Originally uploaded by cruiserfriendly.com.
If you are still thinking about a cruise to Alaska, there is still time to book. While kids are still in school, space is available on early season cruises. As ships reposition to Alaska the first cruise of the season usually calls on out of the ordinary ports like Grays Harbor, Washington and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. This year Regent Seven Seas Cruises isÂ offering a new port you might want to see, Campbell River, British Columbia. For years ships have passed Campbell River to and from Vancouver. It is the city you see on the starboard side after passing through Seymour Narrows. For years the ships have sailed by but now the city of 31,000 residents is opening its doors and inviting us to stop for a while.
According to The British Columbia Tourism Board the focal point is salmon fishing and an important gateway to the rich wilderness of northern Vancouver Island. For me it is the ease and charm of the community that I find attractive; my taste must also be shared by the aristocrats and wealthy outdoors enthusiasts from Europe and America that have chosen to make Campbell River their home.
The main industry is fishing and logging; the pulp mill can be seen from miles around. But increasingly more and more are discovering Campbell River as the gateway to the Strathcona Provincial Park and the 7,218 foot Golden Hinde, tallest peak on Vancouver Island. While there donâ€™t miss The Museum at Campbell River which highlights not only the history of the area from the indigenous First Nations people to the contemporary townsfolk but also you can see actual footage of the explosion of Seymour Narrowâ€™s Ripple Rock, said to be the largest non-nuclear explosion in history!
Take a walk along Discovery Pier for excellent views of mainland British Columbia. If you want to drop a line rent a pole nearby or continue out to Rotary Sidewalk and see if any orcas are in the vicinity. In addition to the shopping, hiking, kayaking, and biking one of the more unusual opportunities is a chance to â€śswim with the salmon.â€ť Divers can mingle eyeball to eyeball, great way to get to know a Coho and find a new gill friend!
For those of you who thought that gone were the days when you could â€śhop a freighterâ€ť sailing from port to port around the world in an unfettered style, fear not. Container ships have replaced freighters. For more information, you will not want to miss the article that recently appeared on msn.com. It gives you all the information you need to find out more on this option to cruising.
During the 2007 SeaTrade Cruise Shipping Convention held in March, many new and exciting announcements were made. Among them was the official word that Silversea would be building their first new ship since 1998; a 36,000 ton, 540 passenger ship that will increase their total fleet capacity by 40%. Delivery is expected in 2009. The second company to make a similar announcement was Oceania; fast becoming a contender in the luxury cruise market they are adding two 65,000 ton ships to their fleet. The new ships are expected to carry 1,260 passengers and cruise at speeds 20% faster than the other two ships giving itinerary planners more flexibility according to Oceaniaâ€™s Frank Del Rio. Cabins will be larger with more deluxe appointments in the top-end suites. Bathrooms will be the finest in the business. And the new Spa will be state-of-the art. Company President Bob Binder said the most significant aspect of the addition of the new ship will be how it effects the itineraries of the existing ships, the Nautica, Regatta and Insignia. Once the new ships are in service, there will be three Oceania ships in Europe and for the first time one in Alaska! The new ships scheduled for delivery in 2010 and 2011 will be priced competitively for the luxury market.
Celebrity Solstice (2,850 - Fall 2008)
Celebrity Equinox (2,850 - Summer 2009)
Celebrity Eclipse (2,850 - Summer 2010)
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Splendor (3,006 - Spring 2008) i
Carnival Dream (3,608 - October 2009)
Carnival Magic (3,652 - June 2011)
Costa Serena (3,800 - May 2007)
Costa Concordia sister ship (3,004 - Summer 2009)
Unnamed ship (2,260 - Spring 2009)
Unnamed ship (2,260 - March 2010)
Belle de l’Adriatique (200 - 2007)
Queen Victoria (2,000 - Summer / Autumn 2007)
Disney Cruise Lines
New class vessel (1,250 staterooms - 2011)
New class vessel (1,250 staterooms - 2012)
Holland America Line
Eurodam (2,044 - Summer 2008)
MSC Crociere - Mediterranean Shipping Cruises
MSC Orchestra (1,275 cabins - May 2007)
MSC Fantasia (3887 - June 2008)
MSC Serenata (3887 - March 2009)
MSC Poesia (1,275 cabins - March 2008)
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Gem (2,384 - October 2007)
New class ship (1,260 - Fall 2010)
New class ship (1,260 - Summer 2011)
Ventura (3,100 lower berth - Spring 2008)
Unnamed (3,076 - Spring 20010 )
Pearl Seas Cruises
Unnamed (165 - July 2008)
Unnamed (210 - June 2009)
Emerald Princess sister ship (3,100 - Fall 2008)
Residential Cruise Line Ltd.
Magellan (residential cruise ship)
Royal Caribbean International
Liberty of the Seas (3,600 - May 2007)
Independence of the Seas (3,600 - May 2008)
Project Genesis (5,400 - Autumn 2009)
Seabourn Cruise Line
Unnamed (225 cabins - Spring 2009)
Unnamed (225 cabins - Spring 2010)
Unnamed (540 - Fall 2009)
Be honest â€“ how many times have you eyed the plush bathrobe supplied in your stateroom or coveted the beautiful china in the dining room? Well, now you can shop for it all from the Grohe showerhead to the imported Beukenhorst coffee. I love this site! You can find fine wine and deck furniture. Shop Holland America allows you to not only buy those things that impressed you so much onboard but also shop for items that will enhance your future cruise including books and references. It is my pleasure to announce that starting this spring, â€śThe Cruiser Friendly Onboard Guide to Alaskaâ€™s Inside Passage,â€ť will be available as well! So please tell your cruise friends to stop by: www.shophollandamerica.com