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Pushka

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

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1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

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.

 

Four cruise ships is quite a number of people. Many ports would struggle with that. Actually most would. 

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2 hours ago, terrydtx said:

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.

The 3 berths are East (507 m), West (328 m) and North (276 m). When built it handled 5 ships, but with the ever increasing size of ships, most days it can only handle 3. Only the longest East berth has the potential of handling 2 ships. The East berth can handle 2 Viking ships, but generally not 2 modern mainstream line ships.

 

We did have an alternate dock at Ballantyne, but it was closed about 4 years ago. I also note some of the biggest cruise ships are too high to clear 1st Narrows Bridge.

 

Port Metro Vancouver is considering a new cruise terminal outside the Inner Harbour, but they don't have many good options. Having handled ships on this coast for too many years, about the only reasonable location is by Roberts Bank Coal Port/Box Boat Terminal.

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21 minutes ago, Pushka said:

 

Four cruise ships is quite a number of people. Many ports would struggle with that. Actually most would. 

Totally correct, especially with the location being right in the middle of a busy tourist area. Even with 3 large ships the arrivals/departure area can be rather busy. I suspect May 26th, with 4 ships will be crazy busy.

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And keep in mind the Alaska Cruise trade is intensely seasonal. I suspect, on a year round basis, the facility is under utilized, especially considering the cost of such a place.

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Jim - so true. We certainly never used Canada Place, as only time I ever took ships into Vancouver was heading to the floating drydock.

 

I believe they have the final departure November 1st this year, so it will sit empty until Mar/April 2020.

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Posted (edited)

Another update. Seems like we return to port at 5pm then depart at 9pm. I’m presuming tides will be ok? We don’t arrive into Ketchikan until 10am two days later (28th). I’m presuming that’s when they will load luggage on so maybe no luggage until late at night. And no change for dinner. Trust they will let us know so we can sort out carry on although this will be by tender. 

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Edited by Pushka

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Has anyone heard anything officially from Viking about tendering in Vancouver?  Pushka, we are on the cruise before you.  We have booked a shore excursion that will pick us up with our luggage at 9:30 at Convention Centre East Lobby on the 26th.
 When I booked this tour I assumed we would be docking and have no problem.  Now who knows?

 

We are leaving for Hong Kong to board the ship in two weeks. Am I being unreasonable to expect Viking to inform us about the disembarkation procedure before we leave for our trip?  

 

Cynthia

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, LunaSeaRetreat said:

Has anyone heard anything officially from Viking about tendering in Vancouver?  Pushka, we are on the cruise before you.  We have booked a shore excursion that will pick us up with our luggage at 9:30 at Convention Centre East Lobby on the 26th.
 When I booked this tour I assumed we would be docking and have no problem.  Now who knows?

 

We are leaving for Hong Kong to board the ship in two weeks. Am I being unreasonable to expect Viking to inform us about the disembarkation procedure before we leave for our trip?  

 

Cynthia

 

Hi Cynthia. I’ve had nothing from Viking. Hopefully you will find out as your cruise leaves in just a few weeks. Have you received documents yet and maybe there’s a notification in MVJ?

 

I think your timing should still be ok even with tender. Just tell them at the desk. 

Edited by Pushka

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I received my documents and not an anchor to be seen even though I know at least one port must be tendered.  I also wonder how customs will be handled since apparently we will tender into a nearby smaller dock and then go find our luggage.  I guess I will call the excursion company when we get to Alaska.  Hopefully I will know the details by then.

 

Cynthia

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Has it been determined you will tender into a nearby smaller dock?  Some larger ships will tender from a docking point, thence into the Canada Place terminal. 

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42 minutes ago, Cienfuegos said:

Has it been determined you will tender into a nearby smaller dock?  Some larger ships will tender from a docking point, thence into the Canada Place terminal. 

Nothing has been determined.  I got that idea from a post on this thread.  All Viking has in the official documents about Vancouver is "disembark in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada."  In my calendar online it says Sun May 26,2019 07:00 Am Port arrival." 

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3 hours ago, Cienfuegos said:

Has it been determined you will tender into a nearby smaller dock?  Some larger ships will tender from a docking point, thence into the Canada Place terminal. 

 

All the Vancouver Port Schedule says is Night Ops for Viking. There is nothing on the Viking documentation yet I know that three ports are tenders. Viking have confirmed that Vancouver is currently a tender but that this may change. The telephone people are saying there are no tenders. A shore excursion provider (Island Wings in Ketchikan) have said that their latest cruise schedule has us tendering. And they would know as they receive specialist and local port information. 

 

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4 hours ago, Cienfuegos said:

Has it been determined you will tender into a nearby smaller dock?  Some larger ships will tender from a docking point, thence into the Canada Place terminal. 

It's been a few years since I went alongside at Canada Place, so the memory might be hazy. I don't recall any facility on the berths to handle small tenders.

 

Most likely location is the side of the adjacent Seabus terminal.

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4 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

It's been a few years since I went alongside at Canada Place, so the memory might be hazy. I don't recall any facility on the berths to handle small tenders.

 

Most likely location is the side of the adjacent Seabus terminal.

 

If that is the case will we need a bus to get to the tender location after clearing customs? Or can we walk?

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I recall the SeaBus terminal, and I've used it a few times.  There's a long, covered walkway to the commuter rail tracks, and on to the glorious former Canadian Pacific Railway station.

 

I don't recall a direct connection to Canada Place, although there could be.  Since passengers will be entering Canada,  I'm guessing the authorities would require a secure transfer to a border control facility before turning folks loose.

 

It will be interesting to see what they decide to do.

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Crazy, never heard of them tendering in Vancouver. 

That being said, articles in our local news outlets today are saying we should have the busiest cruise season on record...

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I’ll be able to update in 59 days! I hope it’s wrong and we can just walk onboard. 

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Logistically that sounds like a nightmare for operations shipboard, being all fast alongside by 0300hrs and then being off the berth by 0600hrs so Regent can go in for the day, and then returning for 4 hours in the evening before departure.

 

That God forsaken early hour sounds like what Sea/Star did in San Juan which made little to no sense to me given nobody was off the ship before 0500-0530hrs and the luggage wasn't off any earlier (i know this as i heard the operation from above), but the difference being they stayed alongside throughout.

So the question remains, will they do immigration onboard (face to face) in that short window of time, or bring the officials onboard to anchor and do it then?  offloading luggage between 0300-0600hrs will no doubt be a massive cost to the company as well given the stevedores will not be working 'normal' hours which translates into big $$$ so they either go with a barge arrangement as has been said, or they have some other cunning plan?!?   

 

I just have visions of tenders running ashore between seaplane arrivals/departures and other traffic as its quite a busy waterway from what I recall.  Although trying not to sound terribly pessimistic, I see more problems than solutions with this planning so it will be interesting to see how they pull it off...

 

 

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Just curious-- how do they handle disabled or wheelchair dependent passengers if all embarkation is by tender?     

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13 hours ago, Cienfuegos said:

I recall the SeaBus terminal, and I've used it a few times.  There's a long, covered walkway to the commuter rail tracks, and on to the glorious former Canadian Pacific Railway station.

 

I don't recall a direct connection to Canada Place, although there could be.  Since passengers will be entering Canada,  I'm guessing the authorities would require a secure transfer to a border control facility before turning folks loose.

 

It will be interesting to see what they decide to do.

Good memory, as the raised walkway goes over the many railway tracks.

 

The area I am thinking they may use is just off the inner port road. They have a couple of small docks that would be suitable for tenders. It is 200 - 300 yds East of Canada Place, but I suspect they would require a shuttle bus, as this is a secure area.

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1 hour ago, emdia43 said:

Just curious-- how do they handle disabled or wheelchair dependent passengers if all embarkation is by tender?     

Not sure how they handle this, but Viking has a fair bit of experience with tendering at TAR ports. Every cruise going to Greenwich (London) tenders all pax, baggage and stores, as they have no berth to go alongside.

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15 hours ago, Pushka said:

I’ll be able to update in 59 days! I hope it’s wrong and we can just walk onboard. 

And I  hope  it's  wrong  and we  can  just  walk off  the ship !

 

 

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4 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Not sure how they handle this, but Viking has a fair bit of experience with tendering at TAR ports. Every cruise going to Greenwich (London) tenders all pax, baggage and stores, as they have no berth to go alongside.

big difference between Greenwich and Vancouver as has been mentioned is the river versus a harbor, not to mention the operation in Greenwich is done using local tenders and a barge, all of which are purpose designed for the operation.  not to mention there's not the same immigration formalities in the Greenwich as there would be in Vancouver.

 

as i say, i think there's going to be a big logistics headache given the split time alongside, but at least there's a nice big terminal to make use of whenever they can which is a major upside in comparison to the parking lot in Greenwich

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59 minutes ago, Captain_Morgan said:

big difference between Greenwich and Vancouver as has been mentioned is the river versus a harbor, not to mention the operation in Greenwich is done using local tenders and a barge, all of which are purpose designed for the operation.  not to mention there's not the same immigration formalities in the Greenwich as there would be in Vancouver.

 

as i say, i think there's going to be a big logistics headache given the split time alongside, but at least there's a nice big terminal to make use of whenever they can which is a major upside in comparison to the parking lot in Greenwich

 

It will need to be nice and big given the four ships in port. I just wish Viking would update and confirm again if anything has changed since their first advice. And nothing shows as tender on MVJ whereas I know other ports are tenders so it’s like they just haven’t thought about it. 

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I don't know about Vancouver. We have only once embarked via tender and that was in the Galapagos on a Celebrity ship. The luggage was on a barge.

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