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Cruise Guide: Cruising offers a unique way to visit the West Coast

Cruising offers a different, more relaxed way to visit L.A. and other West Coast destinations. Photo by Matt Roseboom

Cruising offers a different, more relaxed way to visit L.A. and other West Coast destinations. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Matt Roseboom

cruiseguideheadersmallI’ve taken a couple of trips to California, both times enjoying the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other as I drove down California’s coastline. But there’s another, more relaxing way to visit the West Coast. You guessed it, cruising the coast.

Princess Cruise Line is offering many opportunities to escape to the West Coast on sailings next year and in 2011. These coastal getaways offer you a chance visit the West Coast without worrying about the traffic, directions or where to stay.

Here are a few of the offerings:

Wine Country Coastal — A seven-day cruise geared towards wine lovers, this special sailing will offer the chance to explore the California wine regions of Santa Barbara and the San Francisco area — as well as visit the microbreweries of Astoria, Oregon. Themed excursions will be available in many ports to enhance the local wine focus. In addition, onboard presentations from guest experts will showcase the world of food and wine with demonstrations, tastings and special meals. The Sapphire Princess will depart L.A. on May 7, 2011, sailing to Vancouver with calls at Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Astoria, Seattle and Victoria.

California Coastal — Sailing on a five-day journey down to California from Vancouver, Sapphire Princess will call at Victoria and San Francisco before arriving in Los Angeles. The sailing departs Sept. 20, 2010.

Alaska Sampler — This quick round-trip sailing from Vancouver will give you a taste of the 49th state, with visits to the Alaskan ports of Juneau and Ketchikan. The five-day cruise on Coral Princess will sail on May 10, 2010.

Northwest Sampler — Royal Princess will take visitors on a four-day trip through the scenic Inside Passage with visits to Vancouver and Victoria. Sailing roundtrip from Seattle, the voyage leaves on May 20, 2010.

Pacific Coastal, L.A. and Vancouver – You can relax with two full days at sea as you cruise up the Pacific coast on a three-day journey between L.A. and Vancouver. The Golden Princess will offer two departures: Sept. 26, 2010 and May 11, 2011; and Coral Princess will take this cruise on Sept. 18, 2010.

Pacific Coastal, San Francisco/Vancouver — Several cruises travel between San Francisco and Vancouver. The Coral Princess offers a four-day sailing with calls in Astoria, Oregon and Victoria, BC on May 19, 2011. For a two-day option, Island Princess offers sailings on Oct. 4, 2010 and May 14, 2011, while Star Princess sails on May 11, 2011.

Pacific Coastal, Vancouver/Seattle — These overnight sailings between Vancouver and Seattle offer the perfect quick getaway and a taste of cruising for beginners. The Sapphire Princess will sail May 15, 2010 and Sept. 19, 2010. Golden Princess will offer departures on Sept. 25, 2010 and May 14, 2011. Royal Princess will cruise on Sept. 13, 2010 and May 18, 2011. Star Princess will depart on May 13, 2011. The overnight Coastal sailings start at $99 per person, based on double occupancy.

Between the cost of gas and the hassle, why not cruise?

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