a couple stops in an illuminated forest in the san juan islands to look at something in the distance
a group of adventure travelers coming ashore from the Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands small ship cruise in the pacific northwest
Moss-covered rocks with small tidal pools amongst them, at sunset on the Exploring British Columbia & San Juan Islands cruise.
a traveler in a red kayak paddles through still waters in the san juan islands in the pacific northwest on a sunny day
Steller's Jay with black head & bright blue wings sits on the branch of a fir tree during a small ship expedition in the Pacific Northwest.
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North America Pacific Northwest Cruise

Exploring British Columbia & The San Juan Islands

Conveniently sail round-trip from Seattle on this 8-day Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands small ship and cruise aboard the 100-guest National Geographic Venture. Cruise to spectacular, remote islands and sail through channels that teem with sea life, plus visit charming towns and First Nations heritage sites.

Kayak, hike and cruise aboard Zodiacs or kayak on the wildlife-rich coasts of Desolation Sound and the Gulf Islands; the calm, sheltered waters here are a true mecca for kayakers. Learn the histories of First Nations people through their art and powerful dance performances. Spot seals, sea lions, river otters and bald eagles among other wildlife. Walk Friday Harbor’s picturesque streets on a special culinary tour or opt to travel the town by bike. Enjoy a private reception at the Robert Bateman Center in Victoria, British Columbia, while observing an incredible collection of paintings.

All this exploration is under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, a historian, a geologist/naturalist, a National Geographic certified photo instructor and a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for British Columbia & the San Juan Islands is the key to an incredible experience.

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



Itinerary

Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands Itinerary

The Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands cruise cruises round-trip from Seattle, Washington, traveling northbound up the Strait of Georgia to Alert Bay, then southbound along Vancouver Island.

Route map of Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands cruise, round-trip from Seattle with visits to Victoria, Desolation Sound, Johnstone Strait, Alert Bay, the Gulf Islands & Friday Harbor.
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Day 1
Embark Seattle, Washington

Arrive in Seattle in the early afternoon and embark the ship in time for cocktails and an introduction of the vessel staff and crew.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
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, stroll through Old Town, or peruse the collections at local art galleries. In the evening, enjoy a private reception at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria while taking in their wide-ranging collection.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Johnstone Strait & Alert Bay

Sail through Johnstone Strait, a waterway cut through a magnificently wild and scenic area of mountains and islands. These ocean waters are home to extraordinary marine mammals and are great for bird watching. Visit one of the oldest First Nations village sites in British Columbia: Alert Bay on Cormorant Island has been and continues to be the home of the Kwakwaka’wakw people and a center for the living culture found throughout the Northwest Coast. Visit the U’Mista Cultural Centre, which houses one of the northwest coast’s finest collections of elaborately carved potlatch masks, regalia and coppers. Visit the Big House a short distance away where the T’sasala Cultural Group continues the sharing of culture, educating the world about their songs, dances, teachings and values.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Exploring the Gulf Islands

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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Exploring the San Juan Islands

Today, visit the more remote of the San Juan Islands, an archipelago in northern Washington State perfect for kayaking, exploring by Zodiac and hiking. Walks with your expert staff will familiarize you with the natural and cultural history of the rugged northwest coast region. Tonight, enjoy the captain’s farewell dinner.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Disembark Seattle, Washington

Disembark the ship after breakfast and transfer to the airport for flights home or onward travel.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations aboard ship; meals as indicated; shore excursions; services of the expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes; airport transfers to and from the ship; basic WiFi (enhanced and premium packages available for purchase). Gratuities for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens. Complimentary beer, wine & full bar.

Exclusions

Immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; meals not indicated; reserve wines & premium spirits; gratuities for all departures of Delfin II, Endeavour II, Islander II, Venture, Quest, Sea Bird and Sea Lion; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation 

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 15% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special payment terms apply for groups of 8 or more; inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – 100% of deposit**
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost
**Advance payments will be credited in the form of a Lindblad Expeditions Travel Certificate, valid for 12 months from the date of cancellation, and which may only be applied towards final payment on any future booking. 

(For expeditions booked prior to May 1, 2023: Please refer to your invoice for your payment and cancellation terms.) 

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.

Arrival & Departure

The Exploring British Columbia & San Juan Islands Cruise begins and ends in Seattle, Washington (SEA). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Embarkation time on Day 1 may vary based upon arrival of group flights. Disembarkation is after breakfast on Day 8 of the outlined itinerary; departure times may vary depending on group flights. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

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. A fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks enables up-close exploration. One naturalist for every 10 guests ensures dedicated access and attention to any questions you may have. A wellness specialist offers wellness treatments, massages (added cost) and complimentary morning stretching. Off-vessel activities including hiking and kayaking excursions range from 2-4 hours each day.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

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

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change.

Sep 29 - Oct 06, 2024
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
From $6088USD
Per Person
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Oct 06 - Oct 13, 2024
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
From $5788USD
Per Person
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Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2024
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
From $5788USD
Per Person
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Sep 27 - Oct 04, 2025
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
From $6025USD
Per Person
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Oct 04 - Oct 11, 2025
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
From $5897USD
Per Person
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Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2025
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
From $5897USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Venture

The 100-guest National Geographic Venture is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built expedition vessel made for exploring coastal waters, shallow coves and fast-moving channels while sailing with the luxury of supreme comfort.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires May 31st, 2024
Kids Save $500 On Select 2024 & 2025 Nat Geo Expeditions Worldwide

Save $500 per kid under 18 when you book your 2024 or 2025 departure from a variety of National Geographic expeditions worldwide.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires May 31st, 2024
Groups Save 5% On Select 2024 & 2025 Nat Geo Expeditions Worldwide

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on a variety of 2024 or 2025 National Geographic expeditions worldwide.

Expert Review

Ship Reviews from our Experts so You Know What to Expect

Mary Montalbano • August 1st, 2023
Expert Aboard: Venture & National Geographic Quest Reviews

Learn from two AdventureSmith experts about identical sister ships Nat Geo Venture and Quest. Tips on choosing your cabin, what the food is like and why choose to sail aboard.

Testimonial
"Service At All Levels Was First Rate"

I love the Pacific Northwest and its wildlife and rugged beauty. Service at all levels was first rate. The naturalists are knowledgeable and passionate about their areas of study, including photography, underwater photography, geology, animal behavior, conservation, and indigenous peoples.

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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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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