I had the great opportunity to travel from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert onboard the crown jewel of BC Ferries’ fleet, The Northern Expedition. It reminded me of a mini cruise ship as they had similar features. The first area I usually hit when I’m on the ferry is the food services area. This time, I treated myself to a fine dining buffet breakfast. I was delighted with the delicious spread of food, from pastries, fruits, assortment of meats, sweets and even dim sum. The atmosphere was elegant with nice fine dining touches such as silverware and cloth napkins. .
This 15-hour relaxing cruise on the Northern Expedition was a treat. Guests can even book one of 55 private staterooms onboard, complete with showers. I could get use to traveling like this on long distance trips. This was a first class experience along the scenic Inside Passage as it zigzagged through a narrow channel that was both magical and breathtaking. The rugged mountain walls were so close to the ferry I felt as though I could reach out and touch them. The rock walls plunged dramatically into the water as we sailed by. The wilderness showcased its natural beauty and there were even occasional sightings of eagles, bears and porpoises. While I was enjoying the scenery, my nose caught the scent of BBQ sausages, so I grabbed a hot dog for lunch and continued to enjoy the scenery.
I had the privilege of talking with Captain Lance Lomax on the Bridge Deck. He showed and explained to me the panels and instruments that helped him navigate the ferry. I realized the bridge deck was the perfect place to spot whales because of the unobstructed floor to ceiling glass. While I was talking with Lance, I did have my fair share of spotting Humpback Whales in their glory. After my visit with him, I headed down to the main control room to talk with Chief Engineer Bill Connor. I got a tour of how the ferry engine works and the high tech, state of the art safety systems that are put in place. I was most impressed with the high fog sprinkler system which doesn’t harm people and equipment when deployed.
All that work in the engine room sure created an appetite so I went to the Vista Restaurant to enjoy a fine dinner. Of course, I had to experience everything in order to write about it in my journal. The food was delicious and the wine complimented my dinner nicely.I was pretty tired after dinner so I went back to my stateroom, changed into my pajamas and took a nap. When I woke up, I headed down to Raven’s Lounge Theatre to catch a movie. By the time I came out of the theatre it was time to disembark as we arrived in Prince Rupert at 10:45 pm.
Local residents and tourists alike will enjoy sailing through the unforgettable scenic Inside Passage on the Northern Expedition. The northern coast of British Columbia is remote and rugged but thanks to BC Ferries, it makes it a lot easier and enjoyable to get there. The ferry ride was an adventure in itself as it featured spectacular scenery with first class service.
1 (888) BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779)from anywhere in North America
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1 (250) 386-3431 from outside North America