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Cruises to Monterey

46 Reviews
Monterey (Photo:Ken Wolter/Shutterstock)

About Monterey

The Monterey Peninsula, about 120 miles south of San Francisco, is arguably one of the most naturally beautiful areas on earth, its rocky coast fringed by cypress forests and abundant marine sanctuaries. It also boasts rich literary roots in the writings of John Steinbeck and Robert Louis Stevenson. A day in the city and its surrounding communities provides many opportunities to explore this hilly, sea-kissed area in depth. And, for the more adventurous, it offers the chance to explore the beautiful and historic peninsula as a whole.



Monterey is a prime tourist destination, and by mid-morning on any given day, cruise ship passengers will be joined by hordes of tourists arriving by bus and car. However, cruise ship passengers are a distinct minority in Monterey -- the town has strict environmental safeguards, has a limited anchorage and small tendering pier, and is relatively passive in pursuing the industry. There is much local opposition to cruise ships calling in the harbor, and visiting ships must observe strict "no discharge" rules when in port. The size of the marine sanctuaries also limits the location and number of places ships may anchor.


Still, visitors will find a charming community, filled with history from the city's past as a whaling center and, later, as the sardine capital of the Western Hemisphere. Now, of course, that industry is gone, replaced by museums, seafarers, artists and writers. The area is perfect for walkers, and offers a wide range of art galleries and shops, and natural attractions as well as some special man-made ones, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Good restaurants offering freshly caught seafood welcome the diner who is willing to wander off the beaten track. The area boasts numerous up-and-coming wineries.

  • More about Monterey

  • Why go to Monterey?

  • Monterey Cruise Port Facilities?

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Sapphire Princess
Sapphire Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

11 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

983 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Sep 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regatta
Regatta

7 Night
Alaska CruiseDetails

386 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Sep 26, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Discovery Princess
Discovery Princess at Sea (Photo: Princess Cruises)

7 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

69 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Mar 25, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regatta
Regatta

23 Night
World CruiseDetails

386 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Apr 20, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
U. S. Pacific Coast CruiseDetails

69 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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6 Night
Classic California CoastDetails

801 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Mar 30, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

4 Night
Pacific Coastal CruiseDetails

2,160 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Apr 29, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Pacific Coastal CruiseDetails

2,160 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Apr 22, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Classic California CoastDetails

533 Reviews
Leaving:San Diego
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 13, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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20 Night
Repo - Panama CanalDetails

2,092 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 30, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Expedition CruiseDetails

186 Reviews
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
Oct 8, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Pacific Coastal CruiseDetails

2,160 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Mar 25, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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5 Night
Pacific Coastal CruiseDetails

1,211 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
May 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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8 Night
Pacific Coastal CruiseDetails

1,211 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Sep 29, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Transpacific CruiseDetails

386 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Monterey

Why go to Monterey?

Pros:

This Californian peninsula boasts cypress forests, marine sanctuaries and abundant natural beauty

Cons:

Crowds in peak season can make attractions like the aquarium nearly impossible to visit; go early

Bottom Line:

A highlight of coastal cruises, Monterey is easily walkable with galleries, shops and stellar panoramas

Monterey Cruise Port Facilities?

There is very little to do on the pier itself, but in the immediate area are Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row, Presidio Park and downtown. If fishing is your thing, Fisherman's Wharf has all the sights and smells associated with the Monterey fishing industry.

Good to Know?

Crowds. Monterey is very popular with tourists, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium is the epicenter. Either visit the Aquarium on your own as soon as it opens or avoid it entirely. Cannery Row can also be dense with foot traffic, although the crowds thin the further one moves from the Aquarium.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Currency is the U.S. dollar; ATMs are plentiful.

Language?

English.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ship passengers are tendered ashore at the Coast Guard Pier, from which all of Monterey is an easy walk. Tendering begins before many of the shops and attractions have opened; this is a great opportunity to explore prime tourist destinations such as Cannery Row at a relaxed pace.


Monterey Cruise Reviews
It was fun walking around and enjoying sea food near the ship.Read More
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packedcountdown
It was a tender port. We had just visited, so I just went in for some raw oysters. Big and yummy. If you take an excursion, check out the state park along the coast. Read More
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Balliett
We did not take a ship excursion. Instead we walked down the path to the Monterey Aquarium. It is a bit of a hike (1.5 miles) but good exercise with a gorgeous view. The aquarium was wonderful. We made it in time fRead More
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kissthesnook
for sure visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.Read More
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papajimd

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