Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
EeyoreFan1967

? About inside passage rt Vancouver

Recommended Posts

We will be embarking in 11 days on a RT sailing out of Vancouver inside passage. I'm wondering if there are any particular sights or lanmarks that are not-to-be missed? I know it will all be gorgeous in general, but we wouldn't want to miss anything extra special!

 

Thanks!:hearteyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Inside Passage is over 1,000 miles long, from Puget Sound to (more or less) a bit south of Glacier Bay. From Vancouver, you'll be sailing between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland via the Georgia Strait, the Johnstone Strait and the Queen Charlotte Strait. As you travel up the Georgia Strait, you'll go through the Seymour Narrows to get into Johnstone Strait. Because of the narrowness and the tides, safe passage through the Seymour Narrows is only possible every 6 hours, but if you happen to go through during daylight hours, you'll feel like you can almost reach out and touch the sides! From the Seymour Narrows on, you're pretty much in the wilderness.

 

You'll then swing out into Queen Charlotte Sound, and up Hecate Strait between the Queen Charlotte Islands (or rather, the Haida Gwaii as they're now called) and the BC mainland before heading either for Juneau or Ketchikan. The route diverges at the Dixon Entrance, and you'll either take the Clarence Strait for Ketchikan, or the Chatham Strait to Frederick Sound (a GREAT place to see humpback whales) and the Stephens Passage to Juneau. This whole stretch is mostly uninhabited land, but the scenery is spectacular. And keep those binoculars handy - here be whales :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Inside Passage is over 1,000 miles long, from Puget Sound to (more or less) a bit south of Glacier Bay. From Vancouver, you'll be sailing between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland via the Georgia Strait, the Johnstone Strait and the Queen Charlotte Strait. As you travel up the Georgia Strait, you'll go through the Seymour Narrows to get into Johnstone Strait. Because of the narrowness and the tides, safe passage through the Seymour Narrows is only possible every 6 hours, but if you happen to go through during daylight hours, you'll feel like you can almost reach out and touch the sides! From the Seymour Narrows on, you're pretty much in the wilderness.

 

You'll then swing out into Queen Charlotte Sound, and up Hecate Strait between the Queen Charlotte Islands (or rather, the Haida Gwaii as they're now called) and the BC mainland before heading either for Juneau or Ketchikan. The route diverges at the Dixon Entrance, and you'll either take the Clarence Strait for Ketchikan, or the Chatham Strait to Frederick Sound (a GREAT place to see humpback whales) and the Stephens Passage to Juneau. This whole stretch is mostly uninhabited land, but the scenery is spectacular. And keep those binoculars handy - here be whales :D

 

Some ships turn into the Inside passage that Ferries , tugs with barges and small pleasure craft use to get to Prince Rupert and on to Alaska. When been on this route twice with HAL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some ships turn into the Inside passage that Ferries , tugs with barges and small pleasure craft use to get to Prince Rupert and on to Alaska. When been on this route twice with HAL.

 

Very true, and I've done it just twice as well, also on HAL ships (I think the Amsterdam). But it all depends on the size of the ship and the weather of course. It's a marvelously beautiful route, but since I wasn't sure what ship or size the OP was on, I kept my info to the more usual route.

 

Now I'm going to have to go dig through my photos and find out which ship because it'll bug me if I don't. Thanks Kamloops. ;p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Inside Passage is over 1,000 miles long, from Puget Sound to (more or less) a bit south of Glacier Bay. From Vancouver, you'll be sailing between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland via the Georgia Strait, the Johnstone Strait and the Queen Charlotte Strait. As you travel up the Georgia Strait, you'll go through the Seymour Narrows to get into Johnstone Strait. Because of the narrowness and the tides, safe passage through the Seymour Narrows is only possible every 6 hours, but if you happen to go through during daylight hours, you'll feel like you can almost reach out and touch the sides!

I know it will vary from voyage to voyage, but assuming that there are about a half dozen voyages a week leaving Vancouver and traveling up that route, does anyone have any historical data for the timeframe when the cruise ships reach the Seymour Narrows? It seems to me that it is always going to be sometime between 10pm and 5am (i.e., darkness).

 

Assuming not, I think I'll try to keep my eyes on the marine traffic maps. For example, right now, Seven Seas Mariner is about to enter Johnstone Strait. It seems like it would be a stretch to believe it'll make it to the narrows within the next 6 hours, but perhaps it is possible. By contrast, the (ahem) more affordable cruise ships, Volendam and Island Princess are still out in Queen Charlotte Sound. No chance of them making it to the narrows before darkness.

Edited by bUU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The earliest we have made Seymour Arm was 930PM. It largely depends on what time hey leave Vancouver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
since I wasn't sure what ship or size the OP was on, I kept my info to the more usual route.

 

Now I'm going to have to go dig through my photos and find out which ship because it'll bug me if I don't. Thanks Kamloops. ;p

 

Thank you both for the great info! We are sailing on HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam. Juneau is our first port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be sailing NA in August. Please post a trip report on your return. Have a great cruise!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We will be sailing NA in August. Please post a trip report on your return. Have a great cruise!:)

 

Yes, I plan to do this, hopefully at least semi-live!

 

You might want to order Joe Upton's Alaska Cruise Handbook;A Mile by Mile Guide.

It provides info on sights to see along the way .... lighthouses, points of interest, popular whale watching locations, etc. As well as a map.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27251482-the-alaska-cruise-handbook

 

Thanks for the tip! Just purchased the Kindle edition!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is 4:44 am, still 45 minutes from sunrise, and Nieuw Amsterdam is already in the Queen Charlotte Sound. It entered the Narrows northbound at 4:52 UTC which was 9:52 PM PDT, almost an hour after sunset.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tides are early currently. In a month they will close to midnight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dug out some posts from a five year old thread that shed some light on this:

Cruise ships like to go thru Seymour Narrows during high slack tide not low.
a southbound ship wants to go thru the narrows on an ebb tide.

 

So I'm going to try to decrypt all that regarding our upcoming cruise. Please correct me if I didn't understand correctly!

 

For our upcoming cruise, we're going northbound:

 

2018-06-30 Sat 4:41 PM PDT 11.8 knots Max Flood

2018-06-30 Sat 8:16 PM PDT -0.0 knots Slack, Ebb Begins

2018-06-30 Sat 9:34 PM PDT Sunset

2018-06-30 Sat 11:25 PM PDT -10.0 knots Max Ebb

2018-07-01 Sun 2:40 AM PDT 0.0 knots Slack, Flood Begins

2018-07-01 Sun 5:06 AM PDT 5.7 knots Max Flood

2018-07-01 Sun 5:15 AM PDT Sunrise

 

And we're going southbound:

 

2018-07-06 Fri 3:34 PM PDT -5.4 knots Max Ebb

2018-07-06 Fri 6:25 PM PDT 0.0 knots Slack, Flood Begins

2018-07-06 Fri 9:26 PM PDT 6.3 knots Max Flood

2018-07-06 Fri 9:32 PM PDT Sunset

2018-07-07 Sat 12:21 AM PDT -0.0 knots Slack, Ebb Begins

2018-07-07 Sat 3:57 AM PDT -8.6 knots Max Ebb

2018-07-07 Sat 5:20 AM PDT Sunrise

 

So if I understand Putterdude correctly, southbound the ship will likely traverse the Strait in the dark hours overnight, so that it can traverse the Narrows after midnight. :(

 

This week's cruise must have been ideal, at least on the southbound portion. Nieuw Amsterdam entered the Strait at 21:00 UTC (2:00 PM PDT) and went through the Narrows at 3:30 UTC (8:30 PM PDT) with sunset at 9:22 PM PDT. I compared those stats to the tides data:

 

2018-06-01 Fri 5:04 PM PDT 11.5 knots Max Flood

2018-06-01 Fri 8:41 PM PDT -0.0 knots Slack, Ebb Begins

2018-06-01 Fri 9:22 PM PDT Sunset

2018-06-01 Fri 11:49 PM PDT -9.5 knots Max Ebb

2018-06-02 Sat 3:06 AM PDT 0.0 knots Slack, Flood Begins

2018-06-02 Sat 5:15 AM PDT Sunrise

 

But what about northbound?

 

Last Saturday, northbound, Nieuw Amsterdam entered the Narrows at 4:52 UTC (9:52 PM PDT).

 

2018-05-26 Sat 4:25 PM PDT -0.0 knots Slack, Ebb Begins

2018-05-26 Sat 7:28 PM PDT -10.6 knots Max Ebb

2018-05-26 Sat 9:16 PM PDT Sunset

2018-05-26 Sat 10:27 PM PDT 0.0 knots Slack, Flood Begins

2018-05-27 Sun 1:12 AM PDT 9.0 knots Max Flood

2018-05-27 Sun 4:05 AM PDT -0.0 knots Slack, Ebb Begins

2018-05-27 Sun 5:20 AM PDT Sunrise

 

So, given that Putterdude said that a southbound ship wants to go thru the Narrows on an ebb tide, and northbound is the opposite of southbound, I would think that a northbound ship wants to go through the Narrows on a flood tide. But that definitely did not happen.

 

For those still interested... more on Seymour Narrows:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=818445

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1839711

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2206338

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding is that all ships want to go through during a 2-3 hour window around slack tide. It doesn’t matter if it’s ebbing or flooding (current behind you or current against you).

 

I think it’s around 120 nm from Vancouver to Seymour Narrows, so it would take at least 6-7 hours for a ship to make the transit.

Edited by wolfie11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know it will vary from voyage to voyage, but assuming that there are about a half dozen voyages a week leaving Vancouver and traveling up that route, does anyone have any historical data for the timeframe when the cruise ships reach the Seymour Narrows? It seems to me that it is always going to be sometime between 10pm and 5am (i.e., darkness).

 

Assuming not, I think I'll try to keep my eyes on the marine traffic maps. For example, right now, Seven Seas Mariner is about to enter Johnstone Strait. It seems like it would be a stretch to believe it'll make it to the narrows within the next 6 hours, but perhaps it is possible. By contrast, the (ahem) more affordable cruise ships, Volendam and Island Princess are still out in Queen Charlotte Sound. No chance of them making it to the narrows before darkness.

We went through the Narrows about 8 pm on a sea day. Cruise director announced it beforehand. Nice but there were other areas just as nice. If I did the cruise again I would learn how to read gps coordinates and look on marine traffic to see where you might go and where narrow points are. I have map that may help, may post it when I get home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The actual changes daily. This because tides aren’t on a 24 hour cycle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gone through the Narrows, during a wide range of times. It does go through at slack.

 

I give a priority with the southbound sailing of being out on deck during the hours after going through the Charlottes. It's spectacular scenery plus, I'm usually successful with seeing orcas. :) However, many people give dinner a priority

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...