an easy way to get to your next vacation? If you live on or near the west coast of the United States, you’re in luck. Here is a list of cruise ports that do roundtrip sailings from the west coast of North America. You can drive right to the cruise port, park your car, and easily get back to it after your cruise ends. No hassle with long lines at the airport or worrying if your luggage will get lost while flying to your cruise.

Seattle

Cruise to Alaska from Seattle.
Cruise to Alaska from Seattle.

Pacific Northwest residents can easily drive to this cruise port, located right in the gorgeous city of Seattle, Washington. Celebrity Solstice sails out of Seattle and does 7- to 9-night itineraries to Alaska. Sail up the Inside Passage and past Tracy Arm Fjord with Alaska ports of call in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, plus a stop in Victoria, British Columbia.

Parking is adjacent to both Pier 61 and Pier 99 at the Port of Seattle cruise terminal (Celebrity Solstice docks at Pier 99). The cruise terminal is located in between the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, making it conveniently located for cruisers who want to explore Seattle for a bit before or after their cruise.

Vancouver

Cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia
Cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia

Just a few hours north of Seattle is another popular cruise port for Alaska, that is easy for those in the northwest USA or southwest Canada to drive to. If coming from the United States, be sure to give yourself extra time for the border crossing as it can be backed up (though it’s always good practice in general to arrive at your embarkation cruise port a few hours early before boarding begins).

The Celebrity Infinity does 7-night roundtrip cruises out of Vancouver. Similar to sailings out of Seattle, you’ll get the opportunity to see the sights of Ketchikan, Juneau, and the Inside Passage. You’ll also see Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier before your ship returns to Vancouver.

Short on time? You can also take this 5-night cruise out of Vancouver that stops in Ketchikan and sails past gorgeous scenery on the way up and back down, including the Inside Passage. You’ll also have a port of call in Victoria before heading back to Vancouver.

Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice also occasionally sail itineraries out of Vancouver.

Cruise ships leave from the Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver, which is located in downtown Vancouver — making it easy to do some sightseeing before your cruise departs! Canada Place has both short term (for those who finagled a friend or family member into dropping them off and picking them up from their cruise) and long term parking (for those leaving their car at Canada Place while they cruise).

Los Angeles

A Pacific Coastal Cruise is a great way to see popular cities on the west coast of North America. The Celebrity Infinity sails 7-night and 8-night itineraries out of Los Angeles that stop in the California cities of Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Franciso, and Catalina Island, plus Ensenada, Mexico. Soak up the beaches and sunshine, and do some shopping and sightseeing in each port of call, before your ship returns you to the City of Angels. The 8-night itinerary also has a day at sea, which gives you a chance to spend more time checking out the wonderful amenities onboard the Celebrity Infinity, including the luxurious Canyon Ranch SpaClub and relaxing pool area.

You’ll depart on your Pacific Coastal cruise from the World Cruise Center, part of the Port of Los Angeles, which is located on the southern end of Los Angeles in the San Pedro neighborhood of LA, close to Long Beach. Overnight vehicle parking is available for the duration of your cruise near the terminal and shuttles transport passengers between the car lot and cruise terminal.

Ready to book your cruise that departs from a from a west coast city? Visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

Visit the Canadian Rockies During an Alaska CruiseTour

Ready to Plan Your 2017 Vacation? Pair up a Canadian Rockies tour with an Alaska Cruise

When you think of visiting the Canadian Rockies, a cruise probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind as a means to get there. However, a Celebrity Cruises Cruisetour that takes you through the Canadian Rockies for several days before or after sailing along the coast of Alaska may be the perfect fit for you to explore this stunningly beautiful region of the world. Here’s why.

How You’ll Travel Through the Canadian Rockies

Part of your journey through the Canadian Rockies will happen on a comfortable train with glass-domed ceilings, perfect for taking in all those gorgeous views you’ll be gliding through. In addition, you’ll dine on gourmet cuisine while on the train and even spend one night traveling through the heart of the wilderness when you’ll stay in your own private sleeper cabin. During this overnight train expedition you’ll travel along the Fraser River through the Coast Mountains and Cisco Tunnels, while enjoying canyon and water views, including Hell’s Gate Gorge and Suicide Rapids.

Where You’ll Stay & What You’ll See

Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

When you’re not on the train, you’ll be staying overnight in luxurious Fairmont properties, which are well-known in the Canadian Rockies for their modern amenities and comfort without losing any of the traditional charm of the property where each hotel resides. During your hotel stays you’ll have to opportunity during the day to explore iconic Canadian Rockies locations. Some of these spots include:

Lake Louise: A massive turquoise lake in Alberta’s Banff National Park framed by majestic mountains. Lake Louise is an incredible spot for a boat or canoe ride.

Banff: Banff is famous for being next to the above scenic site, Lake Louise, but in addition to that natural wonder, Banff is also a charming mountain town to walk around with rustic buildings.

Calgary: Calgary, Alberta has a vast array of big city activities you can do in addition to outdoor adventures in the surrounding Canadian Rockies.

Jasper: Jasper, Alberta is nestled in the middle of Jasper National Park and is a gorgeous mountain town to explore and use as a base for hiking, kayaking, and more outdoor activities.

Victoria: The capital of British Columbia, Victoria manages to effortlessly mix city life with wilderness and water activities.

Vancouver: This also may be where your cruise takes off. Read more about what you can do in Vancouver in our Vancouver Port of Call Spotlight.

The Cruise Portion

Cruising by Hubbard Glacier in Alaska
Cruising by Hubbard Glacier in Alaska

Before or after you’ve experienced the Canadian Rockies, it will be time to board a modern cruise ship and head north to explore Alaska. Take part in incredible shore excursions, such as dog sledding across a mountain, taking a helicopter ride over a glacier, fishing in the sea, or kayaking through unforgettable scenery.

Next summer, consider heading north and giving yourself a mountain vacation you’ll treasure for a lifetime. To find your ideal Alaska and Canadian Rockies cruisetour, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com or speak with your travel agent.

 

Port of Call Spotlight: San Francisco…with an Overnight

San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities in America. It’s also a cruise port for some of Celebrity Cruises’ Pacific Coastal cruises. So what all can you do while in port in San Francisco? Here are some of the highlights — including a rare overnight stay in the Golden City.

Golden Gate Bridge and Park

The most famous feature of San Francisco is the impressive Golden Gate Bridge and its stately red arches. It’s worth a drive or walk across so you can see those arches towering above you. Next to the bridge is Golden Gate Park, a massive park by the water that boasts excellent views of the bridge and bay plus has walking trails, gardens, and museums.

Celebrity Cruises sailing by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Celebrity Cruises sailing by the Golden Gate Bridge.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz is one of the most well-known prisons in the world since it was touted to be impossible to break out of. Located on a small island in the middle of the bay, Alcatraz now holds tourists who visit for a few hours to tour the cells that formerly held inmates including Al Capone and Arthur “Doc” Barker. A tour boat will take you to the island where a guide will meet you and take you around the premises of the former prison.

Pier 39 on Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf borders the bay and is right by the city center of San Francisco, making it an easily accessible spot for visitors to explore. For many visitors, the highlight of Fisherman’s Wharf, which spreads down the waterfront, is Pier 39, which is bursting with entertainment. Pier 39 has educational centers such as the Aquarium of the Bay and the Sea Lion Center, the latter of which makes sense since you can typically see sea lions sunning themselves on the docks near Pier 39. The famous pier is also home to delicious seafood restaurants, shops, excursion companies, musician performances, and some cool musical stairs.

Painted Ladies

The “Painted Ladies” is the nickname given to a row of Victorian houses lining one side of Alamo Square in San Francisco. The houses date back to the late 1800s and are painted in varying pastel shades. Beyond it, the skyscrapers of San Francisco stand stark against the skyline, providing one of the best views in San Francisco. Alamo Square is covered in grass, making it an ideal place for a midday break of picnic lunch.

Lombard Street

Lombard Street is the curviest street in the world and its switchbacks zigzag down a steep street in the heart of San Francisco. Driving down the street is a fun experience, but even if you don’t have a car you can visit Lombard Street and walk down it or just peer at it – and all the cars snaking down the asphalt – from the bottom of the hill it’s on.

Stay Overnight in San Francisco During Your Cruise

Ready to explore San Francisco and starting to worry a day isn’t enough time? Well, you’re in luck. Celebrity Cruises offers a number of overnights in cruise ports around the world and we’re excited that San Francisco is one of those ports. An overnight cruise port is special since it gives visitors more time in port and the chance to explore a city or region both during the day and into the night. This is ideal for San Francisco since it has a vibrant nightlife and culinary scene. Visit one of the city’s trendy clubs or lounges, or make a reservation at the current hot spot restaurant. To see sailings that have overnights in San Francisco, click here.

Overnights also give you more time to get away from the city if you’ve already explored San Francisco and want to experience the area around it. For many visitors, this means wine country and the nearby valleys of Napa and Sonoma. Celebrity Cruises offers a Napa Valley Wine Train Excursion that lets you experience the gorgeous scenery of Napa Valley on a fun wine-centric mode of transportation, while the Sonoma Wine Country shore excursion takes you over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sonoma Valley where you’ll tour a local winery and partake in a tasting. To see other shore excursions in San Francisco, click here.

To book your cruise to San Francisco, contact your travel agent or visit www.CelebrityCruises.com.

 

Why a Panama Canal Cruise is Great for West Coasters

The Panama Canal is one of the marvels of the world that isn’t as complicated to experience as you may think, particularly if you live on the west coast of the United States. This is because you don’t need a long international flight to get there if you can drive (or get a quick flight) to California. And once in Panama, you don’t need to figure out how to coordinate a boat ride through the canal or be stuck watching the famous lock system from the sidelines on land. You’ll already be sailing through it. How is this so easily possible? With a Panama Canal cruise that leaves from California.

A Panama Canal Cruise from California

Panama Canal cruises with Celebrity Cruises are typically one way cruise itineraries that leave from San Diego, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. The cruise sails through the Panama Canal with many stops along the way and typically ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (occasionally Miami). This means you only have one flight to have to worry about coordinating: an easy flight back home to the west coast that Celebrity Cruises can help you book and arrange transportation to the airport for. (Or, if you prefer, you can fly to Florida and take the Panama Canal cruise back to California.)

Port of Calls on a Panama Canal Cruise

The ports of call your cruise may stop at between California and Florida include several Central and South American countries, giving you a taste of many different cultures during your cruise. Here are the stops and popular activities you can do in each one.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Spend the day in port lounging by the beach or exploring Cabo’s famous rock arch via a sailboat ride.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – See the beautiful sights of Carara National Park on a hike or take an aerial tram through the rainforest.

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala – Take a walking tour around the nearby city of Antigua and learn about the Spanish colonial architecture or visit a coffee estate.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica – Fly over tree tops ziplining or explore the inner jungle on a safari jeep excursion.

Cartagena, Colombia – Explore the historical Old Town or take a romantic harbor cruise while taking in the views of scenic Cartagena.

Colon, Panama – Think of this as the gateway to the Panama Canal. You’ll be able to view the canal from land if you still want to take in the marvel of the Gatun locks, plus you can partake in a number of activities on and around Gatun Lake, including kayaking, eco cruises, and a visit to a historic fort.

Willemstad, Curacao – Explore the city center of Willemstad, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or get out on the gorgeous Caribbean Sea surrounding the island of Curacao via a boat safari.

To see all Panama Canal Shore Excursions, click here.

Cruising Through the Locks of the Panama Canal

Cruising through the Panama Canal with Celebrity Cruises.
Cruising through the Panama Canal

Then, there’s the day cruising the Panama Canal. You’ll want to be on your stateroom balcony or one of the cruise ship decks for this experience since the Panama Canal is more exciting to witness than you may expect. There is a reason the canal is considered to be such an engineering marvel – even today, let alone when it was originally built in 1914. You’ll be right on the water as the locks do their impressive process to lower and raise the water to effortlessly get your cruise ship through the passage. It’s something that’s best experienced from a ship and you’ll have a new appreciation for this breakthrough (both in design and land) that allows ships to conveniently get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean (or vice versa).

To book your Panama Canal cruise, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com.