It might not be as popular for cruisers as the west coast, but the east coast of the USA has interesting ports and unique itineraries on offer. Plus, it’s easily accessible from Asia with a number of airlines flying direct to major cruise departure points.
There’s a reason hundreds of songs have been written about California. From its sun-kissed beaches (inhabited by equally sun-kissed surfers) to the towering redwood forests and the movie star dreams of Hollywood, it’s an almost mythical place. Around half a million people cruise from Los Angeles each year, heading to Mexico, Hawaii, the South Pacific, South America, up the California Coast or through the Panama Canal. LA is great for celebrity spotting, shopping, sunbathing, dining and hiking in the canyons that surround the city.
In the north of the state, San Francisco is a city that constantly reinvents itself. From the home of the hippy movement in the 1960s to the dot com hub of the 1990s and now the preferred home of internet startups, it’s always at the cutting edge of business and culture. It’s known as the City by the Bay and sits on one of America’s most beautiful stretches of waterfront. It’s also close to the wine producing areas of Sonoma and Napa Valley.
San Diego sits just across the border from Mexico and has a more laid back, relaxed vibe than LA or San Fran. It’s full of hip neighbourhoods where new bars and restaurants open every week, and where interesting markets spring up every weekend. Don’t miss a visit to Coronado, a quiet little island in the bay where locals head to escape the city.
But there’s much more to the west coast than just California. Seattle, Washington, is one of the most popular cruise ports in the USA. Most cruises head towards Alaska but there are also a few cruises along the Pacific Coast or even to Australia. Small ship cruises are available to explore the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Seattle is a seriously cool city, famous for its live music scene and trendy markets. Or try Portland, Oregon, which proudly promotes itself as America’s capital of weird. There are eccentric shops, galleries, festivals and sporting events held year round.