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Old August 8th, 2009, 11:55 AM
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Default Tracy Arm or Inside Passage?

Anyone been to both? What do you think of each for glacier viewing? Will I be missing something if I don't do the Inside Passage? (looking at a choice of cruises and this is the main difference, both go to Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway)

Thanks.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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Basically the Inside passage is the route the ships take between Juneau and Vancouver. Most cruises that are round trip from/to Seattle or Vancouver spend a good chunk of time in the inside passages. These trips usually have a choice of 3 Glacier itineraries. Glacier bay, Tracy Arm, Hubbard glacier.

IMHO, by far, number one choice is Glacier bay. Spectacular!
Number 2 choice is Hubbard. The actual Hubbard glacier is more awsome than the Glacier bay glaciers but we found the route and the area not as great as Glacier bay. Tracy Arm is 3rd. Part of the season the ships can't get too close to the glaciers in Tracy arm.

Unless things have changed, Celebrity and RCCL do not visit Glacier bay. Princess, HAL, and NCL do visit Glacier bay on selected cruises. Not sure about Carnival.

Whatever you choose, if you like nature, you'll love any route you take in Alaska.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 06:37 PM
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Hi Peter,
May-be you can best answer a question about inside passage. Last summer I cruise on Star Princess, which stated it was inside, anything but.. I'm looking at Coral or Island Princess and by the looks of their routes, sure looks like inside passage. Both of these go just one way from Anchorage/Vancouver. The Star sailed from Seattle if that made any difference?? Right now, just wishing really, the air to do this type of cruise is almost as much as the cruise...

Thanks Peter.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:27 PM
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All cruises from Seattle sail west of Vancouver island. Cruises to/from Vancouver sail the Canadian Inside passage. When ships enter Alaska they also sail the Alaska Inside passage.
Cruise to/from Seattle tend to have a rougher trip west of
Vancouver island (wide open Pacific Ocean waves)
Technically all cruises do the inside passage.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:41 PM
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Sorry, I feel dumb now. I meant to say Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm. Both choices are with Carnival, just date-dependent.

Thanks,
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Old August 9th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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Donna,

First of all, it's been 5 years (how sad) since our last of 3 Alaskan cruises so I'm not sure what might have changed.

Our first trip was from Seattle. I assume that we went outside Vancouver island however I have video from the first night and at about 11pm there were lights to be seen on the port side of the ship. So I'm not exactly sure where we were. The next morning we were in the middle of a large channel with land visible both port and starboard. Then the closer to Juneau (first port) we got the closer we were to land.

On our other two trips, both round trip from Vancouver, we were really close to land going both north and south. I recall between the two trips going past Alert Bay and a small burg called Bella Bella (where some guy was serenading the ships with a trumpet from a small boat...very funny). Right behind us was your Star Princess. I think that's the town with the worlds largest totem...although we didn't see it.

On one trip (Mercury), going north, we went into an incredibly narrow channel. A helicopter came and lifted someone off the ship so this is maybe why we were in the channel. I think, by looking at the maps it was Grenville channel. We could have literally swam ashore from the ship, we were that close to land. Spectacular scenery. I did hear someone comment though "too much green, this is boring".

Gigicruiser......Again, choose Glacier bay over Tracy arm. It's spectacular.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterC
Donna,

First of all, it's been 5 years (how sad) since our last of 3 Alaskan cruises so I'm not sure what might have changed.

Our first trip was from Seattle. I assume that we went outside Vancouver island however I have video from the first night and at about 11pm there were lights to be seen on the port side of the ship. So I'm not exactly sure where we were. The next morning we were in the middle of a large channel with land visible both port and starboard. Then the closer to Juneau (first port) we got the closer we were to land.

On our other two trips, both round trip from Vancouver, we were really close to land going both north and south. I recall between the two trips going past Alert Bay and a small burg called Bella Bella (where some guy was serenading the ships with a trumpet from a small boat...very funny). Right behind us was your Star Princess. I think that's the town with the worlds largest totem...although we didn't see it.

On one trip (Mercury), going north, we went into an incredibly narrow channel. A helicopter came and lifted someone off the ship so this is maybe why we were in the channel. I think, by looking at the maps it was Grenville channel. We could have literally swam ashore from the ship, we were that close to land. Spectacular scenery. I did hear someone comment though "too much green, this is boring".

Gigicruiser......Again, choose Glacier bay over Tracy arm. It's spectacular.
Those lights on the port side where probably Port Angeles Wa.
The starboard side would off probably been Victoria BC
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Old August 9th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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hanks Peter,
My first Alaska cruise we sailed from Vancouver and were close to land almost the entire time, so may-be thats the difference...I was hesitant to start from Seattle and I won't make that mistake again.

Thanks again :-)
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:23 AM
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[quote="doopydozer"]All cruises from Seattle sail west of Vancouver island. quote]

Not "all". NCL had a trail this year with 4 sailing, round trip Seattle that did the northbound segment inside Vancouver Island.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 11:30 AM
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What is common is the nonunderstanding of the various routes. There is NOTHING fixed. ALL Alaska cruises can and do "sell" they sail the "Inside Passage", all do, since you can NOT get to Juneau or Skagway without doing so. Take a look at a map.

Most Vancouver sailings sail inside Vancouver Island, superior is southbound since it is all during daylight. Northbound- depending on the Seymour Narrows transit, you can be out of Vancouver Island a little after daylight, going northbound.

The other factor- is that the routes are extremely variable. Cpts, can and do make changes all the time, being pretty much from open ocean to narrow scenic transits. No way to predict what they are going to choose.
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