Explore the Olympic wilderness and the San Juan Islands on this 8-day small ship expedition exploring coastal Washington. Highlights of your voyage include floating the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks; cruising Seattle's picturesque waterfront; kayaking, paddle boarding, and skiff exploration in glacial fjords and the San Juan archipelago; and hiking in the Olympic Mountains, Mt. Constitution, and Washington State Parks. Look forward to unhurried time for watching gray whales, orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, and sea birds while your ship explores scenic winding channels, temperate rain forest, and old growth forest. Uncover native cultures of the Pacific Northwest, spend time on your own exploring quaint Friday Harbor, and enjoy hand-crafted cuisine including an oyster and clam tasting hosted by local growers.
Hike in the Olympics as you look for bald eagles
Kayak, paddle board, and investigate bird rookeries on the emerald waters
Land in one of the most scenic areas of the Salish Sea and watch for orcas
Discover the hidden coves and bays of the Washington State Marine Park
Seattle was founded along the shores of Elliott Bay. Today, set sail from Fishermen's Terminal, transit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, and cruise the city’s picturesque waterfront before dropping anchor in a tucked away bay to begin your Pacific Northwest cruise.
Wake up surrounded by the wilderness of the Salish Sea. Today, there will be many opportunities to investigate this sea-salty playground of islands. A guided kayak reveals local inhabitants—sea stars, anemones, jelly fish, perhaps even inquisitive harbor seals. Walk along a curiosity-rich intertidal zone or stretch your legs on a mossy hike. And tides and current permitting, sail through swirling waters of Deception Pass. Cap off your first day of adventure with a front-row view of the sunset from the bow.
You’ve landed in one of the most scenic areas of the Salish Sea. The rocky outcroppings of Lopez Island play host to harbor seals—and it’s also orca territory. When kayaking, keep your eyes peeled above and below the surface. Join your expedition team on deck searching for whales, seals, and sea lions as you cruise through the myriad San Juans—no two islands are the same. Drop anchor near San Juan Island—the second largest landmass in the archipelago—to explore tide pools and skiff or kayak into hidden coves, as conditions permit.
Your Captain navigates through the islands to your basecamp at Orcas Island—for a day of play where the options are unending. A local favorite, hike Mt. Constitution—it’s the highest peak in the San Juan Islands and has a stunning view of the archipelago. If you’re interested in skiff exploration or more paddling, the kayaks and paddle boards are up for grabs.
The treats keep a-coming! Enjoy your day anchored at picturesque Sucia Island—total year-round population of four—a Washington State Marine Park filled with hidden coves and bays. Explore the intertidal zone with your guides, hike across the island, and kayak in a protected bay. Weather permitting; there’ll even be a barbeque ashore.
Make it an ideal morn by kicking it off with an early soak in the on-deck hot tub, a paddle along the shores of the Olympic Peninsula, or both! Your Captain sets the course today for explorations in the rain shadow of the Salish Sea. You may find yourself hiking deep into the mossy, towering old growth of the Olympic Peninsula or beachcombing for anemone and hermit crabs along the shores of Puget Sound. Or perhaps, a chance to kayak and paddle board, investigate bird rookeries, or search for whales in the Sea’s rich emerald waters.
Wake up in one of the quietest reaches of Puget Sound—Hood Canal, a glacial fjord separating the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas. You’ll be hiking in the Olympic Mountains—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—surrounded by rainforest, old growth forest, and small quaint towns. Keep watch for resident bald eagles. And, enjoy the bounty of the sea—a tasting of locally-grown oysters and clams. This evening, wrap it up with a Farewell Dinner and slide show highlighting your week’s adventures.
Day 8: Seattle | Disembark
After breakfast, say goodbye to your newfound friends and disembark the ship back at Fishermen’s Terminal. Transfer directly to the Seattle airport or to your Un-Cruise overnight hotel stay.
Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.