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Cruises from Los Angeles

5 cruise lines that'll whisk you away to Seattle, Hawaii and much more.

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Outside of all of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, you’ll find two cruise terminals in LA — one in San Pedro that serves most major cruise lines and one in Long Beach, which is only used by Carnival.

Over 10 cruise lines depart from Los Angeles in total, but to help streamline your planning we’ve narrowed it down to five that are known for offering stellar value, delicious food and top-notch service. From LA you can cruise up and down the West Coast, visiting cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. If you’re ready for a longer adventure, sail through the Panama Canal, visit the islands of Hawaii or venture to the glaciers of Alaska.

When will cruises from Los Angeles start again?

Right now, cruises are scheduled to resume from Los Angeles in the spring of 2021. However, this is subject to change as the coronavirus pandemic evolves, so be sure to check in with each cruise line to confirm the exact dates.

  • Most cruise lines are offering penalty-free change and cancellation policies because of uncertainty due to COVID-19 — review the terms and conditions before booking to make sure you’re on board with the details.

Best cruises from Los Angeles

Take your pick of the best cruise liners sailing out of the World Cruise Center in San Pedro, and check out what Carnival has to offer from Long Beach.

Best for mini-breaks: Princess

Set on the Pacific Coast, Los Angeles is the perfect jumping-off point for a short break exploring the wonders of California, Oregon and Washington. Princess has one of the largest selections of West-Coast itineraries to choose from and doesn't skimp on the amenities onboard. To make things easier, round trips are on offer for most short cruises.

  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):

Best for the Mexican Riviera: Norwegian

Whether you've got five days or three weeks to spare, one of Norwegian's cruises will have you exploring the smells, sights and sounds of Mexico and the Panama Canal in no time. With some cruises focusing on the big cities and others on the beautiful beaches, you'll find a route that suits you.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for for senior: Oceania

Boasting a fleet of small to midsize luxury liners, Oceania satisfies cruisers aged 50 and older. Culture heavy entertainment options range from art history lectures and language classes to wine tastings and cooking lessons. Those who find mobility on large ships an issue will be glad to know that these smaller liners are equipped with elevators, hydraulic lifts and cabins large enough for wheelchairs.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for all-inclusive luxury: Regent

Fares may be expensive for a suite on a Regent cruise liner, but they include absolutely everything you'll need for your vacation, including business class international flights, unlimited shore excursions, spacious suites with private balconies, top-shelf drinks and gourmet cuisine.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for lengthy cruises: Viking Ocean Cruises

Most cruises departing from LA tend to stay local, which is why Viking's round-the-world voyages are so exciting. Spend two months at sea exploring the South Pacific Islands before jumping off in Sydney, or settle in for the long run and head across Australia, Indonesia, Asia and the Middle East before jumping off in London 140 days later.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises

The Los Angeles cruise terminal is one of the busiest in the world, with countless cruises leaving its waters each year. Most of the big-name companies cruise from the terminal, so we took a look into their itineraries, onboard facilities, daily entertainment, and offshore excursions to single out the best ones out there.

We conducted our research through first-hand experiences, as well as trusted travel websites and unbiased review sites to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date information.

When is the best time to cruise from Los Angeles?

Cruises from Los Angeles depart at any time of the year and, with itineraries varying so wildly, you’ll want to time your vacation with the best season for your destination.

  • Alaska and the West Coast. The sun is almost always shining along the West Coast. That’s until you hit the northern state of Alaska. If a trip to The Last Frontier is on your bucket list, book between May and August for the best chance of blue skies and calm seas.
  • Panama Canal and South America. Cruising season through the Panama Canal begins in October and ends in April when temperatures are comfortable, and rain isn’t as frequent. Visit the rest of the continent at this time, though it’s worth being prepared for colder weather in the south.
  • Hawaii and the South Pacific Islands. December to April is the peak season for cruising from LA to these idyllic islands, though cruises can be found throughout the year. Consider visiting during shoulder season, which falls in May, June, October and November to benefit from fewer crowds and lower rates.

Getting to the port for your cruise from Los Angeles

If you’re catching a flight to your cruise from Los Angeles, fly into LAX, which is around 22 miles north of the World Cruise Center. The easiest option, if you’re traveling in a group of three or more, is to grab a taxi straight from the airport for around $100. Uber and Lyft are also available here and will charge around half of that price.

Jump on one of the shuttle buses that sit outside of the arrivals lounge and cost $30 a person one way. If you’re driving from a nearby state, parking is available at the cruise terminal and costs $17 a day for a standard vehicle.

Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic
With infection rates rapidly spiking nationwide, expect stronger travel restrictions as the holidays near. The CDC strongly advises postponing travel and staying close to home to avoid getting or spreading COVID-19. If you plan to travel during the pandemic, monitor and understand the risk assessment levels for your destination when planning your trip, before departure and on arrival. Follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public settings, maintaining social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed, have symptoms of or are waiting for test results for COVID-19 — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not host, attend gatherings or travel for 14 days. Note that the CDC warns against cruise travel at this time.

Bottom line

Spot A-list celebs on Rodeo Drive, snap a picture of the Hollywood sign and relax on Santa Monica’s beaches before setting off on the cruise of a lifetime. It’s worth checking out these deals and discounts before you book anything to see if you can save on your fare.

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