Although the majority of cruise lines that sail to Alaska typically depart from Seattle or Vancouver, San Francisco is another departure port option when cruising to Alaska. San Francisco offers many historic attractions, cultural venues and landmarks that make it the perfect departure point for your Alaskan cruise vacation. You can cruise to Ketchikan, Skagway and the Inner Passage via this world-renowned American city.
One of the most iconic of San Francisco attractions, the Fisherman’s Wharf was once one of the busiest fishing boat harbors in the country. Today, you will have to arrive early in the morning to see any of the remaining fishing boats that use the wharf. It is now known as a popular shopping and entertainment area with a number of attractions, such as the World War II submarine U.S.S. Pampanito, the San Francisco Wax Museum and the sea lions that lie on the floating docks and bask in the sun.
The Famous Cable Cars
Everyone who comes to San Francisco enjoys a ride on the famous cable cars, which currently run along three routes in the city. The system was first operated in 1873, using cars that were held on grips that extend from beneath the vehicle through a slit in the surface of the street. Cable cars were once the most important means of public transportation in the city, but were supplanted by electric streetcars during the 1890s. Today, the cable cars are still one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is still the vibrant and entertaining area that has attracted visitors from all over the world. Enjoy the dining opportunities, visit a Buddhist temple, watch fortune cookies being made or take a walking tour of the extraordinary architecture of this historic part of the city.
San Francisco Museums
This historic American city has a wealth of museums to keep interested visitors busy for days. A few of the most popular offerings are the de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Asian Art Museum and the Legion of Honor Museum.
Golden Gate Bridge
Your cruise to Alaska will likely pass right under the Golden Gate Bridge, which is another reason why San Francisco makes a great departure point for your cruise. The bridge is considered one of the great construction achievements of the 20th century is one of the longest suspension bridge main spans in the world, measuring 4,200 feet, connecting San Francisco and Marin County over the Golden Gate Strait. It opened in 1937 and is visited by millions of travelers each year.
Currently five different cruise lines offer Alaska Cruises from San Francisco, California. They are Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Silversea Cruises.