Thursday, 18 August 2011

Enjoy Scenic Washington State & British Columbia with American Safari Cruises

Well-known in yachting circles as a favourite for 'gunkhole' cruising — a yachter’s paradise of quiet, scenic anchorages — the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands star in American Safari Cruises’ Pacific Northwest Passage itinerary returning in 2012. The cruise features Washington state and British Columbia, with a new home port of Seattle, Washington.

Beginning September 14, 2012, the 22-guest Safari Quest (above) sails 10 week-long cruises round-trip from Seattle. The yacht returns in the spring for six more week-long cruises beginning March 29, 2013. The Pacific Northwest Passage itinerary explores the inlets and islands of the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands including visits to Victoria, Jervis Inlet, the Harmony Islands, Princess Louisa Inlet, Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia; Friday Harbor, San Juan Island and Stuart Island in Washington.

Sailing from Seattle, the yacht passes through the historic Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to Puget Sound. In Victoria, guests enjoy a tour of Butchart Gardens with a traditional British high tea, a visit to the Royal British Columbia Museum and the historic Empress Hotel.

A flexible itinerary allows time to search out and view wildlife such as orca whales, eagles, seals, sea lions, porpoise, black bears and deer. ASC's expedition-style cruising means the yacht freely explores among the inlets and islands of the Pacific Northwest. An onboard expedition leader provides expert narration while leading waterborne or land-based adventures including kayaking, hiking, beachcombing and skiff rides. Paddle boards are also available for solo adventures in these scenic waters.

Other highlights of the cruise include exploration by foot or by kayak in Princess Louisa Inlet, only half a mile wide and culminating at the spectacular Chatterbox Falls; scenery and solitude while relaxing in the upper deck hot tub; stroll along Nanaimo’s picturesque waterfront promenade; a visit to the town of Friday Harbor with boutiques, galleries and a Whale Museum; hiking along a bluff to Turning Point Lighthouse on Stuart Island and kayaking among the sheltered Harmony Islands.

Cruise fares start at $3,995 per person, based on double occupancy.

The inclusive cruise includes all yacht activities and equipment; transfers; meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; and all port charges, taxes and fees. The Quest also features a hot tub, Tempurpedic mattresses, and heated tile floors in all bathrooms and upper category balconies. An all-American crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2 to 1. Yachts can also be booked as a private charter or by individual stateroom.

For more info, visit www.americansafaraicruises.com or contact the UK's leading adventure-cruise travel agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.