Not long ago, we went to Seattle from Orlando on Alaska Air to spend some time with our friends at Holland America Line and Chateau Ste Michelle winery. Enjoying a lovely stay at the Willows Lodge, not far from the Seattle air and cruise ports, the place would make for a great pre- or post-cruise choice before or after an Alaska sailing.
Just a 30 minute drive from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the location of Willows Lodge makes a great choice for cruise travelers who want to come in town a day or two early, rent a car and do some local exploring. Located in Woodinville, the heart of the Pacific Northwest wine country and home to over 100 wineries, the location of Willows Lodge easily offers plenty of things to do.
The 26-mile Burke Gilman Trail borders Willows Lodge and runs all the way into Seattle. The multi-use trail is perfect for a scenic walk, run, or bike ride. Willows Lodge has complimentary bikes available to check-out too.
A number of local craft breweries are also in the area including Redhook, one of the country’s best-loved breweries. Right next door Willows Lodge, the brewery offers daily tours and hosts a wide array of events throughout the year.
Across the street from Willows Lodge is Chateau Ste Michelle winery which we toured prior to a 7-day round trip Alaska cruise on Holland America Line, Seattle’s hometown cruise line.
On the other hand, the idea of relaxing at the lodge for a couple days with nothing to do is also a good idea. Pleasant wilderness cabin-like accommodations with fireplace and balconies or patios invite visitors to enjoy the space. A firepit off the main lobby draws interesting conversation on a chilly evening and 24-hour room service seals the deal; there is good reason to stay right there and do nothing too.
Another good choice for a pre-cruise activity in the Seattle area, the Seattle Space Needle which we also visited prior to sailing Holland America Line’s ms Oosterdam, earlier this year. Also about a 30-minute drive from Willows Lodge, the Seattle Space Needle makes for a great day of relaxed exploring. Have lunch or dinner there (make a reservation) for a great view of the city (see live webcam) and great food too.
Want to do more while in the area? The contemporary popular culture EMP Museum is right next door. The Seattle Monorail is closeby too and can take visitors to a number of interesting attractions close to the Space Needle.
When we sailed with Holland America Line to Alaska from Seattle, it was on a 7 day itinerary that took us up close and personal with the land of the midnight sun. Already an Alaska powerhouse, Holland America Line’s Sip-Savor-Sail element added an additional layer of Alaska engagement.
Check these resources posted during that sailing for more on sailing from Seattle, Alaska, Holland America Line and more
- Alaska Cruise Season Begins As We Sip Savor And Sail Away
- Alaska In Sight: Sailing Away On Holland America Sip Savor Sail
- Sip Savor Sail Sea Day Full Of Food And Wine
- Alaska Wonder Awaits, One Way Or Another
- Alaska Scenic Cruising On Holland America Sip Savor Sail
- A Day In Sitka With Holland America Line
- Ketchikan Takes Back Seat To Sip Sail Savor Events, Briefly
Check These Other Resources Too:
- Flickr Photo Albums*all the photos from our voyage, in albums:
- Port of Seattle– an engaging port authority, get to know the Port of Seattle
- Seattle Sheraton– A great pre- or post-cruise hotel property
- Seattle Space Needle– I thought it would be “great view, lousy tourist food” but it was in fact, “great view, delicious Northwest cuisine”
- Chateaux St Michelle winery– a nice little place not far from Seattle- a great pre- or post-cruise activity
- Chef Jeff Maxwell– From the Seattle Space Needle
- Wine Expert Bob Bertheau– From Chateaux St Michelle
- Beer & Wine Labels On Board– From Alaska Brewing Company products to local wineries
- Westerdam Ship Shots– all around the ship, captured throughout the voyage
- Sail Away From Seattle– our first night at sea and a lovely afternoon sail away party
- BB King Jazz Club On Holland America Line
- Chef Jeff Maxfield Stinging Nettle Soup Demonstration
- Northwest Wine Seminar with Bob Bertheau
- Chef Seis Kamimura- Now from Centurylink Stadium, Kamimura brings a rich pedigree of accomplishments to the Sip Savor Sail cruise.
- On The Way To Juneau– a day at sea was not your typical big ship day at sea, normally completely surrounded by water in all directions- see what is different here.
- Glacier Bay– A collection of what we saw throughout the day, including a rare sighting of a magnificent glacier not normally available for viewing this time of year
- Wine And Cheese On The Bow- is a signature event for Holland America Line’s Alaska operations where the forward bow section of the ship, normally closed, is opened up for passengers to engage the destination.