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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:01 PM
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Default Starboard or Port Round Trip Seattle

We are going out of Seattle round trip, no Glacier Bay. In everyone's past experience, is Port or Starboard better land viewing? It is probably a dumb question, because it goes up and back so both sides wind up seeing the same thing, but I love to see the lighthouses and on the way back Canada is an awesome sight.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 06:13 PM
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I don't think it will matter much, unfortunately the round trip from Seattle sails so far away from land, you can't see anything. I loved cruising round trip from Vancouver, that was awesome, totally different. So, as to which side, either will do. For viewing glaciers, you will most likely be up on deck and can move around as needed for the best views.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:56 PM
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Exclamation Port, starboard, inside passage, outside passage, round about and here we go ...

This is sooo much discussed. Everybody has their own take on it.

Sailing from Seattle, the ship will normally go OUTSIDE Vancouver Island, with the island on the starboard side departing and the port side arriving. Then she moves into the "Inside Passage" and passes close to islands on both sides. Near the glaciers she usually maneuvers so both sides have a good view. In Tracy Arm either side has good views too. So to be honest with you I wouldn't worry about which side of the ship.

And now that I think of it, I don't recall ever seeing a lighthouse while cruising Alaska ... but OTOH I am not looking for them. I wonder if there is some sort of map that shows their locations?
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Old January 6th, 2011, 03:59 PM
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The truth is that unless you are going to Glacier Bay it really doesn't matter.

There are some lighthouses in the inside passage but they are on islands and the mainland on both sides of the ship. The best little lighthouses are viewed when entering the Inside Passage from Vancouver. When leaving from Seattle you will have some nice views of the sound but once you hit the ocean you won't see much until you enter the Inside Passage on the north side of Vancouver Island.

The one time it really matters is if you are going into Glacier Bay and want to view the glaciers from your cabin. Then you want to be on the port side.

It really doesn't matter which side of the ship you are on for Tracy Arm, Sawyer or Hubbard glaciers.

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Mike
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:02 PM
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I do recall, when at Hubbard Glacier, the capt. turned the ship around, a full 360 so everyone who was sitting on their balconies got a view.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike M View Post

The one time it really matters is if you are going into Glacier Bay and want to view the glaciers from your cabin. Then you want to be on the port side.
If you want to view the glaciers from your cabin AS YOU ARE GOING IN. As most of the Glaciers are on the port side going in, of course the same glaciers haven't gone anyplace and are on the starboard side going out! At the face of the glacier itself, especially Margerie Glacier, the captain will usually try to swing the ship in a full circle or figure 8 so every balcony gets a portion of the viewing time.

Honestly I find it very frustrating to be in the cabin or on the balcony in Glacier Bay. Whichever side of the ship we are on, it always seems that an orca or a waterfall or an eagle or a point of interest being described by the naturalist is on the OTHER side! I highly recommend being up on deck in Glacier Bay!
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Old January 7th, 2011, 11:52 PM
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Mike,

The two times I've been to Glacier Bay, on the Norwegian Star and Coral Princess the "slow" viewing was on the port side going in. On the way out they did not stop and they were further away from the glaciers. At Margerie they do a complete turnaround. Not great viewing from the starboard side.

I do agree that being on deck will give you the some of the best views but there have been some times where the crowds were a little "pushy". :o

I've had the same problem where the whale was always on the other side of the ship from where I was.

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Mike
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