Summary : Discover the powerful wilderness and warm charm of the Pacific Northwest over a wide-ranging week in the San Juan Islands and British Columbia. You’ll venture to spectacular, remote islands and sail through channels that teem with sea life, plus you’ll visit charming towns and First Nations heritage sites. This National Geographic Sea Bird voyage sails one-way between Seattle and Vancouver (or reverse) allowing ample time to venture far north into Alert Bay, including Victoria and the Robert Bateman Centre, with remote stops in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, and deep in the fjords of British Columbia.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Arrive in Seattle this afternoon and transfer to the ship to embark.
Visit the more remote of the San Juan Islands, an archipelago in northern Washington State perfect for kayaking, exploring by expedition landing craft, and hiking. Search for seals, sea lions, river otters, bald eagles, and perhaps even spot a pod of orcas.
Explore Friday Harbor, a picturesque town on San Juan Island. Visit the Whale Museum, with its fascinating collection of artifacts, artwork, and whale skeletons. Stop in at small shops and galleries. Later, search for orcas on your way to British Columbia.
Clear into Canada in the charming city of Victoria and choose from several tailor-made options to explore based on your interests. Visit private gardens, bike along the waterfront, eat like a local on a culinary walk through Old Town or peruse the collections at local art galleries. In the evening, enjoy a private wine tasting and reception at the Robert Bateman Centre while taking in the incredible collection of paintings.
Wake this morning among the Gulf Islands, a rich archipelago in the Strait of Georgia, and a yachter’s paradise. Take your pick of perfect spots to kayak, hike, and search for wildlife.
Sail through Johnstone Strait, one of the foremost viewing areas for orcas in the northern hemisphere. In the afternoon, land in Alert Bay and make your way to the U'Mista Cultural Centre, home to a stunning collection of potlatch masks created by the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. Walk or ride to the Big House, just a short distance away where the Tsasala Cultural Group puts on a dance and the performers explain the story of the dance movements.
Desolation Sound, on the north end of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, is a mecca for kayakers and small yachts. It’s easy to understand why, with its calm, sheltered waters and outstanding natural beauty. By kayak there are many isolated bays to poke into and islets that beckon for exploration. On land there are meadows and forest trails for hiking. Tonight, enjoy Captain’s Farewell dinner.
Vancouver is British Columbia’s largest city and the major port for all of western Canada. It lies in a stunning setting, surrounded almost completely by water, with snowcapped mountains rising vertically from its very backyard. After breakfast, disembark the ship for connecting flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Vancouver, BC to Seattle): 9/22/2018, 10/6/2018, 10/20/2018
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Accommodations and meals aboard ship; soft drinks; shore excursions; use of kayaking equipment; entrance fees; port charges; group transfers as indicated in itinerary; service taxes. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, internet, etc.; gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Ralph Lee Hopkins (Orca Spout, Eagle, Kayaker); © Stewart Cohen (Totem Pole)