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 Quest voyage sails one-way between Seattle and Vancouver 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. This expedition will enable you to:
- Kayak, hike, and expedition landing craft cruise the wildlife-rich coasts of Desolation Sound and the Gulf Islands.
- Learn the histories of First Nations people through their art and powerful dance performances.
- Search for killer whales in the region where they're most reliably found in the Northern Hemisphere
- Enjoy a private evening event at the Robert Bateman Centre in Victoria
Discover the Wildness of the San Juans & British Columbia
Sail among the more remote San Juan Islands in places ideal for kayaking, exploring by expedition landing craft, and hiking where seals, sea lions, river otters, bald eagles, and killer whales are often seen. Venture to the Gulf Islands, a rich archipelago in the Strait of Georgia, perfect for active exploration and rich in wildlife. Go through Desolation Sound, on the north end of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, a mecca for kayakers with its calm, sheltered waters and outstanding natural beauty. Explore its isolated bays and islets by kayak and then hike its meadows and lush green forest trails.
First Nation Cultures of the Region
In Alert Bay you’ll make your way to the U'Mista Cultural Center, home to a stunning collection of potlatch masks created by the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. In the Big House see the Tsasala Cultural Group bring the stories of their people to life through a powerful dance ceremony.
Visit charming towns & museums
Enjoy a guided tour of Friday Harbor’s Whale Museum, with its fascinating collection of artifacts, artwork, and whale skeletons. Or choose to walk the picturesque town’s streets, mixing with locals in the art galleries, coffee shops, or pubs. And in Victoria, there’ll be a chance to tour private gardens, eat like a local on a culinary walk, take a bike ride and call at the Robert Bateman Centre to take in the definitive collection of his incredible natural history artwork.
Day to Day Itinerary
Venture to the remote corners of the Pacific Northwest's wild archipelagos to kayak, hike, and search for wildlife including killer whales, seals, and bald eagles. Then delve into the First Nation's heritage and charming, picturesque towns along the coast on a perfectly paced voyage.
DAY 1: Seattle/Embark
Arrive in Seattle and transfer to National Geographic Quest to begin your expedition.
DAY 2: Exploring the San Juan Islands
Today we'll 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 killer whales. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 3: Friday Harbor
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, we'll search for killer whales on our way to British Columbia. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4: Victoria, 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5: Exploring Gulf Islands
Wake this morning among the Gulf Islands, a rich archipelago in the Strait of Georgia, and a yachter's paradise. We'll take our pick of perfect spots to kayak, hike, and search for wildlife. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6: Johnstone Strait/Alert Bay
Sail through Johnstone Strait, one of the foremost viewing areas for killer whales in the northern hemisphere. In the afternoon, we'll land in Alert Bay and make our way to the U'Mista Cultural Centre, home to a stunning collection of potlatch masks created by the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. We'll then 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7: Desolation Sound
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 8: Vancouver
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. (Breakfast)
Contact us for more information on this unique experience email us or call 1 800 745 7753