Seattle is a veritable hub of cruises to Alaska, with seven cruise lines offering itineraries from Starbucks’ hometown to America’s last frontier. If it’s beaches and piña coladas you’re chasing, you’ll be happy to know there are cruises from Seattle to Hawaii, too.
Best cruises from Seattle
Embark from Emerald city on your next great vacation. Here are our top picks for cruises from Seattle:
Best for families: Carnival
Starting at slightly over $700 per person, Carnival's seven-day Alaskan adventures pack as much fun at sea as they do on land. From Seattle you'll sail up to Victoria, Canada before reaching Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway in Alaska. Most itineraries end with a breathtaking meander through Tracey Arm Fjord.
If you can spare the time, Carnival also has a seventeen-day cruise from Seattle through the Panama Canal all the way to Ft. Lauderdale that stops at fabulous Cabo San Lucas and Huatulco in Mexico, Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, Puntarenas in Costa Rica and Cartegena in Columbia.
No free room service
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
The sheer variety of NCL's Alaska cruise itineraries is unrivaled. From the short-and-sweet five-day Alaska route — which gives you a luxurious, 15-hour day docked at Ketchikan — to a longer 12-day tour that brings you face-to-face with the region's greatest glaciers, you're guaranteed a magical, yet efficient and perfectly plotted voyage. Plus, rates for most of these Alaska cruises start at less than $100 per person, per day.
Room service included
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Stock up on sunny, beach-filled days — not to mention vitamin D — on Hilo, Honolulu, Kauai and Maui when you cruise from Seattle to Hawaii with Princess. You'll forget all about drizzly northwestern streets as you hike to ogle 'Akaka Falls and visit impossibly lush Waipi'o Valley.
On deck, enjoy movies under the stars, original musical productions and freshwater pools and hot tubs. It's worth noting that Princess has great programs for kids and teens — it partners with Discovery —if you're hoping to bring along the brood.
Room service included
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Best for luxury Alaskan cruise from Seattle: Celebrity
Imagine watching the glaciers go by while sipping a finely crafted cocktail in an elevated observation lounge. That's what you'll get on Celebrity's elegant Alaskan cruises with succinct, seven-night itineraries.
Is wine more your style? Every restaurant on Celebrity's ships has a certified sommelier. The Dawes Glacier and Alaska's Inside Passage — along with premium food and drink — await.
If you’re crunched for time, no sweat. Princess cruises has routes from Seattle that last less than a week.
Its one-day cruises drop you off in Vancouver. It also has four- and five-day itineraries — known as Alaska samplers — that’ll give you a taste of our nation’s northernmost state.
What are the best cheap cruises from Seattle?
Carnival and Royal Caribbean generally have the cheapest cruises from Seattle. However, Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line are also known for offering frequent deals and discounts that deliver maximum bang for your buck. Budget travelers should compare itineraries offered by each of these cruise companies to find the best rates available.
How we chose these cruises
When choosing cruises for this list, we looked at the quality of routes available from each cruise line, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations around the region.
We also considered dining onboard, weighing the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. Finally, we weighed cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.
Additionally, we sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.
When it the best time to cruise from Seattle?
The best time to cruise from Seattle depends on where you’re headed.
Most itineraries from Seattle to Alaska are scheduled from June through August, when the weather is warmest and folks tend to take summer vacation. However, you’ll find the cheapest cruises — along with fewer tourists and more snow, if that’s your thing — in the shoulder months of April, May, September and October.
Cruises from Seattle to Hawaii tend to be scheduled during spring and fall. Princess in particular offers routes in April and October, but nowhere in between. Holland America Line also has a cruise that goes from Seattle to Hawaii, available only in April.
Getting to the port for your cruise from Seattle
Seattle has two main cruise ports: Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 and Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91. Both are located around Elliot Bay in the northwest corner of the city.
Here’s where each cruise line typically docks:
Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66
Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91
Norwegian Cruise Line
Holland America Line
Uber or Lyft
From Seattle-Tacoma International airport, you’ll pay between $32 to $44 for a ride to Pier 66, and between $40 to $45 for a ride to Pier 91.
It’ll cost between $40 to $50, depending on the taxi service and the boarding terminal.
Seattle’s Link light rail goes from the airport to within a 15-minute walk of Pier 66. Simply take it to the University Street Station downtown, and enjoy the stroll up to your cruise terminal.
If you’re leaving from Pier 91, you’ll get off at University Street Station then transfer to bus route #24. From there, ride to Magnolia Bridge & Pier 91 and disembark.
Most cruise lines will offer a shuttle to and from the airport on your days of arrival and departure, but keep in mind that these can get pricey — about $25 to $30 per person, each way, depending on the cruise line. Families traveling with kids especially should consider an alternate form of transportation.
You could also book a private transfer with Capital Aeroporter, Aces Town Car Service or Seattle Shuttle.
Seattle is the ideal place to start if you’re booking a cruise to Alaska. If you’re hoping for a more tropical experience, you might consider looking at itineraries that begin in San Diego or San Francisco — you’ll have more options to choose from, and more days spent on the islands.
Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC advises postponing travel to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading COVID-19. If you plan to travel during the pandemic, monitor 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, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for test results for COVID-19 — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. Holland America Line offers a 22-Day Panama Canal cruise that starts in Seattle and ends in Fort Lauderdale. Escape in late September just as autumn winds pick up, landing in sunny Fort Lauderdale.
There are some cruises that begin in Seattle and dock at ports in Mexico, but these tend to be super-long voyages down through the Panama Canal. It’s rare to find a cruise from Seattle that marks Mexico as its key destination.
Yes — though itineraries that begin in Seattle and port along the California coast are surprisingly rare, Princess has a fabulous seven-day route that docks in Astoria, Oregon, Monterey and San Francisco, California and Victoria, Canada before sailing back to Seattle.
Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as a technical designer before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. She lives in Los Angeles. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering the streets looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and daydreaming about her next great adventure.
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