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Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

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Far North Coast, NSW
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Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

Hi, Is it possible to get a small cruise ship into Alaska (inside passage) that leaves from Vancouver? If YES, is it also posible to embark on a round-trip from Vancouver? I can only find BIG ships out of Vancouver so any advice would be appreciated.

Greater Sydney...
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1. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

G'day Luv-Hols.

What is you definition of 'small ship'?

You can only find regular cruise lines because there are only regular cruise lines operating from Vancouver. HAL have the smallest ships, just over 1400 depending on which ship as some are 1900, while ships from other lines are all 2300 and above. We found there to be plenty of room on HAL for two cruises now.

I now see that you have also posted on the Alaska forum and it would assist not only on this forum, but also that one, if you advise in relation to the question posed above.

Edited: 1:13 am, January 10, 2013
Port McNeill
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2. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

As frommy asked what do you call a small cruise ship?

There is the pocket cruise ship, the Sea Lion, but It does not sail from Vancouver. It sails between Seattle and Alaska over 12 days (24 days if you want to sail in both directions). www.expeditions.com/Itineraries45.asp…

A cruise with them would be quite different than the larger cruise ships.

Greater Sydney...
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3. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

Thanks for that KfK. I was not aware of that offering. There are some absolutely wonderful looking adventure/nature offerings from Sitka and Juneau with anything from about 10 to 100 passengers.

4. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

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Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

I made a couple of typos above.

I had a look at that interesting website and noticed two cruises involving Alaska. The 12 day one, on the link given, requires a flight from Seattle to Sitka for a one way sail that ends in Seattle. I see that the 12 day tour also offers a one way from Alaska to Seattle, but I think the OP would need to pay some attention to coordinating dates for a reverse itinerary, with possibly a night or two to spend in Alaska.

The 8 day one involves a flight from Seattle to Juneau with an end in Sitka - and reverse - and a flight back to Seattle.

The itineraries look wonderful. And the "virtually untippable kayaks" make it sound like a risk worth taking!! I wonder how that ship's length, beam and displacement compare with the Northern Adventure and big sister Expedition? Couldn't find the specs on it. As a National Geographic ship it obviously would do well in open water. A very interesting cruise option, and a seemingly well kept secret.

Edited: 3:21 am, January 10, 2013
Greater Sydney...
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6. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

Ah ha. A Lindblad cruise. I did not open the link originally, so thanks Mufti. The Lindblad/National Geo cruises get good reviews on the Alaska forums and that certainly is a very nice itinerary.

However they seem to only do Seattle to Sitka and then reverse as repositioning cruises at the beginning and end of the cruise season.

Port McNeill
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7. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

I see the "Sea lion" occasionally during the late summer in Johnstone Strait and it is substantially smaller than either the Northern Adventure or Expedition ferries.

Taking a closer look at their site it does not look like doing a return trip is possible. You have to fly one way.

Greater Sydney...
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8. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

That is because they are repositioning cruises, KfK.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

There are definitely smaller ships doing coastal ecology cruises on the coast. I wasn't aware of any that do the entire trip all the way to Alaska, but I have looked at a few that do the BC fjords. Because they are smaller ships, they appeared to focus on going to places the bigger ships can't get to. However, these are also very expensive trips, so be prepared for that.

Far North Coast, NSW
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10. Re: Small cruise ship into Alaska from Vancouver?

Thank you all for the tips given.

By "small ship" I mean up to 100 passangers.