This was the last leg of our drive across northern British Columbia and the most scenic. We paralleled the Skeena River for the entire drive and were surrounded by more beautiful, snow capped mountains. It has been five weeks since we crossed the Montana border and we’ve enjoyed it all, from the beauty of the Canadian Rockies to the history and culture we’ve absorbed. We knew gas would be expensive, but were shocked at the cost of wine and basic things like chicken and cheese. We ate more of the “other white meat” but bit the bullet on our vino. As with all the other places we have traveled in Canada the people have been warm and friendly. Seeing our Florida license plates we could always count on someone stopping to ask about our travels, or recount a tale from their trip to our home state.
We arrived in Prince Rupert mid-afternoon and went right to the BC Ferry terminal. We were planning on staying in the parking lot for the night since we had to be there to check in at 5:30 AM. They graciously let us park the RV there, even though we were early (usually they let you come in after 10 PM,) so we detached the car and saw some of the sights. We took a short drive to Port Edward to see the old Cannery, a National Historic Site. It was after five and had closed so we couldn’t tour it (Insert hubby’s sigh of relief.) The harbor area, filled with your typical yachts, fishing fleet and tour boats, also had several bars. We had drinks in one and met a fisherman from Vancouver Island, our next stop. He gave us lots of secret fishing hot spots to try. After that dinner and a quick stop at Tim Horton’s to catch up on our our email and it was time to head back to the ferry to check in. I do not recommend sleeping in the parking lot of a ferry terminal if you want a restful night’s sleep. Lots of clanging, banging and fog horns to interfere with your shut eye.
The cruise was 15 hours. We departed at 7:30 AM and arrived in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island at 11 PM. We had reserved comfortable, reclining seats in the Aurora Lounge at the front end of the ship. We were in the front row, so we had unobstructed viewing of all the scenery of the inner passage. We read, wandered the ship, watched the hump back whales play, chatted with our fellow travelers and the day passed quickly. The ferry was top quality, the staff great and the food delicious. We had both the breakfast and dinner buffet in their dining room and ate our money’s worth at both meals. They had small cabins you could rent for the day if you wanted to nap, or relax in privacy, but we were happy with our chairs. We would highly recommend the voyage. Next stop, two weeks exploring Vancouver Island before heading back to the States.