If you haven’t taken a late season cruise to Alaska, then you should consider this less crowded time and take advantage of a unique opportunity to view the sites.
I’ve taken many cruises to Alaska in the past, but this year I decided to take a late-season, round-trip sailing from Vancouver, partly to see if things are different in September. Things were a bit different but I still very much enjoyed my week aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sun. At the outset, I’d be remiss if I didn’t praise the excellent “Sky Train” light rail system, which inexpensively and quickly connects Vancouver International Airport with the city’s downtown Waterfront Station. It’s an easy one-block walk with luggage in tow to the handsome Canada Place Pier, from which most Alaska-bound ships, including Norwegian Sun, depart British Columbia’s largest city. Beautiful weather made our departure a sheer delight, with Vancouver’s impressive skyline and bustling harbor receding behind us as we sailed under the Lions Gate Bridge, and soon to give passengers their first impressions of the province’s splendid “Inside Passage” further north.
Unfortunately, Monday’s sunshine and blue skies didn’t hold, so persistent showers kept most guests indoors all day, while scenic vistas were obscured by gray skies. However, what better time could there be for everyone to explore the extensive facilities aboard Norwegian Sun, which is pretty much an ideal vessel for the Alaska market. At 78,369 tons and a normal passenger complement of 1,936, the Sun is definitely a mid-sized ship by contemporary standards, and substantially less huge than some other vessels which ply the same waters. In addition to the wide array of dining choices that are a hallmark of Norwegian’s “Freestyle Cruising,” I was particularly impressed by the excellent indoor Observation Lounge and generous amount of open deck space outdoors, which allow guests to view and photograph passing scenic wonders in almost all directions without overcrowding.