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Pacific North West Cruise from San Francisco


cruisefan2012
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I`ve seen a cruise on Ruby Princess departing from San Francisco to Oregon Washington Victoria and Vancouver - Sounds amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

 

By the time I can do this cruise it will be in 2024, so I`ve come on CC to ask you lovely people 

 

Which is the best hotel in San Francisco - ideally near the cruise terminal and is there a train from SFO Airport to stations in San Francisco city?

 

I will have been to the Golden Gate Bridge & Alcatraz - What are peoples suggestions for tourist things to do in San Francisco? I`m thinking I`d like 3 nights there before joining the ship - found the perfect flight times (If I was going this year)

 

Thanks all x

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Never cruised in/through SF but I did live there for a few years! You'll have to catch BART (it's a subway-like system) into the city from SFO. There are 7 or 8 stops in the city, 4 of them downtown, but none of them are near the cruise terminal. You'll have the best luck getting an Uber from your hotel, wherever it may be.

 

Things to do: I've always enjoyed the walk from the Ferry Building, heading south towards the Bay Bridge, and then further south towards Oracle Park (the baseball stadium) if you're up for it. It's paved, goes along the ocean/docks, and has a nice view of the Bay. I also used to take friends/family to Ghirardelli Square (yes, the chocolate company, they have a very large shop/factory/ice cream parlor there), which is between Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. If you enjoy hiking, try to make a trip up to Land's End and the Sutro Baths on the NW side of the city. Even if you don't like hiking, the early part of the main path is a pleasant cliffside stroll.

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If you are going to be there for 3 days I would suggest looking into a 3 day visitor's pass for mass transit, check SFMTA website for details.  I have not been since covid but I always bought the pass in the Ferry Building.  It's a good deal as it includes the Cable Cars which are now $8 a ride.

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The train system is called BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). It leaves right from SFO and there are signs directing one to the trains. I would get off at Embarcadero Station. Look for the Hyatt Regency.  There's always has a line of cabs in front of it. It's about two or three miles to the cruise ship terminal.  It is walkable, but if you have a heavy suitcase, then not so much. 

 

The ferry over to Sausalito is nice. Chinatown is really fun and interesting. There's Muir Woods, Golden Gate Park, or wine tasting in Sonoma or Napa.  Lots to do depending upon your interests. 

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I Bart into the City for everything and will think about taking a pedicab for the cruise terminal when I have the girls with me + a lot of luggage. I just walk if it's only me + 1 bag. It's an easy walk. 

15 hours ago, cruisefan2012 said:

I`ve seen a cruise on Ruby Princess departing from San Francisco to Oregon Washington Victoria and Vancouver - Sounds amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

That's my next cruise ~~~ April 23, 2023!!

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These are really great cruises and I always look for them (whether shorter 4-5 day, or longer 7 day cruises).  I'll be on the first ship to go to Canada in more than 2 years early next month leaving from SF and stopping in Astoria, and Victoria!  Even though I can drive to Astoria, OR, its a lot of fun to sail there and the town is my favorite Oregon coast town with so much history. 

 

While there are ferries and flights to victoria, taking a cruise there is a very nice experience as well and more convenient as the airport and ferry port (from Vancouver or Washington State) is in Sydney, a fair distance from Victoria.  Well, there is a ferry from Port Angeles, WA, but that's a long drive from the nearest airport.

 

That all being said for those bay area folks, I've heard BART these days is not quite as "nice" as it was earlier in the 2010's.  Since my cruise leaves on a Sunday, is it safe to take BART on a Sunday morning?  I used to take it all the time when I would visit SF or the bay area, but I've heard with fewer people taking it and some of the issues in SF (much like the issues we have in Portland), BART may not be a great choice during off-peak travel times.  Thoughts?

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On 3/14/2022 at 10:32 AM, cruisingrob21 said:

That all being said for those bay area folks, I've heard BART these days is not quite as "nice" as it was earlier in the 2010's.  Since my cruise leaves on a Sunday, is it safe to take BART on a Sunday morning?  I used to take it all the time when I would visit SF or the bay area, but I've heard with fewer people taking it and some of the issues in SF (much like the issues we have in Portland), BART may not be a great choice during off-peak travel times.  Thoughts?

 

Sunday morning should be okay. I lived in the Bay Area for 50 years and I wouldn't take BART late at night by myself. Just be aware of your surroundings. 

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My favorite: The Cable Car Barn and Power House.

Inside the historic Cable Car Barn & Powerhouse, visitors can view the actual cable winding machinery from an elevated gallery, as well as the path of the cable entering the building and leaving underneath the street in the sheave room viewing area.

Also a great history and how they build and maintain the Cable Cars.

 

https://sfcablecar.com/barn.html

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21 minutes ago, neverbeenhere said:

San Francisco is easy, just check Google. The action is in Astoria, prepare for some  beer drinking and go West coast at Fort George. They make no bad beer. (That’s beer for 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺

The Fort George Cavatica Stout is my favorite. There are also several other breweries I hit on the walk/stumble back to the ship. Just be forewarned, though, the sea can get mighty rough at the entrance to the Pacific, so even the harbor/river pilots have to be lifted off the ships by helicopter harness. 

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I've done the northern coastal, it's not for me as I prefer going south where it's warm.  Wasn't thrilled with Alaska either, but that's just my preferance.

 

If you're going to be in SF for a couple days, get to know the BART system. Buses are easy, cheap and go wherever you want to go.  

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On 3/14/2022 at 10:32 AM, cruisingrob21 said:

is it safe to take BART on a Sunday morning?

I take BART all the time and it's fine. There's a number posted in each car if you are squeamish and the cops will pop on. Never had an issue taking the kids or dog either (20 lbs .... )

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If you like scenery try and make your way out to Baker's beach.  Great view of the Golden Gate bridge from there. 

 

If you like museums the Legion of Honor is out near Land's End.  There are walking trails along the coast, some of which lead down to the beaches out there where you can also view the bridge. 

 

There a number of things to do in the Golden Gate Park.  The deYoung Museum, the Japanese Tea Gardens, the California Academy of Sciences and more.

 

The Pier 39 is super touristy but can be fun, lots of street performers.  Near there are The USS Pampanito and the Jeremiah O'Brien, both WW2 vessels that are now museums.  And a little further west is the Maritime Museum.  They have some old time ships and boats you can visit.

 

I second the vote to visit the wine country, especially my hometown Sonoma.  

 

There is more to see than can be done in 3 days.  Have fun choosing and have a lovely trip.

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Anybody who wanted an excursion in Vancouver and found it sold out, should check back. They've added second times for some of these, Capilano Bridge, Grouse Mountain, and Gondola. Maybe others as well that I just didn't look at.

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On 3/20/2022 at 7:59 PM, neverbeenhere said:

San Francisco is easy, just check Google. The action is in Astoria, prepare for some  beer drinking and go West coast at Fort George. They make no bad beer. (That’s beer for 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺

Don't forget the Astoria column!

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3 minutes ago, cruisingrob21 said:

Don't forget the Astoria column!

I would also say that there is a beer garden between Duane/Exchange/13th St in Astoria that has Reach Break Brewing, Reveille Ciderworks, a Whiskey Bar across the street and some food trucks - something for everyone!  I think there is a barber shop there too if you need a trim 🙂

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On 3/24/2022 at 2:31 PM, 2 cruises a year said:

Buy a glider in the gift shop before going up to release from the top.

Its possible to walk up to the tower from downtown, there is a trail behind the local community college that takes you to the bottom of the grassy hill leading up to the column.  There's also a trail down the east side of the hill that dumps you out east of town a bit.  These are steep trails so amateurs' beware.

 

If you are in Astoria on the weekend the river front trolley should be running.

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