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A new western expansion is afoot—or should we say, afloat. Cruise lines are increasing their fleet size and itinerary offerings on America’s West Coast to satisfy a growing appetite for sailings to Mexico, Hawaii and the Pacific Coast. The emerging trend is especially appealing if you live near the West Coast, with California cruises offering a more affordable cruise vacation within easy reach of departure destinations like San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Here are four ships steering this trend.

RELATED: 5 ways a repositioning cruise can save you a bundle

Carnival Horizon Digital Rendering, pool

Carnival Horizon

Carnival Panorama

Departure Port:  Long Beach/Los Angeles
Itineraries Include:  Mexican Riviera

Carnival has been playfully teasing the introduction of Carnival Panorama—its first new ship on the West Coast in 20 years—with a giant sky blimp and social media giveaways. It debuts in December 2019 and will offer 7-day sailings to the Mexican Riviera, with stops in Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, out of its newly-renovated terminal in Long Beach, California. The introduction of this 3,960-passenger ship will increase the line’s capacity on these sailings by 30%. Among the highlights aboard this mega-ship: a massive indoor trampoline park (the first of its kind at sea); a giant waterpark; a suspended two-lane bike course above one of its 15 decks; and a Serenity Adults-Only Retreat for those who prefer to lounge in peace while sailing to exotic ports along Mexico’s western coast. There’s more to come, too: Panorama will launch service from San Diego and San Francisco in 2020-21.

Set of stairs on the Mazatlan coast.

Set of stairs on the Mazatlan coast.

Royal Princess

Departure Ports:  San Pedro/Los Angeles, Vancouver
Itineraries Include:  Mexican Riviera, Pacific Wine Country

The recently revitalized Royal Princess makes her West Coast debut in 2019 and will be the line’s newest and largest ship sailing the Pacific coastal region. Royal Princess, which can accommodate 3,560 passengers, launches 7-day Mexican Riviera sailings this spring. If you didn’t know you could weave California’s Napa and Sonoma Wine Regions into a cruise, this ship’s 7-day Pacific Wine Country itinerary is one to consider. It provides a unique way to experience vineyards and vinos while making the epic journey from Los Angeles to Seattle. Newly-installed “luxury” beds designed by a board-certified sleep specialist are a sweet (dreams) bonus: After a memorable day of exploring, you’ll rest easy and be ready to take on the next day’s activities.

ALSO: Join Orbitz Rewards to earn perks like airport lounge passes and TSA Pre✓ ®

Hawaiian coast

Hawaiian coast

Celebrity Eclipse

Departure Ports:  San Diego; Vancouver
Itineraries:  Pacific Coast, Hawaii

Celebrity Eclipse makes her Pacific Coast debut in 2019, with 7- to 9-night itineraries in the spring and fall that voyage to places like Monterey, Santa Barbara, Catalina, San Francisco and Vancouver. Nearly 85% of accommodations on the 2,852-passenger vessel offer verandas, which means great views without having to leave your room. But meandering the ship itself provides boundless diversions that could compete with what’s on dry land: The Lawn Club (an acre of real grass on ship’s top deck where you can relax), three pools, onboard cooking classes, Broadway-style shows and more. Eclipse also offers 10- to 12-night Hawaii cruises roundtrip from Vancouver.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Joy

Departure Ports: San Pedro/Los Angeles, Vancouver
Itineraries:  Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Pacific Coast

Norwegian Cruise Line continues to grow its presence on the West Coast, too. In 2018, it christened the Norwegian Bliss, which offers autumn cruises to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. This year, it repositions the Norwegian Joy to the U.S. after a $50 million enhancement. Among the itineraries offered by this 3,802-passenger ship: 7-day Mexican Riviera cruises roundtrip from Los Angeles; a 12-day Panama Canal cruise from Los Angeles to Miami, including stops along Mexico’s West Coast and Costa Rica; and 5-day Pacific Coast cruises from Los Angeles or Vancouver. For the latter, you’ll experience the best of the coast, from redwood forests to celebrated wineries to rugged coastlines to dynamic urban settings. It may inspire you to forgo the idea of a West Coast road trip for a West coast cruise trip.

Keep in mind that these are just four noteworthy ships now servicing the U.S. West Coast market. To explore all of the Pacific Coast, California Coast, Mexican Riviera and Hawaii cruise options, search Orbitz.

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Tagged: California, Los Angeles, San Francisco

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Erica Bray

Erica Bray

Erica is a practical free spirit who loves travel, yoga and ice cream. A Northwestern University-trained journalist with more than 15 years of experience straddling digital and broadcast media, Erica can be found doing handstands everywhere she travels -- even risking arrest in some cases. Learn about her at

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