Over 200 ships will cruise to Alaska from Seattle this season, which Cruise Critic named as Best Homeport in North America 2016. The Alaska cruises are mostly seven days so it makes perfect sense to add a stop in Seattle or Washington State, before or after your cruise. 11 ships sail to Alaska from Seattle with the following companies:
Clipper Vacations offer daily year round ferry services from Seattle to/from Victoria on Vancouver Island. There are also seasonal services from Seattle to the San Juan Islands.
Washington State Ferries run eleven different shorter crossings around Puget Sound and to/from the San Juan Islands.
The Port of Seattle owns and operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a premier Pacific coast gateway, with non-stop service from 24 international cities and connecting flights to 81 US cities. Services at the Port’s two downtown cruise ship terminals make Seattle the preferred choice for Alaska or Pacific Northwest cruises on the USA west coast, via seven international cruise lines. Year-round service to Victoria, BC and the San Juan Islands is also available. The Port’s tourism mission, in partnership with Visit Seattle, is to encourage international visitors to Fly & Drive and Cruise & Stay. Be sure to check out PortSeattle.org
Seattle sails serenely into superb small ship cruising
Cruising from Seattle offers much more than a gateway to Alaska. Small ships reach inlets, channels and authentic petits ports which giant liners with swimming pools and theatres can only glide past. For example, Uncruise and the American Cruise Line offer exciting roundtrip itineraries from Seattle. Uncruise celebrated its 21st anniversary in 2017.
Uncruise has a 7 night holiday, Explore! Olympic Wilderness and San Juan Islands, which includes Whidbey Island, Deception Pass, Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands and the Olympic Peninsula. Experience kayaking and paddleboarding in glacial fiords, hiking in temperate rainforest, see whales, orcas, sea lions and seabirds galore and enjoy some of the freshest local oysters and clams ever, on board the ‘Wilderness Discoverer’ with 76 guests.
British Columbia’s Yachter’s Paradise, out of Seattle, is a 7 day Uncruise which includes wonderful days in the Salish Sea and Puget Sound coupled with fiords further north in Canada. This is an intimate trip of only 22 guests, and includes high tea in Victoria, the Whale Museum at Friday Harbor, orcas, eagles and Dall’s porpoises.
American Cruise Lines’ Puget Sound and San Juan Islands itinerary on the ‘American Spirit’ takes up to 100 passengers on 7 days of bliss delving into delightful small towns such as La Conner and Victorian Port Townsend. Spend time in Victoria and Port Angeles as well as the Scandinavian and Native American cultures in Poulsbo.
All of these trips are best bookended with a few brilliant days in Seattle, the Emerald City, which Cruise Critic named as Best Homeport in North America 2016.
With non-stop daily flights from London on British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, Seattle is Britain’s most direct gateway to the Pacific Northwest. Norwegian offers four direct, non stop flights a week from Gatwick and from May 2018, Thomas Cook Airlines launched direct flights from Manchester to Seattle and Aer Lingus have also launched direct flights from Dublin to Seattle. Icelandair and other airlines offer one-stop flights from airports around the UK and Ireland.