Explore The Outer Beach Towns
Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu and Long Beach are four of Los Angeles’ most popular beach destinations. Of the four, Malibu is the most remote and least urban head here for surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Depending on traffic, you can get to Long Beach in 40 minutes, while the others take around an hour.
Best For Multigenerational Groups
Sailing with grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and kids? Try Celebrity Cruises, Holland America and Princess Cruises. These cruise lines, especially on their newer ships, offer something for everyone, as well as a higher caliber of onboard dining than on the cheapest cruises. Kids can hang out in the youth lounges while parents hit the spa or try a wine tasting class. Everyone can come back together for dinner and evening entertainment or onboard activities suitable for all ages.
When To Book An Alaska Cruise
The best time to book an Alaska cruise is right when a cruise line first opens bookings on that sailing, often more than a year in advance. Youll have your pick of itineraries and cabins balcony cabins are very popular in this scenic destination and often the best fares. Because Alaska has such a short season with a limited number of ships and is a dream trip for many, cruises are in high demand and people plan early.
If you wait to book, youre not entirely out of luck. Cruise lines often run sales in the fall or in the early months of the year . You can take advantage of discounted fares, free upgrades or complimentary add-ons, such as Wi-Fi, gratuities, restaurant meals, beverage packages and tours. Some of the most desirable cabins might be sold out being flexible about your sail date or itinerary can help.
In general, waiting until the last minute is not the best idea, unless you live in Seattle or Vancouver and dont need to book flights. While some less preferred sail dates or cabin categories may have availability a few months out spurring cruise lines to drop rates, you might have trouble finding affordable airfare and pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodations that do not eat up your cruise savings.
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Best Alaska Cruises For Families With Kids
Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean all have extensive kids clubs aboard their ships that cater to all ages, from babies to teens. Little kids will adore meet-and-greets with beloved characters onboard Disney cruises or hanging with Dr. Seuss characters when sailing with Carnival. Older kids will love the rock climbing walls, video game stations, sports courts, go-karts and laser tag on Royal Caribbean and Disney ships.
What Is An Alaska Inside Passage Cruise
An Alaska Inside Passage cruise is a popular route that sticks to the southeastern Alaskan panhandle area. The Inside Passage is a network of waterways that connect Puget Sound in Washington, the Pacific coast of British Columbia, and the waters of the Alaska panhandle. It provides views of the Tongass National Forest, many islands, and plenty of mining towns used by prospectors in the Klondike Gold Rush.
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Los Angeles Cruises Highlights
- Bike through El Dorado East Regional Park.
- Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific.
- Take a short trip to the beautiful Santa Catalina Island.
- Relax at the scenic Belmont Shore Beach.
- Walk along the Rainbow Harbor Esplanade for fantastic city views.
- Explore the canals of the Naples neighborhood.
- Visit the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.
- Have fun at Knott’s Berry Farm.
- Check out the Shoreline Village.
- Shop at the Long Beach Antique Market.
- See beautiful ocean views from Bluff Park.
- Grab a bite to eat at L’Opera Ristorante.
Los Angeles Cruise Guide
Due to its location along the Pacific Coast, many cruise itineraries to Mexico, the Panama Canal, South America, the Transpacific and Hawaii depart from the city of Los Angeles. This is the best port to find affordable getaways to the Mexican Riviera.
The port itself is actually located in Long Beach, which is a short drive away from the big-city L.A., but also has its fair share of attractions. You can stay overnight at the Queen Mary, a retired vintage luxury ocean liner that is rumored to be haunted and offers ghost tours. Take a dip in the calm waters at the beach, or take a whale watching tour along the Pacific Ocean. Once youve seen it all at the port, a short ride by car, Uber or the L.A. Metro brings you to the star-studded city of Los Angeles, where you can easily spend a week exploring all that it has to offer.
There are many ways to snap a picture of the infamous Hollywood sign, depending on the angle youd like. If you have a car you can make a pit stop along Deronda Drive, and take a quick walk over to the sign. If youre looking for more of a challenge, take the 6-mile hike along the Brush Canyon Trail, where youll eventually get that picture-perfect shot. You can also see the sign from outside of the Griffith Observatory, where for a small fee you can go up to the top of the observatory and take in the best panoramic views of the city of Los Angeles.
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Los Angeles Cruise Packages
Like most coastal cities, there truly is no best time to visit Long Beach! It’s beautiful year-round, so no matter when your cruise sets sail from Long Beach, you will be happy with the weather. However, there are certain times of the year to visit if you wish to avoid the crowds and higher accommodation prices.
- Spring and Fall – October to November and March to April – Shoulder Season
The shoulder season is usually said to be the best time to visit a place because prices are affordable, the weather is good, and it’s never really as busy as the summer months. During the spring season, the temperature averages 71Â°F while the fall averages 76Â°F. Prices are affordable during this time, and crowds aren’t overbearing.
- Summer – May to September – High Season
The summer is the most popular time to visit Long Beach. The temperature is quite warm and ranges typically in the 80’s. Because so many people visit during this time, accommodation prices are at their highest. Theme parks are incredibly busy during this time and will have long wait lines for rides and attractions.
- Winter – December to February – Low Season
The least amount of people visit during the winter months, even though the weather is still gorgeous! The temperature during this time averages 67Â°F, and the sun is still shining. The winter is a great time to witness and experience Long Beach. Prices during this time are relatively low for accommodation.
Alaska Cruises From Los Angeles
A major U.S. cruise departure port and home to over a dozen cruise lines ships. Cruises from Los Angeles span the globe. The most popular cruises from Los Angeles are the year-round sailings to Mexico, and the fall through spring sailings to Hawaii and the Panama Canal. Cruises from Los Angeles also include Australia and the South Pacific.
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Please note that all prices on our website are in US dollars, and travel purchases must be completed with a major credit card.Unless you are considering one of our custom cruise itineraries, certain cruise lines prohibit US-based travel agencies from selling to non-US residents.
All passengers regardless of their home country, citizenship or country of residency are responsible for obtaining the proper documentation for travel. This includes passports and visas for any country they may visit during their trip.
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Alaska Cruise Guide: Best Itineraries Planning Tips And Things To Do
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Alaska may be one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it can also be rugged and tricky to get around. Explore the Last Frontier by cruise ship and you can travel to Gold Rush towns, glaciers, Alaska Native heritage sites and natural areas brimming with wildlife in comfort, even luxury.
When planning an Alaska cruise, you have many things to consider: when to go for the experience youre anticipating, which cruise line is best suited to your travel style, the best Alaska cruise ports to visit and which shoreside activities you want to prioritize. Its not the kind of trip you want to throw together at the last minute especially since the best fare deals typically go to organized travelers who book early.
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If youre eager to spot bald eagles in the wild, ride a dogsled atop an ice field or pan for gold after a hearty salmon feast, an Alaska cruise is calling your name. Dive into The Points Guys Alaska cruise guide for all the planning tips you need for your dream cruise up north.
Cruises From Vancouver To Los Angeles
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Best Cruise Lines For Adventure
Active travelers may prefer expedition-style voyages on smaller ships that include more time for adventurous activities, such as hiking in the Tongass National Forest, wildlife and glacier viewing from Zodiac rafts or kayaks, or even overnight camping. These ships often feature complimentary shore excursions, kayaks and bikes for guest use and onboard scientists and naturalists.
If youve got active teens who have an interest in nature and the environment, an expedition voyage could be exactly what will keep them engaged and off their devices. Just expect the majority of your shipmates to be older adults.
Look to UnCruise Adventures, Alaskan Dream Cruises, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions and Ponant for the best adventure cruises.
Helpful Tips Before You Go
- Be aware of the unusual length of days and nights in these northern latitudes. In May or June, the sun doesnt set until after 11pm giving you more time to see more of Alaska.
- In Alaska, some of the best tasting water comes right out of the tap. Thats because its glacial watercrisp, clean and clear.
- Much of Alaska is covered by a rainforest, so pack water-resistant clothing.
- Temperatures can vary based on what you are doing . Wearing layers can help keep you comfortable throughout the day no matter what the activity.
- Book Flights by Celebrity® to be protected in case there is any cancellation.
- Research the shore excursions and book them in advance, pre-cruise. The popular shore excursions get sold out fast.
- All destinations in Alaska take U.S. dollars and most take credit cards but be sure to check before your purchase.
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Cruises To Alaska From Los Angeles
Alaska cruises from Los Angeles exist, but there aren’t many. Only a few round-trip cruises are available. See the departure calendar below.
Alaska is an extremely popular cruise destination because a ship is the best way to visit the isolated towns and see glaciers. The wildlife and local culture are big attractions. Splurging on a balcony cabin is highly recommended because the Alaska scenery is spectacular.
What is there to do on an Alaskan cruise? Popular shore excursions include dogsled rides, helicopters to glaciers, trains to the Yukon, river floats, panning for gold, fishing expeditions, float-plane rides, seafood feasts, hikes and Jeep safaris. Plan ahead to make the most of each port of call.
Best Alaska Cruise Ports
The best Alaska cruise ports are also the most crowded because no matter which type of itinerary and cruise line you select, youll likely visit a mix of the same ports. The immediate port area will be filled with tourist shops and eateries. If you want to see nature at its finest, youll need to book a tour or otherwise venture farther afield.
If you want to see some of Alaskas most rustic and charming villages or stick to wild places, book a voyage with a line like Alaskan Dream Cruises and UnCruise that visits destinations like Baranof Island, Chichagof Island, Petersburg and Wrangell.
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Longer Sailings From The West Coast
Finally, youll find some San Francisco round-trip itineraries usually 10 nights long as well as longer sailings between San Francisco and Vancouver. These cruises are best suited to travelers who love days at sea.
Youll have four sea days plus a day of scenic cruising at a spot like Tracy Arm , Endicott Arm, Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay National Park. The waters before you enter the Inside Passage can be calm, rough or anything in between, depending on when you go.
Ports on these longer sailings may include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Victoria, British Columbia.
You may also find one-way repositioning cruises between southern California ports and Vancouver at the beginning or end of a ships Alaska cruise season.
What To Bring On An Alaska Cruise
When it comes to packing for an Alaska cruise, your mantra should always be: dress in layers. On the same day, you might be warm in town but chilly on your tour to a glacier. If you plan on hiking, kayaking or riding on a dog sled, youll need the appropriate activewear.
Definitely pack for rain consider skipping the umbrella and instead bringing a wide-brimmed waterproof hat, rain jacket, rain pants and waterproof shoes or boots.
This is also the trip for a camera with good telephoto lenses and binoculars. For more on what to bring on an Alaska cruise, check out our Alaska cruise packing list.
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Things To Do In Alaska
Alaska cruises offer a wide range of activities in port, with options for active travelers, wildlife lovers, history buffs and shoppers. Whether youre traveling with young kids or require more sedentary recreation, the Alaska cruise ports wont disappoint.
Wildlife tours are available in every port. Hop a bus, kayak, boat or plane to look for bears, eagles, whales, sea otters and other wildlife. Note that moose dont regularly show up in the Inside Passage youll need to head more north to find them.
Book a fishing trip to try your hand at catching salmon or halibut, or go out crab fishing for a glimpse into that type of work.
Active travelers can explore Alaska by sea kayak or canoe, hike on glaciers and through rainforests, zip line, bike, ride an ATV and even snorkel . You can even opt for a round of golf at the course in Haines.
In Alaska, sightseeing doesnt only take place on the ground. Floatplane and helicopter tours take you around scenic areas like Misty Fjords or land you on a glacier, perhaps for a dogsledding or hiking adventure on the ice. If you prefer to stay grounded, you can find informative trolley tours of ports like Skagway.
Shopping abounds, and you can buy everything from diamond jewelry to T-shirts and other souvenirs. Youll need to look carefully for Alaskan-owned stores selling local handicrafts, but theyre worth seeking out.
Best Alaska Cruise Lines
Most big-ship and luxury cruise lines send at least one cruise ship to Alaska every summer. Some of the best Alaska cruise lines are Holland America and Princess because they have especially long histories in the region and offer cruises, as well as cruise and land tour combinations, on multiple ships each season.
If you want a more active trip in less touristed areas, a great choice would be a small-ship expedition line, including Alaska specialists such as Alaskan Dream Cruises and UnCruise Adventures.
Ships in all price ranges sail a variety of itineraries, so dont let budget stop you from visiting. If luxury is what youre after, you can find lines that will go overboard pampering you on your journey north.
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