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Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

Australia
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Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

I have read the earlier thread about Inner Sea Discovery trips and i am wondering if anyone has had experience of them. We are thinking of the Juneau to Seattle trip on 15th September instead of a bigger ship line. We love nature and do not like ports much but i am a bit concerned about how much 'roughing it' will be necessary

Thanks in advance

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

That late in September is past prime tourist season. Some tour operators start closing down, weather in SE Alaska can deteriorate quickly, daylight becomes much more limited. If that is the only time you can go, it might be OK, but if cost is the main factor for going that late, I would suggest saving another year and going a bit earlier in the season.

Greater Sydney...
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2. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

G'day Oliver,

I bow the the far superior knowledge that fti has of the region as I have only been there in June, while fti travels to Alaska at all different times of the year.

I have just had a look at the route they sail, and, boy, I am impressed. Just based on route alone this looks very tasy indeed. You do not even cross the open water in Queen Charlotte Sound!

As for 'roughing it' I suppose that would depend on what they have available to do at various places along the way, and perhaps you could obtain that information by submitting an email to the company requesting further information.

It would be good if you could advise back if you get more information.

Appleton, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

We are scheduled to go with Innersea Discoveries this summer. By roughing it, do you mean camping? The ship has cabins that you stay in, while not luxurious, they look comfortable enough. Their website has a some pictures of the cabins. Also if you look at cruisecritic.com they also have a picture of one of the cabins. They do have a optional camping trip that you can choose, but otherwise you will be not be camping.

Australia
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4. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

Thank you very much for your replies. I am not worried by the cabins but i saw a reference to 'overnight hiking trips' in the ship literature hence my comment about 'roughing it'. Since then, i have been reassured that all activities are optional. Now i am more concerned by how late in the season the ship will be sailing. However we will be travelling independently in Alaska from 26th August until mid September when we join the ship. We do not like crowds and particularly wanted to see the Fall colours in Denali which is why we are choosing to go so late in the season. I am a bit worried though by how cold the kayaking may be on the ship and as fti says, 'the days closing in' and there will be less daylight. Although we are a long way from US, hopefully there will be other opportunities to visit this amazing region which has been a lifelong goal.

Greater Sydney...
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5. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

Oliver,

From the ships itinerary, here are some of the average weather statistics for some of the places you will be. Keep in mind that these ARE averages only from many years of recordings, and that here in Sydney we are looking at one of the coldest and wettest summers on record.

Juneau

www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3…

Ketchikan

www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3…

If you look at the average precipitation you may get quite a shock, but you are visiting a temperate rain forest zone.

Australia
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6. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

Thanks Frommy. What a great weather site. It certainly looks as though it will be very wet in September. It would make hiking and kayaking, as a minimum, more uncomfortable and it is good to have this information.

Greater Sydney...
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7. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

You are welcome, mate. When my wife tells me where she wants to go next that is one of the first sites I check to try and select the time of the year with the most favourable average weather conditions.

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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8. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

Be sure to bring good rain gear and don't worry about it. You might shorten a hike or switch activities a bit depending on the weather, but I rarely greatly alter my plans in Alaska due to the weather. I expect rain whenever I go and if it doesn't rain, I am happy and it exceeds my expectations!

Texas City, Texas
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9. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

I will be taking the cruise that starts in Ketchikan, and ends in Juneau. We are leaving on May 26, 2012. I will let you know how it goes when we return from the trip.

Sacramento...
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10. Re: Inner Sea Discovery Small Ships

Hi, We just came home from an InnerSea Discoveries Ultimate Adventure. This trip is two weeks long and combines the Eastern Coves and Western Coves. We have been to Alaska four times over the last several years, twice in September. We have been on three Alaska Cruises, a 2,000 passenger ship, a 140 passenger ship and InnerSea's Wilderness Adventurer 60 passenger ship. By FAR InnerSea's is the way to go.

As to activities, they are all guided and planned and mainly depend on where you end up going. As example the Western portion the itinerary was changed to avoid predicted high seas in a more open area. Instead we went to two small coves where we hiked and kayaked. On each week they offered at least one 5 hour kayak trip where they packed your lunch for you.

There were two days each week with no planned off the ship activities, one day you whale watch and one day where you are at a glacier. They did however launch skiffs on both these days for up close views of wildlife and the glacier. You can also pay extra and camp one night on each week. You eat dinner on board and then they put you ashore with camping gear and a guide who cooks you breakfast.

We saw bears, whales, moose, eagles and sea lions up close and personal.

You are correct that the fall colors will be great in Denali at this time. The days will be shorter and will get shorter each day by about ten minutes. The Inside Passage is a rain forest, so plan for rain. The crew on InnerSea have a philosophy about rain, "There is no bad weather, just bad gear." So if you have seam taped rain coat and pants, and warm layers underneath you should be good to go. You board the kayaks on the ramp and don't get wet. The crew secures your spray skirt, so you are dry.

I recommend taking a waterproof camera. I took a Fuji XP and a Nikon Coolpix P500. I used the Fuji waterproof for kayaking. I also took it snorkeling and got some great underwater pics of sea stars.