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San Francisco is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the United States. From the majestic Golden Gate Bridge to the endearingly indolent sea lions on Pier 39, the city delights millions of visitors per year.
Located between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the City by the Bay is an ideal port for some of the world’s best cruises. If you have time, plan to stay in the city a few days before or after your cruise. For a stay you won’t forget, request a room with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge at the Lodge at the Presidio or stay directly on Sausalito’s waterfront at the Inn Above Tide. Ride one of the San Francisco’s famous cable cars up the hills and stop for a glimpse of counterculture history at Haight Ashbury.
Then prepare to go on an adventure of a lifetime with one of these cruises.
Cruise Line: Princess Cruises | Ship: Grand Princess to Alaska
Princess Cruises is the leader in cruises to Alaska for 2019, and its itinerary from San Francisco is especially exciting. Passengers on the Inside Passage (with Glacier Bay National Park) trip start the adventure by sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge aboard the luxurious Grand Princess. Departing May 3, May 13, or August 31 in 2020, the 10-day cruise stops at five ports of call. The first is Juneau, Alaska. A point of interest here is the Mendenhall Glacier, which is 12 miles long and a half-mile wide. Next is Skagway. A day of scenic cruising around Glacier Bay National Park is followed by a stop in Ketchikan the next day. The last stop before the ship returns to San Francisco is Victoria, British Columbia, in Canada.
Cruise Line: Oceania Cruises | Ship: Regatta to Sydney, Australia
Cruisers who can take an excursion for just over a month will love the 34-day Pacific Wayfarer cruise from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia. Departing on November 1, 2019, guests have a few days at sea to enjoy the many amenities aboard the Oceania Cruises ship Regatta. Then it takes guests to three Hawaiian locations over three days: Honolulu, Oahu; Kahului, Maui; and Hilo on the Big Island. Other stops along the way include Nuku Hiva, Moorea, Bora Bora and Tahiti in French Polynesia. The cruise also docks in Fiji, American Samoa, Vanuatu and New Caledonia—and then there’s a stop in Brisbane before the final destination, Sydney, Australia. The Regatta was last given a major overhaul in 2014, and each stateroom includes a flat-screen television, minibar and 24-hour room service.
Cruise Line: Princess Cruises | Ship: Emerald Princess to Panama Canal
The 15-day Panama Canal-Ocean to Ocean itinerary takes cruisers on an exciting adventure aboard the Emerald Princess. Departing February 8, 2021, this Princess Cruises ship first stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where passengers can snorkel, take a tour on a glass-bottom boat, or relax on white sand beaches. Other stops include San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua and Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Next up is Panama City and the Panama Canal. Another port of call is Cartagena, Colombia, before the cruise ends on February 23 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And here’s a story: Brady Bunch stars Florence Henderson and Susan Olsen helped christen the Emerald Princess in 2007—and the ship was refurbished in 2015.
Cruise Line: Cunard | Ship: Queen Victoria to Auckland, New Zealand
Cunard offers a 17-night itinerary from San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand. Departing on February 6, 2021, cruisers will be aboard the Queen Victoria. This upscale ship’s first stop is an overnight stay in Honolulu, Hawaii, where guests can enjoy the famed beaches of Waikiki. After several days at sea comes a visit to the capital of Samoa, then on to Suva, Fiji. Another stop in Tauranga, New Zealand, offers the chance to explore kiwi orchards, relax on the beach, and enjoy hot mineral springs. The ship reaches its final destination in Auckland on February 21, 2021.
Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas | Ship: Seven Seas Mariner for a World Cruise
This cruise will take up much of your year. The 131-night Regent Seven Seas world cruise itinerary from San Francisco goes to locations around the world such as Australia and Israel. Departing on January 24, 2020, guests will be on the Seven Seas Mariner, which was the first all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship in the world. This trip of a lifetime starts with several days at sea before a two-day stop in Honolulu, Hawaii. Other early stops include Fakarava, Moorea, Bora Bora, Pago Pago, and Apia. In late February, guests make stops in New Zealand before exploring Australia in early March with three days in Sydney. Before returning to San Francisco on June 4, 2020, other stops include Jerusalem, Athens, Florence, Rome, Barcelona and Monte Carlo.
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line | Ship: Carnival Miracle to Hawaii
The 16-day Hawaiian cruise from Carnival Cruise Line gives adventurers the chance to learn the meaning of aloha through stops at multiple islands of the fiftieth state. Departing September 17, 2020, the first few days of the cruise are spent at sea where guests can enjoy amenities aboard the Carnival Miracle such as an adults-only retreat and massage treatments at Spa Carnival. The first stop is Kahului, Maui, where travelers can hike to waterfalls or take a helicopter tour. Other stops include Honolulu, Hilo and Kona. During stops on the cruise, take the time to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center, explore the Napali Coast, and hike up an active volcano at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. After several days at sea, the cruise ends in San Francisco on October 3, 2020.
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line | Ship: Norwegian Gem to the Panama Canal
The 21-day Norwegian Cruise Line itinerary to the Panama Canal departs on January 24, 2020. The Norwegian Gem takes guests to Santa Barbara the next day, then it’s on to Los Angeles. After one day at sea, cruisers then get to enjoy three days in Mexico. Stops include Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta. Another day at sea is followed by a stop in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, where travelers often venture to Antigua, where they can explore Guatemalan history. Next us is Corinto, Nicaragua, which is home to some of the loveliest beaches in the world. Other stops include cities in Curaçao, Bonaire and Colombia. The cruise ends in New York City on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020.