By Anne Taylor Hartzell, on June 30, 2015

Top Cruises Departing from Seattle

If you’ve visited the Seattle waterfront lately, you probably have noticed that the pier landscape has changed over the last decade.

In addition to the majestic Seattle Great Wheel, Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 and Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Terminal 91 now serve some of the top cruise lines in the world. According to the Port of Seattle, in 2015 Seattle will host 192 cruise ships and more than 895,000 passengers. Each time a home-port ship docks, it contributes $2.5 million to the local economy.

Ready to book your first cruise out of Seattle but don’t know where to start? Here’s a look at which cruise lines sail from Seattle, some of the most popular itineraries, and a few great downtown Seattle hotels to extend your stay.

Cruise lines serving Seattle

Today, seven major cruise lines sail from Seattle. These include Holland America Line, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Royal Caribbean. In 2016, Crystal Cruise Line also will be making stops in Seattle with its “Coastal Vistas,” “Pacific Delights,” and “West Coast Wayfarer” sailings from San Francisco to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Viewfinder Tip: Make time to extend your stay at a downtown hotel and explore Seattle

Most travelers from around the world are flocking to Seattle to set sail on one of the many popular cruises to Alaska. According to a spokesperson at the Port of Seattle (which graciously supplied the photos that accompany this piece), the most popular itinerary remains the seven-day Alaska cruise. While there are a few ships that sail mid-week, most sailings to Alaska depart on Saturdays and Sundays.

Extend your stay with a hotel

Once you’ve decided on the perfect ship and itinerary for your cruise from Seattle, don’t forget to plan to spend a few extra days exploring Seattle. Many of Seattle’s downtown hotels roll out the red carpet for cruise passengers looking to extend stays in the city. Some of my favorite downtown Seattle hotels, such as Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco and the Alexis Hotel, offer cruise package deals. Other downtown Seattle hotels to consider are The Four Seasons Seattle, Hotel 1000, and the historic Edgewater Hotel, all within walking distance to the piers. Click here to check out additional things to do during your stay in Seattle.

No matter which itinerary you choose, Seattle now offers a wealth of cruise options and experiences. Get cruising!  

What is your favorite cruise port city and why?