Pacific Catalyst II History
Captain Bill has had a lifelong passion for old boats. Over the years he has lived in, worked on and restored countless wooden boats, each with her own unique story and history. In the 1980s Bill moved to the Pacific Northwest where he worked as a commercial fisherman and in this capacity he was introduced to the wonders of Alaska. In 2005, he purchased a history research vessel, the Catalyst (which has her own fascinating history) and began operating small ship cruises in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and Alaska.
About this time AdventureSmith Explorations’ founder, Todd Smith, was seeking a more authentic and active cruise option in Alaska. Todd visited the Pacific Catalyst team in Friday Harbor, Washington, and a great partnership was born. Since then, AdventureSmith has confidently introduced travelers to the Catalyst and the personal feel, hospitality and authentic experience offered always delights them.
Pacific Catalyst II Cruises
Pacific Catalyst II cruises offer guests a uniquely authentic experience that will provide a lifetime of memories. Itineraries are carefully crafted to showcase the very best of Alaska, British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. The hand-picked crew love being able to introduce guests to places they have discovered over years of exploration. Aboard the one-of-a-kind Catalyst and Westward, they are able provide the perfect conveyance for a return to the age of authentic exploration.
The Catalyst’s warm interior, with its decades old varnished wood paneling, takes guests back to a time when craftsmanship was the rule rather than the exception. The slow pulse of an original 1932 Washington Diesel engine, the only one like it in the world, makes the Catalyst a living creature, with a strong iron heart. Large battery banks allow her to go for 12 hours without starting an engine to disrupt the quiet solitude that is at the core of a Catalyst trip.
In 2012 Pacific Catalyst II bought the 11-guest Westward. Westward is a historic yacht that is “arguably Seattle’s most famous motor yacht.” She is listed with the US National Register of Historic Places and remains dependably powered by her original Atlas Imperial Diesel Engine. Westward’s historical and adventurous spirit enriches the voyages of those who are lucky enough to cruise the waters of Alaska and Baja California with her.
Food is a sacred thing aboard the Catalyst and Westward. The crew believes that food aids and abets the spirit of community on their vessel. Meals are prepared from fresh, natural ingredients, including produce that is purchased from local Alaskan or San Juan farmers and fisherman. They use as few processed foods and as many local and organic ingredients as possible.
The crew aboard both small ships is an extended family, and many have returned for years in a labor of love to enjoy time aboard this special vessel. The typical crew aboard the Westward will include a captain, chef and guide and the Catalyst carries a captain, chef, guide and engineer. A company and vessels with as much history and character as the Catalyst and Westward, attracts a special kind of group. Our guests consistently comment that getting to know the crew, with their lifetime of stories and experience is a highlight of their trip.
Why Choose Pacific Catalyst II
The intimacy of Pacific Catalyst II cruises makes this small Alaskan cruise line ideal for friendly travelers looking for authenticity and connection. Choose Pacific Catalyst II to support a captain-operated company and true Pacific Northwest locals.