HAL has Port Alberni on an itinerary in June 2019. Can anyone tell me what the culture is like and if this will be a good place to stop? I have read pros and cons about this town.
The approach is a 35 mile long fjord that begins with many islands and narrows as you move inland. The area has been extensively logged and you will see cleared areas and re-grown areas, The town itself is an industrial town that is a shadow of its heyday. It is spread out and not particularly attractive. What to do depends on how long the ship stops. Nature surrounds the town if you have time. Check out YouTube for a number of good videos of the area.Edited: 27 March 2018, 17:30
Go for a train ride.
That's a first! I assume this is a Seattle to Seattle cruise? Or is it a one way from AK to Seattle? A "foreign" port is required of a US ship before returning to the US due to the Passenger Vessels Act of 1803. Usually ships stop in Victoria between something like 4 pm and midnight, but somehow PA has been chosen for this one. I imagine you might have to take a tender from ship to shore.
This stop depends on the day and your port time. If it is Sunday and 4 pm to midnight, it's a wash. If it is 8 am to ? it might be okay. You could rent a car then and drive 45 minutes to quite a few attractions near Parksville. Coombs Country Market, Cathedral Grove, Englishman River Falls, Little Qualicum Falls, North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. There is a good Trattoria at Coombs Market - Cuckoo. 2-3 hours to explore those attractions.
What does the ship's brochure on port excursions offer?
But IMHO, PA does not have the resources or the tourist infrastructure to make it a particularly suitable place to stop. Maybe 4-5 attractions in PA itself. More restaurants, including Bare Bones, which is a distance from the ferry dock. I think HAL typically use smaller ships at ~2,000 pax + crew? But still.Edited: 27 March 2018, 18:31
Joan, I looked too, but I see from the article that the date is June 15. Still can't find the cruise.
Interesting stuff, cb. I see they do tie up at a dock. 6 years since the last ship was in town so there is a lot of room for PA to step up. Once every 6 years, even every 3 years sounds like a difficult job to create a cruise ship industry in such a location. The population is 17K so there is potential. Thanks for the link.Edited: 27 March 2018, 18:55
With all my resources for cruises I cannot easily find it either, but that is easy to understand as HAL Statendam was transferred to P&O Australia in 2015(?) and renamed Pacific Eden based in Australia.
This ship may be the new Nieuw Statendam , but in May June 2019 listed as sailing Northern Europe. It is too early for the 2019 dockings to show on the PAPA schedule.
I will ask the HAL expert on the TA cruise forum.
Can you please identify the HAL ship for us and itinerary? It could well be that I am being thrown off by the caption under the picture in the articleEdited: 27 March 2018, 22:11
HAL has three 21 day cruises to Alaska round trip from San Francisco. Maasdam is the ship. Two will be in May -early June of 2019. The one I am on is late June into July. The date
Of my ships arrival at PA is Thursday, July 06, 2019 Arrives 10:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM
Thank you for the ideas of what to do. Are there car rental facilities and if so, is renting a car and driving to nature spots for birding worthwhile?Edited: 27 March 2018, 22:16
Renting a car for the day would be great! I'd head over the hump to Cathedral Grove, Little Qualicum Falls, maybe even Englishman River Falls. LQF is closer to the highway though, and closer to Port Alberni. Coombs Country Market would be fun too. Maybe a drive out to Stamp River Falls as well.
I am not sure of car rental places in Port at all! But a google search will tell you pretty quickly what is there.