San Francisco is a place where ideas are born, creativity is unleashed and all avenues explored. The hilly and scenic city is known as a hotspot of liberal thought, and visitors will appreciate the result: amazing art, revolutionary dining, interesting architecture and a great urban vibe. Each neighbourhood has something fresh to offer. The Golden Gate Bridge is San Francisco's most famous photo op, but it's not alone - think the Painted Ladies on Steiner Street, the hilly cable car routes and Alcatraz prison just offshore.
Located on the tip of a skinny peninsula, San Francisco's affinity with the ocean goes right back to pre-European history. It's a busy port, blessed with a stunning harbour and some spectacular ocean-facing coastline to the west. The surrounding state parks and beaches add to the city's attractions, and of course there is also the vast Pacific Ocean, into which you will chase the horizon on your cruise from San Francisco.
San Francisco cruise lines and departures
Many of the ships leaving from San Francisco are those in the Princess fleet, as their Grand Princess and Island Princess both have regular departures from there. Other lines cruising away under the Golden Gate include Holland America and the Japanese-based luxury line Crystal Cruises. Other major cruise lines known to pass by the city of "Frisco" include P&O cruises, Carnival cruises and cruises with Royal Caribbean.
Cruises from San Francisco to Mexico and Hawaii are the most common itineraries on offer, with ports such as Hilo, Honolulu, Kona, Ensenada, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta as highlights. Some ships continue south into the Panama Canal and Caribbean. Cruises to Alaska departing San Francisco are also available, comprising a nice jaunt up the California coast before you arrive in the beautiful fjords.
San Francisco cruise port
Cruises depart San Francisco from one of two terminals in the Port of San Francisco: the James R. Herman Terminal (Pier 27) and Pier 35 Terminal, which is rarely used due to the newer terminal now being open for business. These are both found near the trendy Fisherman's Wharf district, on the Embarcadero waterfront roadway - fittingly, the road's name means â€œplace to embarkâ€ in Spanish.
The James R Herman Terminal at Pier 27 was opened in 2014 to handle bigger capacities, and is a modern facility of more than 90,000 square feet. It also offers shore power for cleaner air. The F Line streetcar stops in front of Pier 27. There is also a BART station (Embarcadero) 15 minutes' walk away.