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hulamoon

Orion in Alaska

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Heidi13 or Jim were either of you ever on the US Alaskan Ferry?  In our  back packing adventurious years we took the ferry from Seattle to Haines...stopping in every city and camped at the local campsite!!!  Then a train to Denali & Fairbanks, Anchorage....finally flew home from Anchorage!!!  there was a bus somewhere in there to Whitehorse!!!  Not quite Viking standards!!!  But Hulamom, plenty of up close wildlife!!!

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18 minutes ago, deec said:

Heidi13 or Jim were either of you ever on the US Alaskan Ferry?  In our  back packing adventurious years we took the ferry from Seattle to Haines...stopping in every city and camped at the local campsite!!!  Then a train to Denali & Fairbanks, Anchorage....finally flew home from Anchorage!!!  there was a bus somewhere in there to Whitehorse!!!  Not quite Viking standards!!!  But Hulamom, plenty of up close wildlife!!!

Yes, I have sailed the Alaska Marine Highway a number of times including trips on the old Matanuska to accumulate enough Canadian Inside Passage runs to obtain my Canadian Pilotage Waiver.  In other words, after so many transits Canada no longer required Pilots onboard ships I ran.  My company was so impressed they gave me an extra $10 per day!  The food was basic but good, my little cabin very comfy and clean and I liked the "backpack zone" on the upper deck aft where you could sleep on a deck chair under a radiant heater.  Luxury!  Those ships still run and still go into most of the hard to reach places.  Another good option for Alaska cruising.  

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On 1/22/2019 at 1:09 AM, hulamoon said:

I have Yakutat Bay for June 2nd. 

 

Yes, that’s the Bay for Hubbard Glacier. This was taken from the booking in Vikings My Viking. 

 

Did you end up booking?

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Jim,

we would have been on those ferries in Spring of 1975...yes those heaters helped keep us warm!!!  I think we lived on re-hydrated food!

 

 

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5 minutes ago, deec said:

Jim,

we would have been on those ferries in Spring of 1975...yes those heaters helped keep us warm!!!  I think we lived on re-hydrated food!

 

Haha, I also slept in a lot of strange places.  Try that now and it would take a medical team to get us upright again.  Makes one appreciate the great beds on Viking Sun.

 

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23 hours ago, deec said:

Heidi13 or Jim were either of you ever on the US Alaskan Ferry?  In our  back packing adventurious years we took the ferry from Seattle to Haines...stopping in every city and camped at the local campsite!!!  Then a train to Denali & Fairbanks, Anchorage....finally flew home from Anchorage!!!  there was a bus somewhere in there to Whitehorse!!!  Not quite Viking standards!!!  But Hulamom, plenty of up close wildlife!!!

Negative on the Alaska Ferry, as you required US citizenship & certificates. I worked on the BC equivalent and often docked next to the Alaska ships in Prince Rupert. We also passed them many times during our Vancouver to Prince Rupert trips. I didn't start on the local ferries until 1981.

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Negative on the Alaska Ferry, as you required US citizenship & certificates. I worked on the BC equivalent and often docked next to the Alaska ships in Prince Rupert. We also passed them many times during our Vancouver to Prince Rupert trips. I didn't start on the local ferries until 1981.

Who knows?  We might have waved at each other in passing.  Wish we were on the same WC.🍸

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3 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Who knows?  We might have waved at each other in passing.  Wish we were on the same WC.🍸

Most likely, as before moving to Canada I worked on Island Princess (Alaska 1979) & Sun Princess (Alaska 1980) both doing 7 day R/T cruises out of Vancouver. Just a lowly 3rd Officer, so worked the 4-8 with Chief Officer.

 

I would be game for the 245 day, but DW doesn't think she could handle 8 months on a ship. Nothing to it, one trip as a cadet I did 9 months.

 

Hope to meet in San Pedro, as we are flying down to LA on Jan 2nd and staying at the Crowne Plaza. They have a UK Pub and craft brewery within a block of the hotel - 2 of my favourite shops. Hope to see you Jan 3rd for a refreshment, or two. 

Edited by Heidi13

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25 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Most likely, as before moving to Canada I worked on Island Princess (Alaska 1979) & Sun Princess (Alaska 1980) both doing 7 day R/T cruises out of Vancouver. Just a lowly 3rd Officer, so worked the 4-8 with Chief Officer.

 

I would be game for the 245 day, but DW doesn't think she could handle 8 months on a ship. Nothing to it, one trip as a cadet I did 9 months.

 

Hope to meet in San Pedro, as we are flying down to LA on Jan 2nd and staying at the Crowne Plaza. They have a UK Pub and craft brewery within a block of the hotel - 2 of my favourite shops. Hope to see you Jan 3rd for a refreshment, or two. 

Now that's a plan!  Supposedly a day and night (3rd) onboard in LA.  Not interested in a bus tour of LA so will be relying on your prior knowledge to know which pub is best.  But then trying them all will be ok with a short cab ride back to the ship...

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Jim - Looking at the Whale & Ale Pub on West 7th Street & San Pedro Brewing Company on West 6th. Thinking we might start in the pub for lunch then mosey over to the brewery for refreshments & dinner. They have a nice selection of IPA's & stouts, with many of them over 7%.

 

Apologies to OP for hijacking the thread.

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47 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Jim - Looking at the Whale & Ale Pub on West 7th Street & San Pedro Brewing Company on West 6th. Thinking we might start in the pub for lunch then mosey over to the brewery for refreshments & dinner. They have a nice selection of IPA's & stouts, with many of them over 7%.

 

Apologies to OP for hijacking the thread.

Looks good.  And right, we should move this over to the Roll Call.  And tell DW that the first thing that surprised us when we got home from our WC was how much we missed it and wanted to go back.  8 months??  Piece of cake.  Especially since she will have her personal Old Salt tour guide with her....

Edited by Jim Avery

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I am taking notes! No apology needed. We had a family emergency and now are back to this 20th anniversary choice.

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Thanks, feel free to ask any questions on Alaska, since Jim & I have more time on the NW coast than most. Also, I can help with any questions on Vancouver.

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So a question then. I’m still unclear if Viking travels the true Inside Passage or the one that all other cruise lines take? If in May I’ve read on the Ports board that weather might be a little more palatable for this section.

I’d love to know how Viking is going to handle Vancouver and if they’ve sourced a Berth yet.

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9 hours ago, Pushka said:

So a question then. I’m still unclear if Viking travels the true Inside Passage or the one that all other cruise lines take? If in May I’ve read on the Ports board that weather might be a little more palatable for this section.

I’d love to know how Viking is going to handle Vancouver and if they’ve sourced a Berth yet.

Back in the 70's and 80's, when the ships were smaller, they mostly completed the entire BC Coast Inside Passage. However, the advent of larger ships caused a rethink, which I assume also considered costs. Back in my day, we carried 2 BC Coast Pilots from Vancouver up to Prince Rupert, a period of about 24 hrs. They don't come cheap, as they make considerably more than airline pilots (even A-380 & B-747 pilots).

 

From Vancouver, unless adding significant distance, the ships must use Seymour Narrows & Johnstone Strait on the first night. Once the ships grew in size they opted to hit open water at Pine Island, which also cut the pilotage bill in half.

 

Looking at the Viking website, they indicate they will use Seymour Narrows and Grenville Channel, which means they will not go up Hecate Strait. I have confirmed these points are listed on Google Maps, so this should be your route:

 - Departure Vancouver, passing under 1st Narrow Bridge (Lions Gate) then into English Bay

 - At Pt Atkinson you enter Georgia Strait, heading NW. Starts with Bowen Island on Stbd side. Eventually you have land visible on both sides

 - At Cape Mudge Lighthouse on Quadra Island you enter the narrow Inside Passage. Time depends on slack water at Seymour Narrows, but will be 22:00 - 23:59.

 - Transit Seymour Narrows, which will be within 1 hour of slack water. Very easy transit at slack water, but definitely challenging at max tides of 16 kts. Cruise ships only transit at slack water

 - Remainder of the night you transit Johnstone Strait, passing Helmecken Island, Kelsey Bay and Robson Bight. We often saw whale at Robson Bight. Depending on Seymour tides, you may reach Robson Bight at dawn (04:00 to 05:00)

 - At top of Johnstone Strait, you can continue up to Alert Bay, or take Blackfish Sound between Hanson & Parson Is. Probably use Blackfish, as the transit at Alert Bay can have some wicked tides.

 - As most pax awake, you will be transiting Queen Charlotte Strait out to Pine Island. This is where other ships head out to open waters. Viking ships should alter North.

 - Hopefully they will transit Lama Passage & Bella Bella by going East of Calvert Island, however it is possible to West of Calvert and bypass Lama Passage (personally, I have always gone via Lama Passage on both cruise ships and ferries)

 - You will then go between Price Island & Lady Douglas Island, heading up to Boar Bluff, which is an interesting transit

 - You then navigate along the channel, passed Butedale

 - At Gill Island you enter Grenville Channel, which takes you up towards Prince Rupert and Dixon Entrance. You should reach the vicinity of Prince Rupert at about 18:00 to 20:00, so daylight all the way. 

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Excellent synopsis of the Northbound.  Great memories.  Ditto on the Inside Passage Orcas.  And I have never seen anything in Hecate Strait.  Waste of a day imho so I too hope Viking uses the beautiful BC Inside Passage.  

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Back in the 70's and 80's, when the ships were smaller, they mostly completed the entire BC Coast Inside Passage. However, the advent of larger ships caused a rethink, which I assume also considered costs. Back in my day, we carried 2 BC Coast Pilots from Vancouver up to Prince Rupert, a period of about 24 hrs. They don't come cheap, as they make considerably more than airline pilots (even A-380 & B-747 pilots).
 
From Vancouver, unless adding significant distance, the ships must use Seymour Narrows & Johnstone Strait on the first night. Once the ships grew in size they opted to hit open water at Pine Island, which also cut the pilotage bill in half.
 
Looking at the Viking website, they indicate they will use Seymour Narrows and Grenville Channel, which means they will not go up Hecate Strait. I have confirmed these points are listed on Google Maps, so this should be your route:
 - Departure Vancouver, passing under 1st Narrow Bridge (Lions Gate) then into English Bay
 - At Pt Atkinson you enter Georgia Strait, heading NW. Starts with Bowen Island on Stbd side. Eventually you have land visible on both sides
 - At Cape Mudge Lighthouse on Quadra Island you enter the narrow Inside Passage. Time depends on slack water at Seymour Narrows, but will be 22:00 - 23:59.
 - Transit Seymour Narrows, which will be within 1 hour of slack water. Very easy transit at slack water, but definitely challenging at max tides of 16 kts. Cruise ships only transit at slack water
 - Remainder of the night you transit Johnstone Strait, passing Helmecken Island, Kelsey Bay and Robson Bight. We often saw whale at Robson Bight. Depending on Seymour tides, you may reach Robson Bight at dawn (04:00 to 05:00)
 - At top of Johnstone Strait, you can continue up to Alert Bay, or take Blackfish Sound between Hanson & Parson Is. Probably use Blackfish, as the transit at Alert Bay can have some wicked tides.
 - As most pax awake, you will be transiting Queen Charlotte Strait out to Pine Island. This is where other ships head out to open waters. Viking ships should alter North.
 - Hopefully they will transit Lama Passage & Bella Bella by going East of Calvert Island, however it is possible to West of Calvert and bypass Lama Passage (personally, I have always gone via Lama Passage on both cruise ships and ferries)
 - You will then go between Price Island & Lady Douglas Island, heading up to Boar Bluff, which is an interesting transit
 - You then navigate along the channel, passed Butedale
 - At Gill Island you enter Grenville Channel, which takes you up towards Prince Rupert and Dixon Entrance. You should reach the vicinity of Prince Rupert at about 18:00 to 20:00, so daylight all the way. 

Wow. Thankyou for this detailed info. I guess I will be able to confirm in exactly 4 months by the date! 26 May.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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7 hours ago, Pushka said:


Wow. Thankyou for this detailed info. I guess I will be able to confirm in exactly 4 months by the date! 26 May.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Looking forward to reading your Alaska reports. Hope you have a few days in Vancouver before the cruise.

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3 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Looking forward to reading your Alaska reports. Hope you have a few days in Vancouver before the cruise.

 

Definitely. 3 full days then board on the 4th day. 

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