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Salish Sea & San Juan Islands Adventure

Escape to the tranquility of the San Juans and Puget Sound on this 5-night cruise

From $2,695

Rates & Dates
  • Itinerary
  • Rates and Dates
  • Ports and Places
  • Land Packages
  • Vessels
800x428-PNW-Wilderness_Discoverer_in_San_Juan_Islands_WA.jpg

PNW-SSJIA_400x428_FINAL.jpg

Itinerary

Discover the secret places on Washington's wild coastline. Kayak among rocky outcroppings, spotting sealife. Explore dramatic Deception Pass by skiff. Hike mossy island forests frequented by red fox, deer, and woodpeckers.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore the Salish Sea’s San Juan archipelago, South Puget Sound, and Deception Pass
  • Transit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and cruise Lakes Union and Washington
  • Hike in rainforest, old-growth forest, and state parks
  • Kayak, paddle board, and skiff in island channels formed by glaciers
  • Watch for whales, orcas, seals, and sea lions
  • Birding opportunities—eagles, seabirds, and migrating flocks
  • Educational presentations by your expert expedition team

Departure Dates & Rates

Select Year and Month

2021
May
2021
Jun
2021
Jul
2021
Sep
2021
Oct
2021

Your day-by-day details

Roundtrip Seattle, Washington

400x300-PNW-Wilderness_Discoverer_leaving_Seattle.jpg

DAY 1

Seattle, Washington – Embarkation
In a region renowned as a boaters’ paradise, your discovery begins from Fishermen’s Terminal. Set sail via the ship canal to Lakes Union and Washington—their glacially formed basins dug more than 12,000 years ago. After dinner, a sunset cruise through the historic Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and into Elliott Bay sets you right for the night. Seattle was founded along these shores and you don’t want to miss the skyline!
400x300-PNW-Beachcombing_Puget_Sound.jpg

DAY 2

South Puget Sound
Mudflats, watersheds, and a microclimate feed the riches of the South Sound. Explore the intertidal zone by kicking in the mud with your guides looking for anemone and hermit crabs. Kayaking, hiking, and skiff rides are on tap, too—in one of the region's many state parks. At about 100 miles long, Puget Sound offers ample opportunity for observing the serpentined shore as you cruise through Tacoma Narrows and past Point Defiance, Vashon Island, and Bremerton. Cap off your first full day of play watching for Dall’s porpoise, with a front-row view from the bow.
400x300-PNW-Orca_Salish_Sea_background_Mount_Baker.jpg

DAY 3

San Juan Islands
Wake up surrounded by the wilds of the Salish Sea, a humbling 360 degrees of wilderness. It’s the captain’s choice where you’ll land today, but rest assured, you’ll be away from the crowds. There are unending options for investigating this sea-salty playground. If you’re kayaking, keep your eyes peeled above and below the surface. Rocky outcroppings play host to harbor seals—and it’s also orca territory. Ashore, it’s one boot in front of the other, hike through the forest or “take the high road” to ridges overlooking the archipelago. Join your expedition team on deck to search for whales, seals, sea lions, and bird rookeries as you cruise through the myriad San Juans—no two islands are the same.
400x300-PNW-San_Juan_Islands_hiking.jpg

DAY 4

Deception Pass / Strait of Juan de Fuca
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, perhaps even sail through the swirling waters of Deception Pass. Later in the day, keep watch for marine mammals as you venture into the open waters where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets Puget Sound. Drop anchor for the evening in a tucked-away cove.
400x300-PNW-Kayaking_Sucia_Island_San_Juans.jpg

DAY 5

Sucia Island
The treats keep coming! With no paved roads or even ferry access, enjoy your day on picturesque Sucia Island—total year-round population of four—a Washington State Marine Park filled with hidden coves and bays. You feel a million miles away from it all, exploring the intertidal zone with your guides, hiking across the island, and kayaking in a protected bay. It’s all up for grabs. Top off your adventure with a celebratory Farewell Dinner and a special presentation from your expedition team.
400x300-PNW-WIlderness_Discoverer_in_Seattle.jpg

DAY 6

Seattle – Disembark
This morning, cruise through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and tie up back in Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal. After breakfast, the captain and crew bid you a fond farewell. Safe travels to all!

Passport required (non USA citizens). Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

Find your next adventure.

Or search by ship.

Rates and Dates

Fares are per person double occupancy, in USD. Triple rates are available in designated cabins (refer to deck plan); inquire for pricing details.

View fare details

 

Departure Dates

Select year and month to view rates

2021
May
2021
Jun
2021
Jul
2021
Sep
2021
Oct
2021

May 09

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,995
Trailblazer
$3,195
Pathfinder
$3,495
Explorer
$3,845
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,345
Owner's Suite
$5,445
Single Navigator
$3,895
Charter
$292,495
Port taxes/fees
$175

May 16

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,995
Trailblazer
$3,195
Pathfinder
$3,495
Explorer
$3,845
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,345
Owner's Suite
$5,445
Single Navigator
$3,895
Charter
$292,495
Port taxes/fees
$175

May 23

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,995
Trailblazer
$3,195
Pathfinder
$3,495
Explorer
$3,845
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,345
Owner's Suite
$5,445
Single Navigator
$3,895
Charter
$292,495
Port taxes/fees
$175

May 30

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,995
Trailblazer
$3,195
Pathfinder
$3,495
Explorer
$3,845
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,345
Owner's Suite
$5,445
Single Navigator
$3,895
Charter
$292,495
Port taxes/fees
$175

Jun 06

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$3,295
Trailblazer
$3,495
Pathfinder
$3,795
Explorer
$4,145
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,645
Owner's Suite
$5,795
Single Navigator
$4,285
Charter
$318,395
Port taxes/fees
$175

Jun 13

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$3,295
Trailblazer
$3,495
Pathfinder
$3,795
Explorer
$4,145
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,645
Owner's Suite
$5,795
Single Navigator
$4,285
Charter
$318,395
Port taxes/fees
$175

Jun 20

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$3,295
Trailblazer
$3,495
Pathfinder
$3,795
Explorer
$4,145
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,645
Owner's Suite
$5,795
Single Navigator
$4,285
Charter
$318,395
Port taxes/fees
$175

Jun 27

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$3,295
Trailblazer
$3,495
Pathfinder
$3,795
Explorer
$4,145
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,645
Owner's Suite
$5,795
Single Navigator
$4,285
Charter
$318,395
Port taxes/fees
$175

Jul 04

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$3,295
Trailblazer
$3,495
Pathfinder
$3,795
Explorer
$4,145
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,645
Owner's Suite
$5,795
Single Navigator
$4,285
Charter
$318,395
Port taxes/fees
$175

Jul 11

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$3,295
Trailblazer
$3,495
Pathfinder
$3,795
Explorer
$4,145
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,645
Owner's Suite
$5,795
Single Navigator
$4,285
Charter
$318,395
Port taxes/fees
$175

Jul 18

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$3,295
Trailblazer
$3,495
Pathfinder
$3,795
Explorer
$4,145
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,645
Owner's Suite
$5,795
Single Navigator
$4,285
Charter
$318,395
Port taxes/fees
$175

Jul 25

2021

Seattle to Seattle
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$3,295
Trailblazer
$3,495
Pathfinder
$3,795
Explorer
$4,145
Jr Commodore Suite
$4,645
Owner's Suite
$5,795
Single Navigator
$4,285
Charter
$318,395
Port taxes/fees
$175

Sep 12

2021

Seattle to Seattle
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,895
Trailblazer
$3,245
Pathfinder
$3,545
Explorer
$5,195
Single Navigator
$3,765
Charter
$262,695
Port taxes/fees
$175

Sep 19

2021

Seattle to Seattle
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,895
Trailblazer
$3,245
Pathfinder
$3,545
Explorer
$5,195
Single Navigator
$3,765
Charter
$262,695
Port taxes/fees
$175

Sep 26

2021

Seattle to Seattle
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,895
Trailblazer
$3,245
Pathfinder
$3,545
Explorer
$5,195
Single Navigator
$3,765
Charter
$262,695
Port taxes/fees
$175

Oct 03

2021

Seattle to Seattle
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,695
Trailblazer
$3,045
Pathfinder
$3,345
Explorer
$4,995
Single Navigator
$3,505
Charter
$247,495
Port taxes/fees
$175

Oct 10

2021

Seattle to Seattle
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,695
Trailblazer
$3,045
Pathfinder
$3,345
Explorer
$4,995
Single Navigator
$3,505
Charter
$247,495
Port taxes/fees
$175

Oct 17

2021

Seattle to Seattle
270_180_wilderness_discoverer.jpg
Wilderness Discoverer

Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

Specs:

  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$2,695
Trailblazer
$3,045
Pathfinder
$3,345
Explorer
$4,995
Single Navigator
$3,505
Charter
$247,495
Port taxes/fees
$175

Ports & Places

The places you visit play a starring role throughout every journey. While this list isn’t exhaustive of every nook-and-cranny you’ll explore along the way, we’ve included descriptions of key ports and places to help you get to know the wilderness areas, landmark locations, notable regions, and coastal towns relevant to this itinerary.

Departure Dates

Select Year and Month to View Rates

2021
May
2021
Jun
2021
Jul
2021
Sep
2021
Oct
2021
Photo of the Deception Pass bridges, connecting Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Deception Pass

Discovered by Joseph Whidbey in 1792, he named this waterway Deception Pass because it misled him into thinking Whidbey Island was actually a peninsula. During George Vancouver’s exploration of the area, Joseph Whidbey was tasked with exploring the waters now known as the Saratoga Passage using small boats. The shallow waters and steep rocks made navigation extremely difficult. He reported that the area was a dead-end and the island was actually connected to the mainland. It wasn’t until later that a very narrow and intricate channel was found that separated the two bodies of land.

Due to the dramatic landscape of Deception Pass, currents can lead to large whirlpools and drastic current shifts. Sometimes boats can be seen waiting on either side of the bridge for the currents to stop or change direction before making the passage through. During the summer, thrill-seeking kayakers can be seen making the trip, which has been rated as class 2 and 3 rapid conditions.

Deception Pass is surrounded by breathtaking Deception Pass State Park, the most-visited state park in Washington. Officially established in 1923, Deception Pass State Park served as a military reserve in the 1930s. During this time, the Civilian Conservation Corps built roads, trails, and buildings that greatly assisted in the development and conservation of the park.

400x300_PNW_Ports_Salish-Sea.png

Salish Sea

Located between the southwestern tip of British Columbia and the northwestern tip of Washington State, the Salish Sea is made up of the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound. This intricate network of waterways is protected from Pacific Ocean storms by Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula.

The title Salish Sea, inspired by the Coast Salish people who first inhabited this region, was first used in 1988 by Dr. Bert Webber, a marine biologist from Bellingham, Washington who determined that a single name for the entire international ecosystem was needed. Rather than replacing any of the existing names, the title Salish Sea was given to identify the commonality of water, air, wildlife, and history that spans from Canada to Washington. In 2009, the governments of both Washington and British Columbia adopted the name.

The Salish Sea is home to over 200 different species of fish, 100 different species of birds, 20 different species of marine mammals, over 3,000 different species of invertebrates, and 7 million people.

Photo of kayaking the rocky shores of the San Juan Island

San Juan Islands, Washington

Formed by tectonic activity, glacial sculpting, and the forces of erosion, approximately 450 islands (over 700 during low tide and just 172 named) dot the Salish Sea between southeastern Vancouver Island and northern Washington. Accessible only by air and sea, the views are astounding—on a clear day, you can turn in a circle and see the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges, Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, and Vancouver Island. The archipelago’s southern border is the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to its northern edge lies the Straits of Georgia, and to the east is Bellingham Bay and Rosario Straits. The San Juans and Vancouver Island are separated by Haro Strait. In the protective rain shadow of Vancouver Island and the Olympic Mountains, the islands receive half the rain as Seattle, about 15 to 20 inches per year.

The waters are cold, deep, and prolific with life both above and below. Massive schools of salmon travel from the open waters of the Pacific with the flushing tides through Haro and Rosario Straits, making this a favorite hunting ground for resident, salmon-eating orcas (known locally as the J, K, and L Pods.) Transient orcas also travel through this area periodically to prey on marine mammals. The waters are home to minke whales, Dall’s porpoise, harbor porpoise, harbor seals, and sea lions. California gray whales pass by in fall on their way to calve in Hawaiian and Mexican lagoons. In the spring, they will pass by again, heading north to the nutrient-rich waters of Alaska.

Keep an eye out overhead or on the shorelines and rocky outcroppings for cormorants, oystercatchers, tufted puffins, terns, gulls, scoters, bald and golden eagles, turkey vultures, and more! Over 290 different species of birds have been identified in this birdwatcher’s paradise. Eighty-three islands have been designated as National Wildlife Refuges, divided into the four habitats of reefs, rocks, grassy, and forested islands. Each island is unique and has its own stories of natural and human heritage.

The islands are full of rich and colorful history. One particularly unusual chain of events that had a lasting impact on the islands began on San Juan Island. The event began with one small act in 1859 that nearly resulted in a war between Britain and the United States and was called the “Pig War”. It all started when a pig owned by Englishman Charles Griffin of the Hudson’s Bay Company broke into the tasty potato garden of American Lyman Cutlar one too many times. Cutlar shot the pig, admitted to shooting the pig, refused a trial by the British, and sought the United States’ protection. Since it was unclear at that time exactly where the U.S./Canadian border really was, a 12-year standoff ensued. The English garrison was established on the northwestern side of the island; an American garrison was set up on the southern tip. In 1872, a German arbitrator, Kaiser Wilhelm, settled the debate by establishing the U.S./Canadian boundary and “gave” the San Juan Islands to the United States.

This would not be the final colorful story to be told. The islands were settled in an initial bawdy “wild west” fashion. Even into the 1930s, as some communities claimed to be "civilized," the islands had plenty of bootleggers who were utilizing the intricate waterways around the islands to trade their goods during Prohibition.

Photo of the Seattle skyline with Mount Rainier in the background

Seattle, Washington

For thousands of years, the coastal First Peoples lived in abundance along the shorelines that now surround Elliott Bay and the city of Seattle. The city is named for Chief Sealth. A respected local elder, Chief Sealth befriended the first non-native settlers, including the Denny party who arrived in 1851.

Logging of the great forests surrounding Elliott Bay commenced almost immediately upon arrival of the first white pioneers, who began to supply the building demands of the city of San Francisco and other developments along the West Coast. This was Seattle’s first step toward becoming a key import and export arena along the Pacific Rim. After gold was discovered in Alaska in the late 1800s, Seattle became the foremost launching pad and supply center for gold and adventure seekers bound for the “Last Frontier” of the Alaskan wilderness.

Today, Seattle’s multicultural population is approximately 747,300. Lumber and other exports are still important to the regional economy, as is the pioneering spirit that fostered the development and success of high-tech companies such as Microsoft and Boeing. Take a stroll along the Emerald City’s bustling waterfront and see a grand mixture of old wooden piers now housing restaurants, the Seattle Aquarium and the like, with a view of the modern shipping docks in the background. Soak in the surrounding natural beauty of Mt. Rainier, rising to a height of 14,411 feet, and the Olympic Mountains to the west across Elliott Bay. Green and white Washington State Ferries constantly ply the southern Salish Sea (aka Puget Sound) to and from outlying water-bound areas.

The 1962 World’s Fair icon, the Space Needle, touches the skies at 600 feet. Have a meal in the Needle’s revolving restaurant and gain a spectacular 360-degree view in an hour. In its early days, the restaurant revolved faster—but that didn’t work so well for the diner’s digestion! Sip a latte in the heart of coffee culture at Pike Place Market and watch the “flying fish” while inhaling the colorful array of fresh-cut flowers, fruits, and vegetables and browsing local artisan stalls. Visit Seattle’s first neighborhood, Pioneer Square, with historical brick buildings brimming with art galleries, boutiques, and diverse restaurants.

Seattleites are distinguished as the number one readers in the U.S. Although some may attribute that statistic to Seattle’s rainy reputation, this city actually receives only about 35 inches of rain annually—less than all the major cities on the Eastern seaboard! That is because the Olympic Mountains on the Olympic Peninsula absorb much of the moisture from the Pacific before it reaches Seattle. The marine air does moderate the temperature in Seattle and cause days of overcast skies—thus its reputation for rain. Seattle enjoys about 16 hours of daylight in the summer and 16 hours of darkness in the winter.

UnCruise guest hiking along Washington State's rocky coastline

South Puget Sound

Puget Sound, a large saltwater estuary, stretches roughly 100 miles (160 km) from Deception Pass in the north, past Seattle and Tacoma, to Olympia, the state capital, in the south. Washington State Ferries connect the mainland with small cities like Bremerton and Port Townsend on the other side of the sound, as well as Whidbey, Vashon, and Bainbridge Islands. Charming waterfront towns Poulsbo and Gig Harbor still celebrate the Scandinavian heritage of the fishermen who founded them in the 1880s.

The shoreline at the southern end of Puget Sound is intricately carved with islands, inlets, and passages. Extreme high and low tides turn many inlets into extensive mudflats. The area is known for its oysters, mussels, and geoducks.  Pronounced “gooey-duck,” the world’s largest burrowing clam weighs an average of 2 pounds, though some have reached 8 pounds and 3 feet long.

Approximately 25 nautical miles south of downtown Seattle, twin suspension bridges carry car traffic over the Tacoma Narrows, a strait separating Tacoma from the Kitsap Peninsula. The original suspension bridge, opened to car traffic on July 1, 1940, is remembered in Pacific Northwest history as “Galloping Gertie.” Even moderate winds pushing on the bridge’s solid sides caused it to sway and buckle.

On November 7, 42-mile-per-hour winds tilted the roadway up on first one side and then the other, at angles up to 45 degrees, twisting the central span until it was torn apart. Dramatic footage of its collapse into the waters below inspired engineers to take aerodynamics into account when designing future bridges—including the replacement bridge. “Sturdy Gertie” has reliably carried cars across the Narrows since 1950.

 

Photo of UnCruise guests kayaking along the shores of Sucia Island

Sucia Island, San Juan Islands, Washington

Sucia Island is located 2.5 miles (4km) north of Orcas Island and is the largest island in an archipelago of ten islands known as the Sucia group. Spanish Captain Francisco de Eliza named the island Sucia, which in Spanish means “dirty” or nautically “foul.” He was reacting to the hidden rocks and uncharted reefs that made getting to shore dangerous for early explorers. Today Sucia Island is considered the crown jewel of the San Juan marine park system and is consistently ranked as one of the top boating destinations in the world.

Sucia Island not only attracts the casual visitor but also trained geologists. The horseshoe-shaped island is surrounded by long, finger-like peninsulas that were created by a combination of plate tectonics and glacial silt. Over the past 15,000 years, wind and wave erosion has created wave-cut platforms and reefs as well as honeycomb formations and caverns.

Vessels for this Itinerary

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Wilderness Legacy

The one-of-a-kind Wilderness Legacy—or “whale whisperer” as many will tell you—is the fastest in the fleet. Capable of 15 knots, she sails to the farthest reaches spinning yarns of adventure along the way. Like the crew and guests having the time of their lives, she hums with each new opportunity. It’s no wonder that for many of the crew (and office folk), she’s a first love that never fades. And, a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure.

Onboard Features: Sea Dragon (the launch pad for adventure); kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles; two on-deck hot tubs; fitness equipment and yoga mats; piano; DVD and book library; wine bar; and elevator (with access to three of the four public decks).

Cabin Features: TV/DVD player; hair dryer, bathrobes, conditioning shampoo, body wash; binoculars; reusable water bottles; in-room safe deposit box

Destinations: Columbia & Snake Rivers, Pacific Northwest

 

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  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
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103-104, 319-320
Fixed double bed; view window; private bath with shower

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105-111, 206-210, 303-308, 311-318
Fixed queen, double, or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower

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211-214
Queen or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower

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101-102, 201-202, 309-310
Queen, fixed queen, or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower (trundle available for triple)

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301-302
Fixed queen bed; refrigerator; wrap-around view windows; private bath with shower

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300 sq. foot entertainment and sitting area with wet bar, refrigerator, media center; 300 sq. foot master bedroom with king bed; view windows; private bath with Jacuzzi tub and shower (sofa bed for triple/quad)

Wilderness Discoverer

Inviting, and oh so cared for by her crew, the Wilderness Discoverer delivers big adventure with top-of-the-class style. Wild, remote, and at the edges of the map, she carries a bit of Alaska wherever she sails—the beautiful bar top and tap tower are made from a yellow cedar log found in Peril Strait. But looks aside, she doesn’t hold back when it comes to exploration. Her shoal draft allows access to waters that are off-limits to bigger boats, where she can slip right in. An instigator of action, she was the first “Wilderness” boat in the family and set us on a path toward greater adventures—you will be too.

Onboard Features: EZ Dock kayak launch platform; bow-mounted underwater camera; kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, snorkel gear/wetsuits; two on-deck hot tubs; fitness equipment and yoga mats; DVD and book library

Cabin Features: TV/DVD player; hair dryer, conditioning shampoo, body wash; binoculars; reusable water bottles

Destination: Alaska

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  • 76 guests
  • 38 cabins
  • 27 crew members
  • 176 feet in length
  • 39 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 10 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 3:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
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201, 203-208, 210
Queen or twin beds; view window, private bath with shower

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310-325
Queen or twin beds; view window; private bath and shower

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300-309
Outside entry; fixed queen, fixed double bed, or fixed double bed with twin bed (307, 309); view window; private bath with shower

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400-403
Sitting area; queen or twin beds; large picture window; private bath with shower