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Star princess Southbound or Royal Princess Northbound?

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After abandoning the idea of RT from Seattle, Ive refocused my attention on one ways using Vancouver as a port.  Main reason is because I like the idea of being inside passage the whole time, instead of out on the ocean. Also like the idea of going further up into Alaska. Hopefully this will mean we have more scenery too.

What are the positives/negatives in traveling either northbound or southbound? This is for July 31, 2021. 

 

Star Princess...Anchorage 8:30   (SOUTHBOUND)

                           Hubbard Glacier   3 - 8pm

                           Glacier Bay     9:15 - 7:30p

                           Skagway         7:00 - 8:30p

                           Juneau (tendering) 6:30 - 4:00p

                           Ketchikan                  10:00 - 6:00p

                           At sea        (I believe this would be traveling on the inside of the passage, not actually our at sea?)

                           Vancouver        7:30 am

 

Royal Princess...Vancouver 4:30p   (NORTHBOUND)

                             At sea   (I believe it goes on the West side of Vancouver ?)

                             Ketchikan    6:30 - 3:00p

                             Juneau         8:00 - 9:00p

                             Skagway      7:00 - 8:30p

                             Glacier Bay  6:00 - 3:00p

                             College Fjord   6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

                             Anchorage  12:30 am

 

I appreciate any insight and help I can get. I've never been to Alaska but you all have been so helpful to even get me to THIS point, and I thank you!

 

 

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I would pick the Star, but that's because I think the Royal is too big of a ship, especially for Alaska.

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Given your expressed criteria for the decision OP, of using Inside Passage the whole time, you must book the Star - Royal does not go inside Vancouver Island (Princess have at least admitted that in advance this year - if you check their maps you'll see an extra line that goes from Vancouver out and around marked for the Royal, where all other North/South one-ways sail Inside). I cannot imagine a circumstance when Royal will be allowed to transit the Narrows, so you can expect this to remain the case for 2021 and all future Alaska cruise seasons.

 

The things most folks say about north vs south are either: that south is better because you do your active land part first, then chillax on the ship and have more flight options from Vancouver than Anchorage; or that north is better because the anticipation builds as you slowly approach Alaska on water, watching the scenery get 'more Alaskan.'

 

Those points are both very subjective! The actually-practical differences would only apply start or end of the season (is Denali fully open yet if early, or has snow shut it down yet if late) - as long as you stick to a July/August cruise these won't come into play.

 

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Unless you plan to not sleep your last night, a great deal of the transit past Vancouver Island will occur overnight on a South bound cruise. East or West won't make much difference in that case.

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The benefit to one ways is more time in ports, 2 glacier days, etc..... The RT Seattle trip was my "least scenic".

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Star.  Southbound is a great itinerary and the timeline for flights are good for a day-before trip into Anchorage and nice transit to port the day of the cruise, vs Anchorage departure flights which often are late night.  We prefer Hubbard Glacier over College Fjord as it’s HUGE and a very different experience from Glacier Bay, and love the last day of scenic cruising through the true Inside Passage with some fine “close” views of many small islands.  While we enjoy Royal-class ships, the Star has decent Promenade deck and other public viewing and would be our ship preference for this scenic cruise.

Edited by LoriPhil

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Star Princess Southbound would be my choice and for the same reasons that other posters have mentioned.  Royal Princess is a lovely ship, but the easy to get to outside viewing areas on the ship are not as plentiful as on Star Princess or Coral Princess.  And, on an Alaskan cruise, one ought to be outside and not playing bingo inside!  (My opinion, of course.)

 

Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier are two "win-wins" I think.  That's why I chose a Coral Princess Southbound sailing in 2019.

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I'm on a Royal Princess northbound in June 2020.  I don't know how to link another thread here, but if you see my recent thread Royal Princess in Alaska:  What to Expect, it will give you some more insight about that option.  

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7 hours ago, Kitty Ellas Mom said:

see my recent thread Royal Princess in Alaska:  What to Expect, it will give you some more insight about that option.  

 

Thank you, I will check it out!

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