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Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

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Birmingham
posts: 2
reviews: 8
Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

Just about to book the inside passage trip. Don't know whether to book the aurora seats or book a cabin. What is the aurora lounge like? Good viewing spot? Are you able to have a kip on the seats? Cost is £30.00 each person so don't really want to book both.

Also can anyone clarify.......can you catch the ferry from Horeshoe bay (West vancouver) to Nanaimo? as we are staying that side in Vancouver and it would say us traveling to Tsawwassen.

Thanks

Vicky

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 31,393
reviews: 39
1. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

Welcome to the forum, X4brummies ~

You get panoramic views, reclining seats, a dedicated room and washrooms. Some peace and quiet compared to the rest of the ship.

Yes, horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay (Nanaimo) would be more direct than going via Tsawwassen if you are going up Island.

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 679
2. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

Don't know the rest of your schedule or the time of year you're travelling, but booking the Inside Passage in advance holds a certain risk. I've done this route a couple of times, but always made certain the weather would be allright, in the sense that it would be a clear day. This region gets quite a lot of fog and rain and a crossing in those circumstances is just a waste of a lot of money.

We have let the crossing pass because of bad weather on some occasions and backtracked on our route.

Again, I'm not familiar with your route and flexibility, time of year, etc., but it might be something to consider.

Vancouver
posts: 60
reviews: 5
3. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

Yes, you can catch a ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo - this is one of the main routes to Vancouver Island.

Note that it takes about 5-6 hours to drive from Nanaimo to Port Hardy. The ferry departs Port Hardy in the AM (7 or 8; you have to be there at 6 I think) which means you have to drive up the day before departure and stay overnight in Port Hardy.

Not sure the point in booking a cabin - I've done the trip several times and never saw the need. The trip is only 14 hours or so...I guess if you want to take a nap or have some private time it might be good. Perhaps someone else will chime in here...

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 3,027
reviews: 42
4. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

We booked a cabin when we took the trip several years ago. At that time, the ferry left at 7:00 AM and we were told to be at the ferry dock at 5:30 AM. Because we are not morning people, it was nice, once the ferry was on the way, to go down to the cabin and have a nap. We also spent time in the cabin during the day, when we needed a break. As mentioned, you do have to spend the night in Port Hardy beforehand because of the early departure.

Birmingham
posts: 2
reviews: 8
5. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

We haven't got any flexibility really as we are booking hotels etc. We plan on doing the inside passage in August (10th). Can it be foggy or rainy that time of the year?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 31,393
reviews: 39
6. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

Fog involves moist and cold air that doesn't rise. Probably too simply put. Evaporation that behaves itself generally rises and gets blown landward to fall as rain later. The water that the ferry crosses over can be both rainy and foggy.

Example from August 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H6uNXEDb1M

Another August, but off Vancouver waters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBWOi-DCYyY

I would take it as it comes. You really can't organize a foggy day or a fog free day.

Edited: 4:23 am, January 22, 2013
Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 11,973
reviews: 80
7. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

We did the Inside Passage ferry in early March a few years ago - it was a very rainy and grey crossing (as is common at that time of year, storm season), all with low cloud, but not fog. We enjoyed it immensely. The colours were overwhelmingly grey - grey water, grey skies, grey & brown mountainsides - but there was a great beauty to it all anyway.

I think part of our enjoyment stemmed from it being a completely different type of scenery than what we are used to (we live in the Rockies); certainly if we had had days and days of it, it might not have been so appealing. Also, that particular holiday was structured with a combination of very active stops (snowshoeing, hiking) interspersed with spells of sitting and relaxing (the ferry, the Skeena train trip), which worked really well for us.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 3,027
reviews: 42
8. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

I'm afraid that you just have to take your chances. We went on a day in May, and the weather was glorious. However, other May days were quite cool and drizzily as I recall. August is usually the most reliable weather month here - at least on the south coast. I once worked with someone who always took his holidays during the first two or three weeks of the month because (according to him) statistically it was the best weather.

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
Destination Expert
for British Columbia
posts: 5,496
9. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

I'm on record as saying much of the trip is a howling bore and I've done it in ships big & small sail and power craft as well as the ferry.

Small broken trees abound as do endless vistas of dull bare rock-the water can be more interesting but not unless you can reach out and touch it most ships you're up too high to see the surface very well.

That being said most people spend all their time inside anyway.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 14,091
reviews: 42
10. Re: Ferry from port Hardy to prince rupert

LOL Sam - you're just spoiled for that scenery with all your fishing around BC.

We did the Discovery Coast ferry and I thought it was spectacular. Yes, my kids spent a good portion of the trip sitting in the lounge watching "How to Train a Dragon" which I think repeated itself three times before anyone did anything about it, but I was outside enjoying the coastal scenery for as much as I could.

I'm sure the coastal fjord scenery on that trip is different from the archipelago you travel through on the Prince Rupert trip, but it's pretty different from a Birmingham canal path, that's for sure!