How cruising can help you visit San Francisco close to home and the wonders of Lisbon across the sea.
Do It Here: Ride the Cable Car in San Francisco
Along with the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf, the cable cars — which look like old-fashioned trolleys — that hum around the hilly streets of San Francisco are one of the city’s most well-known sights.
If you’re a west coaster who lives in San Francisco or the Bay Area, you may be more likely to take your car or the commuter train around. But if you need something fun to do on your day off work, consider being a tourist for the day in San Francisco by taking the cable car around.
It’s a fun way to enjoy a nice day and see some of San Francisco’s top sites plus get a view of all those cool row homes lining the streets of San Francisco without having to trudge up and down steep hills.
Don’t live in the Bay Area? Even better to play tourist for the day on the cable car! It’s easy for most west coasters to get to San Francisco thanks to many direct flights from airports in San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle. You can also drive there in less than six hours from Los Angeles (depending on traffic, of course). Or, you could really make a vacation out of visiting San Francisco and take a Pacific Coastal cruise there!
Pacific Coastal Cruise Ports of Call
A Pacific Coastal cruise travels up and down the west coast and stops at some of the most gorgeous cities bordering the Pacific. You’ll depart from San Diego, California; Los Angeles, California; Seattle, Washington; or Vancouver, British Columbia.
Along the way, here are some of the U.S. ports of call your Pacific Coastal cruise might stop in:
San Diego, California
Known for its laidback surfer vibe, San Diego has a plethora of beaches to choose from to visit, including Mission Beach which is adjacent to a bustling boardwalk and amusement park. Another option is to have some some animal viewing excitement at San Diego’s world-renowned zoo or the Point Loma tide pools.
Los Angeles, California
Head to the famous Hollywood Sign and Walk of Fame, or stick close to shore and relax on Venice Beach or take a walk along bustling Santa Monica Pier and check out some of its rides and games.
Santa Barbara, California
Take in the gorgeous beaches, walk down the tony main street lined by popular shops, or do the urban wine trail right in the city. Santa Barbara is also close to Santa Ynez wine valley (made famous in the movie Sideways), a popular excursion for wine aficionados.
This former fishing village is famous for its Cannery Row, which used be lined by sardine canning factories. Today, Cannery Row is home to cute shops and Monterey’s beloved aquarium.
Can’t forget this one! In addition to riding the cable car, you can walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, look for sunning seals by Fisherman’s Wharf, or have a picnic lunch on the grassy area in front of the Painted Ladies – a row of pretty pastel-colored Victorian homes.
Hit up some of the city’s breweries and find out why Oregon is often touted as one of the top craft brewery destinations in the world. Or make your way to one of Astoria’s museums, such as the Columbia River Maritime Museum where you can learn more about the city’s past.
Grab a latte at one of Seattle’s many coffee shops or go take a tour and see how coffee beans are roasted at the Starbucks Roastery. Next, visit the first Starbucks by Pike Place Market and watch fish being thrown at the fresh fish booths in the market.
Your Pacific Coastal cruise also may stop in Vancouver or Victoria, British Columbia; Ensenada, Mexico; and Catalina, California.
Do It There: Take the Lisbon tram
If exploring a city on cute transportation is your idea of a fun time, then you’ll also love visiting Lisbon, Portugal.
Lisbon was one of the countries on our Where to Cruise in 2018 list for west coasters. Here’s what we had to say about it:
“Portugal is a hot destination right now, and if you’re a west coaster you probably love beaches, vibrant cities, and gorgeous scenery. Lisbon has all that plus some pretty incredible historic sites. Amble along the edge of São Jorge Castle ruins, which also boast panoramic views of the ocean. Hop on a yellow tram and glide by top sights like the Sé Cathedral. Or head to the beach on an excursion and enjoy lounging by the glistening Atlantic with views of mountains around you.”
In addition to all of its gorgeous coastal beauty, Lisbon is also home to a tram system that zips around the city streets. Lisbon’s most famous tram is Tram 28. This is because it travels through some of Lisbon’s most famous areas, including the must-see Alfama District and Graca neighborhood.
Europe Cruise Itineraries that Sail to Lisbon
Celebrity Cruises has a variety of cruise itineraries that make a port of call stop in Lisbon.
You can choose one that visits Lisbon and also sails to the exotic Canary Islands.
If you prefer big cities over islands, choose a Western Mediterranean itinerary that stops in Lisbon and also visits Rome, Italy; Provence, France; and Barcelona, Spain.
If Northern Europe is more appealing to you, there are itineraries that sail to Lisbon along with ports in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the northern coast of France.
While in the city, you also may enjoy exploring beyond a typical Lisbon tram route and a great way to do that is with a shore excursion.
Ready to explore beyond the west coast you call home and explore the west coast of Portugal? Book your cruise vacation to Lisbon by visiting Celebrity Cruises or speak with your travel agent.