Ranked as one of the top 10 islands in the U.S., people flock from all over the globe to experience the San Juan Island’s natural beauty, historic significance, and rare wildlife. Our exclusive flotilla takes you around the San Juan Islands’ 172 islands—many of which are completely secluded and only accessible by private boat. Lounge on your yacht’s open-air deck with an evening cocktail, make a stop at Sucia Island for an exhilarating hike, eat fresh crab at Roche Harbor, and spot orcas, bald eagles, and more off the shores of Orcas Island. There’s no better way to experience the San Juan Islands than with our flotilla—reserve your spot today.
Your flotilla takes you to a new destination every day: enjoy a relaxing picnic on the secluded Stuart Island, get a hot stone massage while at Rosario Resort, sip on “high tea” at the timeless Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, and hike at Moran State Park. This trip takes you all around the San Juans: you’ll stop at Stuart Island, Victoria BC, Roche Harbor (on San Juan Island), Sucia Island, Rosario Resort (on Orcas Island), and back to Bellingham Bay. Explore all of the best spots and most remote locales of the San Juans—all in one trip.
Time and time again we hear that our flotillas are the most romantic experience 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.
Nearly half of the San Juan Islands are a part of the San Juan Wildlife Refuge, which offers protection to seabirds, porpoises, sea lions, oyster catchers, great Blue Herons, and approximately 90 Orca whales. In fact, there are three Orca families around every summer. San Juan County is also home to more bald eagles than any other county in Washington state, so get your cameras ready! You can also take advantage of some of the best fishing in the region: Lingcod, Pacific Halibut, and Sockeye Salmon are abundant in the San Juans during June and July.
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 46-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.
Sleeps: 4 | Cabins: 1
Grey Lady is a Sabre 38 Salon Express which has the traditional “downeast” profile in the tradition of Maine boat building. The interior is an open design with a master stateroom, head, sink and shower. There is an additional sleeping area in the lower lounge which turns into a double berth, providing extra comfortable sleeping arrangements for two more people. The galley is well equipped with a sink, stovetop, microwave and refrigerator/freezer. The pod propulsion system in the Sabre makes docking very easy. A separate “joystick” allows the skipper to finesse the boat into the slip like a pro.
Sleeps: 6 | Cabins: 3
Your memorable adventure starts aboard Grand Adventure. This motoryacht accommodates six people, with three beautiful staterooms, custom cabinetry for easy storage in the salon, and XM Satellite radio with surround sound, and DVD and CD player. Grand Adventure has also been recently upgraded with new interior varnish, a new furnace, new 4-stroke dinghy motor, 400-ft high-test anchor chain, freezer on the flybridge, surround sound with a flat panel TV, new Force 10 cook top/oven, new ultra-leather, stainless steel rails, Magnum 2500w inverter, salt water washdown, rudder angle indicator, high-efficiency AC/engine water heater, new lighting in the galley and helm, Tank Tender fuel and fresh water quantity indicating system, and most recently, new MasterFlush heads. We call her “Grand Adventure” for a reason—enjoy your next big adventure on this beautiful yacht!
Sleeps: 4 | Cabins: 2
Aquila boasts beautiful teak cabinetry and ultra-suede upholstery. She has two cabins, a queen island in the master aft with a separate shower and head arrangement. The forward cabin is a v-berth with filler and has a separate forward head shower. This yacht is exceptionally well-maintained and cared for, and we’re excited to have her in our fleet! She even has kayaks for you to enjoy!
Sleeps: 4 | Cabins: 2
Gaelic for “kindred spirit,” AnamCara’s name reflects her readiness to take you on a Pacific Northwest vacation of a lifetime. Her down-galley layout ensures that you and your guests will have plenty of space in the salon while underway or for an evening dinner at anchor. The stabilizers will make your time at sea even more enjoyable, and getting in and out of the dock will be a breeze with the use of the bow thruster. The twin John Deere 375 hp engines will have you comfortably cruising at 9 knots with a maximum speed of 14 knots when you need it. Take advantage of your BBQ, cooler, and hi-lo yacht table, and relax inside with your DVD player and satellite TV. AnamCara is thoughtfully and warmly appointed to make your time on the water comfortable and luxurious.
Sleeps: 4 | Cabins: 2
Hele Mai, (meaning “Let’s Go!” in Hawaiian) is a custom-designed DeFever Pilothouse. Her roomy and open floor plan is warm, inviting, and comfortable—regardless of the weather is outside. This Pilothouse is well-equipped and offers a separate comfortable living area for relaxing inside with friends and family. The exterior boasts a covered aft cockpit and easy walk-around side decks with high bulwarks. With a fly-bridge large enough for your entire crew, you can enjoy sweeping views of the Sound while you cruise through the water or enjoy an evening cocktail. Hele Mai is the perfect yacht for your next adventure!
Sleeps: 4 | Cabins: 2
This gorgeous 47′ Classic boasts equal staterooms fore and aft, wide beam, open interior plan, and easy flybridge access from the salon. Morveren is loaded with the newest in electronics and comfort-cruising upgrades such as stabilizers, water maker, air conditioning, and a large console tender.
Sleeps: 4 | Cabins: 2
Koa Lanai is a sight to behold! Winner of PassageMaker’s "People’s Choice Award" in 2013, Koa Lanai was newly commissioned by NW Explorations with a custom interior layout, raised TV , custom fabrics, wine cooler, granite countertops, double SS sinks, pantry, separate pilot house, and equal accommodations, making her a perfect cruising vessel for two couples. Other fantastic amenities include a trash compactor, watermaker, icemaker, an outdoor galley on the flybridge, Direct TV, bowthruster, WeatherFax, two 12′ sea kayaks, new shower massaging heads, new 100-lb Ultra anchor, and much more! You can also take advantage of the newly-installed Raymarine I-70 wind, speed, depth and rudder instruments in the pilothouse, flybridge, and master cabin. Book this award-winning yacht today!
Sleeps: 6 | Cabins: 2
Inception is a beautiful, spacious and well equipped vessel. She is NWE's first Kadey-Krogen in the fleet and we are THRILLED to have her join us. Cruise in exceptional comfort in this two stateroom vessel - the master hosts an island queen while the guest cabin has two single berths. The pilothouse settee converts to a comfortable and roomy berth, allowing for two more guests on-board, totaling 6 guests in all. Inception is stabilized with a hydraulic bow thruster and twin John Deere 154 hps which are 6.8-liter turbo charged, making this vessel a phenomenal Pacific Northwest trawler!
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.
Especially for some of the longer legs we offer, guests often fly in and out to join our charter clients for portions of their trip. There are certainly locations along the way where scheduled flights 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!
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.
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.
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 $150 per week, no proration
- 120 – 365 days: 50% of reservation deposit
- 119 – 90 days: Entire reservation deposit
- 89 – 0 days: Entire charter fee
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.