Welcome to the next instalment in a series of articles from Cruise Advice in which we showcase some of the best cruise destinations around the world. Here, we will share some information about where you can cruise if joining a ship from these ports. As well, you’ll find some recommendations on how to spend a few days seeing the sights before heading to the port or after you get back.
Often assumed by cruisers as little more than the home of Disneyland and Hollywood, Los Angeles is beginning to develop a reputation for itself as an excellent spot to set off on a cruise, with new itineraries added and refurbished ships coming to bask in its sunshine. The city is also seeing a rejuvenation of its traditional sprawling tourist neighbourhoods as well as a dramatic shift of its downtown core.
The Greater Los Angeles area is home to close to 19 million people, so it’s clear why the City of Angels is offering so much and shaking its sketchy past to offer new and refreshing things.
How can I get to Los Angeles?
Los Angeles’ main airport is well known by its three letter code LAX and is where airport officials say is “the worlds crossroads”. The city is served by almost every major airline in the world. From Australia, five different airlines – Qantas, Virgin Australia, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines – flying directly to Los Angeles at least once daily from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Most passport holders from Australia and New Zealand are eligible for the United States ESTA Visa Waiver program, providing them with access to 90-day stays in the USA. Before travelling to the United States, passengers are required to complete a pre-authorisation in order to ensure entry will be granted. This includes passengers who are only visiting the U.S. as a day call on cruises and will not be done by the cruise line on your behalf. The cost to apply for an ESTA is currently US$14 for all passengers regardless of age.
Where can I cruise to from here?
Positioned on the Southern Californian coast, Los Angeles provides a great jumping off point to Mexico, Central America and the California Coast. A range of itineraries are available from LA ranging in length from three nights all the way up to 111 nights, however most are around 7-14 night itineraries.
At the other end of the cruise, Los Angeles also serves as a disembarkation point for many Panama Canal and Pacific Coastal cruises, with lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises regularly scheduling such voyages.
In addition, 2017 will present multiple options to cruise from Australia to Los Angeles, with passengers able to board in Sydney in April aboard Emerald Princess for a “Trans-Pacific Treasures” voyage that calls along the way in New Zealand, American Samoa, Tahiti and Hawaii before reaching Los Angeles. Guests can also embark on the same itinerary but travelling in reverse with sister ship Golden Princess undertaking a similar voyage in July. Golden Princess arrives in Los Angeles from Japan and Alaska on a 50-day circle voyage from Sydney which covers much of the Pacific Ocean through Asia, so passengers looking for something other than Trans-Pacific are in luck.