Do It Here, Do It There: West Coast Kayaking

Two Places to Kayak on the West Coast Both Near and Far for West Coast Residents

The west coast of the United States is a prime place for outdoor activities, all the way from California’s southern region to the west coast’s northern most region in Alaska. And thanks to cruising it’s easy to do exciting activities in both.

West Coast Kayaking in San Diego

If you live in Southern California, you probably already know that an outdoor lifestyle is one of the perks of living there thanks to all the gorgeous weather and sunny days. San Diego is especially known for its hiking and surf life. You might not know that it’s also a prime place for kayaking.

Here’s why San Diego is the “Do It Here” featured city for kayaking (and then read on to find out how to do it in Alaska during a cruise!):

San Diego has kayaking excursions that can be found in both the open ocean and Mission Bay. For some adventuresome kayaking, head to the waves of the Pacific Ocean at La Jolla Shores beach. Navigate your kayak over the breaking waves to calmer water where you’ll likely paddle past sunbathing sea lions on the coastal rocks before making your way to an opening in that rock; La Jolla Shores is adjacent to a tunnel of sea caves that can be explored when on a kayak tour. A kayak excursion guide can take you through the cave system and provide you with a helmet, too -- you'll definitely feel like an adventurous kayaker! 

Just east of the ocean in San Diego is Mission Bay, a winding saltwater lagoon that connects to the Pacific. Mission Bay is calm and you won't encounter any wave breaks that risk knocking your kayak over. It makes for a leisurely paddle under the bright sun. After your time kayaking around Mission Bay, you can head to nearby Mission Beach for an oceanview appetizer and drink, or try out the wooden roller coaster in Mission Beach's Belmont Park. 

Pacific Coastal Cruises to San Diego

If you don’t live in San Diego, a fun way to get there (and a way to avoid Southern California’s famous bumper to bumper traffic) is to take a Pacific Coastal cruise there.

A Pacific Coastal cruise often departs from Seattle or San Diego and visits ports of call along North America’s western coast. Typical ports of call include the two embarkation cities mentioned plus Astoria, Oregon; San Francisco, California; Monterey, California; Santa Barbara, California; Los Angeles, California; and Ensenada, Mexico. Catalina Island in California and the ports of Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia are also sometimes visited during Pacific Coastal cruises.

West Coast Kayaking in Alaska

Now for the “Do It There” part: a kayaking excursion in Alaska.

Kayaking in Alaska will likely be much more frigid than in San Diego, but bundle up and put on a waterproof coat because the views and thrills are well worth it.

A great Alaskan port city to spend time kayaking in is Ketchikan since it’s near Tongass National Forest, which is home to Tatoosh Islands. As you paddle around in the calm water surrounding the islands, you’ll have the chance to take in beautiful nature views from a place of solitude and calm. Glide through the water and keep your eyes on the lookout for bald eagles, whales, sea lions, deer, and other wildlife.

Visiting Ketchikan on an Alaskan Cruise

An easy way to visit Ketchikan and its surrounding wilderness is by taking a cruise there. Celebrity Cruises makes it effortless for west coast residents to sail to Alaska thanks to embarkation ports in both Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

These embarkation ports often have affordable airfare that can be found from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other west coast cities, plus it’s a quick flight.

In addition to having a port of call in Ketchikan, Celebrity Cruises also sails to many other popular Alaska destinations. What you’ll have the chance to see depends largely on what itinerary you pick. Two of Celebrity Cruises’ most popular Alaska itineraries are a Hubbard Glacier cruise and a Tracy Arm Fjord cruise.

On a Hubbard Glacier cruise you’ll sail through icy waters to the majestic Hubbard Glacier, where your ship captain will expertly position and maneuver the ship so guests on all sides of the ship will get a prime view of the glacier’s famous calving (when massive chunks of ice break off from the glacier and crash into the water).

Cruise itineraries that focus on Tracy Arm Fjord sail along the waterway made by the fjord while you’re surrounded by wilderness and icebergs. You’ll end up at Sawyer Glacier, where more spectacular calving takes place.

It’s not just glaciers and fjords on a Hubbard Glacier or Tracy Arm Fjord cruise. Common ports of call you’ll see on itineraries from Seattle and Vancouver include Victoria, British Columbia; and the Alaskan cities of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, along with a sail through Alaska’s beautiful Inside Passage.

Bookings for Alaska’s 2018 season are already well under way. The veranda staterooms and suites with ideal ship location tend to book up quickly (and most cruisers will tell you a veranda stateroom or suite on an Alaska cruise is a must!) so don’t miss out on getting your preferred stateroom because you waited too long to book. Reserve your cruise now and then start dreaming about icy glaciers and fun kayaking excursions.

Start searching for your perfect Alaska cruise itinerary today or speak with your travel agent.

Book Your Vacation Today

Cruise Deals

Explore the Blog