Los Cabos Feature
- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Cruising to Los Cabos
Cruise lines with itineraries to Los Cabos and Baja California include Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Cunard, Holland America, Lindblad Expeditions, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, and Silversea. Most depart from Los Angeles (Long Beach), San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York, San Juan, Vancouver, and even Southampton, England, or Bridgetown, Barbados. Most cruises to Baja dock at Cabo San Lucas, with a few calling at Ensenada, La Paz, and Loreto.
Terrific shopping, dining, beaches, and shore excursions and the unforgettable view of Los Arcos upon approach make Cabo San Lucas a crowd-pleaser among cruise ports. Ships need to drop anchor and tender passengers to the marina, about a 10-minute trip. Ensenada is a favorite stop on shorter Baja cruises. Its modern Cruise Port Village terminal berths two full-size ships at a time. La Paz, on the Sea of Cortez, wins rave reviews as being the most "authentically Mexican" of Baja's cruise destinations. A few large ships dock at its port of Pichilingue, about 16 km (10 mi) north of town. Smaller boats can berth at La Paz itself. It's back to the need for tenders at the port of Loreto, north of Pichilingue.
Carnival. Carnival is known for its large-volume cruises and template approach to its ships, two factors that probably help keep fares accessible. Boats in its Mexican fleet have more than 1,000 staterooms; the newest ship, Splendor, was inaugurated in 2008. Seven-night Mexican Riviera trips out of Los Angeles or San Diego hit Cabo San Lucas and, occasionally, La Paz, among other Pacific ports in Mexico. Carnival wrote the book on Baja-only cruises, with three- or four-day itineraries on Elation and Paradise out of Los Angeles or San Diego to Ensenada. Las Vegas-style shows and passenger participation is the norm. 888/227-6482 www.carnival.com.
Celebrity. Spacious accommodations and the guest-lectured Enrichment Series are hallmarks of Celebrity cruises. Its Millennium, Mercury, and Constellation ply the Panama Canal east- and westbound on 13- to 17-day itineraries, hitting Cabo San Lucas along the way, with an extensive choice of departure ports (Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, San Juan, or Seattle). 800/647-2251 www.celebritycruises.com.
Crystal. Crystal is known for combining large ships with grandeur, opulence, and impeccable service. Its Crystal Symphony calls at Cabo San Lucas on a variety of itineraries from New York (19 days), Miami (13 or 14 days), and Los Angeles (10 days). Another cruise out of Los Angeles also takes in La Paz and Loreto. 800/722-0021 www.crystalcruises.com.
Cunard. It's an infrequent, but festive, occasion when Cunard's luxury liner Queen Victoria calls at Cabo San Lucas on select 16-day Panama Canal itineraries that begin in Los Angeles and end in Fort Lauderdale. The port also features in a 40-day cruise from Los Angeles to Southampton. A return 40-day itinerary that begins in England calls at Ensenada before arrival in Los Angeles. 800/728-6273 www.cunard.com.
Holland America. The venerable Holland America line leaves from and returns to San Diego. Its eight-day Sea of Cortez cruise on the MS Veendam calls at Cabo San Lucas and Loreto. An expanded 14-day itinerary begins in Vancouver, British Columbia. Various seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises on the Veendam or MS Oosterdam call at Cabo San Lucas and other Mexican ports. 877/932-4259 www.hollandamerica.com.
Lindblad Expeditions. Lindblad's smaller Sea Lion and Sea Bird take you where the other guys can't go, for an active, nature-themed Baja cruise experience. Eight- to 15-day excursions embark in La Paz and nose around the islands of the Sea of Cortez. Its kayaks and Zodiacs launch from the ship to provide you with unparalleled opportunity to watch whales, dolphins, and seabirds. 800/397-3348www.expeditions.com.
Norwegian Cruise Lines. Its tag line is "whatever floats your boat," and Norwegian is known for its relatively freewheeling style and variety of activities and excursions. Seven- or 11-day cruises on the Sun or Star depart from San Francisco or Los Angeles, with full days in Cabo San Lucas and a half day in La Paz on the longer itinerary. Both include calls at other Mexican Pacific ports. 800/327-7030www.ncl.com.
Oceania. "Intimate" and "cozy" are terms that get bandied about to describe the ships of Oceania, a relative newcomer to the cruise scene. Before arrival at Cabo San Lucas or any port, you can attend a lecture to acquaint you with its history, culture, and tradition. The Regatta stops here on a 16-day cruise out of Miami. A 10-day Mexico-only cruise from Los Angeles stays in port overnight, giving you a rare cruise opportunity to take in nighttime Los Cabos. 800/531-5619 www.oceaniacruises.com.
Princess Cruises. Not so great for small children but good at keeping tweens, teens, and adults occupied, Princess strives to offer luxury at an affordable price. Its cruises may cost a little more than others, but you also get more for the money: large rooms, varied menus, and personalized service. Seven- to 11-day Mexican Riviera cruises aboard the Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess, or Star Princess start in Los Angeles or San Francisco and hit Los Cabos and other Pacific ports. Shorter three- or four-day trips out of Los Angeles call at Ensenada. 800/774-6237www.princess.com.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises. RSSC's luxury liners Mariner, Navigator, and Voyager originate in Los Angeles or Fort Lauderdale and call at Cabo San Lucas on select Panama Canal and transpacific itineraries. Some stop here for a half day; others stay in port longer, making RSSC a rare cruise company that lets you sample Los Cabos' evening diversions. 877/505-5370 www.rssc.com.
Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean's 7- through 12-night Mexican Riviera cruises on Mariner of the Seas or Radiance of the Seas originate in Los Angeles or San Diego and call at Cabo San Lucas, among other Mexican Pacific ports. Shorter Baja-only itineraries stop at Cabo San Lucas, and sometimes Ensenada. Striving to appeal to a broad clientele, the line offers lots of activities and services as well as many shore excursions. 800/521-8611 www.royalcaribbean.com.
Seabourn. Think megayachts with sophisticated, personalized service when you hear the name "Seabourn." The line's newest ships, Odyssey (2009) and Sojourn (2010), call at Cabo San Lucas on a variety of itineraries departing from Fort Lauderdale, on a relatively brief (by Seabourn standards) 16-day cruise all the way up to a 108-day world itinerary. 800/929-9391 www.seabourn.com.
Silversea. Loads of activities, including guest lectures, are the hallmark of a cruise aboard Silversea's luxury liners. Its Silver Shadow calls at Cabo San Lucas on 7-day itineraries from Los Angeles and 15- or 16-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale. The Silver Cloud plies the route between Barbados and Los Angeles, 17 days each way, with a stop at Ensenada on the eastbound cruise, and Cabo San Lucas, on the westbound. 888/722-9955 www.silversea.com.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $91-$97 -- Suite at 4-Diamond Cabo Family Resort, 50% Off BookIt.com
- $60-$96 -- Cancun All-Inclusive Water Park Resort, 60% Off BookIt.com
- $689 & up -- Mexico Beach Getaways on Sale, up to 70% Off CheapCaribbean.com
- $3210 & up -- 12-Nt. Luxe Mexican Riviera Cruise on Azamara American Express Travel
- $4.39 & up -- Car Rentals across Mexico CarRentals.com