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calm seas... or not?


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We sailed San Francisco to Alaska last May and had calm seas. Also very calm seas in the Baltic and in the Mediterranean (Istanbul to Athens). The roughest seas we have experienced was about one day out from Ft. Lauderdale on the way to the Caribbean. Have also heard that seas can be very rough from Alaska to Japan.

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For Alaska your odds are better if you take a r/t from Vancouver (not Seattle) that goes to Skagway (not Sitka) and includes Glacier Bay (not Hubbard Glacier). That itinerary is in more protected waters. Crossing Queen Charlotte Sound (at the north end of Vancouver Island) can still be 'bumpy', but that is only a few hours. I would also suggest not too big a ship, as it won't be able to get through some of the smaller passages and will be in more open seas. I'd stay under 65,000 GRT.


There aren't any guarantees, but the odds for clam seas are better. Early and late season also increases the odds of encountering a storm.


Cabin selection is important. The lower the deck, the better and a mid-ships location is also important.

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As others have said there is no guarantee what the seas would be like.


In general, Alaska has been calm on all of our cruises. But, I would not start in San Francisco as the seas could be quite rough before you get into say the Inside Passage.


I would begin and end in Vancouver on an inside passage cruise.


If being seasick is a concern, I would also prepare for the cruise. There are a number of items you can take such as Bonine or Dramamine or possibly a prescription from the doctor for a patch or ginger or a combination of some of these. I would also book a cabin that is mid deck and on one of the lower decks.



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Like anything else that occurs outdoors the weather will have it's say. That includes its effects on the seas. The worst seas Ive experienced cruising were in the Gulf Of Alaska. Even then the ships today are so huge you don't hardly feel then moving...

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Reasonable expectations for calm seas - starting with calmest - down to roughest:


Alaska- inside passage


Aegean Sea/Greek islands




Western Caribbean (not hurricane season)


Eastern Caribbean


North Atlantic -except hurricane season




If you are really concerned, consider river or canal boat.

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Did the Baltic Sea and learned this beautiful word : "wavelets" ( term used on the TV channel reporting the weather conditions for the ship : waves height , direction of winds etc.)! Very calm seas but only did it once. Only felt some slight motion when sitting ( listenig to a health lecture)on a gym ball on the top deck , barely noticeable and couldn't feel it when standing on my feet.

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For probably the calmest seas that I can think of try a 7 day return Inside Passage cruise out of Vancouver. The ships sail in waters protected by islands and any rough seas will only occur as the ship passes by Queen Charlotte Sound and Dixon Entrance and we are only speaking of a few hours.:)

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