4 Great Cruises from San Diego in 2014
San Diego’s B Street Cruise Ship Terminal has grown to welcome nearly 200 vessels each year, and both Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises homeport in this city for part of the year. Here are four top cruise itineraries that all embark from this sunny city in southern California.
HEAD TO HAWAII
Holland America’s Veendam offers terrific 17- and 18-Day Circle Hawaii itineraries with nine days at sea and calls on Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and Kona and Hilo on the Big Island. (The 18-day version of the cruise includes one extra sea day and a visit to Ensenada, Mexico.) While this 1,350-passenger ship is an older one—the last in the Statendam class—it underwent a massive renovation in 2009. The ship has a contemporary feel and is gorgeous from bow to stern—complete with a $2 million art collection. Book one of the high-end Neptune or Pinnacle Suites and your Hawaiian holiday will be complete.
Dates: November 15; December 2.
Cruise Fares: From $1,999.
GETAWAY TO NEARBY MEXICO
Veendam from Holland America also sails a very popular seven-night itinerary to Mexico, a good option for both couples and families. You’ll visit Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta while also enjoying three days at sea. The shore excursions on this cruise are standouts, from a 4x4 jeep exploration of the Baja desert and zipline adventure to a horseback ride on the beach and scuba diving. And while you’ve probably heard of plenty of cruises that offer a dolphin encounter, have you ever heard of a sea lion encounter? You can experience it yourself in Puerto Vallarta.
Dates: March 9, 16, and 23; November 8; December 20 and 27.
Cruise Fares: $599 per person.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST REPOSITIONING
This spring, five Holland America ships—Amsterdam, Statendam, Westerdam, Zaandam, and Zuiderdam—will reposition from San Diego to the Pacific Northwest for summer sailing in Alaska. This is a fantastic opportunity to spend three or four days on a Holland America ship and visit ports like Astoria, Oregon; Port Angeles, Washington; and Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dates: April 28 and 29; May 6, 13, and 14.
Cruise Fares: $249 per person.
PANAMA CANAL TRANSIT
If you’re a Celebrity Cruises fan, the Eastbound Panama Canal cruise out of San Diego may be of particular interest. The 15-night voyage aboard Celebrity Infinity calls on Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, and Puntarena, Costa Rica before crossing the Panama Canal and visiting Colón, Panama and Cartagena, Colombia. Depending on which embarkation date you choose, you’ll either disembark in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While Infinity is a Millennium-class ship, launched in 2001, it has been “Solsticized” to include upgraded features from the line’s popular Solstice-class ships. You’ll find the changes most noticeable in the selection of specialty restaurants and spa options.
Dates: April 14; November 19.
Cruise Fares: $1,199.
Andrea M. Rotondo is a freelance writer based in New York City. She covers cruise news and luxury travel trends for Fodors.com and writes for a variety of outlets, including her website Luxury Travel Mavens. Follow her on Twitter: @luxtravelmavens.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises
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