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Pacific Northwest Travel by Small Ship

by Lis Korb

The fall season is the perfect time for close-to-home Pacific Northwest travel, and small ship cruises offer the best of the region, from Oregon to British Columbia. Here we highlight a few of our Pacific Northwest cruises for fall 2013; many of these trips are also scheduled to operate in the spring of 2014.

Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey - 62-guest small ship

This seven-day adventure cruise highlights local wines and craft beer along with vibrant food thanks to an affiliation with Food Alliance that ensures that the vast majority of onboard fare is locally and sustainably produced. Off-ship, guests hike, bike, kayak and drift in Zodiacs for up-close perspectives of a vibrant land and its early peoples. The journey begins in Portland and ends in Lewiston, Idaho, or Spokane, Washington. The per person double rate is from $4,390 aboard one of two twin expedition ships,  National Geographic Sea Lion and Sea Bird, each accommodating 62 guests. Departures are from mid September through mid October in 2013 and 2014.
 
Acclaimed chef Barton Seaver joins the Oct. 14, 2013 departure, and Rich Reid conducts a Fall Foliage Photo Expedition on Oct. 2 & 8.

Legacy of Discovery - 88-guest replica steamer

This eight-day, 1,000-mile journey through the Columbia River Gorge transits the lock systems of eight mammoth dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers aboard the 88-guest Safari Legacy. This trip begins and ends in Portland, Oregon, and is conducted September through November and again from April through May. Washington’s premier viticulture areas (think private wine tastings) and the history of Lewis & Clark, Oregon Trail pioneers and Native Americans enhance this richly textured tour. The per person double rate is from $3,195. 

Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands - 60-guest small ship

An eight-day expedition on the 60-passenger Wilderness Adventurer, this expedition explores coastal Washington beginning by circumnavigating Seattle. There are opportunities to hike, kayak, paddleboard and utilize a skiff for up-close wildlife viewing. Iconic Orcas Island and Friday Harbor are popular stops on this tour that highlights fresh and regional cuisine and wines. The per person double rate is from $1,595.

British Columbia's Yachter's Paradise - 22-guest yacht

The luxury 22-guest yacht Safari Quest runs this eight-day journey to and from Seattle from mid September through late November and again from mid April through late May. In the famed Northwest Passage, orca whales move silently through the water in search of salmon. Seals and sea lions lounge on rocky islets, and black bears and deer flourish in evergreen forests. Victoria, British Columbia’s Butchart Gardens, Washington’s Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands and hiking, kayaking and bird watching are among the highlights. The per-person double rate is from $3,695. 

Northwest Island Reflections - 12-guest yacht

This expedition focuses on the San Juan Island as the 12-guest Pacific Catalyst heads south down the San Juan Channel home, to spotted harbor seals, Steller sea lions and the seabirds of numerous wildlife refuges. Guests may marvel at one of the three resident pods of orca whales feeding on salmon in these plankton-rich waters. Activities include a kayak orientation and shoreline paddle, and basking in the alpenglow of 10,107-foot Mount Baker. Home port is Friday Harbor. The per person double rate is from $2,150. 

For more information on these cruises, visit our Pacific Northwest travel page, or contact one of the AdventureSmith Explorations experts.

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