While Washington is not a big cruise ship destination per se, several companies offer Alaska cruises that start in Washington and spend a little time in the waters of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Several smaller cruise lines provide voyages on small ships. Rates below are per person and based on double occupancy.

In the big-ship category, several companies operate 7-day Alaska cruises out of Seattle. Norwegian Cruise Lines (tel. 866/234-0292; www.ncl.com) trips start at $549, Holland America Line (tel. 877/SAIL-HAL; www.hollandamerica.com) cruises start at $865, and Princess Cruises (tel. 800/PRINCESS; www.princess.com) offer some that start at $725.

Cruises on smaller ships are provided by several other companies. Lindblad Expeditions (tel. 800/397-3348; www.expeditions.com) has a 12-day voyage through the San Juan Islands to Alaska, with fares starting at $6,990. Cruise West (tel. 888/851-8133; www.cruisewest.com) offers an 11-day trip from Seattle to Alaska. Fares start at $3,599 per person. Catalyst Cruises (tel. 800/670-7678; www.cruise-nw.com) has 7-day San Juan Island voyages on a 62-foot yacht. The fare is $1,750 per person.

There are also cruises on small vessels up the Columbia River. Most of these play up Lewis and Clark history. Cruise West (tel. 888/851-8133; www.cruisewest.com) has an 8-day trip from Portland on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Fares start at $2,949. Five- to 13-day cruises with naturalists and historians are offered by Lindblad Expeditions (tel. 800/397-3348; www.expeditions.com), starting at $1,820.

The Queen of the West and the Empress of the North, two modern paddle-wheel ships operated by the Majestic America Line (tel. 800/434-1232; www.majesticamericaline.com), cruise the Columbia. The 7-night fares start at $2,170. The Empress of the North also cruises from Seattle to Alaska.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.