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excitedofharpenden

Port overcrowding

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We actually prefer to avoid busy ports. Our favourite cruise was a few years ago, from Istanbul to Athens, after Russia invaded Ukraine and the major cities and attractions there were cancelled. Ports like Mykonos and Kusadasi were already fully booked, I guess, so  Azamara found tiny fishing villages along the southern coast of the Black Sea and a couple of luxurious Greek resort islands never really featured on typical routes. (My lips are sealed).  We were often the only ship in port (except for Goldie Hawk and Kurt Russell’s impressive yacht) and had several charming places entirely to ourselves. I’ve watched, over the years, to see if any of those places reappeared on itineraries, but it looks like it was a unique cruise. Lucky us!

I was amazed by the bargain prices offered for the Alaskan cruises this summer but since I abhor crowds, I couldn’t be tempted. I’ve seen travel posters with aerial shots of pristine glacier bays with huge ships lined up like cars in a Costco parking lot. I’m very practical. How can a small coastal town offer adequate sanitary facilities to thousands of people a day? My sister did this voyage a few years back and said they had to line up outside a bar for ages and buy food and drinks for a fortune to use the bathroom. This does not sound like fun to me. Have you checked out the usurious prices for mundane  hotels in Vancouver in the cruising season? 

I do wish Azamara would take advantage of their small ship size and cruise more often to smaller, less typical ports in Europe.  It’s so great to just walk off the ship into a lovely town, meet the locals and relax away from crowds. 

 

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1 hour ago, syam said:

We actually prefer to avoid busy ports. Our favourite cruise was a few years ago, from Istanbul to Athens, after Russia invaded Ukraine and the major cities and attractions there were cancelled. Ports like Mykonos and Kusadasi were already fully booked, I guess, so  Azamara found tiny fishing villages along the southern coast of the Black Sea and a couple of luxurious Greek resort islands never really featured on typical routes. (My lips are sealed).  We were often the only ship in port (except for Goldie Hawk and Kurt Russell’s impressive yacht) and had several charming places entirely to ourselves. I’ve watched, over the years, to see if any of those places reappeared on itineraries, but it looks like it was a unique cruise. Lucky us!

I was amazed by the bargain prices offered for the Alaskan cruises this summer but since I abhor crowds, I couldn’t be tempted. I’ve seen travel posters with aerial shots of pristine glacier bays with huge ships lined up like cars in a Costco parking lot. I’m very practical. How can a small coastal town offer adequate sanitary facilities to thousands of people a day? My sister did this voyage a few years back and said they had to line up outside a bar for ages and buy food and drinks for a fortune to use the bathroom. This does not sound like fun to me. Have you checked out the usurious prices for mundane  hotels in Vancouver in the cruising season? 

I do wish Azamara would take advantage of their small ship size and cruise more often to smaller, less typical ports in Europe.  It’s so great to just walk off the ship into a lovely town, meet the locals and relax away from crowds. 

 

 

Azamara certainly did not take advantage of their small size this year in AK.  They basically hit the same ports as everyone else.  That is probably why they did not do well in AK.

 

DON

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On our 2016 Dubrovnik visit on Journey, we managed to avoid the crowds by being on the very first tender of the morning. We were the only passengers on that tender. The others were all Azamara crew, preparing to set up the tables, chairs, canopy, etc. for the tender stop. 

For the first couple of hours, we had Dubrovnik to ourselves. Then the crush of cruise visitors came and we took another tender back to Journey to relax on-board for a while. Taking advantage of Azamara's late stay, we went back to Dubrovnik again in late afternoon after most of the other cruise passengers had left to make their 4:00 p.m. "All-aboard" time. When visiting crowded ports, my number one strategy is to be the first off the ship.

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Posted (edited)

When going to Alaska ports, I have not really even thought much about port crowding, because we spend very little time in the port towns (too small to call them cities!). For us, the focus of our Alaska cruises is all about the excursions, such as flight-seeing on small airplanes, whale watching on small boats, and renting a car and exploring on our own. On any one of these activities,  you will immediately be away from any crowds at all.

 

As an example of the ultimate "get away from the crowds" excursion, we rented a car from Avis in Skagway and drove the Klondike Highway over the White Pass to Emerald Lake in the Yukon. Quite a few CC members make this drive using, "Murray’s Guide to the South Klondike Highway." I printed out a copy of this and we used it during the 73 mile drive to Emerald Lake, just past Carcross, Yukon.

 

As you can see, there are no crowds here. 

i-ZNkVckV-X3.jpg

 

 

Edited by Mercruiser

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We also rented a car in Skagway. We have been to Alaska many times and this was the best way to getaway from the crowds. 

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