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

Sail between Seattle and Vancouver 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.

The main 8-day Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands itinerary begins in Seattle, Washington, and ends in Vancouver, British Columbia. There is also a reverse itinerary that operates southbound, beginning in Vancouver and ending in Seattle.

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 main Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands cruise begins in Seattle, Washington, travels northbound up the Strait of Georgia to Alert Bay, then cruises southbound to end in Vancouver, BC.

Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands cruise route map from Seattle to Vancouver.
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Day 1
Embark Seattle, Washington

Arrive in Seattle and transfer to your ship to begin your expedition.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
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. Expert staff members offer insight to the natural and cultural history of the rugged northwest coast region.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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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 reception at the Robert Bateman Centre while taking in the incredible collection of paintings.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
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

Read More
Day 6
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, 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

Read More
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. There are many options and the captain picks the perfect bay for exploring by foot, kayak or expedition landing craft. Tonight, enjoy the captain’s farewell dinner.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Disembark Vancouver, British Columbia

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 or to explore further on your own.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
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.

Exclusions

Immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind. Gratuities and alcoholic beverages excluded, except for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $750 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – $350 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
119 to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 25% of total trip cost
59 to 45 days – 50% of total trip cost
44 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 guests 5 years and older 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 Exploring British Columbia & San Juan Islands Cruise begins in Seattle, Washington (SEA), and ends in Vancouver, British Columbia (YVR). 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 to Vancouver. 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.

Reverse Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands Itinerary

The reverse Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands cruise begins in Vancouver, BC, travels northbound up the Strait of Georgia to Alert Bay, then cruises southbound to end in Seattle, Washington. 

Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands cruise route map from Seattle to Vancouver.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Vancouver, Canada

Arrive in Vancouver, Canada, British Columbia’s largest city and the major port for all of western Canada. Embark National Geographic Venture in the early evening and set out on your expedition.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
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

Read More
Day 3
Alert Bay & Johnstone Strait

Sail through Johnstone Strait, a waterway cut through a magnificently wild and scenic area of mountains and islands. These ocean waters are also home to extraordinary marine mammals and bird watching. Today, 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. Stop to 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

Read More
Day 4
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

Read More
Day 5
Victoria, British Columbia

Choose from several tailor-made options to explore the charming city of Victoria. 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 reception at The Bateman Gallery while taking in the incredible collection of paintings by wildlife artist Robert Bateman, recognized by the Audubon Society as one of the 20th century’s “heroes of conservation”.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Friday Harbor, Washington

After clearing customs, explore Friday Harbor, a picturesque town on San Juan Island. Visit the Whale Museum, with its fascinating collection of artifacts, artwork and whale skeletons. Pop into small shops and galleries for a bit of local flavor. Later, search for killer whales and cruise the San Juan Islands.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
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 expert staff will familiarize you with the natural and cultural history of the rugged northwest coast region.

Accommodations

National Geographic Venture

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Disembark Seattle, Washington

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
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.

Exclusions

Immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind. Gratuities and alcoholic beverages excluded, except for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $750 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – $350 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
119 to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 25% of total trip cost
59 to 45 days – 50% of total trip cost
44 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 guests 5 years and older 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 reverse Exploring British Columbia & San Juan Islands cruise begins in Vancouver, British Columbia (YVR), 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. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

Oct 08 - Oct 15, 2022
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
From $5400USD
Per Person
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Oct 15 - Oct 22, 2022
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
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From $5400USD
Per Person
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Sep 30 - Oct 07, 2023
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
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From $5650USD
Per Person
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Oct 07 - Oct 14, 2023
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
From $5650USD
Per Person
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Oct 14 - Oct 21, 2023
National Geographic Venture • 8 days
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From $5650USD
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

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Offer expires October 31st, 2022
No Solo Premium On Select 2022 National Geographic Pacific Northwest Cruises

Book your select 2022 British Columbia & San Juan Islands cruise or Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey as a solo traveler and the premium single supplement will be waived.

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Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Groups Save 5% On National Geographic Expeditions

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on National Geographic expeditions in this special deal.

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Offer expires October 31st, 2022
Airfare Specials On Select 2022 & 2023 Exploring British Columbia & The San Juan Islands Cruises

Airfare specials on select 2022 and 2023 Exploring British Columbia & The San Juan Islands cruise with National Geographic.

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Offer expires October 31st, 2022
4th Person Travels Free on Select 2022 National Geographic Cruises

The fourth person travels for free when booking with three full-paying guests on select 2022 departures of National Geographic cruises in the Arctic, Baja, Costa Rica, Panama, Pacific Northwest, Indonesia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean, East Coast and the Galapagos.

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Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Save 10% On Two Consecutive National Geographic Expeditions

Save 10% when you book two consecutive cruises aboard a National Geographic expedition ship.

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.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

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8 Day Cruise
Rivers of Adventure & Wine Cruise

This 8-day Rivers of Adventure & Wine cruise aboard the 86-guest Wilderness Legacy travels round-trip from Portland, Oregon on the Columbia, Willamette, Deschutes & Snake Rivers, mixing active adventure with local food and wine tastings along the way.

Special Offer
From $4895USD
Sep Oct Nov
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8 Day Cruise
Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey

Spend 8 days on this culinary journey that embraces the Columbia and Snake River regions’ vibrant history, harvests and landscapes aboard 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird or 100-guest Nat Geo Quest.

Special Offer
From $5710USD
Apr Sep Oct Nov
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13 Day Cruise
Inside Passage & Glacier Bay Wilderness Cruise

A collection of small ships make this iconic 13-day passage along the coastline between Seattle and Juneau, Alaska, visiting UNESCO World Heritage Site Glacier Bay National Park.

Special Offer
From $5800USD
Apr May Sep Oct
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San Juan Islands & Olympic Wilderness Cruise

Cruise round-trip from Seattle exploring coastal Washington, Puget Sound and Olympic National Park, with opportunities to kayak and paddleboard for up-close wildlife viewing.

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6 Day Cruise
Voyage Through the San Juan Islands

Spend 6 days experiencing the emerald jewels of the San Juan Archipelago aboard Catalyst, a 12-guest historic yacht. On this close-to-home voyage, enjoy daily opportunities to experience nature in an active way and taste local foods, beer, wine and spirits.

From $3250USD
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14 - 15 Day Cruise
Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia

This 14-day itinerary between Seattle, Washington, and Sitka, Alaska, is an educational voyage aboard the National Geographic fleet of small expedition ships. The 15-day alternative route also visits Haida Gwaii.

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From $10960USD
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Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands

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