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Aurora Explorer is a working freight vessel. The freight deck where I and 10 other passengers met captain and crew was already loaded with a well-organized collection of heavy cargo. Crew members escorted us to our cabins on the second deck to settle in while they resumed their duties to get us underway.

After a safety and evacuation briefing at the muster station, the rumble of engines signaled our departure from the Marine Link Tours dock at Menzies Bay near Campbell River on Vancouver Island. We were instructed to stay off the freight deck during loading and unloading. The promenades on the dining and bridge decks provided ample vantage points to take in the passing scenery.