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Ferry from Prince Rupert

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ayrshire
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Ferry from Prince Rupert

Hi, I am posting on your forum for the first time.

I am starting to organise my trip to BC for late May 11, would be really grateful for some input into my itinery.

So far, have come up with:-

3 nights Vancouver - 2 nights Victoria - 1 night Port Hardy - BC Ferry to Prince Rupert - ? - 1 night Prince George - 2 nights Jasper - 1 night Lake Louise - 2 nights Banff - 1 night Calgary.

My dilemma is that I have four nights to spare at Prince Rupert, but would like to go into Alaska. Will we see enough of the Inside Passage on the Ferry to Prince Rupert? Do not want to take one of the cruises as we are quite adventurous and like to do our own thing. Also really enjoy driving, so not a problem. Also wondering if I should add some time on in other places and stay 2 nights in Prince Rupert. I would be grateful for any feedback.

Thanks in advance.

Vancouver BC
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1. Re: Ferry from Prince Rupert

I'll reply and bump this up. You might add a day somewhere between Victoria and Port Hardy. You could go beach walking in Parksville or salmon fishing in Campbell River (or Prince Rupert) or Orca or Grizzly watching from Telegraph Harbour. You'll see plenty Inside Passage from the ferry unless the weather is dreary. Four nights in any of the smaller towns is plenty unless you have some planned activities. There is a ferry from Prince Rupert into Alaska. http://www.akms.com/ferry/

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Ferry from Prince Rupert

Depending upon your interests, there is much to see between Prince Rupert and Prince George (if you decide not to take the ferry to Alaska).

First of all, you can spend a day in Prince Rupert. It has a beautiful setting, right on the water. There is a marvellous museum - the Museum of Northern BC, if First Nations art interests you. Here are some links -

http://www.tourismprincerupert.com/

http://www.museumofnorthernbc.com/

The drive east on Highway 16 along the Skeena River between Prince Rupert and Terrace is lovely and has pullout areas to take pictures. On the western edge of Terrace, Highway 113 branches off. This is called the Nisga'a Highway and leads through Nisga'a Lava Lands Provincial Park. We found it quite interesting because it was so different from what we had seen elsewhere in BC. Here is the Wikipedia entry to get you started -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisga'a_Highway

It contains a link to the provincial park. Allow about 1/2 day, depending upon how far up Highway 113 you want to drive.

Continuing east, there is Hazleton. Actually, there are three of them. Two (South Hazleton and New Hazleton) are along the highway. The Village of Hazleton is inland and the one you would want. Here is the link -

http://www.village.hazelton.bc.ca/

Near the village is the Ksan Centre -

http://www.ksan.org/

There is also a field of 15 or so very old totem poles at Kispiox, near the Village of Hazleton.

The end of the day will bring you to Smithers, a really nice little town in the Bulkley Valley -

http://www.tourismsmithers.com/

About 10 - 15 minutes before you enter the town, there is a pull-off at Morricetown where you may be able to see fishers fishing in the canyon below.

Between Smithers and Prince George is Fort St. James National Historic Site -

pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/stjames/index.aspx

It's about 3/4 hour drive off the highway.

The trip from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert is gorgeous on a dry day. I'm not sure what more you would see if taking the Alaska ferry. However, if you have not already done so, try posting in the Alaska forum and see what they recommend in terms of a four-day trip via ferry from PR.

Happy research and planning!

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Ferry from Prince Rupert

I see that the Wikipedia link did not go through. If you google, you should be able to bring it up. Also, here is the link for the provincial park (hopefully with better luck) -

env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/nisgaa/

Parksville, Canada
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4. Re: Ferry from Prince Rupert

I'm nominating Itchyfeet as Northwest BC's official travel advisor! I can't add anything that she hasn't incluced - you certainly need to add a night between Prince Rupert and Prince George. The drive is "do-able" in a day, but you won't have time to stop and enjoy the sights.

Out of Prince Rupert, you could do a trip up the Khutzeymateen, if you are interested in seeing Grizzly Bears. Late May should get you there at the beginning of the season. If you can afford a splurge, I'd recommend Palmerville Adventures for a day trip by float plane and boat - http://www.palmerville.bc.ca

I think trying to get a side trip into Alaska is pushing your timing. If getting your passport stamped is really important, you could take a 1-day diversion up highway 37 to Stewart, BC from where you could drive up to Hyder, Alaska. Beautiful drive up to Stewart - have a little "google" to help you decide.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Ferry from Prince Rupert

Thank you for those kind words, Robinsegg. I do think that northern British Columbia has definite attractions that we "southerners" are not generally aware of. So much of our time, including our holiday time, is spent in the southern 20% or so of the province. It does us good to get out of the Lower Mainland and talk to our fellow British Columbians "up there" from time to time.

However, much of our own travel "up there" has involved family visits and, since family will be moving back south early in the new year, we may not get that way again for a while. So, I will continue to help out as best I can, but may have to gradually withdraw for fear that my information will become "stale dated".

Having said that, we never did get to the Peace River district. So, we may have one more trip north at some point to cover that part of the province. Unfortunately, that route will not pass through your lovely town of Smithers. Oh, well.

Edited: 14 September 2010, 23:45
ayrshire
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6. Re: Ferry from Prince Rupert

Thank you all for input, I will spend some time checking out all options.

No doubt will get back to you when I have made some changes, so will probably be looking for some more info. Kinda thought it would probably be too long a drive between Price Rupert and Prince George, especially if we want to take the time for detours etc. So will take advice and split this part.

Thank you.

Prince Rupert...
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7. Re: Ferry from Prince Rupert

Hi Great Ideas so far. I live in Prince Rupert and just took this ferry ride from Port Hardy. Remember to make hotel reservations in Port Hardy and Prince Rupert.

I personally think 4 days is too long for Rupert, 2 full days would be good especially if you want to do North Pacific Cannery Museum and and boat fishing/whale watching tour. Cow Bay is a nice little area to shop and have a lunch, while watching the eagles.

The drive to Smithers is beautiful especially leaving

Prince Rupert in the morning with the drive along the Skeena river.

I would spend the 3rd night in Smithers with a stop in Hazelton at K'san. The 4th night I would spend in Prince George. Have a great trip in the Pacific North West!

8. Re: Ferry from Prince Rupert

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