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Old 08-07-11, 06:13 PM   #1
SesameCrunch
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Folding bike on a cruise ship?

I'm taking an Alaskan cruise soon - from Seattle to the Juneau area. I was thinking of putting the Brompton in a suitcase for my own excursions around some of the ports.

The local vendors around port towns are all so touristy. The packaged excursions can be nice, but they are expensive and touristic. I was thinking that on some of the days, the folder would give me freedom to wander. I would just ask the locals what's interesting and do my own exploration.

Anyone with experience doing this, especially in Alaska?
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Old 08-07-11, 06:25 PM   #2
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I would ask the cruise ship company about this before you plan to doing it. They may not even let you take the bike on the boat. Roger
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Old 08-07-11, 06:54 PM   #3
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Just came back from Alaska with Celebrity Cruise last month and saw a couple passengers with their Dahons. Alaska is very wet and rainy though, so make sure you bring your biking rain gear. Last year on my cruise to the the British Isles, there were also folding bikes (Brompton) carrying passengers on the cruises.
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Old 08-07-11, 06:57 PM   #4
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You can often rent bicycles at each of the ports too However, the folder should be fine, as long as you bring it on board inside of it's canvas bag (It's a piece of luggage).
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Old 08-07-11, 08:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tip about the weather. Rain would dampen my enthusiasm for solo adventuring on the folder.

I plan to put the Brompton inside a hard suitcase. I have one that accommodates Brompton in its normal folded state. Then put my clothes around it. Should be able to contain everything in one bag still. Good to hear that others have done similarly.
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Old 08-07-11, 08:09 PM   #6
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Last Carnival Cruise I was on somebody had folding bikes. I saw them riding them in a couple of the ports. Never could find them on the ship to talk to them though.

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Old 08-07-11, 08:41 PM   #7
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Went up the inside passage as far as Prince Ruppert several years ago - didn't take any bikes - towns are small, in other words, not a lot to see, so walking worked out OK. Alaskan towns are not all that big either. Have to wonder how well the Brompton's small wheels will get along with Alaskan 'roads'.

Given the amount one tends to eat and drink on a cruise ship, walking in Port is good.

Lou
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Old 08-07-11, 08:46 PM   #8
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Went up the inside passage as far as Prince Ruppert several years ago - didn't take any bikes - towns are small, in other words, not a lot to see, so walking worked out OK. Alaskan towns are not all that big either. Have to wonder how well the Brompton's small wheels will get along with Alaskan 'roads'.

Given the amount one tends to eat and drink on a cruise ship, walking in Port is good.

Lou
That's kind of why I wanted to have a bike, so I could work off some of the food. I'll report back on how the Brompton tires do on Alaskan roads.
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Old 08-08-11, 01:38 PM   #9
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First of all, I think a Brompton will pass through just fine as is through the ship's X-ray machine as it is smaller than the port's one. I believe it is the same one being used for gate check-ins. My Dahon 20" went through ok with the carry bag, though it was a tight fit. Someone checked a Brompton through the gate. If the folder does not pass through the machine however, it stays behind.
Ports of call.

1, Ketchikan (not much to see really unless you plan going in-land. There's a nasty hill going up. Best if you have a 6 gear hub version and maybe plan to push the bike.
2, Icy Strait (Really nice ride into town and you get to see a big rock on your right with the fyord on the background; doing town excursions and there are bike commute trails you can follow and they are relatively flat -- recommend bringing a bike GPS so you don't get lost easily and can make it back in time). With a bike, you don't need to take the shuttle. This port of call will require you to take a boat to get to shore.
3, Juneau (Really nice place) Recommended visit is to ride to the Mendenhall valley and visit the Mendenhall Glacier. It's about 12 miles give and take from Downtown Juneau. Bring your folder bag to cover bike just in case you plan to take the bus back. The ride out is spectacular!

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-08-11, 01:43 PM   #10
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That's kind of why I wanted to have a bike, so I could work off some of the food. I'll report back on how the Brompton tires do on Alaskan roads.
Alaskan roads are actually quite nice and well maintained. Fat tires are nicer to have though, in the case of the Mendenhall Glacier, biking to the big chunk glacier closer to the waterfall is heck a lot better than walking it. It will be a bit rough and trail riding, but cool excursion nonetheless.
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Old 08-08-11, 02:06 PM   #11
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Cruise With Folding Bike video

Larry Lagarde of www.ridethisbike.com maintains an archive of vacation-by-folding-bike stories, photos and videos. The archive is found under his "News" heading. On January 21, 2008, he wrote a short article and video "Cozumel Cruise With Folding Bike" (scroll half way down the page). There are many other articles on this website regarding touring experiences that combined folding bikes with ships, planes and trains.
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Old 08-08-11, 09:16 PM   #12
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I canít comment on the cruise ship part of the question, but I have ridden around a fair number of Southeast Alaskan towns on my Swift, including Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau, where I live. Yes it rains here. But this summer has been pretty dry. I commute by bike daily and I take my Swift any time I can when I travel out of town. The joy of cruising around on my own bike outweighs the minor inconveniences of the extra bag. So, I think itís a great idea.

I ride on Primo Comets. Unless you go looking for off-road riding, I donít think you necessarily need fat tires.
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