Our Ultimate Guide To Cruising To The USA’s West Coast

Our Ultimate Guide To Cruising To The USA’s West Coast

The West Coast USA offers a rich mosaic of vibrant cities, serene coastlines, and iconic landmarks. From the sun-drenched beaches of California to the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest, taking a cruise along this gorgeous coastline is an adventure not to be missed. 

Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or considering your first voyage, our guide will help you navigate the best that West Coast cruises have to offer. We’ll delve into the details of fly cruises to the USA, the spectacular destinations you can visit, and the remarkable sights and exciting activities you can experience along the way.

So, settle down and read on to learn what wonders await you with a West Coast cruise.

Fly Cruises to the West Coast

For UK travellers, fly cruises are an excellent way to begin your West Coast holidays without the hassle of lengthy sea voyages. While Southampton to USA cruises are available, these typically focus on the East Coast, which is significantly closer and easier to navigate than getting to the West Coast of the USA from the UK.

Fly cruises typically involve travelling by air from major UK airports to a US gateway, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco, where you’ll embark on your cruise ship for the West Coast. The logistics are taken care of by your cruise line or travel agency, including flights, transfers, and sometimes pre-cruise hotel stays, ensuring a seamless start to your holiday. Once you land, you’ll be whisked away to your awaiting ship, ready to set sail along the breathtaking Pacific coastline.

Princess Cruises is one of the leading cruise lines offering a range of stunning West Coast USA cruises with flights from the UK. Our Wonderful West Coast page shares more details on the options available.  

Unmissable West Coast Stops

Cruise the West Coast USA and be prepared to be dazzled by the array of destinations awaiting you. From illustrious cities to extraordinary natural wonders, there’s something for everyone to marvel at:

Los Angeles, California

UK fly cruises to Los Angeles are an easy and convenient way to discover the Pacific coastline. Start here for your West Coast cruise, and you can explore the endless attractions of this ‘City of Angels’. 

Immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown as you stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, catch a glimpse of the stars’ homes in Beverly Hills, or bask in the sun on the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica. 

Don’t forget to also explore the vibrant neighbourhoods of Downtown LA, where you’ll find world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Whatever your holiday style, Los Angeles is a must-see when you cruise the West Coast USA.

San Diego, California

Experience the laid-back vibes of Southern California in sunny San Diego. Discover the rich maritime history of the USS Midway Museum, wander through the lush landscapes of Balboa Park, or relax on the pristine beaches of Coronado Island.

Also, be sure to visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Safari Park for an unforgettable wildlife experience.

San Francisco, California

Fall in love with the eclectic charm of the ‘City by the Bay’, San Francisco. Take a scenic drive across the infamous Golden Gate Bridge, sample delicious cuisine in the bustling neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, or hop on a historic cable car for a journey through time.

Making time to visit Alcatraz Island is also highly recommended for a fascinating glimpse into the city’s storied past.

Seattle, Washington

Known as the ‘Emerald City’, Seattle is a common starting point for USA cruises heading both north to Alaska and south along the California coast. Before boarding your ship, take time to delight in the Pacific Northwest’s vibrant culture and breathtaking scenery.

Explore the bustling Pike Place Market, ascend the renowned Space Needle for panoramic city views, or embark on a culinary adventure in one of Seattle’s well-known restaurants. 

Must-See Attractions on West Coast Cruises

While the West Coast itself is filled with numerous attractions, there are also incredible opportunities for onshore excursions that take you a bit further afield to some of the USA’s most celebrated landmarks. 

Cruise the West Coast USA combined with venturing inland to discover some of these iconic attractions:

Las Vegas, Nevada

Though a desert city away from the coast, meaning a cruise to Las Vegas is not technically possible, many cruise guests opt for an excursion to this dazzling oasis. Disembark from your cruise ship in Los Angeles and head to Las Vegas, where the lights are brighter, the entertainment is grander, and the possibilities are endless.

Test your luck at world-class casinos, catch a spectacular live show featuring music, magic, or comedy, or simply soak in the electrifying atmosphere of the Las Vegas Strip. The nearby wonders of Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon also make excellent day trips.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Another awe-inspiring detour from your West Coast cruise is the Grand Canyon. Accessible via a long day trip or an overnight excursion from Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon offers breathtaking views and a stark reminder of nature’s power and beauty.

Options like helicopter tours provide a unique perspective of this natural wonder. For the ultimate adventure, consider camping under the stars on the canyon floor or rafting down the Colorado River.

Yosemite National Park, California

No trip to the West Coast would be complete without a visit to Yosemite National Park, one of the most revered natural landscapes in the United States. Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, it’s famous for its giant, ancient sequoia trees, the formidable cliff faces of El Capitan and Half Dome, and the spectacular Bridalveil Fall. 

Each season in Yosemite presents its own unique charm, from the blooming wildflowers in spring to the snow-covered tranquillity of winter. As a hub for visitors, it provides easy access to panoramic viewpoints and the starting points for various hiking trails. If you’re seeking a deeper connection with nature, the park offers a range of outdoor activities, from hiking and rock climbing to bird watching and stargazing. 

Wine Country, California

For a more relaxed pace, consider a visit to California’s Wine Country. Regions like Napa and Sonoma are within driving distance from San Francisco. Explore picturesque vineyards, sample world-class wines at award-winning wineries, or savour gourmet cuisine paired with the perfect glass of wine in charming wine country towns.

If you’re keen to know more, consider joining a guided wine tour to learn about the winemaking process and discover hidden gems off the beaten path.

Essential Tips for West Coast USA Cruises

Book Early

West Coast cruises are popular, especially during the summer and early autumn. Booking early not only secures your spot but often provides access to better rates and cabin selections.

Consider the Season

While the West Coast enjoys mild weather year-round, each season offers a different experience. Spring and autumn might avoid summer crowds and provide cooler temperatures ideal for exploring.

Plan Your Excursions

To make the most of your West Coast cruise, think about the excursions that appeal most to you and book them in advance. Whether it’s city tours, nature escapes, or culinary adventures, planning ahead can help you maximise your time ashore.

West Coast cruises offer a remarkable journey through some of America’s most stunning scenery and attractions. With a mix of dynamic cities and breathtaking natural landscapes, each stop along the beautiful Pacific Coast brings its own unique flavour and unforgettable adventures.

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