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Inside Passage after dark: on deck or in bed?

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1st time Alaska cruisers.
Our ship takes the Inside Passage at least part of the way and we are keen to take in the scenery.
Unfortunately, leaving Vancouver at 5:00pm, I'm guessing much of it will be in darkness, even in early July.
If you've sailed the I.P. like this, is it worth staying up after dark and/or getting up before dawn?
Is there a "must see" location that we need to be awake for?
Or will it be just too dark to see much of the scenery?
 

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If you're sailing in early July sunset won't be until well after 9pm - and even after that you can still see the landscape for quite some time (in summer you're looking at about 45mins of 'civil twilight'). After that you'll still see some silhouettes of the landscape but probably not worth staying up for - and once it's actually dark, you'll really just see the lights of occasional small towns and other vessels.

 

I'd hit the sack by 10ish and set your alarm for as early as you feel you can handle - sunrise will be a little after 5am, and again you'll actually be able to see for quite some time before that. Depending what the tide timetables are like, the exact time you get to the other side of the Narrows will vary - so giving you a time that you'll be at a place could be out by a couple of hours by next morning. There really isn't any bad scenery on the way up so I'd be on deck or at least beside a window all day, you should have a view of land at least on the starboard side pretty much the whole way up.

 

Given the modest pace of a ship, unless you're trying to look for wildlife it's very feasible to sit with a book and just look up at the end of each chapter to see the landscape - or whenever you hear people exclaiming about seeing something!

 

Hopefully you'll also get some feedback on timings & landmarks from Heidi who has sailed the coast professionally, or perhaps BudgetQueen who seems to have memorized all the good whale-spotting areas on the whole trip.

 

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Many thanks, Martincath.
Just what I was looking for. Your experience is much appreciated.

And, as you suggest, if Heidi or BudgetQueen - or anyone else - has input, please jump in here.

 

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I'll be on HAL departing Vancouver at 16:30 on 5/24. I've never been on a cruise before - is 16:30 the actual departure time or is it more like closing the door on a flight (after which there could still be ground delays)?

 

I ask because after finishing grad school at UBC, my father worked at a paper mill in Powell River (about 75 miles up the coast from Vancouver, on the mainland side). It's not a big deal but I wouldn't mind seeing it in the daylight from the ship. The Wikipedia article on Noordam says 22 knots - that'd put us there in about 3 hours?

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HAL leaves on time from Vancouver.  Of course there could be delays but with several ships in port, departure times are critical.  The Noordam 22 knots is maximum speed so more than likely, I would count on 15 knots.  If the ship is delayed and tides are out, slower speeds around 10 knots could happen as they did with us when we were delayed for over one hour.

Edited by Crew News

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If you identify the time and distance to the next port of call, you can work out the average speed of the segment. Based on where your desired location is on that route, you should get a reasonable estimate of the time you'll pass by.
As Crew News states, if you need to navigate any tidal narrows en route, then things get more complicated and you'll need local tide tables...
But you should be able to fix on a window of minimum and maximum times of passage.
Bon voyage.

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On our trip HAL left Vancouver on time.  We saw no point standing on deck once the sun went down.  It just seemed pretty dark.  

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