8 Days Cruise & Craft Beer Trip USA

  • Seattle - Olimpic Peninsula - San Juan Island - Orcas Island - Suciac Island - Deception Pass

Olympic Wilderness & Beer Crafting Cruise

During this vacation, foremost beer experts and brewers guide you on your barley and hops adventure including pairings with regional cuisine, tours and tastings, and special presentations. You will dive into the secrets of beer crafting under guidance of certified beer servers. Along with that, you will discover a wild world of natural wonder. You will explore islands; hike in rain-forests and up mountains, paddle in Puget Sound waterways and the San Juan Islands, and watch for birds, orca, and other marine life.

Highlights

  • Guidance of foremost beer experts
  • Beer tasting and special presentations
  • A tasting of home-grown oysters and clams
  • Pairing beer with regional cuisine
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All-inclusive holidays
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the decor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible - the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.

The Wilderness Discoverer comes equipped for adventure with kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, hiking poles, wet suits and snorkel equipment, and yoga mats. The EZ Dock launch platform makes getting into the water a cinch. A hydrophone transmits below-surface sounds and a bow-mounted underwater camera shows the action. For wellness and relaxation, the vessel offers two hot tubs, a sauna, and fitness equipment. There are four cabin categories aboard the Wilderness Discoverer: navigator; trailblazer; pathfinder; and explorer. Common to all cabins are: air conditioning; flat-screen TV / DVD; iPod docking station, private bath with shower; a view window (no portholes).

Day 1 - Seattle, Washington (embarkation)

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 - 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 will be hiking in the Olympics today - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - surrounded by rain-forest, old growth forest, and small quaint towns. Keep watch for resident bald eagles.

A local family joins you on-board for a tasting of their home-grown oysters and clams.

Day 3 - Captains choice

Make it an ideal morning 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 - you'll explore the rainy shadow of the Salish Sea. You may find yourself hiking deep into the mossy, towering old growth of the Olympic Peninsula or beach-combing for anemone and hermit crabs along the shores of Puget Sound. Kayak and paddle board in protected bays, investigate bird rookeries, or search for whales in the Seas rich emerald waters.

Day 4 - Lopez Island, San Juan Island

Today lands you in one of the most scenic areas of the Salish Sea. The rocky outcroppings of Lopez Island play host to harbor seals - and its 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 crew 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 5 - Orcas Island

Your captain navigates through the islands this morning to your base camp at Orcas Island - for a day of play where the options are unending. A local favorite, Mount Constitution - its the highest peak in the San Juan Islands, and it provides 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 too.

Day 6 - Sucia Island

The treats keep a-coming! Enjoy your day anchored at picturesque Sucia Island - total population of four - a Washington State Marine Park filled with hidden coves and bays. Explore the inter-tidal zone with your expedition team, hike across the island, and kayak in a protected bay. Weather permitting; there will even be a barbecue ashore.

Day 7 - Salish Sea and Deception Pass

The timing for today all depends on tides and currents, but the morning has you underway for bird watching, possibly around Protection Island - a federally protected National Wildlife Refuge and nesting site for tufted puffins and rhinoceros auklets. Cap off a delightful final day with afternoon hikes, shore walks, and kayaking near scenic Deception Pass. This evening, wrap it up with a farewell dinner and slide show highlighting your weeks adventures.

Day 8 - Seattle (disembark)

After breakfast, say goodbye to your new-found friends and disembark the ship back at Fishermens Terminal. Transfer directly to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) or to your Un-Cruise overnight hotel stay.

  • Bird watching around Protection Island - a federally protected National Wildlife Refuge and nesting site for tufted puffins and rhinoceros auklets (day 7).
  • Hiking in the Olympics - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - surrounded by rainforest, old growth forest, and small quaint towns (day 2).

The places you visit play a starring role throughout every journey. While this list isn't exhaustive of every nook-and-cranny you'll explore along the way, Un-Cruise Adventures included descriptions of key ports and places to help you get to know the wilderness areas, landmark locations, notable regions, and coastal towns relevant to this itinerary.

Deception Pass

Discovered by Joseph Whidbey in 1792, he named this waterway Deception Pass because it misled him into thinking Whidbey Island was actually a peninsula. During George Vancouvers exploration of the area, Joseph Whidbey was tasked with exploring the waters now known as the Saratoga Passage using small boats. The shallow waters and steep rocks made navigation extremely difficult. He reported that the area was a dead-end and the island was actually connected to the mainland. It wasn't until later, that a very narrow and intricate channel was found that separated the two bodies of land.

Due to the dramatic landscape of Deception Pass, currents can lead to large whirlpools and drastic current shifts. Sometimes boats can be seen waiting on either side of the bridge for the currents to stop or change direction before making the passage through. During the summer, thrill-seeking kayakers can be seen making the trip which has been rated as class 2 and 3 rapid conditions. Deception Pass is surrounded by the breathtaking Deception Pass State Park, the most visited state park in Washington. Officially established in 1923, Deception Pass State Park served as a military reserve in the 1930s. During this time, the Civilian Conservation Corps built roads, trails and buildings which greatly assisted in the development and conservation of the park.

Lopez Island, San Juan Islands, Washington

Lopez Island is the third largest of the San Juan Islands and covers 29.8 square miles. Originally named Chauncey Island, after the American naval commander Isaac Chauncey, it was renamed in 1847 by Henry Kellet for Gonzalo Lopez de Haro, an officer of the 1791 Spanish expedition. Lopez Island is home to about 2,300 year-round residents centered around the islands hub, Lopez Village. The flattest of the San Juan Islands, its gently rolling hills and pastoral countryside have made it a popular destination for bicycle tourists. Don't be surprised if people wave to you while you are around Lopez. Nicknamed the friendly isle, Lopez is locally famous for the longstanding custom of waving at every motorist, bicyclist, and pedestrian encountered. This simple gesture has become known as the Lopez wave and it speaks to the relationship residents have on this island.

Olympic National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage site and biosphere reserve, Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula is a kaleidoscope of greens, blues, and browns in every hue that stretch from the pounding Pacific Ocean across dramatic, rugged mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the north and Hood Canal to the east. Formed by subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate, the Olympic Mountains are the rugged centerpiece of this remote area that encompasses over 366,000 acres of majestic old-growth forest. First designated a national monument in 1909 by Theodore Roosevelt, it became a national park in 1938 by Franklin Roosevelt. At just under 8,000 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest point in the mountain range, the second largest range in Washington State. Including ancient glaciers, Mount Olympus has some of the greatest glaciations of any non-volcanic peak in the lower 48 due to the amount of precipitation it receives.

One of the wettest places in the USA, the western temperate rain forest receives 150 inches of rain on average annually, a big reason for the many shades of green. Including the temperate rain forest, the Olympic Mountains have created their own climate, including a rain shadow provided by the western mountains for the much drier eastern mountains. Due to its isolated location, there are many endemic plant and animal species from the wet western slopes to the arid eastern ridges. Home to major salmon bearing rivers, natural lakes, wet and dry lands, the Olympic Peninsula is a stunningly magnificent place to seek out wildlife in the sky and land.

Orcas Island

A portion of the San Juan Islands group was originally named Horcasit as after Juan Vicente de Gemes Padilla Horcasit as Aguayo, a Spanish military officer and 2nd count of Revillagigedo, the islands name was shortened to simply, Orcas. In 1847, Henry Kellett attributed the name Orcas to just one piece of land while reorganizing the British Admiralty charts, giving the island its name. Orcas Island is slightly larger but less populated than its neighboring San Juan Islands. Shaped like a pair of saddle bags, Orcas Island is home to around 5,000 people. It's also home to the one of the largest state parks in Washington State and the largest on the San Juan Islands - Moran State Park - which includes over 5,200 acres of forest and 30 miles of hiking trails.

Moran boasts the highest point in the archipelago at 2,400 inches - Mt. Constitution - named after the USS Constitution by Charles Wilkes during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838-1842.The view from the top of Mount Constitution is considered to be of the worlds best panoramic views. On a clear day, hikers can enjoy views of the Cascade Mountains to the east, the Olympic Mountains to the South, Mount Rainier, and all of the San Juan Islands. At the top of Mount Constitution stands a stone observation tower build by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936.

Salish Sea

Located between the south-western tip of British Columbia and the north-western tip of Washington State, the Salish Sea is made up of the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Puget Sound. This intricate network of waterways is protected from Pacific Ocean storms by Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula. The title Salish Sea, named for the Coast Salish people who first inhabited this region, was first used in 1988 by Doctor Bert Webber, a marine biologist from Bellingham, Washington who determined that a single name for the entire international ecosystem was needed. Rather than replacing any of the existing names, the title Salish Sea was given to identify the commonality of water, air wildlife and history that spans from Canada to Washington. In 2009, the governments of both Washington and British Columbia adopted the name. The Salish Sea is home to over 200 different species of fish, 100 different species of birds, 20 different species of marine mammals, over 3,000 different species of invertebrates, and 7 million people.

San Juan Islands, Washington

Formed by tectonic activity, glacial sculpting, and the forces of erosion, approximately 450 islands (over 700 during low tide and just 172 named) dot the Salish Sea between southeastern Vancouver Island and northern Washington. Accessible only by air and sea, the views are astounding - on a clear day, you can turn in a circle and see the Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, and Vancouver Island. The archipelagos southern border is the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to its northern edge lies the Straits of Georgia, and to the east is Bellingham Bay and Rosario Straits. The San Juans and Vancouver Island are separated by Haro Strait. In the protective rain shadow of Vancouver Island and the Olympic Mountains, the islands receive half the rain as Seattle, about 15 to 20 inches per year. The waters are cold, deep, and prolific with life both above and below. Massive schools of salmon travel from the open waters of the Pacific with the flushing tides through Haro and Rosario Straits, making it a favorite hunting ground for resident, salmon-eating orcas (known locally as the J, K, and L Pods.)

Transient orcas also travel through this area periodically to prey on marine mammals. The waters are home to minke whales, Dalls porpoise, harbor porpoise, harbor seals, and sea lions. California gray whales pass by in fall on their way to calve in Hawaiian and Mexican lagoons. In the spring, they will pass by again, heading north to the nutrient-rich waters of Alaska. Keep an eye out overhead or on the shorelines and rocky outcroppings for cormorants, oyster-catchers, tufted puffins, terns, gulls, scoters, bald and golden eagles, turkey vultures, and more! Over 290 different species of birds have been identified in this birdwatchers paradise. Eighty-three islands have been designated as National Wildlife Refuges, divided into the four habitats of reefs, rocks, grassy, and forested islands. Each island is unique and has its own stories of natural and human heritage. The islands are full of rich and colorful history.

One particularly unusual chain of events that had a lasting impact on the islands began on San Juan Island. The event began with one small act in 1859 that nearly resulted in a war between Britain and the United States and was called the Pig War. It all started when a pig owned by Englishman Charles Griffin of the Hudsons Bay Company broke into the tasty potato garden of American Lyman Cutlar one too many times. Cutlar shot the pig, admitted to shooting the pig, refused a trial by the British, and sought the United States protection. Since it was unclear at that time exactly where the U.S./Canadian border really was, a 12-year standoff ensued. The English garrison was established on the northwestern side of the island; an American garrison was set up on the southern tip. In 1872, a German arbitrator, Kaiser Wilhelm, settled the debate by establishing the U.S. / Canadian boundary and gave the San Juan Islands to the United States. This would not be the final colorful story to be told. The islands were settled in an initial bawdy wild west fashion. Even into the 1930s, as some communities claimed to be "civilized," the islands had plenty of bootleggers who were utilizing the intricate waterways around the islands to trade their goods during Prohibition.

Seattle, Washington

For thousands of years, the coastal First Peoples lived in abundance along the shorelines that now surround Elliott Bay and the city of Seattle. The city is named for Chief Sealth. A respected local elder, Chief Sealth befriended the first non-native settlers, including the Denny party who arrived in 1851. Logging of the great forests surrounding Elliott Bay commenced almost immediately upon arrival of the first white pioneers, who began to supply the building demands of the city of San Francisco and other developments along the west coast. This was Seattles first link to becoming a key import and export arena along the Pacific Rim.

By the time gold was discovered in Alaska in the late 1800s, Seattle became the foremost launching pad and supply center for gold and adventure seekers bound for the Last Frontier of the Alaskan wilderness. Today, Seattles multi-cultural population is approximately 652,000. Lumber and other exports are still important to the regional economy, as is the pioneering spirit that fostered the development and success of high-tech companies such as Microsoft and Boeing. Take a stroll along the Emerald Citys bustling waterfront and see a grand mixture of old wooden piers now housing restaurants, the Seattle Aquarium and the like with a view of the modern shipping docks in the background. Soak in the surrounding natural beauty of Mt. Rainier, rising to a height of 14,411 feet, and the Olympic Mountains to the west across Elliott Bay

Green and white Washington State Ferries constantly ply the southern Salish Sea (aka Puget Sound) to and from outlying water-bound areas. The 1962 Worlds Fair icon, the Space Needle, touches the skies at 600 feet. Have a meal in the Needles revolving restaurant and gain a spectacular 360-degree view in an hour. In its early days, the restaurant revolved faster - but that didn't work so well for the diners digestion! Sip a latte in the heart of coffee culture at Pike Place Market and watch the "flying fish" while inhaling the colorful array of fresh-cut flowers, fruits, and vegetables and browsing local artisan stalls. Visit Seattle's first neighborhood, Pioneer Square, with historical brick buildings brimming with art galleries, boutiques, and diverse restaurants.

Seattleites are distinguished as the number one readers in the U.S. Although some may attribute that statistic to Seattle's rainy reputation, this city actually receives only about 35 inches of rain annually - less than all the major cities on the Eastern seaboard! That is because the Olympic Mountains on the Olympic Peninsula absorb much of the moisture from the Pacific before it reaches Seattle. The marine air does moderate the temperature in Seattle and is cause for days of overcast skies - thus its reputation for rain. Seattle enjoys about 16 hours of daylight in the summer and 16 hours of darkness in the winter.

Activities
  • Boating nearby
  • Gym
  • Hiking nearby
  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Kayaking nearby
  • Sauna
  • Snorkeling nearby
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Whale watching
  • Whale watching nearby
  • Yoga
General
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Lounge
  • Special menu request
  • Yoga deck
Services
  • Hair dryer
  • Library

Early-riser breakfasts of fresh fruit and baked-on-board pastries.

Full breakfasts with hot and cold options and specialty items.

Lunches range from salads, sandwiches, and homemade soups to regionally-influenced dishes.

Dinners offer a choice of entrees including fresh, local seafood, and meats.

Chef-selected wine pairings that complement your meal.

Made-from-scratch desserts like tiramisu and lavender panna cotta.

Varied hors doeuvres during cocktail hour.

Vegetarian dishes are available at all meals.

Every meal is handcrafted by Un-Cruise Adventures executive chefs to ensure innovative, nutritious, and delectable dining experiences that highlight flavors of the region. In Coastal Washington, you'll likely sample Hama Hama oysters, shucked by the 5th generation family farmers who cultivated them. Unless there's a specially arranged barbecue or lunch on shore, most dinners are served over several courses - with particular attention to your personal preferences.

  • Beachcombing for anemone and hermit crabs along the shores of Puget Sound
  • Hiking at picturesque Sucia Island - total population of four - a Washington State Marine Park filled with hidden coves and bays
  • Hiking deep into the mossy, towering old growth of the Olympic Peninsula
  • Investigating bird rookeries, or searching for whales in the Seas rich emerald waters
  • Kayaking, hiking, shore walking, and paddling
  • Learning the regions Native American and whaling histories, and depending on itinerary, explore quaint communities and Victoria, BC; or keeping the focus on national and federal parks.
  • Nature walks among treasure-filled tide pools reveal hermit crabs, waving sea anemone and barnacles, tiny fish, and slow-moving sea stars.
  • Searching for whales, seals, and sea lions as you cruise with your expedition crew
  • Skiffing in glacial fjords and winding island channels.
  • Snorkeling
  • Taking in the spectacular sunrise set against the Coast Range or Olympic Mountains from toasty-warm hot tub.
  • Visit your captain on the bridge and learn how Captain Vancouver's maps and navigation are still important tools today.
  • With binoculars in-hand, keep watch - high above, along shore, and in the water - for eagles, bears, porpoises, orca, and sea lions from the bow deck.
  • Wind down after an exciting day with a cold pint of local brew and a game of cards with your travel companions in the lounge or salon.
  • 7 nights accommodation on Wilderness Discovery
  • All onboard meals and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Hot tub, sauna, fitness equipment, and yoga mats
  • Most from-the-vessel adventure activities and equipments
  • Entry fees to national parks and preserves
  • Exclusive transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel
  • Wellness program
  • Airfare to and from your home city
  • Gratuities to your vessel crew
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions and land tours
  • Port taxes and fees (USD 200)
  • Wine and liquor (select vessels)

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Un-Cruise Adventures will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

On embarkation day, your flight should arrive not later than 1 p.m. On disembarkation day, your flight should leave no earlier than 12 p.m.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Un-Cruise Adventures an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by Amanda and Dan from Washington, USA

    "After traveling to Japan, Thailand, and Australia last month, we both agree that hands down this week was the best and most memorable. Overall, very impressed with how you accommodated everyone's needs and wants. You guys are amazing!"

    Un-Cruise Adventures website, edited

  • Review by Melanie from California, USA

    "The energy and excitement of the crew was wonderful, liquid sunshine or cloud failure. Nature was good, but the people really made it special."

    Un-Cruise Adventures website, edited

  • Review by Vince and Andy from Pennsylvania, USA

    "Everyone did an amazing job making the boat feel fun and comfortable. Every crew member was friendly, personable, and a huge part of why I enjoyed the cruise as much as I did. The adventure guides, in particular, were amazing, and made every moment fun, exciting and interesting. I definitely plan to sail with Un-Cruise again!"

    Un-Cruise Adventures website, edited

  • Review by Bob L. & Vicki K. from California, USA

    "The Hawaii trip has been a ball. Great crew, great food, lots of fun snorkeling, kayaking. Un-Cruise (Adventures) is a super company."

    Un-Cruise Adventures website, edited

  • Review by Michaele K. from USA
    9 out of 10

    "This is such a classy, well-run operation. A major highlight has to be the crew, without an exception. Can't wait to join you again!"

    Un-Cruise Adventures website, edited

Seattle, U.S. Virgin Islands

Un-Cruise Adventures’ small ship adventure and river cruises provide an unbeatable combination of activity, culture, expertise, and unique encounters.

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8 days / 7 nights

Availability

This vacation is available from April to May and from September to November. Please select an arrival date below.

 

Low season
  • November

 

Medium season
  • April to October

 

High season
  • October 8, 22, 2016

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