If Sal Paradise was living today, this journey would have been made for him. This is Jack Kerouac country: narrate your journey through Monterey and its famous aquarium, Big Sur and her inspirational coastline and San Francisco with her iconic bridge and fabled bohemia. Explore little visited and truly authentic small towns and experience life as it used to be “on the road”.
DATES: May 02-13, 2017
DURATION: 12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS
EMBARK: SAN DIEGO, USA
DISEMBARK: VANCOUVER, CANADA
SHIP: SILVER EXPLORER
Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary program of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by our team of expert guides and lecturers, allows you to fully experience the lands you’ll visit.
All Inclusive Expedition Cruise
INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE FARE
- Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
- Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®
- Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage
- Personalized service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry
- Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet
- Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea
- Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship
- Free WIFI* throughout the ship
- Onboard Gratuities
- Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society
* One hour free WIFI per day for all guests. Unlimited free WIFI for guests sailing on select suite categories
Day 1 — May 02 – San Diego, California
Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting Silversea Expedition — “Wild Coast of the Pacific USA”.
Once you have settled in and before Silver Explorer leaves San Diego, you will attend a mandatory safety drill.
Day 2 — May 03 – Santa Cruz Island, California
Our first stop will be in the Channel Islands National Park on Santa Cruz Island – the largest of the islands. We will head for Prisoners Harbor and the Central Valley, which despite its name is located on the northern shore. The island is now partly owned and man-aged by The Nature Conservancy, while the pier, the beach and the eastern part of Santa Cruz Island are owned by the National Park Service. You can view the historic Prisoners Harbor area and search for the endemic Island Scrub-Jay which is generally found in nearby trees or stream-side vegetation, and is especially abundant in canyons and on north facing slopes with oaks. There will be different options for hikes –from short to long, from easy to strenuous. During the hike we will pass California lilac bushes and will be on the look-out for Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, the Island Scrub Jay and the Santa Cruz Island Fox.
Day 3 —May 04 – Monterey, California
Our next stop promises an interesting day on California’s coast. We will drive along spectacular Highway 1 to Big Sur south of Monterey. During this full day excursion we will see Pebble Beach with its gorgeous coastline and homes, will stroll quaint Carmel-By-The-Sea, reach the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge and will enjoy the area’s secluded beaches, hopefully spotting Northern elephant seals hauled out on land or swimming in the adjacent surf. Lunch will be in Carmel.
If you prefer to do a half day excursion only, then you can choose to either see the Monterey Aquarium with a VIP behind-the-scenes experience and hear about the Aquarium’s groundbreaking research efforts with marine wildlife, or choose a more active afternoon of hiking or a 3-hour kayaking experience.
An optional excursion will be to play one round of golf at the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Day 4 — May 05 – San Francisco, California
Today a full day tour of San Francisco and the Bay Ar-ea will take you to Muir Woods and the rolling hills of the Marin County Headlands. On the return to San Francisco you will cross the Golden Gate. The high-lights in San Francisco will include Golden Gate Park, Fisherman’s Wharf and Haight-Ashbury.
If you prefer to see San Francisco’s highlights during the morning for an afternoon of your own, take the morning excursion to explore eclectic neighborhoods, visit Haight-Ashbury, the Golden Gate Recreation Area’s Land’s End and finish at the Ferry Building Market for further independent exploration.
Once Silver Explorer leaves her, berth you should be out on deck as we pass Alcatraz Island and will head out to sea passing under the Golden Gate Bridge shortly before sunset.
Day 5 — May 06 – At sea
During our day at sea, our lecturers will recap the things seen and done in California and prepare you for the natural wonders and historical sites we will see in Oregon and Washington.
Day 6 — May 07 – Astoria, Oregon
Our next stop on this voyage is at the mouth of the Columbia River. Here we will have the option to see Fort Stevens, the only military installation in the continental United States to be fired upon since the War of 1812, in either an in-depth behind-the-scenes visit or doing a bike tour focusing on the historical and geographical attraction, including Battery Russel with its great panoramic views. Another half day excursion will visit the mouth of the Columbia River and from Fort Stevens will continue south to Cannon Beach for magnificent views of an iconic monolith known as Haystack Rock. Alternatively join a tour to Fort Clatsop State Park – where Lewis & Clark spent the winter of 1805-1806 and tour a re-creation of the Fort. Enjoy an interpretive walk through coastal rain-forest before enjoying a beer tasting at Fort George Brewery with a special presentation by a Lewis and Clark historian.
Day 7 —May 08 – Mt. St. Helens, Washington
This morning we will take the Lewis and Clark Bridge, crossing into Washington to explore Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Monument. This monument is one of the most powerful reminders of nature’s forces, and nat-uralists will share stories of the drama of the May 18, 1980 eruption – the most deadly and destructive eruption in the history of the United States. You will learn how volcanoes are monitored and what Mt. St. Helens has taught. At the Johnston Ridge Observatory birds-eye views into the still-steaming crater can be had and on a hike diverse birdlife and possibly deer, elk and beavers can be observed.
Day 8 — May 09 – At sea
Silver Explorer will sail downs the mighty Columbia River to reach the Pacific and head north.
Day 9 — May 10 – Port Angeles, Washington
Port Angeles is located on the southern side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca opposite Victoria and next to Olympic National Park. To make the most of the day we will drive to the summit of Hurricane Ridge at 1,598 meters above sea level for stunning views of the Olympic Peninsula, Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Interpretive hikes will be offered to spot wildlife in this unique alpine habitat. Afterwards you can either head for an old-growth forest at Lake Crescent and end the day soaking in the Sol Duc Hot Springs, or explore Dungeness Spit beach walking and getting to know about the local shellfish farms, concluding at the Finn River Farm to learn about organic farming on the peninsula with a chance to sample the local wine with light appetizers.
Day 10 — May 11 – Olympia, Washington, USA
From Washington State’s capital Olympia we will be heading east on a full day excursion to see and hike at iconic Mount Rainier in Mount Rainier National Park. After a two-hour drive, we will be able to see Alpine meadows, lakes, waterfalls, old growth forests, all combined with geology and volcanology – the 14,410 foot iconic Mount Rainier is one of five active volcanoes in Washington State.
If you prefer to explore closer to Olympia, you can choose to do so at the Mima Mounds, a National Natural Landmark some 30 miles south of Olympia. This half-day excursion will end with a scenic walk through various habitat types out to the tidal flats of Puget Sound at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.
Day 11 — May 12 – Anacortes and Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
Heading north, Silver Explorer will reach the San Juan Islands and Anacortes. Anacortes is the main city on Fidalgo Island and a starting point for a visit to the San Juan Islands. Fidalgo Island is the eastern-most island of the San Juan Archipelago and has an easy access via bridge to the mainland. This is a place to explore the northern woods on your own or you can choose between a visit to Deception Pass State Park for nature walks, continue on to Whidbey Island and Fort Casey State Park, a coast artillery post featuring historic guns and have a look at the Admiralty Head Lighthouse with sweeping views of Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, as well as visiting Penn Cove mussel farms to sample this local delicacy or to see the wildlife-rich waters of Deception Pass in between the two islands by local boat.
If that is not enough of a workout for you, how about kayaking to see seals, porpoises, eagles and possibly killer whales?
During lunch Silver Explorer will relocate a short distance and will anchor between Shaw and San Juan Island for a visit to Friday Harbor. Wander the docks in Friday Harbor during an afternoon of self-exploration and relaxation. Watch at the boats, enjoy a walk along the waterfront.
Day 12 — May 13 – Vancouver, Canada
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.