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Opinions sought - Vancouver to Hubbard Glacier and back - or Vancouver to Seward?


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Hi,

I'm wondering whether to do:

  1. Vancouver - EMBARK at 16:30
  2. Inside Passage (Cruising) - CRUISING
  3. Icy Strait Point - DOCKED from 15:30 until 22:00
  4. Hubbard Glacier (Cruising) - CRUISING from 10:30 until 14:30
  5. Juneau - DOCKED from 07:30 until 20:00
  6. Ketchikan - DOCKED from 14:00 until 20:30
  7. Inside Passage (Cruising) - CRUISING
  8. Vancouver - DEBARK at 07:00

or:

  1. Vancouver - EMBARK at 16:30
  2. Inside Passage (Cruising) - CRUISING
  3. Ketchikan - DOCKED from 07:00 until 15:00
  4. Icy Strait Point - DOCKED from 10:00 until 20:00
  5. Juneau - DOCKED from 07:00 until 21:30
  6. Skagway - DOCKED from 07:00 until 16:00
  7. Hubbard Glacier (Cruising) - CRUISING from 07:00 until 11:00
  8. Seward - DEBARK at 05:00

 

The major differences being that you add Skagway and Seward (and therefore Anchorage) as destinations on the 2nd cruise. If I did the second one, then I'd either bus or train Seward --> Anchorage. Anyone experienced both and can offer up an opinion on bus or train choice?

 

Would I be missing out on much if I didn't keep heading north after Hubbard?

 

(This would be for next summer - and I'd probably fly in to Calgary and scenic drive to Vancouver for embarkation).

Thanks,

Ian.

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Having completed multiple seasons in Alaska, I always prefer a 1-Way cruise over a R/T. In Seward you can take one of the local glacier cruises or the Phillip's 26 Glacier from Whittier.

 

Great idea to fly into Calgary & drive to Vancouver.

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We just completed the one way from Seward to Vancouver. That added more logistical challenges, and it's expensive to get between Seward and Anchorage. It sounds like you're already thinking about that, but be sure to price it out. I think Seward to Anchorage is a little easier because there are more tour options. We took a rental car for $320 since we had 4 people. Also the added cost for flights, probably a hotel in Anchorage, etc. We had our teenagers with us, so in hindsight I may have done the round trip to make things cheaper and easier, but with just my husband and me, I'd probably still do the one way. 

I loved the drive between Seward and Anchorage. It's beautiful. I also liked getting to see more of Alaska, even for just a few hours. 

I would've hated to miss Skagway. I'd say that's your biggest negative on the round trip itinerary. The town still looks historic, so it's very unique, and there are some incredible shore excursion options there. We did dog sledding and loved it. 

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Option #2...depending on your flight time the train transfer booked with the ship if you can..If not consider Alaska Cruise Transfers. A great way to get to ANC for a flight before 2:30pm. Your flight time is going to limit your options using train or bus.

 

 

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Thank you all for taking the time to provide your insight.

 

I'm definitely leaning towards the one way cruise - but having looked into it more, I've discovered that the flights from Anchorage are twice the price of Vancouver flights ... hope I can save enough pennies before next year!

 

Ian.

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On 8/18/2019 at 9:59 AM, apex666 said:

Hi,

I'm wondering whether to do:

  1. Vancouver - EMBARK at 16:30
  2. Inside Passage (Cruising) - CRUISING
  3. Icy Strait Point - DOCKED from 15:30 until 22:00
  4. Hubbard Glacier (Cruising) - CRUISING from 10:30 until 14:30
  5. Juneau - DOCKED from 07:30 until 20:00
  6. Ketchikan - DOCKED from 14:00 until 20:30
  7. Inside Passage (Cruising) - CRUISING
  8. Vancouver - DEBARK at 07:00

or:

  1. Vancouver - EMBARK at 16:30
  2. Inside Passage (Cruising) - CRUISING
  3. Ketchikan - DOCKED from 07:00 until 15:00
  4. Icy Strait Point - DOCKED from 10:00 until 20:00
  5. Juneau - DOCKED from 07:00 until 21:30
  6. Skagway - DOCKED from 07:00 until 16:00
  7. Hubbard Glacier (Cruising) - CRUISING from 07:00 until 11:00
  8. Seward - DEBARK at 05:00

 

The major differences being that you add Skagway and Seward (and therefore Anchorage) as destinations on the 2nd cruise. If I did the second one, then I'd either bus or train Seward --> Anchorage. Anyone experienced both and can offer up an opinion on bus or train choice?

 

Would I be missing out on much if I didn't keep heading north after Hubbard?

 

(This would be for next summer - and I'd probably fly in to Calgary and scenic drive to Vancouver for embarkation).

Thanks,

Ian.

 

Some of the Radiance of the Seas NB have dropped Skagway and are doing Glacier Bay instead, times are similar in ports.

image.png.b397377545cd91e2ff47fd833582f7a8.png

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We basically did the one way cruise from option 2 in reverse. We had a great time pre cruise in Seward. There were so many things to do here and we found it a great port. We loved having the two days pre cruise in Alaska. 

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I prefer the one-way, preferably from Seward to Vancouver.  That option gives me:

 

1.  Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward.

2.  Kenai Fjords boat tour before boarding ship in Seward.  Great wildlife and nature viewing.

 

Either way, you do get the beautiful final morning coming into Vancouver.

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3 hours ago, AlanF65 said:

 

Some of the Radiance of the Seas NB have dropped Skagway and are doing Glacier Bay instead, times are similar in ports.

image.png.b397377545cd91e2ff47fd833582f7a8.png

Well that's too bad I personally would miss Skagway...seeing one glacier would be fine...either one it wouldn't matter.

 

I would even be fine with skipping ISP rather than Skagway...but we all know the investment RCI has in ISP.

Edited by Ashland
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49 minutes ago, Ashland said:

Well that's too bad I personally would miss Skagway...seeing one glacier would be fine...either one it wouldn't matter.

 

I would even be fine with skipping ISP rather than Skagway...but we all know the investment RCI has in ISP.

I liked the whale watching in ISP and eating at fisherman's daughter in town,  and have never been to Glacier bay so for me it is a plus.

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I'd go with an itinerary that included Glacier Bay. I never get tired of glaciers. This year, I did back-to-back cruises from Vancouver to Whittier and back. I had five consecutive days of glaciers--Glacier Bay, College Fjord, 26 glacier tour in Whittier, then Hubbard Glacier, and Glacier Bay. 

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47 minutes ago, Ashland said:

Yes they do....however who do you think has made huge investments in the port and it's new pier ?

 

This is what leads me to believe that RCI didn't pay for it. I am sure they pay a hefty per passenger or docking fee but ti  souldn ;like it was all local / Alaska money from what I read.

 

“Thanks to the partnership between the City of Hoonah, State of Alaska and Huna Totem Corporation, this investment will further improve our world-class destination.  from

https://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/icy-strait-point-building-a-cruise-ship-pier.html

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=6089

Looks like NCL is adding a second pier at their exepnse.

https://cruisefever.net/norwegian-cruise-line-building-new-pier-at-icy-strait-point-in-alaska/

 

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On 8/19/2019 at 3:27 PM, AlanF65 said:

 

Some of the Radiance of the Seas NB have dropped Skagway and are doing Glacier Bay instead, times are similar in ports.

image.png.b397377545cd91e2ff47fd833582f7a8.png

We will be on the NB Radiance on May 15 - 22. See you on board!

 

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We're boarding the Celebrity Eclipse in Vancouver tomorrow, which is itinerary 1 on the OP's post. We were on the NCL Pearl 10 years  ago and went to Glacier Bay and Skagway, so looking forward to Hubbard and ISP.

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On 8/19/2019 at 6:13 PM, Ashland said:

Well that's too bad I personally would miss Skagway...seeing one glacier would be fine...either one it wouldn't matter.

 

I would even be fine with skipping ISP rather than Skagway...but we all know the investment RCI has in ISP.

Other cruise lines go to ISP.

 

Edited by Casey12
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6 hours ago, Casey12 said:

Other cruise lines go to ISP.

 

Yes...they do, and they all have an investment in docking there...so not a port they like to skip...that was my point.

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