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A Guide to Cruising for West Coast Residents

If you live on the west coast of the United States, a cruise vacation can be an excellent respite from daily life due to the west coast having cruise home ports and major airport hubs. Here’s what you need to know about cruising if you’re a west coast resident.

Home Embarkation Ports

When you live on the west coast you have several different cruise home ports that are a short drive or flight away. These home ports are so called that because they are the port from which the cruise embarks on its journey, and if it’s a roundtrip cruise that means you’ll end your cruise back in that home port, making for a convenient cruise if you’re on a budget and looking to save on airfare. So what are these west coast cruise ports? For Celebrity Cruises they are:

San Diego, California: This cruise home port is close to the popular downtown Gaslamp Quarter and San Diego’s famous beaches, providing an added bonus for those who want to add a couple days before or after their cruise to explore the city.

Los Angeles, California: Southern and central California residents can drive to Los Angeles’ cruise harbor, Port of Los Angeles, located in northern LA in the community of San Pedro.

Seattle, Washington: Pacific Northwest residents have an easy drive to Seattle’s harbor, where you can conveniently start your cruise vacation without having to fly.

Vancouver, British Columbia: If you don’t mind driving a few hours farther north past Seattle or a quick international flight, a cruise out of Vancouver will give you additional itinerary options.

Popular Cruise Itineraries from the West Coast

When it comes to what itineraries you can go on that leave from these home ports, you have a few different options, from sunshine and engineering masterpieces to national parks and icebergs.

Alaska Cruises

Alaska Cruises depart from the west coast home port of Seattle, Washington. You can also catch an Alaska cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia, just north of the Washington border. Alaska Cruises combine coastal ports of call like Ketchikan, Skagway, and Juneau, with days focused on natural scenery. Those natural wonders may include (depending on itinerary) Hubbard Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, and cruising Alaska’s inner passage.

Pacific Coastal Cruises

Pacific Coastal Cruises are an easy getaway for west coasters since they depart from the west coast – typically San Francisco, Los Angeles, or San Diego – and travel up and down the west coast. You’ll visit iconic west coast ports of call like Santa Barbara, California; Astoria, Oregon; and the island of Catalina off the southern coast of California. You’ll also likely visit Vancouver or Victoria in British Columbia or possibly Ensenada, Mexico, turning your west coast getaway into an international vacation.

Hawaii Cruises

Sail to America’s 50th state and find out why the Hawaiian Islands are such a vacation hot spot. Celebrity Cruises leaves from Los Angeles on select Hawaii cruises. For northern west coast residents, you can also find Hawaii cruises that depart from Vancouver, British Columbia. Your Hawaii cruise will include ports of call on a few different Hawaiian Islands plus several days at sea for you to enjoy the ship’s amenities and activities.

Panama Canal Cruises

Experience one of the world’s most impressive engineering masterpieces in the best possible way: the Panama Canal via cruise ship. On a Panama Canal, you can depart from San Diego and sail through the Panama Canal on a luxuriously appointed cruise ship. Experience the intricate lock system first-hand and marvel at it from your stateroom veranda or one of the ship’s decks while enjoying a drink. Your Panama Canal cruise will visit several other ports of call in South and Central America, and you’ll end your cruise in Florida. From Florida, it’s an easy one-way flight back to the west coast. (You can also start your Panama Canal cruise in Florida and end it in San Diego.)

Passport Requirements

Due to the types of itineraries west coasters can depart on from west coast home ports, it is possible to go on a cruise, but only experience U.S. ports of call if you choose not to get off at one of the Canadian ports of call on, for example, an Alaska or Pacific Coastal cruise.

Some people think this is a way to cruise and not have to get a passport issued if you don’t currently have a passport. However, it’s important to know that all cruises with Celebrity Cruises sail into international waters meaning you have to have a passport even if you don’t get off the ship in international ports of call.

Best Airports for International Flights

Now let’s get to those other flights you might want to take for cruising. If dreams of the Mediterranean or Southeast Asia or another far-off destination are filling your head, you can still get there easily thanks to a cruise plus the fact that you probably live close to a major airport. The west coast is lucky to have LAX, SFO, and SEA plus a host of smaller airports that still fly internationally, giving you lots of options for finding a great deal on a flight to your embarkation port.

What do LAX, SFO, and SEA stand for? If you’re not already familiar, those are the airport codes for Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (referred to as SEA-TAC by locals). You also may find deals on flights overseas from San Diego, California; Portland, Oregon; and (if you don’t mind heading north over the border to catch your flight) Vancouver, British Columbia.

From one of these airports you should be able to easily find a flight that is the preferred time and price for you to get to your cruise, especially since there are often direct flights from these airports to embarkation ports such as Venice, Italy; Sydney, Australia; and Barcelona, Spain.

To make sure your flight arrangement as stress-free as possible, book your airfare using Flights by Celebrity.

Flights by Celebrity gives you a worry-free way to book your airfare since it provides peace of mind on price thanks to its Lowest Airfare Guarantee, and it provides protection for your cruise vacation investment since you will have access to a dedicated group of specialists who are available all day and all night to work on your behalf in the event of a flight interruption. The Flights by Celebrity specialists will work to get you rebooked on another flight so you can still get to your cruise ship on time.

Book Your Cruise & Get Resident Rates

To book your cruise vacation from a west coast home port or to a dream destination around the world, visit Celebrity Cruises and search for the itinerary that is perfect for you, or speak with a travel agent. As a west coast resident, your itinerary may be eligible for special resident rates, too!

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