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Rail & Sea Cruise 2009 (Sea) (2009-10-04)

I spent two nights and a day in Prince Rupert, where it was wet in the morning, and somewhat smaller than I had erroneously expected. The harbour area was not that extensive, and I guess seriously reduced from the past after fires and redevelopment. Basically, the only scenic area is down near Cow Bay adjacent to the cruise ship terminal. I stayed at the Pioneer Hostel, which was funky and nice, and I ate supper at The Crest, arguably the nicest restaurant in Canada, with spectacular scenery complemented with superb seafood.

The ferry ride on the new Northern Expedition was marvellous! The sun rose that morning in Rupert, we entered a few hours of fog, and then we saw spectacular vistas while exiting the fog banks, followed by brilliant sunshine the whole voyage's remainder. The entire coast is virtually uninhabited, and trees rule, even if they are all second growth. As for whales, we had to see at least 30, it almost became monotonous. {:-) I missed the brilliant opportunity to see a humpback totally breaching, as I had become too complacent, and never even had my camera ready. I am really glad in retrospect that I took the trip going south, as the viewing areas are all on the ferry's stern, which was with the sunlight the whole voyage. I think a trip going the other direction would have compromised visibility.

After staying overnight in Port Hardy, I took the Greyhound bus to Nanaimo, where I even dug walking along the new promenade to the ferry terminal.

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