Tracy Arm in HAL 7 day inside passage

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#21
Andover, MN
2,443 Posts
Joined May 2007
Gee, I guess the OP should have booked the Volendam last year. The cruise this year says Tracy Arm is a service call.

Volendam is a smaller ship that Zuiderdam so maybe it did go a ways into Tracy Arm. I've read that other ships that list it have to cancel frequently because they can't transit due to ice. So, I guess I'm happy that HAL marks it as a SC and offers an excursion.

On our upcoming cruise I'll check with people who stayed on the ship at Tracy Arm and find out what the ship did after we left for our excursion and report back.

If anyone is booked on another line that offers Tracy Arm, maybe they can report on what happened while they were there on their ship.
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Deb & Steve
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Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - Jan 2006
Grand Princess - Western Caribbean - Nov 2007
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - Oct 2008
Zuiderdam - Inside Passage - July 2012
#22
935 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Northshorecruisers
Gee, I guess the OP should have booked the Volendam last year. The cruise this year says Tracy Arm is a service call.

Volendam is a smaller ship that Zuiderdam so maybe it did go a ways into Tracy Arm. I've read that other ships that list it have to cancel frequently because they can't transit due to ice. So, I guess I'm happy that HAL marks it as a SC and offers an excursion.

On our upcoming cruise I'll check with people who stayed on the ship at Tracy Arm and find out what the ship did after we left for our excursion and report back.

If anyone is booked on another line that offers Tracy Arm, maybe they can report on what happened while they were there on their ship.
Not in our case, since there is no more Tracy Arm Excursion on our sailing date, Allen Marine confirmed it...

So if there is no excursion, there is no SC.. so one alternative is the ship might go into Tracy arm...

And yes, we are taking Volendam.. its last sailing for 2012, for Sept 19-26.. if on Sept, 2009. Zuiderdam was able to enter Tracy Arm all the way on almost the same period.. how much more Volendam, being a smaller ship, can enter Tracy Arm?

It might be that Sept has less ice already..so that s what I'm hoping
#23
Andover, MN
2,443 Posts
Joined May 2007
Funny, the excursion is still showing for that cruise on their website.
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Deb & Steve
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Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - Jan 2006
Grand Princess - Western Caribbean - Nov 2007
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - Oct 2008
Zuiderdam - Inside Passage - July 2012
#24
Northern California
270 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
This has been discussed in various scattered places. Last year, we were on the Zuiderdam, 7 day inside passage, in early June. We went INTO Tracy Arm and, of course, into Glacier Bay. We were in Tracy Arm a couple of hours.

HAL have discontinued going into Tracy Arm this year--they are just dropping off people taking the excursion into Tracy Arm, just inside the entrance. We were surprised to see that, and didn't actually realize it until after we had booked the Zuiderdam, leaving in a couple of weeks. There has definitely been a change between last year and this.

Probably, they haven't updated their promotional materials yet.
#25
935 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Northshorecruisers
Funny, the excursion is still showing for that cruise on their website.
Go to the actual sailing date, Sept 19 volendam. Go to the IT, download the PDF file for the shore excursion for this cruise, it is no longer there.
#26
Portland Oregon
2,753 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
I don't think that size has too much to do with it - the 985' Norweigian Jewel made it all the way to the Sawyer Glacier at the end of June. I think it may have more to do with overall schedule and the maximium crusing speed of the vessels.
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#27
FL/CT
113 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I still don't understand the SC status do you get to see Tracy Arm or sleep in? We are on the Zuiderdam for Sept 2013 thinking we were going to both Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm but after getting educated from this site I feel short changed, don't know what to expect please educate me more.
#28
SoCal
8,873 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by cruiser 101
I still don't understand the SC status do you get to see Tracy Arm or sleep in? We are on the Zuiderdam for Sept 2013 thinking we were going to both Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm but after getting educated from this site I feel short changed, don't know what to expect please educate me more.
I don't understand. I thought SC was Scenic Cruising. So when we did Tracy Arm on our Zuiderdam Sep 2009 cruise (noted as SC in our itinerary), we actually cruised all the way into Tracy Arm.

But now it means Service Call? Just stopping by to drop off people for excursions?

I guess you should actually pose the question directly to the cruiseline.

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DCLHAL CarnivalPrincess Vantage
17 Cruises, 10 ships, 173 nights

#29
565 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Budget Queen
Sorry, but HAL still has an excellent round trip Vancouver itinerary, with a add on Tracy Arm tour available. they often have superb ship naturalists, and the cpts, overall, do make more of an effort for scenic coastal sailing vs some other lines.
We did the RT Vancouver Volendam in May, 2006 and LOVED Tracy Arm - it was so scenic and serene... we booked same trip/ship for July, 2013 and have just learned the 10-10:30 Tracy Arm means 'service call' -- someone had told me it was still a trip thru Tracy Arm without a time for ending as it was determined by the weather/ice etc how long the ship would be there.

If it is indeed a service call for the shore excursion into Tracy Arm then I suppose the ones on the ship not doing the excursion see NONE of this area? I am really confused now.

So -- the ship just drops off passengers for the TA excursion ?? What time do those on the excursion make it to Juneau?

We had hoped to do a whale watch out of Juneau and thought the morning would be spent 'drifting' up Tracy Arm like in 2006.... so this is not the case?

I hope someone who really knows about this can help us out - we have about 30 going and this is a shock.....

Thanks
#30
935 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Shmoo here
I don't understand. I thought SC was Scenic Cruising. So when we did Tracy Arm on our Zuiderdam Sep 2009 cruise (noted as SC in our itinerary), we actually cruised all the way into Tracy Arm.

But now it means Service Call? Just stopping by to drop off people for excursions?

I guess you should actually pose the question directly to the cruiseline.

It's service call, they printed out what SC means at the right of the table of the IT. It says service call.
#31
935 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by travelingla
We did the RT Vancouver Volendam in May, 2006 and LOVED Tracy Arm - it was so scenic and serene... we booked same trip/ship for July, 2013 and have just learned the 10-10:30 Tracy Arm means 'service call' -- someone had told me it was still a trip thru Tracy Arm without a time for ending as it was determined by the weather/ice etc how long the ship would be there.

If it is indeed a service call for the shore excursion into Tracy Arm then I suppose the ones on the ship not doing the excursion see NONE of this area? I am really confused now.

So -- the ship just drops off passengers for the TA excursion ?? What time do those on the excursion make it to Juneau?

We had hoped to do a whale watch out of Juneau and thought the morning would be spent 'drifting' up Tracy Arm like in 2006.... so this is not the case?

I hope someone who really knows about this can help us out - we have about 30 going and this is a shock.....

Thanks
Well..seems lots of people who booked HAL inside passage 2012 cruises like me who haven't taken it yet felt either short changed, or shocked, or confused.

I'm also confused right now...

In our case, there is no Tracy Arm excursion offered!! As it is already late Sept. So what is the purpose of the SC if there is no people to dropped off in the first place?

and if we will arrive at Juneau at 1pm and there are no passengers to drop so no SC, what will the ship do in the morning? Just floating around??

Might as well ask the captain to try to enter Tracy Arm or any other alternative Fjord, or the entire morning IT will be wasted.

Since many are confused and shocked that the ship is just doing an SC, or will try enter Tracy Arm if weather and ice permitting.. why not lets ask HAL directly or ask anyone who just did this cruise this year whether they actually entered Tracy Arm or not.
#32
Raleigh, N.C.
11,227 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
I agree that the promo is misleading, but I think the itinerary is clear that there's just a service call at Tracy Arm. Apparently HAL did not think to update the itinerary for the last cruises of the year when there's not an excursion into Tracy Arm. The 10 to 10:30 time on the itinerary would not give the ship long enough to traverse Tracy Arm. Perhaps if the captain floored it during the night, the ship could get there early enough to go.
#33
FL/CT
113 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Found this reply this morning that's posted from another thread (don't know if thats the correct term)


#16
Today, 09:00 AM
thecook
Cool Cruiser

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 228

I just got back from a week on the Zuiderdam. We did indeed stop in Tracy Arm for only 30 minutes to allow passengers to board a small excursion boat. I was disappointed by the lack of scenic cruising with this itinerary. You are right that we as passengers learn lessons with every vacation that we plan. After this cruise, I learned that I need to ask my PCC a lot of questions before I make a final decision for my vacation.
#34
14,618 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I don't think HAL was getting to the end of the fjord very often on the cruises where they also sailed to Juneau the same day. However, knowing that the Volendam and Zuiderdam used to sail to both Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay - I wouldn't have noticed the difference in 2012 just by the "SC" next to "Tracy Arm."

The Disney Wonder has been getting to the glaciers at Tracy Arm just about every week because they allow enough time for the transit. Other ships that don't make it use the excuse that there's too much ice - when in truth they've run out of time.

I agree with vbmom87 about HAL watering down their itineraries. HAL used to sail to College Fjords and Glacier Bay on their one-way cruises, but now goes only to Glacier Bay. Princess still goes to Glacier Bay and either College Fjords (northbound) or Hubbard Glacier (southbound) on their one-way cruises.
#35
935 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by NancyIL

I agree with vbmom87 about HAL watering down their itineraries. HAL used to sail to College Fjords and Glacier Bay on their one-way cruises, but now goes only to Glacier Bay.
Crap.. all I along I thought Gulf of Alaska = sailing through College Fjord.

You are correct, this promo video I watched with HA:, that caused me to pick HAL over other cruise lines, because it said both Tracy Arm and Galcial Bay, also mentioned Colleage Fjord for one way cruises... leading me to assume that Gulf of Alaska in the present one way IT = College Fjord.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8WiPjqPBvg

I think this video was created in 2009..

I thought too I got a jockpot IT, saling both Tracy Arm and Glacial Bay in just a 7 day round trip cruise from vancouver, but I was wrong.
#36
14,618 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by roquejo
Crap.. all I along I thought Gulf of Alaska = sailing through College Fjord.

You are correct, this promo video I watched with HA:, that caused me to pick HAL over other cruise lines, because it said both Tracy Arm and Galcial Bay, also mentioned Colleage Fjord for one way cruises... leading me to assume that Gulf of Alaska in the present one way IT = College Fjord.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8WiPjqPBvg

I think this video was created in 2009..

I thought too I got a jockpot IT, saling both Tracy Arm and Glacial Bay in just a 7 day round trip cruise from vancouver, but I was wrong.
HAL's one-ways say "At sea (Gulf of Alaska)" in 2012, and "At sea" in 2013. The one-ways cross the Gulf of Alaska, but they no longer go to College Fjord.
#37
565 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by roquejo
Crap...

I thought too I got a jockpot IT, saling both Tracy Arm and Glacial Bay in just a 7 day round trip cruise from vancouver, but I was wrong.
I know.....

Well - I appreciate the comments and explanations of 'sc' -- I am disappointed as the Tracy Arm day was one of my favorites on the 2006 Volendam cruise.

But.... having complained and gotten it out of my system now, I'll put on my big-girl-panties and get over it!

The cruise is more than TA to me and I know our group will have a blast and love the scenery of whatever there is to see! I love the Volendam.
#38
935 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by travelingla
I know.....

Well - I appreciate the comments and explanations of 'sc' -- I am disappointed as the Tracy Arm day was one of my favorites on the 2006 Volendam cruise.

But.... having complained and gotten it out of my system now, I'll put on my big-girl-panties and get over it!

The cruise is more than TA to me and I know our group will have a blast and love the scenery of whatever there is to see! I love the Volendam.
I'm taking the Volendam, but just curious, what's so special about volendam compared to zuiderdam? Besides volendam being smaller ship with 500 less passengers so less competition for shore ex, and besides it sailing on a wed, making the ports less crowded?

volendam is also known for their verandas, but are already sold out on our cruise date.. but for the inside staterooms.. is Volendam still better than the other cruise ships or zuiderdam?
#39
Syracuse, New York
49,194 Posts
Joined May 2000
Except for the last sailings, HAL has available the add on Tracy Arm excursion, which is excellent. So I do not agree, it's such a "bad" itinerary now.
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#40
565 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Budget Queen
Except for the last sailings, HAL has available the add on Tracy Arm excursion, which is excellent. So I do not agree, it's such a "bad" itinerary now.
BQ.... I always value your opinion... You steered us right in 2006

I would love to do this TA excursion but it is 5 1/2 hrs and we wanted to do the whale watch exc this time in Juneau. We did the heli and glacier trek the last trip which was amazing! Back to whales.... I don't think we could do both... Time wise... Wondering the possibility of seeing whales on the TA excursion compared to the whale watch.

And then.... Given a choice of one, which would you prefer?

We've been on great whale watches in Hawaii do its not like we've never seen them in 'the wild' before....I am also trying to help the grp going with us to decide which they would prefer, based on someone's 'expert' opinion who knows more than me!

Thank you for any insight you can give.

Roq... personally I've been only on the Vol do I am not the one to give you a personal comparison of ships ... Hopefully someone else can answer....

Disclaimer: plz forgive typos, I am horrid on my phone