I am sailing in June on the Diamond Princess to Alaska roundtrip from Seattle. I thought this was supposed to be an Inside Passage cruise, but have since read on some message boards that cruises out of Seattle do more outside passage in rough seas. So now I'm wondering if I made a wrong choice. If anyone has done the round trip from Seattle, please let me know if you still get to see a lot of great scenery.
Look at the basic route map. This sailing goes outside Vancouver Island and more outside sailing overall. Basic fact of most Seattle sailings to make up for time of farther sailing from Seattle and the mandated "foreign port" stop of Victoria, they also go to Tracy Arm- again very convenient to Juneau and distances traveled are less which equals time. Total inside takes a lot of time and all ships are sailing outside more than 7-10 years ago. If you are prone to seasickness- TAKE PRECAUTIONS- don't wait and hope and see IF you will get ill. You don't want to miss of minute of your vacation. ANY Alaska sailing is a compromise- go with what is best for you.
It's been a few years now however as I recall the sailing on the outside of Vancouver Island takes place the first night and the rest of the trip (until returning towards Victoria) is in the inside passage.
We were lucky enough that we had relatively smooth sailing both directions when passing Vancouver Island.
Years ago when the vessel left Vancouver it would proceed northward up the Strait of Georgia and the Lynn Canal, also known as the Inside Passage. On the return trip to Vancouver it was customary to head out for the open sea after leaving Ketchikan. I have noted recently that some of the cruise ships are venturing more and more out into the open sea and then heading in to scheduled ports. When the vessels are in the picturesque Inland Water Way they are subject to a speed limits making the voyage longer than being out at sea..
My lovely bride and I are booked on the HAL, Oosterdam, sailing from Seattle on May 15. I ask the same questions of the travel agent and was assured that we sail the inside passage…i.e. ports-of-call…Queen Charlotte Island (cruising), Juneau, AK, Hubbard Glacier (cruising), Sitka, AK, Ketchikan, AK Vancouver Island (cruising), Victoria Canada then returning to Seattle.
Has your agent been to Alaska??? It is interesting that HAL now lists your cruise under "Alaska Explorer", and the Vancouver departures are "inside passage". They changed 2 seasons ago due to complaints. (as reported by my MIL agent)
I started a whole new thread on this matter so i will not repeat myself [you can read it under Vancouver or Seattle] but contrary to what your travel agent tells you HAL does not go on the traditional Inside Passage till after Queen Charlottes Strait....
This is borne out by the fact that on most of these cruises [not all] Juneau is first port of call... That is why the West side of Vancouver Island is chosen rather than the traditional one of east of Vancouver Island.
The person that posted that he remembers going a few years ago- must not have sailed from Seattle on a cruise Line but maybe from SF-[Seattle did not really take off as a cruise port till about 3 years ago]
This is an ongoing discussion thats very interesting. I sailed from Seattle 2 years ago on HAL and it was and is a different experience than going from Vancouver.
[Not inferior but different]
Having also sailed on Cruises from Vancouver-I know which I would prefer....
However which way you go-will I can assure you be memorable
This is an interesting thread. But I question #1 if the agent has sailed BOTH trips to Alaska??? And why would an agent's opinion- that may be a conflict of interest, be preferred over experienced cruisers??
You can't get any more outside passage than Sitka!
Most ships alternate between the Inside and Outside Passage. As Karen says..The only ship (leaving from Seattle) to stay entirely within the Inside Passage is the Norwegian Star.
GM - I am actually going on the Diamond Princess from Seattle. Looking at the map it does look as though it goes west of Vancover island. I have cruised several times, but never to Alaska, and I'm really looking forward to it. I chose this cruise because I really wanted to try Princess as I had heard they were very good in Alaska. I decided not to do the one way Vancouver to Whittier because I don't have the time to do a land tour after the cruise, so I chose a round trip. I only wish Princess did a roundtrip from Vancouver. Now after reading the message boards I am becoming disappointed that I didn't book a different cruise line. Although the Diamond goes west of Vancouver island, does it still do quite a bit of inside passage? I have booked a balcony as I'm really hoping to see some great scenary and some wild life.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Round trip from Seattle Cruises
First of all-dont try and second-guess yourself! You are in for agreat cruise.
The discussion here is only that-a discussion. The merits of Seattle verses Vancouver.
Some of us get carried away by our own opinions!!!
I dont know about Princess Line R/T from Seattle- I did the HAL one. 2 years ago.
I have been many times to Alaska and there is always something to surprise me- After you have crossed the Queen Charlottes Strait at the top of Vancouver Island - look at the journey into Alaska from there-There will be plenty to see and experience...
Are you going to Glacier Bay? a great place to experience icefields etc... other places like Jueau-Skkagway-Haines-Sitka- Ketchikan- all with their unique Alaska content.
Leaving things out will be your biggest challenge-Princess Line is great also- I have been twice to Seward from Vancouver and never been dissapointed- HAL also Seward was my first cruise ever...
Vicky -enjoy your trip- buy a good book that you can see your route.Princess Line offer one by Joe Upton with a map-that I have used on all my trip-
The great fun- is planning and anticipation.
Diamond Princess was christened in Nagasaki, Japan today in a colorful ceremony which featured traditional Japanese festivities and touches designed to bring the ship good fortune. A taiko drum performance, traditional dragon dance, Shinto-style blessing and fireworks display were included in the ceremonies which were attended by hundreds of guests from Japan and other Asian regions. Godmother was Yoshiko Tsukuda, wife of Kazuo Tsukuda, president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which built the Diamond Princess at its Nagasaki shipyard. A ceremonial hatchet was used to cut a line, propelling the champagne bottle against the hull of the ship.
Diamond Princess is the first ship to be built in Japan for Princess and this week Princess Cruises' officials have had strong praise for the craftsmanship and finish of their newest vessel. It has been described as the best delivery they have seen for the first ship in a new series. The 116,000-ton, 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess launches a new ship design for Princess and makes history as the first large cruise ship built in Japan in more than a decade. The vessel incorporates Princess' design philosophy, including an abundance of balcony cabins, flexibility in dining and entertainment options and a variety of intimate spaces giving the ship the feel of a much smaller vessel. Personal choice dining is offered in four themed dining rooms with traditional early and late seatings available in the main dining room. Diamond Princess also features alternate dining in Sabatini's trattoria, a new Princess Concierge Service, the fleet's largest Internet Café, and the debut of Club Fusion, a new high-tech dance lounge. Diamond Princess begins Mexican Riviera sailings from Los Angeles on March 13 and repositions to Seattle in May for the Alaska season. Sister ship Sapphire Princess will enter service in Seattle in June. Click here for more photos of the Diamond Princess christening.
Back to Top
I've sailed on RCCL from Vancouver to Alaska several years ago, and am also going on the Diamond from Seattle this time around. No matter what the exact route of the ship, it will be absolutely spectacular. (That's why I'm going for a second time).
Don't feel the least bit concerned that you made any mistakes booking from Seattle. This cruise line and this brand new ship will make for a fantastic voyage you'll remember your entire life! :-)
Any Alaska trip will be a compromise. Also it's probably not too late if you want to change. I find it very important to consider the ship/line secondary to what is outside the ship when sailing Alaska. Many points to consider and choose what are your priorities. For "one time only" sailers- my recommendation would be to consider Glacier Bay, Vancouver departure, long port days, significant funds for excursions. Price may also be a significant factor and is a top choice for me. Some people have more of a priority for the ship and are not as concerned about the "scenery", nor "Alaska". Just be aware of options and go with what fits best in your plans.
I sailed on the Star Princess, August of 2003, R/T Seattle it was GREAT, this year I am sailing R/T Seattle on the new Sapphire Princess. You would see more on the one way Alaska cruise, but the inside passage was so great I am doing it again. Have a great CRUISE.
My husband and I will be taking our first alaska cruise on the diamond princess, May 22nd.
We are very excited.
After reading some opinions preferring Vancouver departure over Seattle, or this over that I was starting to doubt our choice.
But then I realized that no matter which itinerary, we are going to see spectacular beauty and have a fantastic time.
So, let's not agonize over our decisions, just look forward to our adventures!