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Best West Coast cruise lines

Explore the wonders of California, Oregon and Washington when you sail along the mighty Pacific coast.

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Laguna Beach, California

From lazy days on sandy beaches to indulgent afternoons discovering San Francisco’s street food, from countless rolling vineyards and all the way up to the breathtaking glaciers of Alaska, spend your days doing just about anything you want. Find out if the West Coast really is the best coast.

Best cruises to the West Coast of the US

Whether you’re looking to soak up some of that glorious Californian sunshine or venture to the northernmost point in the US, one of these cruise liners can take you there.

Best for Alaska trips: Royal Caribbean

Take your trip one step further and tag a visit to Alaska to the end — or begin there. Royal Caribbean offers an impressive range of itineraries, lasting from three days to two weeks, so you can choose a trip that’s perfect for you. Shorter trips disembark from Seattle, whereas longer trips begin from Seward, AK and work its way south for three weeks.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for wine enthusiasts: Princess

Along with onboard wine tasting sessions, a certified sommelier and a huge wine cellar, opt for a cruise through Wine Country with Princess and you’ll have countless opportunities to visit some fantastic wineries including Napa, just north of San Francisco.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):

Best for short trips: Norwegian

Setting sail from Los Angeles or Vancouver, Norwegian offers a series of five or six-day cruises through the Pacific that stop off at key ports along the way. This introduction to the West Coast gives you time to explore Los Angeles, San Francisco and more.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for couples: Celebrity

This luxury line has everything you might need to rekindle that spark. From huge suites with private tubs big enough for two, to romantic shore excursions off-board. Enjoy alfresco film screenings and candlelit dinners, to find yourself falling more in love every second of your trip.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for multidestination cruises: Seabourn

Adventurous cruisers can add a visit to Canada, Mexico, or South America onto their cruise with Seabourn. Consider the Odyssey of Americas for the ultimate voyage, beginning in Miami before journeying through the Panama Canal, past Costa Rica, along Mexico’s coast and ends north at California’s Wine Country.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for family friendly luxury: Cunard

Despite its upmarket appeal, Cunard Cruises does a great job of accommodating young families, giving Mom and Dad the break they deserve. Along with a complimentary night daycare for children six months to 23 months, you’ll find two staffed kids zones and a teenagers-only area on board each ship.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises

When it comes to cruising the Pacific coast, there are a huge number of companies operating in the area, which is why our team has spent so much time searching for the best.

When picking cruises for this list, we looked at the quality of routes available from each company, making sure itineraries included stop-offs at key ports along the way. We also took a look at the onboard facilities on offer, including cabins, suites, daily entertainment and dining options, as well as offshore facilities including any shore excursions and overnight stopovers.

When is the best time to go to the West Coast?

Most of the West Coast is incredibly lucky and experiences beautiful sunshine year-round, especially in Southern California. For this reason, you’ll generally find cruises available throughout the year.

Of course, this depends on how far north you’re planning to go. If you’re venturing into Alaska, we’d recommend booking between May and August for the best chances of clear blue skies and pleasant sailing conditions. Very few cruise lines offer cruises at other points throughout the year, when overcast skies and rain dominate the forecast.

What are the must-do cruise excursions on the West Coast?

The West Coast is certainly not short of things to keep you entertained. Check out what to do in some of the major ports of call.

  • Catalina Island, CA. Docks in Los Angeles can get you on a connecting ferry to Catalina Island where sunbathing, snorkeling and hiking are all popular ways to pass the time.
  • San Francisco, CA. No trip to the West Coast would be complete without a wine tasting session or two. Head beyond the busy streets of San Francisco and into the countryside for a tour of some iconic wineries.
  • Astoria, OR. History buffs shouldn’t miss the chance to hop off at historic Astoria, where the stories behind Lewis and Clark and Fort Clatsop are unraveled.
  • San Diego, CA. Stay within the realms of the city and visit the world-famous Balboa Park, home to San Diego Zoo, Museum of Man and more than 15 other worthwhile attractions.
  • Juneau, AK. Take to the skies with a once in a lifetime helicopter ride over Juneau’s four famous glaciers including Taku, Hole-in-the-Wall, Dead Branch and East Twin Glaciers.
  • Los Angeles, CA. Jump in a Cadillac and drive the palm-lined streets of Beverley Hills in search of celebrities and their mansions.

Bottom line

Cosmopolitan cities, exciting wildlife, fantastic local produce — the West Coast has it all. Search for the best deals now to see what a cruise along one of the world’s most vibrant coastlines can offer you.

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