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Advice on whether a Southbound or a Northbound itinerary is better


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for a first time Alaska cruise ?


We have done Alaska on land by ourselves (flew there, rented a car and drove to Denali Nat'l Park. Took a Kenai National Park day cruise. plus other stuff).


But we have not taken a "traditional" Alaska cruise before. Thinking to do one this year.


Can anyone give advice on whether Southbound or Northbound is a better choice ? I know due to the itinary some places you may pass thru in your sleep depends on which direction you are going. I forgot about the details.


Gracier Bay Nat'l Park is a must for us if we take an Alaska cruise.


Thanks for responses.

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If you are going to do any land touring, then for me the southbound is best. Reason being after a land tour of several days, you need a day of rest and relaxing. The first day on a southbound is just that because you would be cruising thru Glacier Bay or Prince William Sound.




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I agree with lmcd. We booked the land tour and the southbound cruise for exactly that reason. We heard that you are mostly in motion on the land tour, and it's nice to get on the ship and relax for a day or two before making landfall again.


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we have done the land tour already couple years ago. see my original post. we have done denali national park, kenai fiord cruise, exit glacier, plus a whole host of other stuff - all by ourselves. btw, i think it is much better to do the land part on your own then do an "organized tour" - be it by cruise line or by tour operators based in Alaska.


you have far greater freedom to see the land - all you need is a rental car and b&b along the way.


there are some GREAT B&B at Denali area (Healy), a lot cheaper than cruise line lodging and a lot friendlier and you get to meet people from around the world.


On our stay, we met a couple from U.K., who spent 3 weeks touring Alaska, even to Kodiac Islands !


We now just want to do a pure cruise and not sure whether we should go for north bound or south bound, or a rt from vancouver ?

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I like southbound- but my main reason is for the last sailing day of Vancouver Island. Look at several factors- time in ports, College Fjords is a must do for me, route- look at maps. It was pointed out to me that Celebrity/RCI does more outside south of Juneau now.

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Budget Queen,


I have noticed that some of the RT Vancouver itineraries sail between Vancouver Island and BC going north but sail on the outside of Vancouver Island when they return southbound.


Any thoughts on that?


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Sorry, not BQ, but I'll answer it as explained once by one of the staff captains. Part of it has to do with the size of so many of the ships and the narrows and channel along the passage between Vancouver Island and the mainland. They simply have to "schedule" it so that there aren't north and southbound ships heading towards each other. With departures throughout the week they try to get either a north or southbound "inside passage" transit on each roundtrip cruise. There are some north or southbound cruises that do not spend much time at all in this passage and that is in large part due to "scheduling" and size...


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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CruiseIsGood:

I did both and preferred southbound. It was the excitement of being in Alaska and immediately seeing glaciers, then winding down to Vancouver.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Ah, that makes some sense. Though we dont mind to cruise scenic Vancouver Island waterway again.


We have done Vancouver Island too. It was right after our land trip in Alaska. We flew from Anchorage to Seattle (cannot go to Vancouver due to our using award tickets), then took a rental car for 3 weeks. drove back to Vancouver, took BC Ferry to Vancouver Island. Did a "Sunshine Coast Circular" loop. Back to Vancouver for a few days - we have families there. Then onto BC and Canadian Rockies and back. We like Vancouver Island a lot, and plan to tag it on the Alaska cruise if possible.


So it makes sense to go Southbound, though it all depends what kind of award ticket routing we can get.


I understand Southbound leaves Seaward in the evening. In what hour they pass thru College Fiords ? I tried to check Holland America itineraries as they seem to have the most choices. I am very annoyed to discover they dont list any hours whenever they said it is scenic cruising - be it College Fiords, Hubbard, or Glacier Bay. It is very annoying and makes me suspicious !


Do you pass College Fiord in the morning hour ?


I am looking at the RT Vancouver itinerary - I notice that some go as far up as to Hubbard. My no.1 choice is Glacier Bay. I have no idea about Tracy Arms. Anyone has any inputs ?


Much thanks to all the responses. Keep them coming please.

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