San Juan IslandsSmall Ship Cruise


Visit some of the most scenic islands in the Salish Sea and experience them by kayak, skiff, or beachcombing, as you explore the many hidden coves and tide pools.


Hike in the majestic old-growth forest of the Olympic Mountains and keep a look out for resident bald eagles and other wildlife in this lush landscape.


Look out for orca, porpoises, seals, sea birds, crabs, and more on-board and on-shore during this adventure.


Fewer passengers (76) onboard means that expeditions are made up of small groups and the crew can devote more attention to their guests.


No hidden fees for excursions gives you the option to kayak, paddleboard, hike, or hang out onboard and enjoy the view.

San Juan Islands

This sample itinerary is only a guideline; variations may occur to maximize your experience.

Day 1 – Seattle, Washington – Embark

Seattle was founded along the shores of Elliott Bay. Today, set sail from Fishermen’s Terminal, transit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, and cruise the city’s picturesque waterfront before dropping anchor in a tucked away bay.

Day 2 – Salish Sea / Deception Pass

Wake up surrounded by the wilderness of the Salish Sea. Today, there will be many opportunities to investigate this sea-salty playground of islands. A guided kayak reveals local inhabitants-sea stars, anemones, jelly fish, perhaps even inquisitive harbor seals. Walk along a curiosity-rich intertidal zone or stretch your legs on a mossy hike. And tides and current permitting, sail through swirling waters of Deception Pass. Cap off your first day of adventure with a front-row view of the sunset from the bow.

Day 3 – Lopez Island / San Juan Island

You’ve landed in one of the most scenic areas of the Salish Sea. The rocky outcroppings of Lopez Island play host to harbor seals-and it’s also orca territory. Keep your eyes peeled above and below the surface, whether you opt for kayaking or a chance to snorkel. Join your expedition team on deck searching for whales, seals, and sea lions as you cruise through the myriad San Juans-no two islands are the same. Drop anchor near San Juan Island-the second largest landmass in the archipelago-to explore tide pools and skiff or kayak into hidden coves, as conditions permit.

Day 4 – Orcas Island

Your Captain navigates through the islands to your basecamp at Orcas Island-for a day of play where the options are unending. A local favorite, hike Mt. Constitution-it’s the highest peak in the San Juan Islands and has a stunning view of the archipelago. If you’re interested in skiff exploration or more paddling, the kayaks and paddle boards are up for grabs.

Day 5 – Sucia Island

The treats keep a-coming! Enjoy your day anchored at picturesque Sucia Island-total year-round population of four-a Washington State Marine Park filled with hidden coves and bays. Explore the intertidal zone with your guides, hike across the island, and kayak in a protected bay. Weather permitting; there’ll even be a barbeque ashore.

Day 6 – Captain’s Choice

Make it an ideal morn by kicking it off with an early soak in the on-deck hot tub, a paddle along the shores of the Olympic Peninsula, or both! Your Captain sets the course today for explorations in the rain shadow of the Salish Sea. You may find yourself hiking deep into the mossy, towering old growth of the Olympic Peninsula or beachcombing for anemone and hermit crabs along the shores of Puget Sound. Or perhaps, a chance to kayak and paddle board, investigate bird rookeries, or search for whales in the Sea’s rich emerald waters.

Day 7 – Olympic National Park

Wake up in one of the quietest reaches of Puget Sound-Hood Canal, a glacial fjord separating the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas. You’ll be hiking in the Olympic Mountains-a UNESCO World Heritage Site-surrounded by rainforest, old growth forest, and small quaint towns. Keep watch for resident bald eagles. And, enjoy the bounty of the sea-a tasting of locally-grown oysters and clams. This evening, wrap it up with a Farewell Dinner and slide show highlighting your week’s adventures.

Day 8 – Seattle – Disembark

After breakfast, say goodbye to your newfound friends and disembark the ship back at Fishermen’s Terminal. Transfer directly to the Seattle airport.

Flexible, Fun & Full!

Your days will be filled from the moment you wake until you retire to your cabin with opportunities for group meals, off-ship outings, and presentations in the evening. You can choose to participate in the activities and presentations each day or sit them out, but one thing is for sure, this cruise will keep you moving!

Adventure Specialists

We’ve been connecting our clients to water adventures around the world since 1987. We partner with select outfitters who share our values and are pros at creating exceptional experiences. There is no fee for our service; we earn our commission from the outfitters we represent, and the cost of your expedition is the same as booking direct.


Your adventure will begin in Seattle, Washington where you will be shuttled by the outfitter to Fisherman’s Terminal and your awaiting vessel to begin your journey into the Salish Sea.


The last night on the ship, you will have a special farewell dinner, and the next morning after breakfast, you will disembark back in Seattle, Washington.

Price Includes

All onboard meals; premium spirits, wine, and microbrews; non-alcoholic beverages; exclusive transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days; entry fees to national parks/preserves; all adventure activities and equipment from the boat. Also included is several wellness offerings such as hot tubs, yoga mats, and fitness equipment.


Daytime highs for April and May range from 55ºF – 65ºF with nighttime lows around 40ºF – 45ºF and many clear, sunny days. September – November transition from warm temperatures around 65ºF and clear skies in September to slightly chillier temperatures around 50ºF and more rainy days in November.

The San Juan Islands

Located in the heart of the Salish Sea, the San Juan Islands are a beautiful and unique archipelago island chain made up of rocky outcroppings, peaks, hidden coves, and old growth stands of Douglas fir forest. Each island offers a unique ecosystem and the waterways surrounding these quiet islands are home to orca whales, Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, and many types of marine and shorebirds.

Group Size

This is a small-scale cruise with a maximum number of 76 guests and a generous guest to guide ratio of 3 guests for each crew member. This means that you will have plenty of opportunities to learn about the local ecology and culture of the area, as well as have expert instruction for all your adventure activities.

The Boat

Meet the Wilderness Discoverer – a vessel that naturally complements the outdoors with a casual, welcoming ambiance. Relax in the lounge or open design dining room with your fellow travelers or scan the waterways from one of the three open viewing decks with both covered and uncovered spaces for perfect viewing in any weather. The ship carries all the adventure equipment for guests including kayaks, paddleboards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, and more. All cabins are equipped with a TV and DVD, iPod docking station, private bath with shower, view windows, and generous closet space. The vessel also comes equipped with two hot tubs and fitness area to enjoy.


You can look forward to a delicious daily menu filled with meals designed to reflect the flavors of the region including locally sourced ingredients when possible. For breakfast – you can choose from an early riser breakfast with fresh baked pastries and fruit or a full breakfast with hot, cold, and specialty dishes. For lunch – you will find a range of salads, sandwiches, and homemade soups. For happy hour – enjoy a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres in the lounge. For dinner -choose from several entrÈes including fresh, local seafood and meats or a vegetarian dish with a chef-selected wine pairing and be sure to leave room for an indulgent dessert, such as tiramisu.

Length: 7 nights
Price: $2,495 – $5,395 per person; $200 for port taxes & fees;  Kids ages 8 to 13 save $500 per child
Season: April, May,
September- November
Min. Age: 8 years
Activity: Expedition Cruise
Adventure Level: Mild

  • I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the Rivers & Oceans’ staff, their organizational skills, knowledge and simply being just nice people. Once I decided to go with them every detail of the adventure was planned, organized and implemented without a hitch.

    Steve G.

  • Absolutely wonderful. Rivers and Oceans is operated by people who truly care about your trip and have the personal experience to help you make the best choice. Now go see for yourself and let Rivers and Oceans lead you towards the adventure of a lifetime.

    Owen S.

  • The folks at Rivers and Oceans are great. Helped us find and book a trip and patiently answered many questions over the weeks preceding the trip. Thank you.

    Greg W.

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