San Juan Islands... cruise question

Old Mar 5th, 2015, 11:52 AM
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San Juan Islands... cruise question

We are now in the planning stages of a trip to the San Juan Islands in Washington State and we need a little advice. We have read history books and other posts on the area and the pastoral laid back feel of the islands really intrigues us. We first thought about driving on the Washington ferry system that serves the islands, but after more research we discovered that the ferry only stops at the four largest more developed islands. It sounds like there are many other remote islands worth exploring in this area. My wife and I are a little more adventurous and we like to do unique trips, since we recently enjoyed sailing in the Caribbean we are now considering joining a cruise in the San Juans. We don't want a cruise ship per se, but instead are looking for a yacht with a crew to take care of us. My thought being that these smaller vessels can get into shallow bays and inlets that cruise ships cannot reach. We love the idea of doing a little sailing on the water and having a different island view each day. My wife is an excellent cook and we both enjoy eating well prepared food, but she does not cook on vacations, so good food is a big plus. We are also active people, so stopping at islands where there could be hiking and kayaking and perhaps some whales along the way appeals to us. All this sounds great but...who do we do this with? Our budget is somewhat flexible as this will be our only big vacation for the rest of the year, but at the same time we don't want to throw money away. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Thanks,
KC
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Old Mar 5th, 2015, 04:51 PM
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I will respond to this so it goes back up to the top for additional feedback. Most people visiting from out of state who sail/boat the San Juans do so on a charter. Here is a website with some ideas for local businesses that might offer a crewed charter: http://www.gonorthwest.com/Washingto...ies/cruise.htm

Also, American Cruise Lines offers a Puget Sound and San Juan Island cruise on their website.
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 10:46 AM
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I looked at the cruise line you had mentioned and they are larger ships with more people than we think we want to share this experience with. I also checked the website that you provided: http://www.gonorthwest.com/Washingto...ies/cruise.htm and found some hopeful information. There was a link to a company that books powerboats, but after our recent experience in the Bahamas we are really hoping for a sailing yacht. The most promising connection was a company called "Sail the San Juans" that has a large sailboat with captain and chef, and they seem to offer the caliber of food and flexible itinerary that we are looking for. I have emailed them and will report back as to what we find out.

Thanks for your helpful advice Voyager.
KC
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 11:02 AM
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Like this? http://www.sailthesanjuans.com/san_juan_itinerary.htm

You also might consider the Canadian Gulf Islands (just north of the San Juans, off the coast of Vancouver Island.) http://www.mapleleafadventures.com/s...islands-bc.php
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Old Mar 7th, 2015, 10:07 AM
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I heard back from my email to sailthesanjuans.com and followed that up with a phone call. I spoke with a nice woman who is a chef on their cruises. She said they have been doing trips out of Bellingham (mainland) into the San Juan Islands for many years. They now have a 55' sailboat, which is bigger than the boat we sailed on in the Bahamas. Not sure if we would go solo or possibly enlist some friends or family to join us.. I will do another post after we do a little more research and see if we can put this together for this year.

Gardyloo: I took a look at the Canadian Gulf area and that might be another fun area to explore someday! Thanks.

KC
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