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Old 12-11-2012, 02:39 AM
Location: interior Alaska
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If so, how is it?
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:22 AM
Location: Deltana, AK
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I went down from Haines to Bellingham in October a couple years ago, and came back in late November. I slept on deck, under the solarium in back.

-The solarium is not waterproof... It's better than outside, but drips in many places. I was able to position myself strategically and stay mostly dry. A good sleeping bag and camping mattress are required in winter. You sleep on plastic lawn chairs, but insulation is needed.

-It's a pretty boring ride in winter, because of all the darkness. It's very relaxed and uncrowded, but bring a good book or three. There is also a bar...

-Though the route is mostly protected by islands, there are a few places where you're exposed to winter storms that can make things interesting for an hour or two. Coming back up in November, a storm knocked out some of our navigation gear, and we had to switch ferries in Juneau. Heading back to the solarium after the storm, everybody's gear had slid into a pile on one side of the boat...

It was an interesting and worthwhile experience, but I'm not sure I would choose to do it again, over flying.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:26 AM
Location: Alaska
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When I first came to Alaska, I took the ferry from Seattle (this dates me), to Ketchikan in January. As I recall, you'll see some nice scenery, but as Heathen says, your hours of light are limited. Most all the trip is through protected waters. There is one section just past Vancouver Island to just before Ketchikan, where you are exposed to open water. I recall going through 10 to 15' rollers there. I recommend getting an outside cabin for the trip, since it's several days travel. It will give you privacy and a place to store your stuff.

The other times I've traveled in winter were from Prince Rupert, once in December and once in February. Both trips were uneventful weather-wise and the scenery was nice during daylight. One interesting part was going through the Tongass Narrows at night. All you see are the flashing beacons and just have the feel of land on both sides of you. Worse part of the drive to Prince Rupert was that you needed to wash off the mud from your vehicle. I managed to miss any snow storms on those trips.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:52 PM
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
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I've taken it a few times. The older I get the more I opt for a cabin on the longer runs. If you have to spend more then one night it gets old sleeping in the solarium or the recliner lounge.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:53 PM
Location: Juneau
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I've made the trip in October, November, and December. When crossing the Queen Charlotte Sound it can get bumpy for a couple of hours but I always decided that was a good time for a nap. A very relaxing way to travel, I recommend it if you have the time.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:39 PM
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Yeah, it's not a bad way to go provided you have the time. For instance, if you're going south to see a bunch of idjit relatives for the holiday season, taking the ferry can be a good way to get out of having to spend a lot of time at their house. Get a stateroom, though, so that you can have a refuge from the idjits on the ferry.
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