Best Shore Excursions of the Pacific Northwest

A lot has changed since the earliest settlers sought to explore the Northwest Passage, but one thing has remained the same, the rugged natural beauty of the region. These days, the Pacific Northwest is rapidly becoming a popular cruise destination, and rightly so. From volcanoes to ice fields, here are just a few excursions that are driving cruise enthusiasts to sail the Pacific Northwest.

Vancouver British Columbia: Sea to Sky Gondola Trip

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Capture the natural beauty of the Howe Sound, Shannon Falls and coastal mountains on the famous Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish. Enjoy panoramic views on the way up to the mountain, once at the top (2900 ft.) experience numerous outdoor activities such as the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, viewing platforms for observing the fjords, and various hiking trails. After you’ve worked up an appetite, stop in the Summit Restaurant & Edge Bar for a bite to eat.

Vancouver: Green Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge

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Immerse yourself in Vancouver’s natural wonders of the Scale Grouse Mountains and rain forest as you, explore the Admire’s Lions Gate Bridge; the link between downtown Vancouver and the North Shore. If you are feeling brave, dare to walk along the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the suspended walkway jetting out from the jagged cliffs.

Victoria British Columbia: Butchart Gardens & Tea

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Explore one of Canada’s natural, historic sites Butchart Gardens brimming with over one million bedding plants in 900 different varieties. After, stop by the Empress Hotel for high tea.

Astoria Oregon: Mount St. Helens

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On May 8, 1980, one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in the US blew the top off of  Mount St Helens. Visit the geographical site, still covered in volcanic ash, and view the dramatic result of the 5.1 magnitude earthquake. On the journey to the volcano, travel along the beautiful Columbia River and relive the adventures of Lewis & Clark as told be your guide.

Banff, Alberta: Columbia Icefield

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Journey along the scenic drive of the Icefield Parkway on your way to one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world, the Columbia Icefields. Explore the icefields via an all-terrain vehicle as you venture out to the Athabasca Glacier. After, take a breathtaking walk over the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk. Most trips also include a visit to the pristine Lake Louise.

Seattle: City Tour

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Seattle is a great place to go on a city tour, save the nature experience for farther north. Visit one of the oldest farmers market in the US, Pike Place Market which overlooks the waterfront of Elliots Bay, also home to the very first Starbucks. Get a birds-eye view of the city in the space needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Stop by Tougo coffee in the central district; it’s a neighborhood favorite and great place to grab an espresso and has wifi.

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