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dchurchward

Why don't Seattle departures stop in Ketchikan?

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I am very excited about my cruise on the Ovation of the Seas next summer. The OotS looks to be a beautiful ship with many activities my wife and kids will enjoy. However, I am puzzled why there is no stop in Ketchikan. At first, I thought it was because of the additional distance when leaving from Seattle versus Vancouver, but I noticed that the other cruises out of Seattle stop there. I verified that EotS isn't going there this year either so I wondered if anyone knew why RCL doesn't stop there. I did notice that the RCL sailings out of Vancouver and Seward have Ketchikan as a port so it isn't like RCL just doesn't go there. Does anyone know the reason the Seattle departures don't stop there?

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I can think of two reasons, but I have no inside knowledge.

 

 

One is that, for legal reasons, Seattle-Seattle roundtrips need to call at Victoria or another Canadian port. If all ports are in the United States different regulations apply. This is why so many itineraries have a Victoria stop even though you might be there only for a few hours in the evening.

 

 

The other would be the availability of docking. I don't know whether the Ovation can dock at Ketchican, but it if can, it might be that the dock isn't available on the day of the week that you'd be there.

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It's only a giant guess, but maybe RCI doesn't feel comfortable with a ship larger that Radiance navigating that passage to Ketchikan. Very narrow.

 

I know there are large ships from other lines going there so it's not that.

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I ... One is that, for legal reasons, Seattle-Seattle roundtrips need to call at Victoria or another Canadian port. If all ports are in the United States different regulations apply. This is why so many itineraries have a Victoria stop even though you might be there only for a few hours in the evening. ... .

This would be my guess too.

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It is a disappointment not stopping in Ketchikan when cruising out of seattle.

Perhaps it something to do with pier/dock space, either way I am disappointed we will miss Ketchikan on our Ovation cruise in May.

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The thing is, other cruise lines offer 7-day Seattle roundtrips that manage to call at both Ketchikan and Victoria. The Ovation itineraries have more time at sea in the northern part of the cruise, I think.

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It's only a giant guess, but maybe RCI doesn't feel comfortable with a ship larger that Radiance navigating that passage to Ketchikan. Very narrow.

 

I know there are large ships from other lines going there so it's not that.

 

 

My first thought. The OtS is to big for the narrow channel.

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My first thought. The OtS is to big for the narrow channel.

Royal sailed the same exact itinerary (no stop at Ketchikan) with Rhapsody, which is much smaller.

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My first thought. The OtS is to big for the narrow channel.

 

I did consider that, but EtS isn't going there this year either and it is smaller than the OtS. I suspect it probably has to do with dock space more than the width of the channel, but as a trade-off, it is nice to get a longer amount of time in Victoria.

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My first thought. The OtS is to big for the narrow channel.

 

Nope...

 

NCL Bliss 168,000 tonnes, 1094 feet long, 136 feet wide, 28.5 feet draft

 

RCL Ovation 168,000 tonnes, 1142 feet long, 135 feet wide, 28 feet draft

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Nope...

 

NCL Bliss 168,000 tonnes, 1094 feet long, 136 feet wide, 28.5 feet draft

 

RCL Ovation 168,000 tonnes, 1142 feet long, 135 feet wide, 28 feet draft

 

Don't think that was the point.

 

I've been through there twice on Radiance and was shocked at how narrow the channel is at some points. Add frequent rain and fog to the mix and maybe RCI didn't think it was worth the risk. Or maybe some RCI executive had a bad day there? :D Who knows, it's all speculation. Really too bad because Ketchikan is really a great walkable port.

 

The round trip is nice and easy, but IMHO you really are just getting Alaska lite.

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Royal sailed the same exact itinerary (no stop at Ketchikan) with Rhapsody, which is much smaller.

 

Exactly... however Rhapsody did stop at Kethcikan on her first and last sailings of the season (Seattle to Vancouver) before her TP's to Hawaii/Sydney. She sailed through the British Columbia inside passage which only the the smaller ships (ie. Radiance Class size) can go.

 

Even with Ovation sailing into Vancouver like Rhapsody, she's too big for the BC inside passage, so she'll head out into the Pacific Ocean and around the west side of Vancouver Island.. On her Alaskan inaugural 11 day in May, she doesn't visit Ketchikan either.

 

I just checked cruuseTT.... NCL Bliss is in Ketchikan with 3 other ships, 2 of them the large X Eclipse and HAL Oosterdam, so fitting Ovation with other ships in port isn't an issue it seems eihter.

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Don't think that was the point.

 

My first thought. The OtS is to big for the narrow channel.

 

The NCL Bliss is almost the exact same size as Ovation.

NCL Bliss visits Ketchikan, and thus not too large for the channel.

Extremely easy to understand this, isn't it?

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The NCL Bliss is almost the exact same size as Ovation.

NCL Bliss visits Ketchikan, and thus not too large for the channel.

Extremely easy to understand this, isn't it?

 

Thanks for the nasty comeback. Not seeing why you took offense. But anyway.

 

I said maybe RCI didn't think it was worth the risk. Not that it couldn't make it.

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The Seattle based ships that stop in Ketchikan leave between 1 and 3 pm to allow time for the stop in Victoria on the way back. They all stop there on the way back to avoid having to do cbp in Alaska as doing cbp in Seattle is way easier and there are proper facilities for it

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Thanks for the nasty comeback. Not seeing why you took offense. But anyway.

 

I said maybe RCI didn't think it was worth the risk. Not that it couldn't make it.

 

Hmmm... I was genuinely confused. No nastiness from me.

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Thank you, everyone, for your responses. I would prefer to travel one way to get to see more of Alaska, but since I have 4 teenagers, OtS has a tremendous number of activities they want to do, and I don't have to pay airfare to or from Anchorage. We will have a great time, even without a visit to Ketchikan. At least we will get a good amount of time in Victoria.

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It's certainly possible to do Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, plus the required stop in Victoria, on a 7 night roundtrip from Seattle. Princess is currently doing so with Ruby and Emerald, and I've done so onboard Star. So it is not for lack of time that Royal isn't doing so with Ovation.

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It could also be related to the lack of actual dock space on days that is condusive to the intinery. While a port may be able to handle a ship of a certain size. If other cruise lines (or even RCCL for other ships) have locked up all available berths on a particular day, then the port is "full", so it would be impossible for another ship to call on that port on that day.

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It could also be related to the lack of actual dock space on days that is condusive to the intinery. While a port may be able to handle a ship of a certain size. If other cruise lines (or even RCCL for other ships) have locked up all available berths on a particular day, then the port is "full", so it would be impossible for another ship to call on that port on that day.

Was my guess. I worked Logistics, it's possible...

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