Seattle is the top port for cruises to Alaska. In a typical year – granted, 2020 and 2021 have been anything but normal – about 1.2m people board Alaska-bound ships annually from this gritty, glittering Pacific Northwest city in Washington State. Both cruise terminals are close to downtown, making it easy for seafarers to maximize their time exploring Seattle before or after their voyage. Here are our top picks for where to stay.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
You may feel as if you can reach out and touch Puget Sound from this updated historic inn near the waterfront. Room decor blends the hues of the Pacific Northwest, and amenities worthy of a cruise ship include the Chroma Spa – with in-room services – and a fitness center complete with a rock-climbing wall. The library-themed Bookstore restaurant and bar is as cozy as it sounds.
This unusual luxury hotel takes up the bottom third of the angular F5 Tower, one of the most striking new skyscrapers in Seattle. Room amenities include lots of natural light, Bose speakers and electric kettles alongside a selection of local coffee and tea. Head next door to the Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center, where the Space Needle looks like a tiny toy far below.
This newer high-rise hotel gets high marks for its technological touches, breakfast offerings and heated indoor pool. The 13 Coins restaurant is beloved for its romantic high-backed booths and late-night menu. Pioneer Square is a bit farther afield from the cruise ship terminals and other downtown destinations, but it’s convenient to light rail, the Amtrak train station, sports stadiums and even a secret waterfall park.
The one-time Loews Hotel has joined Hilton’s LXR portfolio, offering luxurious rooms with the option of city and water views mere blocks from the waterfront. All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar is an ideal place to sample the flavors of the Pacific Northwest, plus there’s a golf simulator and game room, just in case you run into foul weather – unlikely during cruise season.
With spacious, upper-floor rooms affording Puget Sound vistas – and even some bathtubs with a view – the W Seattle is convenient to the cruise ship terminals and the rest of Downtown Seattle. Mix with the locals at the high-energy Living Room lobby bar, where there’s a DJ or live music most evenings. The space doubles as a marketplace for breakfast and lunch.
Start your vacation early at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, which offers a hosted wine hour each evening. The gorgeous lobby has a playful marine mural, while rooms are comfortable and posh – with unexpected touches such as books and a yoga mat. An amenities fee includes food credit and even jewelry cleaning at a shop next door so your baubles can look their best on the boat.
Just steps away from the famous Pike Place Market, Inn at the Market is a smart base camp for your pre- or post-cruise adventure. Spacious rooms have lots of natural light and gleaming bathrooms. No time for a new hairdo before your trip? There’s a salon right at the hotel, along with three restaurants, in-room massages and a rooftop deck.
A convivial spot with a living-room-like lobby and the bustling Ben Paris bar and restaurant, the State Hotel will have you rubbing elbows with the locals in an enviable location near the waterfront and Pike Place Market. Sleep well in a locally made bed with premium sheets, and enjoy the spacious white-tiled walk-in shower. A guests-only rooftop deck is a perfect spot to watch a Seattle sunset.
For those wanting something a little more special, discover the best luxury hotels in Seattle or where to stay for a romantic getaway, and book your stay with Culture Trip. If time is of the essence, see how best to spend a weekend in the Emerald City. Nature lovers can also get their fix in Seattle, with several beaches nearby.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.