California is home to amusement parks, movie stars, and miles upon miles of beaches. Add in some of the world’s best wine regions, epic scenic drives, and iconic cities, and you have a recipe for a fantastic cruise vacation.
Our California cruises include itineraries that focus heavily on California destinations and sail up and down nearly the entire Pacific coastline of California. These cruises will stop in iconic cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and offer passengers a true California experience.
In addition to California cruise stops, your Pacific Coastal itinerary will call at ports in Oregon and Washington, and sometimes in Ensenada, Mexico, as well. Our Pacific Coastal itineraries also have an overnight in San Francisco.
California Coastal cruises typically sail during shoulder season, which is the time right before and after California’s busy summer season. You’ll find cruises sailing between San Diego and Vancouver, British Columbia, in March, April, May, September, October, and November.
You can also find a cruise from California (San Diego or Los Angeles) with us that takes you to the Panama Canal, Hawaii and South America. A Panama Canal cruise should be on everyone’s bucket list to have the opportunity to marvel in the engineering wonder that is the Panama Canal. These itineraries sail a one-way itinerary from San Diego through the Panama Canal and end in Florida, or vice versa and depart in October and November.
Panama Canal cruises aren’t the only itineraries you can embark on from California. There are also cruises that leave California and sail to Chile, visiting ports in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru along the way. Since South America offers so much to see and do, travelers find that taking a cruise to South America gives the perfect overview to this vast continent.
You can also do a round-trip cruise to the tropical islands of Hawaii from Los Angeles. In a class of their own, Hawaii cruises offer stunning natural beauty everywhere you look.
California cruise itineraries will take you to beloved city skylines, diverse and exciting food scenes, and breweries and wineries that are considered some of the best in the world. And you can’t forget about those fabulous beaches California is famous for.
California has one of the most famous scenic drives in the country: The Pacific Coast Highway. During a California cruise, you won’t be able to drive all of it, but you can do parts. Along the way you’ll see oceanfront cities, marine mammals, surf towns, and lovely sandy beaches.
A California cruise will take you to some of the most bucket list worthy cities in the U.S. See the glitz and glam of Los Angeles, the epicenter of the movie industry. In San Diego, discover the surfer lifestyle alongside breweries and seafood. San Francisco is famous for its hilly landscape and Golden Gate Bridge.
Santa Ynez, Sonoma, and Napa all await you and your taste buds during a California cruise. Do vineyard tours to learn about grape growing and wine making, then sample flights in beautiful winery tasting rooms. You can even board a Napa wine train while in port in San Francisco.
The ports you’ll visit in California will largely depend on whether you’re taking a cruise along the Pacific coastline of California or taking a cruise from California to one of our exotic destinations, like Hawaii.
Our ports of call for California cruises visit some of the best cities in northern, central, and southern California. Beyond the iconic cities, you’ll even find a stop at some of California’s most charming places. Some California cruises will stop in Catalina Island, a beautiful southern California island. Monterey is a favorite among nature lovers with it’s rugged central coast, and Santa Barbara charms visitors with its Mediterranean style buildings.
The cities of San Diego and Los Angeles tend to serve as ports from which you cruise from California to one of our popular cruise destinations or where you disembark from those itineraries, and you’ll find convenient shore excursions that combine sightseeing with airport drop-off if it’s the latter.
The best California shore excursions take you to places that combine the beauty of the state with interesting and fun activities.
While in Monterey, take an excursion along one of the most famous parts of the Pacific Coast Highway: the 17-Mile Drive. You’ll see incredible scenery with rugged, rocky coastline framed by cypress trees and frequented by sea lions, before the drive culminates at Pebble Beach Golf Links course.
This former prison in San Francisco Bay is located in the middle of Alcatraz Island and is infamous for both its well-known prison inmates (like Al Capone) and for being said to be impossible to escape from. During an excursion to Alcatraz, you can tour the prison grounds and see inside the cells.
From Santa Barbara, take a shore excursion to the adorable town of Solvang, where you’ll find a Danish village complete with Danish architecture and pastries. Wander along the charming streets and take breaks in one of Solvang’s many wine tasting rooms to sample some local vintages.
When figuring out what to pack for a cruise to California keep in mind that California may be known for its beaches and sunshine, but it can get considerably cooler in the evening hours from the sea breeze. Daytime hours during shoulder season can also be a bit cooler than you might expect by the California coast so pack a cardigan or sweatshirt to throw on over your shirt while you’re in port.
Leave room in that suitcase to bring back some souvenirs, too. Popular California souvenirs are local craft beer, surf attire, and anything beach-related. You can also join a wine club to get a souvenir that keeps on giving every few months when you get your delivery!