Two years ago we took a cruise from Seattle down the West Coast with no masks, no vaccines, and of course – no covid! Those were days of carefree travel and I can’t wait until they return!
But until then I thought I’d revisit our trip (our second ever cruise) with some of my favorite memories.
We left Seattle under stormy skies and I lamented booking so late in the year.
But the rain stopped as we sailed out the Straight of Juan de Fuca and we enjoyed sunshine every day thereafter.
Cruising to Astoria
The next morning I woke at sunrise and took my morning promenade.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River and were piloted into Astoria.
Astoria was founded in 1811 by John Jacob Astor who funded the expedition but never set foot in the town. I have set foot many times but enjoyed seeing it from another angle – from the ship at sunset.
Onward to San Francisco
After a day at sea we arrived in San Francisco, slipping stealthily under the Golden Gate bridge – or so it seemed to me. (Click on pictures in the gallery to enlarge them.)
Watching the sunrise over the city is still one of the highlights of our trip.
Later that day we visited Alcatraz, taking the boat from the pier next to ours. (Which is why I didn’t purchase the shore excursion from the cruise line for almost double the price.)
I know it was a prison with a creepy past but honestly it makes a great tourist destination!
Afterwards we explored more of the waterfront before heading back to the ship for dinner and sunset.
We woke the next morning in Monterey, only two hours south by car but the ship took us slowly while we slept.
This was the only port where we took a tender to shore – see how small is the tiny orange boat next to our ship.
For our shore excursion that day we traveled along scenic 17 mile drive through Pebble Beach to Carmel. One of my favorite stops was at Bird Rock where sea lions, seals, pelicans and gulls share the accommodations.
A Day at Sea and North to Victoria
Why Victoria? Why not a return directly to Seattle? Because of the Jones Act which prohibits foreign ships from carrying passengers from one US port to another without stopping at a foreign port. No it doesn’t make sense to me but Victoria is fun to visit anytime.
There was all the usual charm of the capital city of British Columbia.
But there was something new for me on this trip – a visit to Fantan Alley in Chinatown, Canada’s oldest.
After a full and wonderful week we crept back into Seattle the next morning where yes, it was raining.
Ready to be home again, but already plotting the next cruise.
Maybe next year. 🙂