Inside Passage Cruises
- Best of Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Island: High Tea to Low Tide
- Vancouver’s Totem Poles
- Vancouver’s Best Hiking
- Family Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
- Focus on Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Weekend Getaway
- Victoria Weekend Getaway
- A Tour Through Time
- Inside Passage Cruises
- Outdoor Adventures
- Winter Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
Wander down to Canada Place at any time during summer, and chances are you’ll see a cruise ship taking on or dropping off passengers and being restocked for its next trip north along the Inside Passage.
Alaska is the world’s third most popular cruising destination (behind the Caribbean and the Mediterranean), and Vancouver is the main southern start and finish point for these trips, handling more than 300 sailings and 700,000 passengers during the short May–September summer season. Canada Place was designed especially for cruise ships, but as these boats increase in size, the holding capacity of Canada Place has diminished, and some now dock at Ballantyne Cruise Terminal, a renovated cargo pier east of Canada Place.
A cruise along the Inside Passage may be less expensive than you imagined, and although this form of travel isn’t for everyone, it provides the unique opportunity to travel through one of the world’s most spectacular landscapes surrounded in luxury. The best place to start planning a cruise is at your local travel agent, or contact the cruise lines directly.
Holland America Line (206/281-3535 or 877/724-5425, www.hollandamerica.com) has been cruising the Inside Passage since the 1940s and offers a wide range of itineraries that link up with other arms of the company operating throughout Alaska.
Princess Cruises (800/7746-2377, www.princess.com) offers luxury that is reminiscent of days gone by.
Carnival Cruise Lines (888/227-6482, www.carnival.com) attracts a younger crowd.
Cruise West (800/296-8993, www.cruisewest.com), a U.S.-owned company, features smaller, more personalized ships.
Another good source of pretrip planning is Porthole (www.porthole.com), a magazine dedicated to the cruise industry.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition