Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Destinations > Alaska
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2006, 12:56 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 11
Default Departure port suggestions?

We're planning on Alaska for July and are wondering which is the best port to leave from? Some say Seattle, some say Vancouver. Would love to hear some feedback.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2006, 03:24 PM
PeterC's Avatar
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 556
Default

Vancouver:
Goes on the inside of Vancouver Island. Much more inside passage cruising winding through the many islands. Beautiful city to visit before or after the cruise. In our case, arrived at Juneau (first port) earlier in the day. Very busy at the airport to leave town after the cruise. Longggggg lines. I'd say a better chance of calm seas but no guerantees there. You're still on a ship in the ocean

Seattle:
More convenient at the airport, however when we sailed from Seattle, there was only one ship using Seattle (Norwegian Sky in 2001), at least the days we sailed/returned.
Sails outside Vancouver island so more open seas so more potential of rocking. Land in sight but not the narrow passages. Scenery still beautiful. Arrived at Juneau (also first port) at about 2pm. We would have preffered an earlier arrival in port.

So all things being equal.........I'd probably choose Vancouver and spend an extra night and arrange departure before the following morning's ships drop their passengers off.
That said, if the deal was right and the itinerary better, we wouldn't hesitate to use Seattle again.

You might want to check out HAL, which has a ship or 2 that goes to both Glacier Bay (a must IMHO) and Tracy arm to/from Vancouver
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old April 4th, 2006, 07:13 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 45
Default

As mentioned above you must decide what your priorities are.... airfare into and out of Seattle are less than half the price of Vancouver. Lots of people will fly into Seattle and take a bus transfer to Vancouver to save $$$, but it means 4 hours on a bus... I was willing to pay more and go directly into Vancouver. Better scenery and less ship movement out of Vancouver as noted.... so it's your call.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2006, 12:35 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,770
Default

jt1120,

We're planning on Alaska for July and are wondering which is the best port to leave from? Some say Seattle, some say Vancouver. Would love to hear some feedback.

Both cities are wonderful places to visit before or after your cruise. In times past, flights to and from Vancouver and cruises from Seattle were extremely limited, so most passengers ended up flying into Seattle, then enduring a four-hour bus tranfer to Vancouver to board the ship. Thankfully, two significant trneds have changed that -- (1) the crusie lines have started basing more ships in Seatle and (2) the airlines have started offering more flights on larger aircraft to and from Vancouver. Thus, one can now fly into the city from which one's cruise departs with little difficulty.

That said, cruises that leave from Seattle have two significant restrictions due to the Jones Act (the U. S. federal law banning cabotage). Such cruises MUST (1) call at a Canadian port en route and (2) return to Seattle. Thus, they are functionally restricted to visiting only the Inside Passage -- which means that you won't get to see any of Alaska's mainland. Some cruises from Vancover also operate round trip, visiting only the inside passage, but many cruises operate from Vancover to either Seward or Whittier, located to the south of Anchorage, or vice versa. Seward and Whittier are the gateways to the Alaskan mainland, and most cruise lines ofer land tour add-ons that visit Anchorage, Mount McKinley, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, and some other destinations as well. The land tours are fairly expensive, but you can see just as much by booking the "Grandview Rail Transfer" from the pier in either Seward or Whittier to Anchorage International Airport, rengint a car at Anchorage International Airport, and reserving hotels on your own in and beyond Anchorage. At the very least, I recommend staying a few nights in Anchorage, where the weekend invariably offers a lot of activities right downtown, and taking a drive up to Talkeetna on a clear day for lunch at the Latitude 62 and the spectacular view of Mt. McKinley from the scenic overlook.

BTW, the Gulf of Alaska cruise between Vancouver and either Seward or Whittier is best taken in the so-called "northbound" direction because the scenery becomes progressively more spectacular as you go northwestward along the coast.

Have a great cruise, whatever you decide!

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2006, 11:03 AM
jq jq is offline
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 66
Default

The other thought for one way cruises is that if you are going to do a land portion, do that first in Alaska and then take a leisurely cruise back to Vancouver. This will also give you a shorter flight home.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old April 5th, 2006, 03:15 PM
PeterC's Avatar
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 556
Default

By the way, I think I mis-stated something in my previous note. I looked it up and when we sailed from Vancouver and Juneau was the first port, we got there around 2ish as well. It was when Juneau was our second port that we got there in the morning, which I preffered.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old April 6th, 2006, 04:27 PM
Donna's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: on my computer
Posts: 26,938
Send a message via AIM to Donna
Default

I would also say Vancouver, its a lovely city to take some time and see. I loved the inside passage after leaving there, also the airport was very friendly, although you do have to go through customs. We paid a little extra to fly directly into Vancouver and we thought it was worth it to get the day to look around there before the ship left.
__________________

Message Boards Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old April 6th, 2006, 05:36 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 3
Default

Hi! Newbie here!
Considering Princess Sapphire this summer, leaving from Whittier and returning in Vancouver. (One way)
Does anyone recommend this or not recommend this and why?
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old April 9th, 2006, 08:20 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

As already stated, you get far more scenery sailing out of Vancouver. But there are many easy ways to get from Seattle to Vancouver, pretty painlessly. The cruiseline will have a bus, independent with Quick Shuttle, Amtrak, one way car rental. All require an arrive the night before. And you do need to allow 4 hours for the transfer.

As for one way cruises, I prefer Seward rather than Whittier, but most people just pass though completely missing the excellent touring options. Key is to allow time to enjoy it.


For clairfication- it is the Passengers' service Act, not the Jones' Act that prohibits travel from US ports without the stop at a "foreign " port.

You can only do so much in 7 days and all cruises will involve compromises. It is also a myth that the Vancouver sailings are smoother than Seattle, not a given, I hit 3 days of rough sailing one time with a round trip Vancouver trip. So consider several factors- ports, time in ports, route, glacier, price, ship naturalist. Etc.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old April 9th, 2006, 08:23 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

Hi! Newbie here!
Considering Princess Sapphire this summer, leaving from Whittier and returning in Vancouver. (One way)
Does anyone recommend this or not recommend this and why?



Are you planning some interior Alaska travel as well??? My opinion only, it is definately an advantage to do so with some just superb opportunities to consider. I never do any one ways without at least another week.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2006, 12:36 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Beautiful British Columbia
Posts: 1,320
Default

Vancouver all the way (but I may be a little biased as I live about half an hour away lol)

If anyone has anything in mind that they would like to do or see in Vancouver - we have the Entertainment Book with lots of coupons that we will never use - buy one get one free for the trolley, museum, Sun Yat Sen gardens, Aquarium, Science World and several restaurants. Just let me know and I will send them to you.

TTFN Jennifer
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2006, 12:44 AM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen16
Hi! Newbie here!

Are you planning some interior Alaska travel as well??? My opinion only, it is definately an advantage to do so with some just superb opportunities to consider. I never do any one ways without at least another week.
Hey Karen!
First, thank U for responding with both of your post. I know it's just your opinion, but from what I have read, people value your opinion.
Interior.. ok, color me dumb, but do you mean inside passage?
If not, cuse me. If so, yes. It's the exact opposite iternary as Vancouver to Whittier (includes Glacier Bay). My thinking was going at least 1 day early and staying in Anchorage overnight. BUT, what do I know. I've only done Carribean b4.
Looks like now that my BIL & SIL are gonna back out on us after being the ones to make us feel so rushed for this summer. Now maybe I will sit back and plan for summer of 2007. It's up to them if we go. My SIL has a terminal illness. I am the one doing the research and planning because I'm afraid to give someone else control. ACK!
Thanks Karen. I will keep reading and looking for advice.
Again, Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2006, 11:36 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

For clairfication- interior Alaska is Fairbanks, Denali Park, Seward, Talkeetna, Anchorage, Homer etc- you get the idea. Totally different from the Inside Passage of cruising. I highly recommend at least a 5 day add on prior or after cruising.
there is just so much to do and enjoy and for most, not a frequent trip. Most travel a long ways with added costs to get in/out of Anchorage. I just highly recommend you take advantage of being all the way there.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2006, 01:40 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,770
Default

Karen16,

As already stated, you get far more scenery sailing out of Vancouver. But there are many easy ways to get from Seattle to Vancouver, pretty painlessly. The cruiseline will have a bus, independent with Quick Shuttle, Amtrak, one way car rental. All require an arrive the night before. And you do need to allow 4 hours for the transfer.

Not really. There plenty of are "same day" flights from most major cities on the east coast that arrive at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in time for the cruise lines' transfers to Vancouver, even with a connection en route, thanks to the magic of time zones. It's much easier to fly directly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), though.

Going the other way, passengers destined for the east coast who take the cruise lines' transfers from Vancouver to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport probably will have to take "red eye" flights because the magic of time zones works the other way.

As for one way cruises, I prefer Seward rather than Whittier, but most people just pass though completely missing the excellent touring options. Key is to allow time to enjoy it.

I agree with you. The sceneray generally becomes more spectacular as you go northward, so a southbound voyage has an inherent anticlimactic element built into it. OTOH, some folks apparently prefer to have a cruise to rest after ambitious activities on land.

For clairfication- it is the Passengers' service Act, not the Jones' Act that prohibits travel from US ports without the stop at a "foreign " port.

Technically, you are correct. The Jones Act imposed restrictions on transportation of goods between two U. S. ports, then the Passenger Services Act extended those prohibitions to transportation of passengers. I'm not sure whether it did this by amending the text of the existing chapter or by adding a new chapter to the U. S. code, but the restrictions are sufficiently similar. Thus, most folks refer to both collectively as the Jones Act.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2006, 01:56 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,770
Default

LuckyUss3,

Interior.. ok, color me dumb, but do you mean inside passage?

No, the "interior" and the "inside passage" refer to two completely separate areas of Alaska. If you look at a map of the state, the "interior" is just what its name suggests -- the central part of the state. The "inside passage" is the waterway between the islands and the mainland in the region sometimes called a "panhandle" extending southeastward from the main part of the state.

If not, cuse me. If so, yes. It's the exact opposite iternary as Vancouver to Whittier (includes Glacier Bay). My thinking was going at least 1 day early and staying in Anchorage overnight. BUT, what do I know. I've only done Carribean b4.

Try to plan additional time if you can.

>> Anchorage is a fantastic city, with street festivals, open air markets, and other events just about every weekend throughout the summer. It's worth spending some time there, preferably on a weekend if your timing allows. It's also the gateway to the interior region, which has unique attractions of its own. Mt. McKinley is the tallest mountain in the world, and Talkeeta -- an easy day trip from Anchorage (stop for lunch at Latitude 62) -- offers a spectacular view. Further up, Denali National Park probably offers the best access to the state's wildlife and Fairbanks has a colorful history of its own.

>> At the other end of the voyage, Vancouver is also a neat city with nice hotels, good restaurants, and a host of worthwhile attractions. If your schedule allows, go over to Vancouver Island and visit Victoria (noted for its "old world" style and magnificent gardens), too.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2006, 01:59 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,770
Default

Karen16,

For clairfication- interior Alaska is Fairbanks, Denali Park, Seward, Talkeetna, Anchorage, Homer etc- you get the idea.

Splitting hairs, Homer is on the inside passage, across the bay from Skagway. There is a road linking the two communities, but the water route is much shorter and therefore faster.

Norm.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old April 11th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Karen16,

For clairfication- interior Alaska is Fairbanks, Denali Park, Seward, Talkeetna, Anchorage, Homer etc- you get the idea.

Splitting hairs, Homer is on the inside passage, across the bay from Skagway. There is a road linking the two communities, but the water route is much shorter and therefore faster.

Norm.

Haines, not Homer.
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old April 11th, 2006, 03:25 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

[quote="Rev22:17"]Karen16,

As already stated, you get far more scenery sailing out of Vancouver. But there are many easy ways to get from Seattle to Vancouver, pretty painlessly. The cruiseline will have a bus, independent with Quick Shuttle, Amtrak, one way car rental. All require an arrive the night before. And you do need to allow 4 hours for the transfer.

Not really. There plenty of are "same day" flights from most major cities on the east coast that arrive at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in time for the cruise lines' transfers to Vancouver, even with a connection en route, thanks to the magic of time zones. It's much easier to fly directly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), though.

quote]

I fly to Seattle several times per year and there are VERY few flights that would get you into Seattle in time to catch a transfer in time for sailing out of Vancouver. You need to allow 4 hours for the transfer and some ships sail at 4:30pm. All you need is one delay somewhere and you will miss your ship. IF you do come in the same day, I would be certain you had at least a 10:30am arrival. I know Seatac and can barrel through it with bags direct to car rentals and buses etc. Few infrequent travelers would be able to make the time I do, so I still recommend from the East Coast, arrive the day before if you are coming into Seatac and sailing out of Vancouver.
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old April 12th, 2006, 12:56 AM
Thoth's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Miz-sippy
Posts: 1,604
Default

Since most claim Vancouver is better, I'll take Seattle's side. I've done both roundtrips, Vancouver in 2003 and Seattle in 2004, and I liked leaving from Seattle much better. Flying from the Southern US air travel was much simpler. I left my own bed at 0530 and was in Seattle at 1130 that same morning. That was SO easy and simple compared to the headache of flying into Vancouver and out of Vancouver as an international passenger. A month earlier I was Tokyo which was as easy or easier .
On the Holland America Seattle itinerary we visited Victoria B.C. as a port of call which I found to be a better introduction to Canada. Also while some say that Glacier Bay is a must see, I disagree. Hubbard Glacier is excellent itself.
Then again this is JUST my opinion ! Please understand that. There are no ports or cruise lines which are definitively "better" than others. It's all what you like! 8)
__________________
PAST TRIPS= Enchanted Capri
Carnival: Inspiration, Legend, Valor, Destiny, Holiday, Triumph, Splendor, Fantasy
HAL: Maasdam twice, Statendam, Oosterdam



Read and post cruise reviews


Read and post cruise reviews
/ticker.png">
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
departure, vancouver

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Port of Departure jadres Celebrity 3 May 6th, 2007 10:16 PM
How early to arrive at port for departure? Okieblue Carnival Cruise Lines 5 February 11th, 2007 06:53 PM
Departure Port of Westerdam scoolmom101 Holland America 6 January 20th, 2007 03:47 PM
Carnival Pride departure port beachlovers Carnival Cruise Lines 3 May 25th, 2006 11:30 AM
Los Angeles departure port milovenus Princess Cruise Lines 5 April 17th, 2006 04:12 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:29 AM.
design by: Themes by Design



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1