Ian and I are sailing together (first timers) and would love feedback on the route.
Anyone that has been on the trip and knows of "points of interest" to watch for as we sail up the coast.....we would love to hear about them. Including best vantage points for viewing glaciers etc (we have an inside cabin so , nope, no private veranda)
I did get an old book on 'cruising the inside passage' which gives quite a bit of info but it is hard to tell what time of day we will pass certain points (night or day I mean), and I am not sure if the ship post its a chart with it location on a big map for people to know approx where it is as we go along. <--- can anyone tell me ?
I have also noticed that the map has changed since we bought our tickets --- it now goes on the outside of Vancouver Island too? When I called HAL they said they didnt know the route? but I did see some fine print that said inside Vancouver Island was tide dependant --- any comments? Please tell me we get to go at least one way on the inside???? oh please!
I am bursting with excitement already..................I dont want to miss a thing! This is a rare thing for us to do so thanks in advance for any advise and knowledge you can give us.
Vancouver round trip trips as far as I know always sail inside Vancouver Island.
For a non-balcony cabin the best spot will be forward. You'll have a nice panorama of over 180 degrees up there. However I suggest you do some roaming as well. You'll discover many choice spots around the public decks. Sit on a lounge chair on the Promenade deck and sip some hot cider. It's heaven.
We've gone twice from Vancouver now and the routes were different on each trip. I'm not sure if it's tides that determine or just the will of the captain. But not to worry, both routes were awsome.
The inside passage is very scenic. You'll see lots of green. Beautiful green trees. And be alert and you'll see dahl porpoise, bald eagles, and dolphin from the decks. And there is a chance you'll see humpbacks as well and possibly orca. Have binocs though because they'll most likely be a distance from the ship. Look for the blow as they exhale. We saw many humpback whales in Icy Straight as we left Glacier Bay
The highlights of the trip such as Glacier bay....and that is THE highlight......will be during the day. No worry about missing sights due to darkness.
when we were on the Zaandam we were able to go out to the bow of the ship. There was a door at the front of the showroom which led to this area. There were no signs or messages that this was available. Maybe the Volendam is similar. It was however quite crowded in Glacier bay but the rest of the cruise there was plenty of room.
Zaandam had a map by the sports bar that had lights and showed aprox where we were. I'm not sure how accurate it was however. They sell a nice large map of the inside passage in the gift shops and you can sort of follow that way as well. I've heard that some people tape the map to the wall in their cabin. There are so many islands I found I only could pinpoint where we were when we passed one of the small towns along the way.
I just returned Saturday from the Zaandam's inside passage of Alaska trip. It was breathtaking to say the least. I'm going to book again for next summer most definitely.
The first day out to sea from Vancouver was the only rough sea day and a couple hours at about the same spot coming back in. Otherwise it was very smooth sailing. As far as the tides, I know we had to hit Seymour Narrows during a certain time in order to make it through. Maybe the route changes a bit due to that? Not quite sure!
One of the best views is up on the very top deck when the ship is stopped in the water at Marjorie Glacier. They stop and leave the ship still for about 30 or so minutes then turn the ship completely around. Up on the very top it was silent. People were too in awe of the glacier, the sea lions and the beautiful green water to even say anything. It fills up fast up there because it's such a good view. But the very front and back edges are great as well.
The last day coming back down the passage when the clouds were real low was probably the most beautiful day, as the waters were quiet and the whales were aplenty.
Forward observation deck is always good for viewing the incredibly gorgeous Alaska scenery. Also, strolling around the Promenade deck is great - every time you turn a corner you get a new visual treat.