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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in ALASKA
Sights to see & things to do

Cruise AlaskaSeattle, Washington

Many cruisers think of Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport as simply the place to catch a bus to Vancouver where they'll embark on their ship at Canada Place. To many, it's just a terminus where luggage is gathered and motor coaches are boarded for the real trip north. By breezing through, the vast majority of Alaska-bound travelers are missing one of the most vibrant port cities in North America. Known as the Emerald City, Seattle nestles within view of the 14,410-foot snow-capped peaks of Mount Rainer and the waters of the Puget Sound and Lake Washington.


In addition to small ships cruising to Alaska, larger cruise ships are now calling Seattle their summer homeport for Alaska cruises. The facilities at Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal are within walking distance of most of downtown Seattle’s attractions and shopping and the newer Smith Cove Cruise Terminal is a taxi ride away.

From downtown, hop on the Monorail for a swift 90-second ride to the Space Needle at Seattle Center. The world famous symbol of the Seattle World's Fair, the Century 21 exhibition in 1962, is the centerpiece of a 74-acre park that hosts festivals and attractions nearly year-round. Locals call the Monorail, a quirky ride leftover from the World's Fair, the "Train to Nowhere”—beginning and ending as it does in buildings housing food courts. 

History and art walks offer an excellent way to see the city’s colorful historic districts in just a couple hours. Another unique attraction is Underground Seattle, a series of underground streets barely changed from their turn-of-the-century use in legal and sometimes illegal commerce. Downtown Seattle offers nature spliced in with shopping, museums, and naturally, the coffee houses and cafes that made Seattle’s laid-back scene famous.

Seattle Art Museum houses everything from African masks, old masters, and modern art to one of the country’s best exhibits of Northwest Coast Indian art. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Ye Old Curiosity Shop at Pier 54. Always crowded, it’s a tacky and strange collection of weird curiosities such as Siamese-twin calves, shrunken heads, and the Lord’s Prayer on a grain of rice.

With so much water in and around Seattle, this is an opportunity to take a short cruise around the area. Argosy Cruises at Pier 54 offers a variety, including one around Lake Washington, which passes Bill Gates’ fabled “Xnadu.” Children can Explore Puget Sound's heritage through 44 hands-on exhibits at Odyssey, the Maritime Discovery Center located at Bell Street Pier.  


Pike Place Market on Seattle’s waterfront is the oldest continually operating farmers market in the United States and the fun just starts at the Pike Place Fish Market (where fish DO fly through the air), only one of Pike Place Market's many entertaining spots. In addition to the freshest fish, at Seattle's historic waterfront market you'll find everything from flowers to vegetables, Washington State wines, and antiques. Head up the hill from Pike Place where Seattle’s plentiful department stores, downtown malls, and boutiques will keep the most avid shopper content for days.

Cool Cruising-- Spring! It's in the air and cruisers' fancies turn north. North to Alaska, with thoughts of majestic scenery, frontiers to explore, and what  to pack.

Return to Alaska Ports of Call

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