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Old 04-01-2017, 08:19 PM
Location: SE Alaska
2,057 posts, read 966,231 times
Reputation: 1719


Originally Posted by goldeneagle View Post
Thanks everyone, your replies were very helpful. I think we will take the ferry, we just need to pin down our dates ASAP at this point. Since that is the plan, I am wondering if it would be worth our time to stop at any of the Canadian ports along the way (Prince Rupert, Bella Coola). I think this would mean driving into
BC, boarding a BC ferry and then catching the Alaska ferry. Seems like a lot of trouble...

One more question regarding the ferry for those who have been and reserved a cabin: did you find that you had to jockey for position to get a good spot on deck with folks who were staked out camping? This is my only real concern at this point as I'd want to be able to enjoy being on deck during the day/when the weather is nice...

Thanks again for your help everyone.
Not really worth your trouble stopping in BC, IMO. The Alaska ferry does stop there, so you could break up your trip by getting off there for a couple days, if so desired, then catch a later ferry up to Alaska. A side road trip to the very scenic Stewart/Hyder area would be convenient from Rupert. Of course, breaking up the itinerary would cost more with the Alaska Marine Highway.

Regarding the decks, there should be plenty of good standing room off the back, which is the most expansive and protected area. Surprisingly, not that many people want to hang there unless the weather is ideal. Remember that it's usually quite cool on the ocean, so bring some warm gear. The deck chairs are limited and taken fairly quickly though, so if you plan to spend most of the day outside it's a good idea to stake your claim early.
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:54 AM
Location: Airports all over the world
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A few years ago I took the ferry from Whittier to Bellingham. Half the trip was on the Kennicott and half was on the Columbia. Here are a few things I remember from the trip.

On the Kennicott only the 4 berth staterooms had bathrooms. Even though I was traveling by myself I did not want to have to go down the hall to the restroom in the middle of the night so I went with the 4 berth. One of the berths made into a couch.

The Columbia has bathrooms in both the 2 and 4 berth staterooms. I went with the 2 berth stateroom. Did not have a berth that made into a couch. There were a couple hard back old style kitchen chairs to sit on.

If you are bringing lots of luggage you might want to consider the 4 berth stateroom. The staterooms only have a tiny open space that serves as the closet.

The bathrooms in the staterooms are fair sized. They have a real toilet and not something like you see in an airplane or on a train.

You are responsible for getting your luggage to and from the ferry. If you want you can place your luggage in a cart that gets towed to the car deck. However it is not secure at all. There is an elevator from the car deck to the rest of the decks.

The Columbia has both a full service dining room and a food court. The Kennicott only has a food court. The food court on the Kennicott was much better than the one on the Columbia. Both food courts have a public use microwave. There are also junk food and drink vending machines.

I see some of the sailings use the ferry Malaspina. That is one of the older mainline ferries. Have not ridden it in over 40 years so I do not know how it is now.

Here are the deck layouts for the Columbia and the Kennicott



June is the start of tourist season in Alaska. Expect the ferry to be full. Passengers are not suppose to store their luggage on the deck chairs to hold them while they are somewhere else. But they do it anyway. Families tend to stake out much of the lounge area.

If you book online you might not be assigned your actual stateroom until you board. I would call their customer service and see if you can get a room assignment. As I said in my earlier post you don't want rooms 109 thru 124 on the Columbia. If you can't get a room assigned before hand then I would have one of you make a beeline to the pursers desk as soon as you can board.
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