Rich with culture and history, and filled with amazing restaurants and tourist attractions, San Francisco is one of the largest and most popular places to visit along the Pacific Coast of the United States. There are many cruises from California currently available, some of them leaving from the beautiful port city of San Francisco. Cruises from San Francisco are typically Alaska or Hawaii cruises (usually at least 10-nights in length), but there are some Pacific Coastal or Baja Mexico cruises available as well. If you are looking for a longer vacation, there are a few World Cruises available (ranging from 17- to over 100-nights in length).
The cruising season in San Francisco is typically year-round. The cruise lines currently offering cruises from San Francisco include Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Carnival Cruise Line, and more.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise from San Francisco, CA. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines feature cruises leaving from San Francisco, CA. Select a cruise line to view upcoming cruises that they're offering from San Francisco, CA:
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in San Francisco, along with a brief description:
♦ Fisherman’s Wharf
One of the most popular areas in all of San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf is home to Pier 39 (a shopping center built on a pier, featuring a nice selection of shops, restaurants and even street performances), the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square, a wax museum, a Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum and much more. Visiting Fisherman’s Wharf is a wonderful way to enhance your cruise. You can also take a cable car ride, one of the true icons of San Francisco, to this fantastic venue.
Located on Alcatraz Island, this former prison has been featured in many movies, TV shows and books. You can reach this island via ferry from San Francisco's Pier 33 (near Fisherman's Wharf). Those who are cruising from San Francisco can easily take advantage of the opportunity to visit this historic landmark. Notable former inmates of Alcatraz include Al Capone, Robert Stroud and George "Machine Gun" Kelly.
♦ The Golden Gate Bridge
This famous suspension bridge, which was completed in 1937, is a true architectural masterpiece and one of the most well-known landmarks in all of the United States. It is a definite plus if your cruise from San Francisco passes this historic and impressive bridge.
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