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Spring California/Pacific Coast Repositioning

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Considering a HAL repositioning cruise San Diego northbound to Vancouver. and/or southbound Vancouver to Seattle. I know conditions can vary widely, but would appreciate hearing experiences with April - May California/Pacific coast repositionings.  Especially interested in experiences with port calls at Astoria, OR and navigating its 'treacherous' Columbia River Bar.

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15 minutes ago, HAL Sailer said:

Considering a HAL repositioning cruise San Diego northbound to Vancouver. and/or southbound Vancouver to Seattle. I know conditions can vary widely, but would appreciate hearing experiences with April - May California/Pacific coast repositionings.  Especially interested in experiences with port calls at Astoria, OR and navigating its 'treacherous' Columbia River Bar.

Well, you won't be able to do both, as that would violate the PVSA.

 

We did a Pacific Coastal cruise in late April a couple of years ago.  We experienced fairly rough sea conditions for  the first 2-3 nights out (LA northward).  We were able to get into Astoria, but had been forewarned that it is possible it might get missed.

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Did this twice in May (Zuiderdam and Noordam) from San Diego to Vancouver. No stops. Seas were not rough if I recall correctly. 

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7 minutes ago, Shmoo here said:

Well, you won't be able to do both, as that would violate the PVSA.

 

We did a Pacific Coastal cruise in late April a couple of years ago.  We experienced fairly rough sea conditions for  the first 2-3 nights out (LA northward).  We were able to get into Astoria, but had been forewarned that it is possible it might get missed.

Thanks, Shmoo for the sea report.  PSVA Q: If the northbound Eurodam ends in Vancouver before departing the same day southbound with a call on Victoria, BC before heading to Astoria and a Seattle disembarkation, does that still violate PVSA? Or does the Victoria port call fix the PVSA problem? (I've noticed some people on the E-dam northbound roll call saying they are staying on southbound doing it B2B.  But, I realize, they and/or their TA might not be aware of PVSA.)

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19 minutes ago, dobiemom said:

Did this twice in May (Zuiderdam and Noordam) from San Diego to Vancouver. No stops. Seas were not rough if I recall correctly. 

Thanks, dobiemom, for the sea report.

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Done northbound San Diego to Vancouver twice in spring. Rough on Veendam around Santa Barbara/ Point Conception and rough, cold, windy on Amsterdam before and after San Francisco port call.

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4 minutes ago, HAL Sailer said:

PSVA Q: If the northbound Eurodam ends in Vancouver before departing the same day southbound with a call on Victoria, BC before heading to Astoria and a Seattle disembarkation, does that still violate PVSA? Or does the Victoria port call fix the PVSA problem?

The stop in Victoria would not satisfy the requirements of the PVSA. Since you would be sailing from one US port (San Diego) to a different US port (Seattle), then you would have to also stop at a distant foreign port. Victoria is a near foreign port. 
Victoria satisfies the requirement for cruises that begin and end in the same US port. 

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Just now, RuthC said:

The stop in Victoria would not satisfy the requirements of the PVSA. Since you would be sailing from one US port (San Diego) to a different US port (Seattle), then you would have to also stop at a distant foreign port. Victoria is a near foreign port. 
Victoria satisfies the requirement for cruises that begin and end in the same US port. 

 

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Thanks, RuthC, for your very helpful explanation.  I had read about FAR and NEAR foreign ports but hadn't understood their application to PVSA. Much appreciated.

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8 minutes ago, ScottishMaid said:

Done northbound San Diego to Vancouver twice in spring. Rough on Veendam around Santa Barbara/ Point Conception and rough, cold, windy on Amsterdam before and after San Francisco port call.

Thanks, ScottishMaid, for the sea report.

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I've sailed positioning cruises many times.  Once it was so calm that you could water ski behind the entire way (northbound).  Other sailings have been quite rough....(reported on Westerdam) and the very next day just fine for me on the Veendam.

 

Mother nature is very fickle.

 

David

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We do this cruise yearly - love it! Have only had mildly rough seas a time or two - it didn’t cause any issue for us. 
 

Astoria - charming little community - some great seafood and breweries. I am probably biased - we plan to retire to that area in the next few years! Was just my mom and I a few years ago - my husband drove to Astoria to spend the day with us! No troubles crossing the bar for us. It can be terrible to cross in a small pleasure craft. The bar pilots are amazing and keep a pretty tight reign on who crosses and when. Never had any trouble.
 

Photo attached was taken by my hubby as we sailed out of Astoria. 

986069EE-1A06-41E6-96A9-36DF255F4C46.jpeg

Edited by NWvacationer

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We are considering the April Vancouver to Seattle cruise as we will be in Seattle the week prior and had planned to pop up to Vancouver to visit family.  

 

I did the one from San Diego to Vancouver in early April 2018.  The seas got a little rough the second day out, and we couldn’t make our port call in Victoria because of it, but I still enjoyed it.

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Thanks, DAllenTCY + NWvactioner + Miss G, for your sea reports.  Yours plus prior responses much appreciated.  And, thanks again to responses regarding PVSA including explanation of PVSA NEAR and DISTANT/FAR ports. Looks like we're adding California/Pacific Coast to our upcoming cruise list -- just not B2B!

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We did San Diego to Vancouver a few years ago.  We spent the night at the Pan Pacific Vancouver, and took another ship south to Seattle.  It was a 7-day Alaska cruise.

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We have done several of these, on various cruise lines, and enjoyed them all.  The only port we ever missed was Monterey one time -- seas too high to tender.  (On that cruise, they just diverted us to an extra night in San Francisco.)  Astoria is a delightful port stop -- quaint, walkable town.  

 

It's nice that HAL has added more port stops to these California Coastal repositioning cruises.  

 

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I've done this route northbound in April several times.  Once we had really rough seas, and it is always a bit choppy after San Diego, and much cooler.

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We had some really choppy seas leaving Seattle.  Everything rattled, and I wondered if the ceiling would fall.  I used to say that Alaska out of Vancouver was pretty calm, then on our last cruise, we were delayed leaving Vancouver and the captain took us out into the open ocean instead of the inside passage.  Really rough that time.

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Done this in both directions on HAL ships over the years. Astoria was not a problem the day we stopped there, were warned about "crossing the bar", but wasn't bad at all. I think i prefer north to south rather than starting in San Diego. Think we've done a total of 4 trips,2 each direction. Fall (mid-October) weather seems a little rougher on the first day, then smooths out. Love Astoria. If you have time, rent a car and cross the bridge into Washington, the Long Beach Peninsula is a great place to visit and walk the beach.

If you cross the bridge and want to do lunch, the Pickled Fish restaurant is on the top floor of the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach , great ocean views and good food.

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Help anyone.  Do  these Pacific Coastal (San Diego to Vancouver) cruises usually sell out rapidly? Wondering if I need to book specialty restaurants and shore excursions now rather than wait until onboard ship.  Cruising on the Oosterdam, April 25 through May 2.

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We did the Seattle/Seattle this past September and had no issues into Astoria.  Seas were only rough once we headed Northbound from Monterey.......but overall great weather.  We're coming aboard the Koningsdam this April to reposition out of San Diego to Vancouver with Victoria stop.  I'm anticipating cold temps and some rough seas then but hopeful.  We're also thinking about jumping aboard the Oosterdam right off the Koningsdam to get us to Seattle overnight.  Found out that's allowed and it's much easier flying out of Seattle for us to get back home.

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