Prince Rupert - Port Hardy (Inside Passage)
Shipping company: BC Ferries
Type of shipment: RoRo
Duration: 16 hours incl. stopover in Bella Bella
Cost: 822,65 CAD (vehicle and two seats in the Aurora Lounge)
The organization of the ferry crossing:
Although some of the ferries for the Inside Passage seem to be booked up months in advance, we tried our luck and called one day before our desired departure. And see: There was still one place available. We were able to reserve the trip by telephone and then received a confirmation e-mail with all necessary information about the time of arrival at the port, etc. In order to hold the reservation, we had to tell our credit card details over the phone.
Equipment of the ferry:
We had to arrive at the port two hours before departure and then had to wait in line for quite a long time until we could go to the ship. After that everything went very fast. The ship was very modern and beautifully equipped. It had an à la carte restaurant and a restaurant with a buffet, where you could order "All-you-can-eat". In addition there were several kiosks and in the afternoon a barbecue was held on one of the outside decks, where among other things Bratwurst was offered. The food was not first class, but OK. There were also showers on the ship, but we didn't use them. For a small surcharge we had two seats in the "Aurora Lounge", to which one only had access with a handed in card. The advantage of the lounge was, that it was located at the bow of the ship and was equipped with a window facade and very comfortable and wide seats. From the seat we always had a good panoramic view to the front and to the sides. For the other passengers it was not possible to go to the bow of the ship and the Aurora Lounge was therefore the only way to have a forward view. In addition, it was very quiet in the lounge and there was free lemon and orange water. From the lounge, but also from the outside, we saw some whales, some of which swam very close to the ship. At the stopover in Bella Bella we could also see jumping fish and many bald eagles.
Would we do the Inside Passage again?
Due to the high price we were not sure if we should book the Inside Passage at first, but then we did it because it was warmly recommended to us from many sides. But afterwards we have to say that we would have preferred to save the money. The trip was undoubtedly very nice, but the picture was always more or less the same. In the morning we had thick fog and couldn't see a thing and in the evening we drive a part in the darkness.
In short: The Inside Passage was not worth the money for us. We would have preferred to do some whale watching tours, where we would have seen the beautiful island landscape at the Canadian west coast and the variety of flora and fauna, but which would have lasted less long. Maybe we didn't get the best day from the weather and it would have been nicer with other conditions. At least we could recover from the long driving days and didn't have to cover the 500 kilometres by car.