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Pushka

Disembark/Embark by tender in Vancouver. How will Viking handle this?

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Our roll call has been curious about the tender ports into Alaska given that this is a brand new itinerary and immensely popular and busy with other cruise lines. Port schedule for Vancouver showed Orion as Night Operations so no berth allocated. As we embark on the first cruise out of Vancouver there is nothing on the boards about how this will work. The cruise before ours has completed the pacific transfer from Japan. We’ve just found out that Vancouver is likely a tender port. I know Viking does this in Britain but it stays overnight to complete provisioning etc. This is a same day turn around and of course, US and Canadian Immigration processing. 

 

So so my question is, how does Viking handle this? Luggage logistics must be a bit of a nightmare having to load onto tenders let alone passengers, and food supplies. Any thoughts? 

 

(PS, not concerned about tender ports in general, have done plenty of those, but Vancouver is the start point of the cruise I’m on and end port of the previous one)

Edited by Pushka

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A very interesting question, as I am not aware of this happening in Vancouver before. Many ships anchor in Vancouver, both in the Inner Harbour and outside in English Bay. However, I have never heard of a cruise ship tendering.

 

Baggage is probably the easiest, as they will most likely charter a barge, load the cases on at the shore then tow it out to the ship. I believe this is similar to Greenwich.

 

Haven't taken a ship alongside Canada Place for many years, so not sure if they have facilities to accept tenders. However, I do not recall seeing a dock to accept tenders. If they have 3 other ships + bunker barges, etc I doubt if they would have space.

 

They do have the ability to accept tenders at the adjacent Seabus Terminal and possibly the Harbour Air wharves. My best guess, is you would check in at Canada Place, go through security/immigration, then they would take you down to the dock and bus you the short distance to the Seabus terminal.

 

Just my best guess, so would be interested in hearing how it does work.

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50 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

A very interesting question, as I am not aware of this happening in Vancouver before. Many ships anchor in Vancouver, both in the Inner Harbour and outside in English Bay. However, I have never heard of a cruise ship tendering.

 

Baggage is probably the easiest, as they will most likely charter a barge, load the cases on at the shore then tow it out to the ship. I believe this is similar to Greenwich.

 

Haven't taken a ship alongside Canada Place for many years, so not sure if they have facilities to accept tenders. However, I do not recall seeing a dock to accept tenders. If they have 3 other ships + bunker barges, etc I doubt if they would have space.

 

They do have the ability to accept tenders at the adjacent Seabus Terminal and possibly the Harbour Air wharves. My best guess, is you would check in at Canada Place, go through security/immigration, then they would take you down to the dock and bus you the short distance to the Seabus terminal.

 

Just my best guess, so would be interested in hearing how it does work.

 

Thankyou - I was wondering about all the luggage and a barge sounds like a plan. I could see bags flying off and never to be seen again. There’s no mention of tenders in the MVJ but with the internet these days it’s easy to find out dock locations etc and when something doesn’t make sense. I quite like the tender process, you get great views of the ship but I’m not looking forward to it as the very first experience of the cruise. I always find the first day quite stressful anyway, having flown in, dealing with luggage, a new ship, lots of people, Immigration in Vancouver etc etc so this doesn’t help much. 

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Pushka,   Thanks for the “heads up” on Vancouver.    We are disembarking the cruise before yours after 37 days from Hong Kong.    I agree it is going to be an “interesting” disembarkation via tender and same for your embarkation.   Not sure how well the logistics will work and sound like plenty of scope for delays, particularily for your departure time.      Any delays  getting our pax  off will snowball onto your cruise.     Agree it could be a tad stressful. 

 

Could also be stressful for disembarking pax if they have tight timelines for flights.   I am glad we have a hotel booked in Vancouver for 2 nights.  

 

I know these port arrangements can change, so I have my fingers crossed for all of us hoping a berth may miraculously appear !!!! 

 

We will wave from our tender as we come in.   Don’t forget to wave back.  

 

Cheers.   Rod 

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11 minutes ago, Aussie Cruise Nuts said:

Pushka,   Thanks for the “heads up” on Vancouver.    We are disembarking the cruise before yours after 37 days from Hong Kong.    I agree it is going to be an “interesting” disembarkation via tender and same for your embarkation.   Not sure how well the logistics will work and sound like plenty of scope for delays, particularily for your departure time.      Any delays  getting our pax  off will snowball onto your cruise.     Agree it could be a tad stressful. 

 

Could also be stressful for disembarking pax if they have tight timelines for flights.   I am glad we have a hotel booked in Vancouver for 2 nights.  

 

I know these port arrangements can change, so I have my fingers crossed for all of us hoping a berth may miraculously appear !!!! 

 

We will wave from our tender as we come in.   Don’t forget to wave back.  

 

Cheers.   Rod 

 

Will do but likely we will both be hanging on to all our hand luggage! Let’s hope it does dock but also trust that Viking are on top of all the arrangements necessary if not! Not sure how delays impact on going under the bridge. At least they can catch up time the next sea day. 

Edited by Pushka

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It would sure be nice if Viking would jump in here and and explain things.  Or better yet send an email to people affected explaining.  Luckily, we aren't flying until the next day, but we do have a tour scheduled after disembarkation. 

 

Cynthia

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Does your itinerary say that Vancouver will be a tender port??? I find that surprising given the experience we had there many years ago on Holland America. We docked at Canada Place shown here: 

DSCN1488-600x450.jpg

 

Edited by CharTrav

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Last year in Sydney, on another line, they had two ships in port, one docked and the other tendered. To complicate matters besides the normal embark and disembark there were passengers transferring between ships.  The tendering operation was handled by a local ferry company with a combination of large ferries, barges and smaller jet ferries. The major complaint was they were very restrictive with what the passengers were allowed to keep with them because of the safety concerns on the ferry to ship xfer. 

Unfortunately the cruise line mailed the wrong terminal and pier locations to the passengers a few days earlier but that is another story. .

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13 hours ago, Pushka said:

 

Will do but likely we will both be hanging on to all our hand luggage! Let’s hope it does dock but also trust that Viking are on top of all the arrangements necessary if not! Not sure how delays impact on going under the bridge. At least they can catch up time the next sea day. 

Don't know the air draught on Viking Ships, but they should not have any restrictions passing under 1st Narrows bridge. Tidal restrictions only apply to a couple of the mega ships.

 

Departing Vancouver, the Captain sets an ETA for Seymour Narrows, which is 100 miles from Vancouver. It is a rather narrow channel with a 90 degree turn as you approach. Tides can be as high as 16 kts, so cruise ships only go through within 1 hr of slack water.

 

If you were late leaving Vancouver, if the ship couldn't make the tide, they would be delayed a few hours waiting for the next tide.

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16 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Don't know the air draught on Viking Ships, but they should not have any restrictions passing under 1st Narrows bridge. Tidal restrictions only apply to a couple of the mega ships.

 

Departing Vancouver, the Captain sets an ETA for Seymour Narrows, which is 100 miles from Vancouver. It is a rather narrow channel with a 90 degree turn as you approach. Tides can be as high as 16 kts, so cruise ships only go through within 1 hr of slack water.

 

If you were late leaving Vancouver, if the ship couldn't make the tide, they would be delayed a few hours waiting for the next tide.

Right you are about Seymour Narrows. I have seen large vortexes at the south entrance. Anyone interested can google Seymour Narrows and read all about blowing up Needle Rock. At the time called the largest non nuclear explosion ever. 

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7 hours ago, LunaSeaRetreat said:

It would sure be nice if Viking would jump in here and and explain things.  Or better yet send an email to people affected explaining.  Luckily, we aren't flying until the next day, but we do have a tour scheduled after disembarkation. 

 

Cynthia

 

They have sent me an email after my request to find out about tenders in order that I can plan some excursions that are not Viking ones. At this stage it will be tendering in Vancouver and again in Icy Strait a few days later. With of course the rider that this may change yada yada. There is no mention of tenders anywhere in the MVJ but it’s just that the  Vancouver Port schedule has several other ships with a berth nominated but Orion just has Night Ops and no berth.   I have no concerns about the tender for ISP at all. It’s the Vancouver one for embarkation logistics that needs to have careful planning. 

 

I agree that that of course Viking must be upfront about any issues that outgoing passengers must be aware of for their disembarkation but I did read somewhere that Viking Air had booked someone on a 1.30pm flight home. Of course this assumes that Viking Air are aware of the possibility of a tender process for disembarkation. 

 

We are due to depart Vancouver at 5pm with the arrival of Orion at 7am that morning. Sea day next day then Ketchikan. I’ve already booked Michelle and a flight over Misty Fjords for Ketchikan. 

 

This is the schedule

 

8E4B5789-F5A7-4526-B201-F87BED5D91F3.jpeg

Edited by Pushka

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5 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Right you are about Seymour Narrows. I have seen large vortexes at the south entrance. Anyone interested can google Seymour Narrows and read all about blowing up Needle Rock. At the time called the largest non nuclear explosion ever. 

Jim - great memories, as we used to complete 2 N'bd & 2 S'bd trips every week, hitting Seymour at any tide. When N'bd and bucking a big flood, I used to run the back eddy at Maude Island then through the vortexes to get through the narrows. Fun days.

 

Still remember one day running S'bd with a 16 kt flood, when we were running at 20 kts. Came through the narrows akin to a champagne cork coming out a bottle.

 

Needle Rock is an excellent read about how they drilled through the rock before blasting. No way they could get approvals for that project today.

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Haha, cork out of a bottle is very appropriate. Only time my old rust bucket exceeded 20 knots. Beautiful country and the mass market ships claim “inside passage “ when they are outside in Hecate Strait. Fake News!  At least fake marketing.😎

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Last I read about Viking next year, is they are doing the complete Inside Passage, as they mentioned Grenville Channel. This alone is a reason to go with Viking over the ones using Hecate.

 

Maybe I should get my ticket back and do the pilot's exam. Be fun conning a ship in those waters again.

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@Heidi13I’d love your input again. The latest from the previous cruise roll call is that Orion will arrive into Vancouver overnight the night before and berth as other ships leave. Luggage etc offloaded then at some stage during the night it will motor back to tender. Then tender off disembarkation people then tender on our cruise people. When the first ship leaves at 1700 then the Vancouver port people have emailed them to say that Orion will then rebirth at around 1700. However that is also the time that we are scheduled to depart. 

 

Will tides etc prevent our departure during the evening? Obviously I’d say around 2000 but who knows and Viking are not saying anything. Our schedule hasn’t changed. Our itinerary is obviously based on the sea day the next day then Ketchikan. 

Edited by Pushka

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Hi Pushka,

 

Sounds like Orion will time her arrival Vancouver on May 25th to coincide with the vessels departing that day. I am showing Royal Princess & New Amsterdam at Canada Place on the Saturday.

 

Best guess is that Orion would depart the berth about 05:00 to 06:00, as the ships normally dock about 07:00. Vancouver has many anchorages, but best guess is you would head to one of the inner harbour anchorages between Canada Place & Lonsdale Quay. Basically very close to Canada Place Cruise Terminal. I expect the tenders will run ashore to the small docks at the west side of the Seabus Terminal. This is next to the cruise terminal (East).

 

The cruise terminal has no tide restrictions for departure. The current does run off the end of the dock, but nothing the ship can't handle safely. From memory it is 100 miles from Vancouver to Seymour Narrows, so allowing for departure and slow steaming to 1st Narrows Bridge, it is about 6 hours up to Seymour.

 

Seymour Tides

 - May 25th - HWS at 23:02, cruise ship window is 22:00 to Midnight

 - May 26th - LWS at 04:15, cruise ship window is 03:15 to 05:15

 

Highly unlikely the ship will make the high tide on the 25th, so I expect they would set speed for 03:00 once they depart Vancouver. It has been way too many years since I worked north of Prince Rupert, so my best guess for distance to Ketchikan from Seymour Narrows is about 400 - 450 nautical miles. You indicated docking in Ketchikan at 10:00, which with cloxs provides 32 hrs steaming. Therefore, the average speed required is 12.5 kts to 14 kts

 

Both those speeds are well within the vessel's capability. I estimate the ship could depart Vancouver as late as 23:00 and still make the tide at Seymour.

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Excellent info Andy.  Someone mentioned tendering in Greenwich.  Very different from YVR in that Viking Sun was moored in a river a very, very short tender ride to the docks.  Honestly, we walked much more up down left right in Hong Kong or Singapore than in Greenwich and were alongside in those other ports.  Another important item is in Greenwich you are on the only ship using that facility.  Two or three mega ships can make Vancouver very crowded.  I have faith VO will get it done ok.

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2 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Excellent info Andy.  Someone mentioned tendering in Greenwich.  Very different from YVR in that Viking Sun was moored in a river a very, very short tender ride to the docks.  Honestly, we walked much more up down left right in Hong Kong or Singapore than in Greenwich and were alongside in those other ports.  Another important item is in Greenwich you are on the only ship using that facility.  Two or three mega ships can make Vancouver very crowded.  I have faith VO will get it done ok.

 

I hope so. First time with Viking so faith and experience not there yet. 

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First indications are positive, as Viking could arrive and remain at anchor, doing everything by tender. They can also get baggage and stores on/off using a barge.

 

You mentioned they will move the ship alongside once the Saturday ships depart. This is a fairly expensive operation, as they require a pilot & longshoremen to move alongside and again next morning to return to anchor. During the time in Vancouver, Viking will incur substantial Pilotage & Longshoreman costs. It also uses more fuel.

 

Highly doubt mainstream mega ships would incur these costs. My hats off to Viking.

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51 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

First indications are positive, as Viking could arrive and remain at anchor, doing everything by tender. They can also get baggage and stores on/off using a barge.

 

You mentioned they will move the ship alongside once the Saturday ships depart. This is a fairly expensive operation, as they require a pilot & longshoremen to move alongside and again next morning to return to anchor. During the time in Vancouver, Viking will incur substantial Pilotage & Longshoreman costs. It also uses more fuel.

 

Highly doubt mainstream mega ships would incur these costs. My hats off to Viking.

 

That is the manoeuvre someone on the cruise before us has posted in their roll call in an email sent to them from Vancouver Ports authority. Remember they will likely need to reprovision having just come up from the Australian and Japanese locations. And refuel. So maybe it’s worth the cost to them?

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2 minutes ago, Pushka said:

 

That is the manoeuvre someone on the cruise before us has posted in their roll call in an email sent to them from Vancouver Ports authority. Remember they will likely need to reprovision having just come up from the Australian and Japanese locations. And refuel. So maybe it’s worth the cost to them?

Bunkering is just as easy at anchor, as they bring a barge alongside. Stores are certainly easier alongside, but can be completed at anchor.

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On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 6:30 PM, Heidi13 said:

Hi Pushka,

 

Sounds like Orion will time her arrival Vancouver on May 25th to coincide with the vessels departing that day. I am showing Royal Princess & New Amsterdam at Canada Place on the Saturday.

 

Best guess is that Orion would depart the berth about 05:00 to 06:00, as the ships normally dock about 07:00. Vancouver has many anchorages, but best guess is you would head to one of the inner harbour anchorages between Canada Place & Lonsdale Quay. Basically very close to Canada Place Cruise Terminal. I expect the tenders will run ashore to the small docks at the west side of the Seabus Terminal. This is next to the cruise terminal (East).

 

If you also look at the 26th, according to crusietimetables.com on Sunday the 26th only three other ships will be departing from Vancouver, Celebrity Eclipse, Seven Seas Mariner and HAL Noordam, none of which are mega ships.  Vancouver docks can easily handle the 4 ships scheduled there that day. IMHO I see no reason why the Orion would have to anchor over night and tender the day of embarkation. Even on the 25th, only the Royal Princess and  Nieuw Amsterdam are scheduled to dock, so there should be plenty of room for the Orion.

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43 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

If you also look at the 26th, according to crusietimetables.com on Sunday the 26th only three other ships will be departing from Vancouver, Celebrity Eclipse, Seven Seas Mariner and HAL Noordam, none of which are mega ships.  Vancouver docks can easily handle the 4 ships scheduled there that day. IMHO I see no reason why the Orion would have to anchor over night and tender the day of embarkation. Even on the 25th, only the Royal Princess and  Nieuw Amsterdam are scheduled to dock, so there should be plenty of room for the Orion.

Vancouver can handle 4 ships, by docking 2 vessels on the East side of Canada Place, which has a length of just over 500 metres.

 

The combined length of Celebrity Eclipse & Viking Orion exceeds the berth length by almost 50 metres (160 Ft). Even if a ship was not docked on the North berth, you could not have a ship sticking out past the berth by almost 200 ft, allowing for gaps between ships, especially if tide is flooding. So unfortunately, with the ships in port, Vancouver's Canada Place cannot handle 4 ships alongside on May 26th.

 

I believe Orion is at sea between Ketchikan and Vancouver on May 25th, but she could dock on the North berth that day, but most likely won't arrive Vancouver until after the other ships depart.

Edited by Heidi13

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3 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

The combined length of Celebrity Eclipse & Viking Orion exceeds the berth length by almost 50 metres (160 Ft). Even if a ship was not docked on the North berth, you could not have a ship sticking out past the berth by almost 200 ft, allowing for gaps between ships, especially if tide is flooding. So unfortunately, with the ships in port, Vancouver's Canada Place cannot handle 4 ships alongside on May 26th.

Are you saying that only two larger cruise ships can dock at Canada Place at one time?  After looking at most weekends in May through August there are many days with three or four larger ships embarking from there. If that is the case it seems this port is either undersized or inefficient.

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