If you were asked to imagine a USA cruise, you’d be forgiven for thinking of an iconic transatlantic crossing to New York. But what about the West Coast? OK, it’s not exactly a quick hop over the pond to the land of Californian sunshine but a cruise from the West Coast makes for a truly unforgettable experience.
With Princess Cruises and Holland America Line offering an excellent choice of itineraries, there’s really no excuse not to experience one for yourself as you explore iconic US cities and enjoy real-life paradise beaches. That’s because on a West Coast cruise, not only do you sail from and arrive back into a world-famous US city, but you get to explore the beautiful islands of Hawaii too.
Born in the USA
When it comes to American cities that almost anyone can name, Los Angeles and San Francisco are of course up there with New York and Washington DC and for many good reasons. San Francisco is of course home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge – a landmark built for the city’s world 1939 Expo which like so many others constructed for the World Trade Fair has stood the test of time to become one of the USA’s signature landmarks. The city’s maritime heritage, famously steep streets and accompanying trams are also yours to experience.
San Fran is a popular departure point for a number of Princess Cruises itineraries, as is Los Angeles, legendary sun-drenched escape and home to Beverley Hills. If you’re taking the kids (OK even if you’re not) the incredible Universal Studios Hollywood is within reach if you’re enjoying a cruise and stay before you set sail, while the scenic Getty Centre and Griffith Observatory offer more than enough cultural respite.
Holland America Line is a great choice if you want to cruise the west coast from what is one of the USA’s most sun-drenched cities, San Diego. Being that it’s California’s southern-most major city that’s hardly surprising, but a day on the beach here can easily have somewhat of a Mexican feel about it. Inland in the city itself, the amazing San Diego Zoo is sure to be a hit with visitors of all ages and is one of the world’s biggest and most famous zoos, home to an amazing number of animals.
Hawaii is of course the USA’s 50th state but it’s safe to stay the atmosphere is very different. Some of us are guilty of thinking of Hawaii as one island but it in fact comprises eight main islands and numerous smaller ones. A voyage to all those would take you a little too long, but there are some high points you can experience on a cruise with both Princes Cruises and Holland America Line.
Hawaii itself, or The Big Island as it is known locally, is served by the port of Hilo, which is your gateway to the awesome Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes. There are also tropical gardens to explore, otherworldly lava tree landscapes as well as the dramatic 442ft Rainbow Falls.
O’ahu is another cruiser’s favourite and home to the Hawaiian capital Honolulu, which is the state’s only main city. Surf’s always up in the glorious Waimea Bay, while Hanauma Bay is the perfect place for the ultimate paradise beach chill-out, offering glorious white sands and coral reefs. The island’s also home to the popular and poignant Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial.
Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island. Also known as The Garden Island, it certainly lives up to its name, offering such jaw-dropping natural wonders as Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. The island’s Wailua River provides natural wonders galore and a hiking trail to remember, while, even if you’ve never visited the Hawaiian islands before, the Na Pali Coast may just look familiar as it provided the backdrop in such movies as Jurassic Park and King Kong.
Feel inspired? We have an excellent choice of West Coast and Hawaii itineraries available, so take a look at what’s on offer then call your Cruise Concierge today to book.