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Ellen495

Timing required for embarkment Alaska Koningsdam

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Hi First Time Cruiser Here,

We are leaving July 4th at 4:30 pm (that's what the itinerary says) from Vancouver for a 7 day Alaska cruise. We intend to fly into Vancouver a few days early and go to Victoria. The ferries from Victoria run hourly. Do you think it's safe (of course the world could blow up - but barring something bizarre)  to stay in Victoria until the 4th and come early and go directly to the port? 

 

I have no clue what time we need to be at the port to embark -  I assume earlier than 4 - we're Neptune suite. I know the ferry is 1.5 hours though not sure where in Vancouver it docks - it says Tsawwassen. I will probably ask the Vancouver Tripadvisor forum how to get to the port, but you guys are the experts on the time I need to arrive. Don't want to miss the cruise! 

 

Thank you so much.

Ellen

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38 minutes ago, Ellen495 said:

Hi First Time Cruiser Here,

We are leaving July 4th at 4:30 pm (that's what the itinerary says) from Vancouver for a 7 day Alaska cruise. We intend to fly into Vancouver a few days early and go to Victoria. The ferries from Victoria run hourly. Do you think it's safe (of course the world could blow up - but barring something bizarre)  to stay in Victoria until the 4th and come early and go directly to the port? 

 

I have no clue what time we need to be at the port to embark -  I assume earlier than 4 - we're Neptune suite. I know the ferry is 1.5 hours though not sure where in Vancouver it docks - it says Tsawwassen. I will probably ask the Vancouver Tripadvisor forum how to get to the port, but you guys are the experts on the time I need to arrive. Don't want to miss the cruise! 

 

Thank you so much.

Ellen

Mandatory muster drill will be at 3:00pm, so be there no later than 2:00pm

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Posted (edited)

This will work if you leave Victoria early am.  You need a reservation for the ferry as it could be busy and you might miss the ferry you plan on taking.  You will want to be at Canada Place no later than 2 pm, as noted above. I would get a reservation for 9 am ferry out of Victoria, leaving your hotel no later than 8 am.  Plan on an hour to drive into Vancouver.  Enjoy Victoria, lots to see and do!

Edited by SilvertoGold

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Keep in mind that the ferry does not dock in Victoria but at the ferry terminal which is quite a few minutes north of Victoria. Of course you will know how long it takes if you are driving a car down to Victoria. Just wanted to make sure you give yourself plenty of cushion for the drive/ferry back to the mainland.

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Someone from Tripadvisor convinced us to fly into Victoria from Seattle (from Philadelphia). We  found a good flight - didn't buy it yet. So we would have 3 nights in Victoria, go to Vancouver just in case and stay over before the cruise. Then after the cruise spend 3 nights in Vancouver. Sounds safer...............

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The ferry from Victoria has a bus connection to Vancouver

 

https://bcfconnector.com/

 

Goes to Pacific Central Station so you could either train or cab to the wharf from there.  You could also use a Seaplane or helicopter connection to downtown vancouver which would actually put you spitting distance from the cruise ship terminal.

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Your plan sounds good. Another travel option is a ferry, Victoria Clipper, that travels daily from Seattle to a private terminal IN downtown Victoria. If you are in Victoria on July 1, that is Canada Day (think July 4th in the U.S.) and they go all out with a big celebration including fireworks that night!  

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7 hours ago, twodjs said:

Your plan sounds good. Another travel option is a ferry, Victoria Clipper, that travels daily from Seattle to a private terminal IN downtown Victoria. If you are in Victoria on July 1, that is Canada Day (think July 4th in the U.S.) and they go all out with a big celebration including fireworks that night!  

We considered that, but we would have to do an overnight in Seattle  - just adding another hotel somewhere we weren't interested in being on this vacation.

 

We were in BC for Canada before - but my husband thinks it was BC day in August. Are there 2 different things? Glad we'll see it. I guess we better get a hotel fast.

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Two different days. Canada day is their national celebration. We live just across the water in Port Angeles, Washington, and get the chance to travel to Victoria quite often.

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I live on Vancouver Island, and you will be fine if you take the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver. There are shuttle buses that will take you from downtown Victoria on to the ferry, then to the bus terminal in Vancouver.  The ferry ride itself is about an hour and 45 minutes, and you travel through some beautiful passages!  It's a short Skytrain (above-ground subway of sorts) ride to the criuse ship terminal (literally door to door) , or you can cab from bus terminal to ferry terminal.  There are 3 shuttles that will get you to the cruse ship terminal in time.  https://bcfconnector.com/schedules/

 

There's also the option of a float plane from Victoria Harbour to Vancouver Harbour, and the float plane terminal is only a couple of blocks from the cruise ship terminal.  Again, a beautiful flight, and you get to see a view you wouldn't normally see.  There are 5 flights that will get you to the cruise ship terminal in time.  https://www.harbourair.com/

 

Let me know if you need more info, and hope you enjoy your time in Canada!

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16 hours ago, Ellen495 said:

Someone from Tripadvisor convinced us to fly into Victoria from Seattle (from Philadelphia). We  found a good flight - didn't buy it yet. So we would have 3 nights in Victoria, go to Vancouver just in case and stay over before the cruise. Then after the cruise spend 3 nights in Vancouver. Sounds safer...............

Hi, 

I have lived in Vancouver my whole life, have visited Victoria many times in my lifetime (over 50 times).  You are doing the right thing to stay in Victoria and then come over the day before the cruise and spend a pre-cruise night in Vancouver. The early July time is extra busy, with July 1st, our Canada Day and July 4th, US Independence Day.  So with just that it is a bit crazy.  Also our BC Ferries are notorious for breaking down during extra busy holidays and if that happens some ferry runs are cancelled.  I wouldn’t suggest for anyone who is not familiar with all the logistics, (both ferries terminals are located 30 -40 minutes outside of both Victoria and  Vancouver and that is driving time, not bus time) to come from the island to the mainland on cruise embarkation day. Avoiding additional unnecessary stress is worth money, you are on holiday and should not incur any additional worry.  For people who know the logistics catching the first ferry on embarkation day is not a problem and something I might even do.  Have a great cruise.  Sure hope you love both Victoria and Vancouver.

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18 hours ago, Ellen495 said:

Someone from Tripadvisor convinced us to fly into Victoria from Seattle (from Philadelphia). We  found a good flight - didn't buy it yet. So we would have 3 nights in Victoria, go to Vancouver just in case and stay over before the cruise. Then after the cruise spend 3 nights in Vancouver. Sounds safer...............

That someone is very sensible - unless you have non-stop flight options to YVR, going via SEA it's just as easy to fly to YYJ and then you avoid all the wasted time on ferries (or extra cost on floatplanes/choppers, which are not cheap at all these days). I always suggest folks do exactly this (or fly home from YYJ if they want to do Victoria after their cruise), as well as getting out of Victoria itself to some of the other parts of the Island (for which a rental car is basically a necessity, as transit sucks as soon as you get out of the Victoria area).

 

The comments about busy ferries, and the small-but-still-present risk of a breakdown or even weather-based cancellation, are absolutely valid and definitely make 1 night in Vancouver precruise the sensible option too. They do run full around the holidays - and while foot passengers can pretty much always squeeze on to any ferry departure (it's folks with cars who have problems without a reso) if you were considering a one-way car rental and driving yourself over on the ferry then I would regard a reservation as absolute necessity around July 1st. The BCFConnector coach is likely just as cheap if there's only 2 of you - cars become cheaper when you pack them with bums on all seats though, as well as adding some flexibility.

 

With 3 nights post-cruise in Vancouver you can fill your entire time downtown (or using provided shuttles to places like Grouse & Capilano) but depending exactly which of our many sites you want to visit, another one-day car rental might be advantageous to get you around the more suburban areas where parking is much more affordable and transit involves long trips with connections.

 

Incidentally, the fireworks in Vancouver are actually better than those in Victoria on Canada Day - Victoria may be the seat of provincial government but it's tiny compared to Vancouver and has a ton of retirees who can't stay up late and complain about noise😉 If you flipped your trip and did Vancouver pre- then Victoria post-cruise (and flew home from YYJ/Clippered back to Seattle) it would also be more efficient, as you'd eliminate the risk of missing your cruise by starting in Vancouver.

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2 hours ago, martincath said:

That someone is very sensible - unless you have non-stop flight options to YVR, going via SEA it's just as easy to fly to YYJ and then you avoid all the wasted time on ferries (or extra cost on floatplanes/choppers, which are not cheap at all these days). I always suggest folks do exactly this (or fly home from YYJ if they want to do Victoria after their cruise), as well as getting out of Victoria itself to some of the other parts of the Island (for which a rental car is basically a necessity, as transit sucks as soon as you get out of the Victoria area).

 

The comments about busy ferries, and the small-but-still-present risk of a breakdown or even weather-based cancellation, are absolutely valid and definitely make 1 night in Vancouver precruise the sensible option too. They do run full around the holidays - and while foot passengers can pretty much always squeeze on to any ferry departure (it's folks with cars who have problems without a reso) if you were considering a one-way car rental and driving yourself over on the ferry then I would regard a reservation as absolute necessity around July 1st. The BCFConnector coach is likely just as cheap if there's only 2 of you - cars become cheaper when you pack them with bums on all seats though, as well as adding some flexibility.

 

With 3 nights post-cruise in Vancouver you can fill your entire time downtown (or using provided shuttles to places like Grouse & Capilano) but depending exactly which of our many sites you want to visit, another one-day car rental might be advantageous to get you around the more suburban areas where parking is much more affordable and transit involves long trips with connections.

 

Incidentally, the fireworks in Vancouver are actually better than those in Victoria on Canada Day - Victoria may be the seat of provincial government but it's tiny compared to Vancouver and has a ton of retirees who can't stay up late and complain about noise😉 If you flipped your trip and did Vancouver pre- then Victoria post-cruise (and flew home from YYJ/Clippered back to Seattle) it would also be more efficient, as you'd eliminate the risk of missing your cruise by starting in Vancouver.

THANK YOU - That's not a bad idea IF we can get the flight. We will definitely look into that option!!! It would be less moving around for sure!

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4 hours ago, Lido deck main said:

Hi, 

I have lived in Vancouver my whole life, have visited Victoria many times in my lifetime (over 50 times).  You are doing the right thing to stay in Victoria and then come over the day before the cruise and spend a pre-cruise night in Vancouver. The early July time is extra busy, with July 1st, our Canada Day and July 4th, US Independence Day.  So with just that it is a bit crazy.  Also our BC Ferries are notorious for breaking down during extra busy holidays and if that happens some ferry runs are cancelled.  I wouldn’t suggest for anyone who is not familiar with all the logistics, (both ferries terminals are located 30 -40 minutes outside of both Victoria and  Vancouver and that is driving time, not bus time) to come from the island to the mainland on cruise embarkation day. Avoiding additional unnecessary stress is worth money, you are on holiday and should not incur any additional worry.  For people who know the logistics catching the first ferry on embarkation day is not a problem and something I might even do.  Have a great cruise.  Sure hope you love both Victoria and Vancouver.

We LOVE Victoria (were there 10 years ago).  Any opinion about hotel between : Abagail, Magnolia, Victoria Regent Waterfront, and Double Tree by Hilton (we would consider the Hilton because we have points - but really want the best in Victoria). We love a great waterfront view - but want to be sure we're close enough to the downtown. We are quite capable of walking -- we're in good shape for 60. I'd love to hear your opinion. Or even one we didn't consider.

 

We haven't even looked at Vancouver yet - but likely will choose Marriott or Hilton as we have points. Less concerned about the best view in Vancouver, but you might change my mind.

 

THANKS

Ellen

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