Hop aboard one of these cruises from San Francisco and enjoy the ultimate vacation experience. From Pier 27 in SF, you will find trips with destinations to Alaska, Mexico, and Hawaii.
You can also enjoy a longer cruise through the Panama Canal or over to the South Pacific. In addition, you will also find some shorter cruises to the ports on the western coast of the US.
There are several cruises that leave SF each month. Many of them offer round trip service to your destination and back. However, the longer options usually end in a secondary location.
Read on to learn more about the various journeys that start in SF.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
The most popular cruises from San Francisco take visitors through the Alaska Inside Passage. This journey offers you a chance to see the wild beauty of Alaska up close. Most have three stops in Alaska as well as one in Canada.
The highlight of these cruises is the journey through either Tracy Arms Fjord or Glacier Bay. While you don't dock on these days, you do spend a number of hours cruising around these amazing places.
San Francisco offers two wonderful cruises to the Hawaiian Islands. They both stop at four places among the islands, including Honolulu, Maui, and Hilo. These cruises also make a short evening stop at the waterfront town of Ensenada, Mexico.
Enjoy a 10-night cruise from San Francisco to the Mexican Riviera. This lively trip offers you the chance to visit several ports of call on Mexico's western coast. You will stop in places such as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.
Learn More: Find details on these fun cruises to Mexico
Head south on the Pacific and through the Panama Canal. These tours stop in several locations on the way, including Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala or Nicaragua. For one full day, you get the chance to enjoy the beauty of the Panama Canal. You will then continue your journey and stop in locations such as Columbia, the Bahamas, or Aruba.
Most of these cruises end their adventure in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In addition to those listed above, there are even more cruise options leaving from San Francisco, the most popular of which are the round trip cruises along the California Coast. You can also set sail to the South Pacific. And if time and budget are not an issue, consider exploring dozens of ports of call on the Cunard World Tour Cruise.
Learn More: Find details for all three of these cruises
The best place to start the booking process is by checking out the deals being offered. You will find some deals directly on the cruise companies' websites as well as through third party booking agencies. Here are links to a few of the sites where you can discover the best deals for cruises from San Francisco (and beyond!):
Do you need to store your luggage for a few hours or all day in SF? Here are a few places that allow you to store your luggage.
Pier 39: Drop your luggage off at the California Welcome Center on the second level of Pier 39. They will hold your luggage between the hours of 9am and 7pm for just $5 a bag. They do not offer lockers, but this is a great option if you plan to just be in the area for a day.
SFO: You can also store your luggage at the Airport Travel Agency in the International Terminal at SFO. They charge by the day. If you only leave it for a few hours, they will still charge the daily rate. They do scan all luggage that is set to be stored before they accept it. They are open daily from 7am to 11pm and you will find them near the Departures/Ticketing area.
Local Hotels: Many of the local hotels will allow you to store your luggage with their concierge. Your best bet is to call them ahead of time, tell them your story, and they will tell you if they allow it or not. I would contact the larger chains such as Marriott or Hyatt as you have a better chance of them offering this service than others. These hotels will often take your name and ask when you will be arriving. Most of the time, you do not need to be a hotel guest to receive this service. However, please be courteous and leave them a nice tip for this service.
Cruise Lines from SF: There are currently 8 cruise lines that offer departures from San Francisco to destinations around the world.
Shore Excursions in SF: Are you planning a visit to SF during your cruise? If so, you will find a wide variety of shore excursions for your stop. You can also check out some of my self-guided tours that will help you quickly and easily get to as many different attractions in one day as possible.
The best way to get to Pier 27 is by public transit. As you can see from the picture above, you will find a street car stop right across the street from the pier. You can take this street car south from Fisherman's Wharf or north from Market Street. Your stop is Greenwich. You can also ask the driver to alert you when you arrive at this stop.
If you plan to drive, there are a few parking options nearby. I do have to warn you that parking is VERY expensive (up to $30 or more a day) in San Francisco and I only recommend this if you do not have any other options.
Here are a few parking garage options within walking distance:
Before you leave your car, make sure to review their regulations. These change frequently, as well as the pricing, so confirm that they offer 24-hour parking and what the daily rate is before you leave your car.
Most people taking cruises from San Francisco enjoy staying a night or two before or after their visit. There are quite a few fun activities and attractions here, so, if you can, I recommend extending your visit out a little to explore SF.
Also, it's best to stay in Fisherman's Wharf. It's an easy walk, cab ride, or street car ride to Pier 27. Here are a few of the best options: