June 18 – June 29, 2021
Orientation at 3pm Friday, June 18th
Pre-board & check-out at 5pm Friday, June 18th
Disembark at 2pm Tuesday, June 29th
Note: This Flotilla requires a minimum of three boats to run.
Experience the best of Pacific Northwest cruising this summer! Due to the uncertainty around the Canadian border reopening this summer, we've created an alternate itinerary to ensure that you get to enjoy your quality time on the water. If the border reopens in time, we'll head north to explore the beautiful waterways of British Columbia and the revered Princess Louisa Inlet. If the border remains closed, we'll turn south from Bellingham and cruise the fascinating waters of the south Puget Sound, the Hood Canal and the San Juan Islands. The rich history, charming seaside towns, exceptional wildlife and protected waters make this truly a boater’s paradise! Now you can enjoy this incredible cruising destination from the safety of your own private yacht, yet with the camaraderie of the flotilla and the support of a lead boat complete with a Coast Guard licensed Skipper, a certified Marine Technician and a Pacific Northwest focused Naturalist. Take all of the stress out of boating and enjoy nothing but the relaxation and beauty that this area has to offer!
Cruise the waterways of the Pacific Northwest aboard one of our classic trawlers. Travel between forested islands, along rocky shorelines, and passed secluded beaches. Take in the incredible scenery of the Pacific Northwest's mountain ranges, islands and picturesque seaside towns. This early summer flotilla allows you to beat the crowds in these popular cruising grounds. On our Princess Louisa itinerary, enjoy the exciting approach through the fjords of Jervis Inlet, navigate the Malibu Rapids at slack tide, and spend two nights in the revered Princess Louisa Inlet soaking in its beauty and exploring by kayak, dinghy and on foot. Our alternate South Sound Itinerary takes you to the Alderbrooke Resort at the southern end of the Hood Canal. We'll spend two nights at this luxury resort in a beautiful remote setting, surrounded by the Olympic Mountains and old growth forest. Schedule a spa treatment, enjoy a delicious dinner out and wander the miles of hiking trails on the property. Spend another two nights in the unique and historic seaport of Port Townsend. This little city is bursting with culture and activity. On either trip, lounge on your yacht’s open-air deck with an evening cocktail, walk through moss covered ancient forests, visit the unique communities that thrive among the islands, and learn about the natural history, wildlife and indigenous people of the area. There’s no better way to experience the Pacific Northwest than with our flotilla—reserve your spot today.
Both flotilla itineraries take you to a new destination almost every day. On either trip, you'll experience the incredible scenery of the Pacific Northwest, visit quaint small towns and island villages, anchor in tranquil bays, learn about the rich culture and history of the area, and watch for amazing wildlife, like Killer whales and Bald eagles. Enjoy an invigorating hike on Newcastle Island, visit the Pacific Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, dine on fresh seafood with a waterfront view in Roche Harbor, roast marshmallows over a campfire with new friends on Sucia Island, and relax and recharge with your loved ones along the way on your private yacht.
Time and time again we hear that our flotillas are one of the most romantic experiences in a couple’s life. And we don’t doubt it. Nothing does more for a relationship than some fresh ocean air and a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life—no cellphones, no computers, and no rushing around. Whether you book a trip with friends, family, or your partner—this trip offers the peace, laughter, and adventure you need to reconnect with the people you love, and have a fantastic time doing it.
The Salish Sea is home to a wonderful diversity of wildlife. As we cruise, expect to see a variety of seabirds, porpoises, Sea lions, Harbor seals, Bald eagles, Oyster catchers, and Great Blue Herons. Hopefully, we'll also have the opportunity to see some of the whale species that reside in these waters, specifically Humpback, Minke and Orca whales. In fact, there is a distinct population of 75 killer whales that is often seen in this area in large pods of around 30 whales. Your naturalist will help you to spot wildlife and to understand more about how this unique ecosystem functions. You can also take advantage of some of the best fishing in the region: Lingcod, Pacific Halibut, and Sockeye Salmon are abundant in the area during June and July. There are additional options for crabbing and gathering shellfish.
Enjoy a pristine, freshly-varnished yacht, with spa-quality linens, a professional-grade kitchen, and a private sitting area—complete with all the sunsets and glasses of wine you can handle. The icing on the cake? You get it all to yourself. Our fleet of Grand Banks yachts--which are all at least 42-feet long--are some of the best in the business; each boat undergoes an extensive 18-page checklist that ensures you get to skipper a near-perfect yacht.
Whether you’re a seasoned captain or new to the boating world, the NW Explorations team will make your trip seamless. The lead boat—skippered by a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain—travels with you the entire way, giving you tips, training, and keeping your itinerary on track. The NWE team helps with whatever you need, whether it's finding the best restaurant in town or making sure your boat is stocked with your favorite kitchen gadgets. Lastly, our certified naturalist will narrate key sightseeing spots, explain the history of local cultures and indigenous tribes, and pinpoint rare wildlife.
What’s the difference between a vacation and an adventure? Having the experience of the NW Explorations flotilla team surely helps. The expertise is more than just how to run a boat; NW Explorations has unmatched expertise in elevating ‘ordinary’ boating into an adventure.
Of all the charter companies we have dealt with, these guys were head and shoulder above anyone we have ever dealt with. I highly recommend them if you ever consider a bareboat in the PNW.
We have chartered with NWE nine times now and CoL (Change of Latitude) is the best equipped boat we’ve used. Kirk was impressed by the spotless engine room and premium navigation equipment. I appreciated the quality cookware and little touches. Well done!
Our home for the week was Mystic Eagle. With three cabins and two heads, a beautiful main saloon and galley (and a washer and dryer), she was plenty spacious and quite comfortable for all of us. Special touches like a welcome bottle of wine, itinerary assistance and real personal attention make NW Explorations a great company to work with.
By joining NW Explorations on one of the company’s guided flotillas, you will be embarking on an adventure with fellow cruisers–and have the comfort of knowing an experienced captain is aboard the lead vessel. Along the way, you’ll hear from the lead boat regarding native culture, local history, and wildlife. Once the flotilla arrives at an anchorage, you have the option of participating in guided on-shore and dinghy explorations, or relaxing in your chartered Grand Banks yacht. NW Explorations is a first-class operation, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Consider the fact that 70% of their charters are taken by repeat customers.
No. However, if the Canadian Border remains closed through June 2021 we will use an alternate itinerary. Our alternate itinerary explores the south Puget Sound area, the Hood Canal and the San Juan Islands. We will make the decision on which trip to run as soon as we find out for certain about the border closure. If the border reopens for recreational travel before June 2021, we will still go to Princess Louisa Inlet as originally planned.
No. Please review both itineraries before booking to be sure that you would be happy doing either trip.
Yes! There are certainly locations along the way where guests could meet up with the Flotilla. Some of the locations they could drive to, others might require a scheduled flight to facilitate this happening. In other cases, we must employ the assistance of chartered float planes. There is always a way to make “crew changes” happen along the way! Call us today so that we can help you come up with the best plan for your specific trip and needs.
Each of our legs has a detailed itinerary which will specify areas that have cellular and/or Internet service to help our clients plan ahead if they will need to check in with family or business while away. Expect to have a cell connection throughout most of the South Sound Itinerary. If travelling to Canada, check that your cell plan is updated since roaming charges can add up quickly!
Even in areas of service, we encourage guests to use these trips as a chance to be "unplugged." The lead boat has a satellite phone on board that can be used in case of any emergency. We will make sure that you have access to the number and can give it to your loved ones back home in case they need to get a hold of you on your trip.
The flotilla price includes the rental of the vessel, insurance, moorage fees, and the support of the lead vessel, Deception. The lead vessel has a USCG licensed captain, a marine technician, and a naturalist. Our crew will be there to catch your lines, assist with any maneuvering needs, communicate over VHF on wildlife sightings/important sites, and even collect your garbage & recycling at the end of each day! Fuel and provisions are at the expense of the client as well as transportation costs getting to and from the specific port of call in which your vessel is moored.
Each leg has a detailed itinerary which will specify locations where provisioning opportunities will be available. We do recommend for those legs that originate in Washington or Alaska and cross into Canada shortly thereafter to wait and purchase their fruits and vegetables until they have crossed into Canada. Certain restrictions apply and can change regarding these items.
The bulk of your provisioning will occur in Bellingham. We have many different options for groceries, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Haggen, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Costco, and a local Food Co-op. You will need a vehicle to access these stores. Rental cars and cabs are both available in town. If you'd assistance provisioning, we work closely with a provisioning service, Galley Girls. Call for more information. 360-676-1248 ext. 2
CANCELLATION FEES: (1) All cancellations must be received in writing. (2) Final payment is due 120 days prior to your departure date. If you must cancel your charter, the following terms shall apply:
Greater than 365 days: Cancellation fee of $500 per week, no proration
- 120 – 365 days: 50% of reservation deposit
- 119 – 90 days: Entire reservation deposit
- 89 – 0 days: Entire charter fee
Note: Due to Covid-19, any cancellations received up to a month before your trip begins can have full funds rolled over into a future charter without penalty.
Each flotilla participant is asked to fill out a Medical & Emergency Form. The purpose of this form is to provide the crew on the lead boat with valuable information to use in the case of an emergency. To the extent that the crew is able to assist, they will make every effort to do so. For those situations that are outside our level of training, we have VHF radios and a satellite phone that allow us to be in constant communication with the US Coast Guard. Although it is not a situation that we anticipate or hope for our clients to have, we are prepared to make arrangements to have guests flown out to receive medical treatment if needed.