What Hotels to Stay in Around Seattle for Your Cruise

Seattle has the two busiest cruise terminals, with more than a million passengers embarking on their next adventure to Canada and Alaska. After taking a cruise to Alaska, I was flooded with people asking me where they could stay, especially if you don’t have a car handy. So, to help you out before your next cruise, here are the best hotels to stay in and around Seattle before your cruise.

where to stay in seattle before or after a cruise to alaska

What Hotels to Stay in Around Seattle for Your Cruise


During the summer months, travel picks up in the Seattle area with cruise travelers headed to Canada and Alaska. A cruise to Alaska is often a bucket-list trip, and for good reason. It's amazing! Many people add on days before and/or after their cruise and finding a hotel to stay in can be difficult. 

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Transportation Options from SEA

Seattle-area traffic can be very congested depending on what time of day you arrive. Road closures and delays are quite common. The Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA) is about 15 miles south of the cruise terminals, which gives you yet another obstacle! It's not always possible to book a hotel with a free airport shuttle, especially if you want to be more centrally located downtown Seattle. Here are a few options to get you from point A to point B.

There are plenty of Uber/Lyft options and an easy access point in the nearby parking garage. Expect to pay around $35-50 for a ride to downtown Seattle. Taxis are aviable, but with rideshare, it's not the most convenient option. Seattle Yellow Cab does offer a flat rate transport to the city for $40. If you are traveling to/from the cruise port, Pier 66 is covered in the flat rate, but Pier 91 is not, so expect the rate to be a bit higher.

The Link Light Rail is a great option IF you are staying at a hotel that is close to a Link station. It costs around $3 to ride and takes about 40 minutes to get into the city. Trains run every 6-15 minutes. You could also ride the Light Rail and then take an Uber or Lyft from the station to your hotel. 

Some cruise lines offer transfers, but they aren't always the cheapest option. The rate is typically per person and will cost about $30-40/per person each way.

There are hotel options listed below. Because cruise travel is such a big part of the Seattle Tourism, there are often shuttles available from the hotel to the cruise terminal. They are rarely free, but are often fairly affordable {about $10/pp} as part of a cruise package.

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Some Tips for Booking a Hotel Before or After Your Cruise

Allow yourself plenty of time to get to and from where you are going! Seattle traffic can be a bear! Don't a flight before 11 am on your departure day. If there aren't any other options, plan to stay the night in Seattle and explore the city instead. 

Don't be afraid to use Google Maps as you research an area. You can get an idea of what attractions are nearby and can help you narrow down where you want to be for the easiest access.

If you don't have the Uber/Lyft app, download them! Rideshare is a very easy and reliable way to get around in Seattle.

Many people will warn you that Seattle is unsafe. You'll hear rumors of "good locations and bad locations" and honestly, tourism is such an important part of our city, that hotels go to great lengths to make their hotels secure. Seattle is like any big city, you just need to be aware of your surroundings and be smart. I've never felt unsafe.

Washington is beautiful! Many times people will visit and try to squeeze too much in. They will want to take a day trip to Vancouver, BC or head up to hike Mt. Rainier or explore the Cascades. If those things are on your list of things to do, plan more time than a day or two.

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Staying Near the Airport

If you have a late flight or want a hotel near the airport, many hotels are perfect for those looking to stay here. There are many hotels near the airport, and it will save you a lot of money over staying in downtown Seattle. Just know that if you stay near the airport, you aren't close to downtown Seattle if exploring the city was important to you. 

Cedarbrook Lodge

Time and time again, I recommend Cedarbrook Lodge as the perfect airport hotel. It's close to SEA, and has a free airport shuttle, but it's tucked away in the woods to give you a resort feel. There are walking trails to wander, a spa to relax at and the most amazing food. If you want to head downtown to explore, there is a free shuttle to the Link Light Rail. My favorite part though are the Lodge Living room common areas stocked with complimentary snacks. And not just any snacks, but yummy local Snoqualmie ice cream. It's the perfect place to start to unwind. 

Crowne Plaza Seattle Airport, an IHG Hotel

Located directly across from the Sea-Tac International Airport, this hotel is by the Link Light Rail, which will take you directly into Central Seattle. They have an airport transfer service 24 hours a day and are a mere 20-minute drive from the Seattle Space Needle. They also have cruise package options and a shuttle to the cruise terminals.

Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center

Located across from Seattle Tacoma International Airport, you will find this hotel just moments from the downtown area. They have a 24-hour shuttle to the airport and are a short drive from most area attractions. This hotel also offers shuttle services to cruise terminals.

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Staying In Downtown Seattle

Staying downtown will give you some of the best options if you want to go sightseeing before you leave the Seattle area. While the hotel rates will be higher during cruise season, this is perfect for those who want to stay in the city. Downtown Seattle is very walkable {though there are hills!}.

Hotel 1000

Located on first avenue, Hotel 1000 provides an incredible home base to explore downtown Seattle. It's an easy 10 minute walk to the Seattle waterfront or to Pike Place Market. You could walk to Pier 66 from this hotel location if you don't mind dragging your luggage through busy sidewalks or you can take advantage of their credit for cruise bookings and get $25 credit for Lyft that will pay for your ride to either terminal. The rooms are luxurious and the views are unbelievable. The All Water on site seafood and oyster bar is the perfect place to start your culinary adventure from ocean to table. 

The Edgewater, a Noble House Hotel

Located on Pier 67 of Seattle’s waterfront, you’ll find an upscale hotel with a complimentary shuttle downtown. This hotel is a short walk from the pier to Norwegian or Oceana cruise lines as these depart from Pier 66. If you want to be within walking distance of the port terminal, it doesn’t get closer than this! The Edgewater is located very close to Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium and Argosy Cruises.

Seattle Marriott Waterfront

This waterfront hotel is just five minutes from the Seattle Aquarium and has many 24-hour accommodations for guests. This hotel is a short walk from the pier to Norwegian or Oceana cruise lines as these depart from Pier 66. For those arriving late at night and still looking for something to do, this is the best hotel option.

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Homewood Suites by Hilton Seattle Downtown

The closest hotel for your budget to cruises coming out of Pier 91, such as Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises, is the Homewood Suites. If you are cruising out of Pier 91, there are no hotels directly nearby, though this is probably your closest hotel and it will take about a 10 minute Lyft/Uber ride. It’s about halfway between the Smith Cove Terminal and downtown Seattle making it a great midway hotel option. With views of Puget Sound, you are also within walking distance to many local area attractions. 

The Mediterranean Inn

The Mediterranean Inn is another option for easier access to Pier 91. Located in the Queen Anne area, it provides free loaner bikes to help explore the area. It's close to Kerry Park, one of my favorite city views and is about a 10 minute walk to the Space Needle. They do offer a port transfer.



Seattle is home to ports for nearly every cruise line, with the busy season starting in April and ending all the way in October. No matter what time of year you’re cruising. Hopefully, one of these hotels will be the perfect fit for your next trip.

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