An black orca whale with a white spot around its eye is swimming at the surface of the water in front of a snowcapped mountain peak.
Long wooden wharf leading down to docks with small private boats in Friday Harbor, Washington, at sunset.
1 yellow & 1 red kayak sit on a shore of pebbles beside calm blue water with tree-lined shores in the background on a sunny day during the Voyage Through the San Juan Islands small ship cruise.
Rows of grape vines with green leaves on a sunny day in Washington state, seen during the Voyage Through the San Juan Islands cruise from Bellingham.
Bright pink geranium flowers look out onto calm seas & tree-lined islands, seen during the Voyage Through the San Juan Islands cruise.
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North America Pacific Northwest Cruise

Voyage Through the San Juan Islands

Depart on an unforgettable 6-day voyage around the San Juan Islands aboard historic yacht 12-guest Catalyst. Enjoy warm days and cool nights, paddle a kayak in quiet coves, walk forest trails and explore crystal clear tide pools. Watch for bald eagles soaring overhead and pods of dolphins and orcas swimming up close. Experience the emerald jewels of the island-filled San Juan Archipelago. Some 130 named islands scattered between the shore of mainland Washington state and the southern end of Vancouver Island British Columbia create a labyrinth of narrow passages through which your small ship meanders.

With departures round-trip from Bellingham Washington, these Friday Harbor cruises are easy to access by air or over land. Every departure is focused on natural history, wildlife, photography, and revealing the robust as well as the vulnerable aspects of wildness. Enjoy opportunities for new perspectives on life, by sitting quietly in a verdant forest or drifting along a serrated shoreline in a kayak. Combine these moments with good companionship and masterfully prepared, locally sourced and hand-gathered foods, for a truly extraordinary San Juan Islands cruise.

Island hop aboard the Catalyst or Westward, each a purpose-built historic adventure yacht. These intimate small ships offer historic charm and hearty, experienced crew members with character. Enjoy gourmet cuisine paired with the beers, wines and spirits discovered daily during these cruises from Bellingham aboard M/Y Catalyst or Westward. For those who want to take their own group of 8-12, consider securing either ship for private charter cruises in the San Juan Islands.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Pacific Northwest cruises, Pacific Northwest trips and San Juan Island cruises.


A Voyage Through the San Juan Islands Itinerary

The Voyage Through San Juan Islands cruise operates round-trip from Bellingham, Washington, with a focus on locally sourced epicurean delights, fermented drinks and visits with their brewers, and active experiences of nature.

Route map of Voyage Through the San Juan Islands cruise, operating round-trip from Bellingham, Washington, with visits to various islands within the archipelago.
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Day 1
Embark Bellingham, Washington

Connect through Seattle on a flight, drive in or catch a shuttle from the Seattle airport in order to arrive in beautiful Bellingham ahead of the 1:30pm embarkation and 2:00pm casting off. Settle into your cabin and home-away-from-home for the next 6 days.


Catalyst, Westward



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Days 2 - 5
San Juan Islands

During the course of the week, visit with different fermentation artists and sample the consummation of their talent and commitment. Each morning begins with a walk or kayak paddle before raising anchor and getting underway. Afternoons are allocated to visiting with vintners, brewers and distillers. Meet a craftsperson who distills 14 different gins and an award-winning apple brandy. Tour a tiny brewery and sample their products. Visit with a vintner who brings the fruits of their labors to the boat for a special tasting.

Palates will be exercised and educated by tasting these artisanal products and meeting some of their creators. Dinners will be multi-course and paired with the beverages discovered each afternoon. After dinner, possibly retire to the salon for more conversation, a reading or presentation about local wildlife and history, or elect to remain on deck, absorbing a spectacular sunset as the sky turns from lavender to royal blue.

Visit San Juan, Lopez, Orcas, Sucia, Matia, Stuart, Jones and Cypress Islands, hike their trails, kayak their sheltered coves and explore some of their pebbled beaches. Hope to see orca, minke and humpback whales, land otters, harbor seals, Stellar sea lions, porpoise, plus many species of migratory and resident birds.


Catalyst, Westward


breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Disembark Bellingham, Washington

These six days pass quickly, leaving memories of wildness, plus new friendships, both of which leave a lasting impression upon disembarking and returning home.





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Inclusions, Terms & Notes


Accommodations; excursions; entrance fees; leadership; crew; all meals indicated in itinerary; local guides and permits, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary.


The cost of air flights, unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary; airport transfers; airport taxes; passports; visas; immunizations; insurance of any kind; laundry; excess baggage; items of a personal nature; medical costs; costs of hospitalization; additional expenses arising from the delay or extension of a trip due to force majeure: including, without limitation, pandemic, act of God, governmental regulation or order, weather, political disputes, illness, failure of transportation, or other causes beyond our control.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at the time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 150 days – 50% of deposit
150 to 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The Voyage Through the San Juan Islands cruise begins and ends in Bellingham, Washington (BLI). Plan flights to arrive to Bellingham ahead of the 1:30pm embarkation on Day 1 of the itinerary, for for a 2:00pm casting off. Travelers flying in from outside the Seattle area should arrive a day prior to the cruise departure date. We highly recommend that all travelers arrive one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to depart Bellingham in the early afternoon on Day 6.


Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, kayaking, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, photography, whale watching and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

Catalyst: A single cabin (Cabin 4) is available. There is a 50% single supplement for single travelers in a double cabin. Cabin 5 sleeps up to 4 guests and is ideal for families with children. Please inquire with an AdventureSmith Specialist for discount pricing for the third and fourth person booked into Cabin 5.

Westward: Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Triple accommodation may be available, but cabin sizing is ideal for two travelers or the third traveler being a child. Please inquire with an AdventureSmith Specialist for discount pricing for the third person traveling. Choice of cabins is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Families & Children

Children should be at least 12 years old to enjoy this cruise. Travelers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Whole-boat charters can accommodate younger guests.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

These ships are AdventureSmith favorites for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

2023 departures available. Contact us for rates and to book your space.

Sep 15 - Sep 20, 2022
Catalyst • 6 days
From $3000USD
Per Person
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Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2022
Catalyst • 6 days
From $3000USD
Per Person
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Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2022
Westward • 6 days
From $3850USD
Per Person
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Learn About The Small Ships On Your Itinerary


Catalyst is a historic 12-passenger yacht with a warm wood interior that takes guests back to a time when crafstmanship was the rule, not the exception. Her original 1932 Washington Diesel engine is the only one like it in the world.


Westward is a historic 8-guest yacht and remains dependably powered by her original Atlas Imperial Diesel Engine. Westward's adventurous spirit enriches the voyages of those who are lucky enough to cruise the waters with her.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Todd Smith • December 17th, 2020
Expert Aboard: Catalyst Ship Review

Read firsthand insights about this historic wooden vessel cruising Alaska and the Pacific Northwest from our experts who have been aboard. Learn all there is to know about the top notch crew, creative cuisine and more.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Voyage Through the San Juan Islands

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