Imagine cruising through Canada’s Inside Passage towards Alaska. Sitting back in your seat watching humpback whales, orca and seals swimming alongside your ship. Spotting bears fishing on the shoreline while you eat breakfast and seeing the sunset over the coastal islands of British Columbia.
We think so too. But perhaps you think cruises are expensive or too time consuming for your precious holiday time?
Well what if we told you that you could do this trip for a fraction of the cost you would expect to pay for a cruise. Interested?
If you are then read on, because we’re going to tell you how you can get an amazing cruise experience without the price tag.
The iconic Inside Passage lies between the coast of mainland North America and the outlying islands of the Pacific Ocean. Stretching from Washington state in the south, through Canada’s British Columbia and up into the southern portion of Alaska. This section of coastline offers unparalleled views of the waterways and neighbouring coastal forests. Commonly used by ocean-going ships to avoid bad weather in the open ocean, the route is now a major tourist attraction. Single-day, overnight and multi-day cruises all traverse this beautiful part of the world so options for those wanting to see it are plentiful.
The big cruise companies will have you believe that the only way to experience the passage is on a multi-day cruise. While this probably is the best and most comfortable way to see it, it certainly isn’t affordable for everyone.
But there is another way.
BC Ferries runs scheduled ferry services from Vancouver Island up through the remote coastal communities of the passage year-round. These services are designed to connect locals, living in these communities, with the major population hubs. But this also makes it the perfect alterative for budget conscious travellers looking for a taste of life on the water.
We took the overnight BC Ferry from Port Hardy, at the northern tip of Vancouver Island, all the way up through the Canadian section of the passage to Prince Rupert, by the border with Alaska. This is a really good way to see the passage on a budget. Fares for one person will set you back between $100 and $200 for the overnight trip (with an extra $100 for your own cabin). Compared to the thousands of dollars it costs to book with the major cruise lines it definitely offers an affordable alternative.
Not only will you get great views of the picture perfect waterways and beautiful sunsets. But if you’re lucky you will also catch a glimpse of the resident humpback whales, orca, dolphins and even bears who call this place home.
Got any questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer. Have a look at the gallery for a taste of what to expect on your trip through the passage.
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