This is a true Alaska “insider” cruise with the expert guidance of Captain Swanson. Stop to pull crab pots, fish, kayak, or hike. Allow the weather, wildlife and interests of up to 12 guests aboard dictate the days’ program.
We are very pleased to offer these rare opportunities to explore Alaska’s and Canada’s Inside Passage with Captain Ben Swanson aboard his immaculately restored and maintained historic wooden yacht, DISCOVERY. You will travel to remote areas in search of wildlife, with activities such as kayaking, beach and trail hikes, fishing, and amazing photography to capture the moments.
- Explore scenic waterways accessible only on a small boat cruise
- Skiff and shore excursions to search for wildlife
- Watch for Humpback whales, Orca (Killer Whales), Pacific white-sided dolphins, Porpoise, Sea Lion, Bears, Bald Eagle & more
- Anchor in secluded bays and visit remote communities
- Hike in a temperate rain forest
- Visit a natural Hot Springs
- Kayaking and beach combing
- Trip begins in Ketchikan, AK and ends in Seattle
Your Cruise Includes
Family style gourmet meals and beverages. Please advise us of any special dietary needs-we will be more than happy to accommodate you. Discovery carries several shore boats 2 Boston Whalers and 4 stable Kayaks. Guests are welcome to use these boats for fishing and shore excursions. Saltwater fishing equipment and tackle will be provided.
They have all the toys too. For tenders they carry 2 – 13 foot Boston Whalers with outboards, 4 very stable kayaks. Passengers can use these for fishing and shore excursions. They also have crab and shrimp pots and provide and carry all saltwater tackle for both salmon and halibut fishing.
The Discovery’s accommodations include 6 nicely appointed private staterooms all with opening portholes, 2 heads and showers below deck. On the main deck she features beautiful Mahogany dining and main salons a new forward salon an on deck head, galley and a enclosed fantail lounge. Her spacious unobstructed teak decks allow unique opportunities for wildlife viewing and fishing.
The Discovery also has a CD player, TV, DVD , VCR, Cassette players and Satellite Radio, a large assortment of movies, natural history tapes, games and a well stocked library. The vessel is very comfortable for your Inside Passage cruise.
PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE
Air transportation to or from Alaska and Seattle. Also not provided: liquor, fishing licenses, freshwater fishing gear, cold foul weather gear (I do recommend boots and cold foul weather gear for our Alaska and Inside Passage trips) and crew Gratuities.
Arrive Ketchikan. Transfer on own to your included hotel in Ketchikan.
The journey begins!
Welcome aboard Discovery (10am) and depart Ketchikan. The breeze carries with it an air of freedom and the scent of adventure as Discovery clears the harbor.
Cross Dixon Entrance to Chatham Sound
We need to clear customs on arrival in Prince Rupert and there will be time for a quick stroll before dinner onboard Discovery.
Prince Rupert (or anchorage at Dundas Island)
We’ll make our way toward the coast again today and cruise to Prince Rupert a port city and transport hub at the western terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Channels & passages, tide and current, Hot Springs anyone?
Relax and watch the scenery go by as we cruise between forested islands navigating from one channel to another. This afternoon we have the option to anchor by a natural hot springs and go for a soak or continue on to another pristine bay where keen kayakers have an opportunity to paddle and the potential to spot bear on shore.
Princess Royal Island & the Great Bear Rainforest
The scenery over the next few days brings new meaning to the phrase “getting away from it all”. Narrow passages, deep fjords and cascading waterfalls form part of the majestic landscape of British Colombia’s northern coastal fringe. You’ll feel like you’re in another world here. Dense rainforest, rich river estuaries and salmon streams provide habitat for Wolves, Brown Bear, Black Bear and the elusive Spirit Bear. Our anchorage tonight lies tucked beneath snow capped mountains and we’ll spend a few hours exploring (by skiff or kayak – your choice) and looking for wildlife in the meadows and rivers at the head of the bay.
Today begins at a leisurely pace. There is time to put kayaks in the water or explore the inlet by skiff before weighing anchor. Then it’s a short cruise to the remote community of Shearwater where we will dock amongst fishing boats and yachts at the small marina. The locals you meet dockside have many interesting stories to share or pop up to the Pub for a ‘Canadian’ and relax on the patio.
Cross Queen Charlotte Sound
We will round Cape Caution to the east of Vancouver Island’s northern point in the morning. It’s an 8 hour crossing to one of our favorite anchorages in Fitz Hugh Sound where we’ll skiff to shore and walk through coastal forest to a driftwood littered beach. Guests can choose to wander along the sand and rock pools or go on a longer guided hike. It’s a great spot for a campfire and cookout this evening as the colors fade and the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean.
Blunden Harbor to Johnstone Strait, Robson Bight (Orca Whales)
We have a scenic cruise today along Johnstone Strait to Blackfish Sound and the Broughton Archipelago. Our route takes us past the famous rubbing beaches where Orca Whales congregate each summer to feed and socialize. Ocean currents support abundant marine life in the surrounding waters here so keep a look out also for Humpback Whales, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Porpoise, Seals and a variety of sea birds.
Desolation Sound to Teakerne Arm Provincial Park
Georgia Strait narrows and a myriad of interconnecting tidal passages and inlets mark the beginning of a more remote region of British Columbia dotted with islands and marine parks. We’ll wind our way through the swirling currents (which on the ebb and flood can generate whirlpools
and standing waves) of Desolation Sound into Teakerne Arm and drop anchor in a secluded cove beneath a waterfall that spills from a lake high above. It’s a beautiful place to kayak and/or skiff ashore and hike.
The Strait of Georgia
Today we’ll make tracks south cruising in the Strait of Georgia that separates Vancouver Island from the mainland. This passage is 150 miles long and varies in width from 11.5 to 34.2 miles wide. Our distance travelled today depends somewhat on wind and tide (if it’s with or against us) and Captain Swanson will choose a pretty harbor marina at which to overnight allowing guests time to get off the boat and explore.
San Juan Islands - Seattle
Wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and take a stroll on deck before breakfast as Discovery gets underway. We’ll cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca and cruise through the San Juan Islands, a beautiful archipelago of over 450 islands, rocky pinnacles and beaches. Keep a look out for Orca Whales that frequent this area. Arrive Seattle this evening, transiting the Hiram Chittenden Locks in to Lake Union.
Spend a few days in the Emerald City before returning home.
An elegant and spacious 1930’s charter yacht, Discovery encompasses the best of two worlds!
Providing luxury yacht cruises in Alaska since 1981 we know what it takes to make our guests comfortable. Our trips are designed specifically to exceed our customers expectations, as is this beautiful classic vessel.
Built in 1931 for Hollywood advertising mogul Mr. William Morris the classic fantail yacht MV Discovery will capture your imagination the moment you step on board. At 87 ft. in length, with a perfect blend of old world charm and modern conveniences, Discovery provides a comfortable home away from home for any Alaska yacht cruise.
There is plenty of room to spread out on this classic yacht.
Some classic yachts can feel boxy and cramped. Not so on the Discovery. This yacht was restored as a charter cruise boat and has a spacious open plan layout.
Inside—The glow of filtered light on mahogany paneling sets the mood to one of relaxation. Picture windows in the spacious Main, Dining and new Forward Salons offer panoramic views as we cruise. The main deck also features a full service Galley, an on deck head and access to the wheelhouse where guests are always welcome. You won’t feel cramped on this beautiful charter yacht. There is plenty of room to gather as a group but you can always find a quiet space to download photos, read, sketch or catch up on your journal.
On Deck—Discovery’s open bow is a popular place to sit and an ideal stage for wildlife viewing which is a focus on our private yacht charters and mixed group cruises. Covered side decks allow easy access around the whole boat and the fantail lounge (like a sunroom) provides additional space and undercover seating.
Staterooms—Below decks the yacht has 6 nicely appointed guest cabins all with opening portholes, two showers, two shared heads (another head is located on the upper deck) and a furnace heating system keeps the boat warm.
The Toys—Discovery is outfitted with TV/DVD Player, CD/Stereo, XM Satellite Radio and has an extensive video and music collection. We have a large library of books from the latest novel to informational books on Classic Yachts, Alaska, Canada, the San Juan Islands and any wildlife in between. It wouldn’t be a charter boat without some toys and Discovery carries two Boston Whalers (skiffs), four stable kayaks, crab and shrimp pots and saltwater fishing gear.
In 1931 an elegant 87ft motor yacht was designed by Callis and built as the ‘Holiday’ for Mr William Morris Jr. of the William Morris Talent Agency in San Pedro, California.
Morris hosted dockside events in southern California and cruised aboard the ‘Holiday’ from Mexico to Alaska. If her walls could talk they would tell stories of hosting the who’s who of times past. Actors, Actresses, Singers and Stars alike enjoyed the same salon walls that we have the opportunity to enjoy today. From her teak decks and deckhouse to her fine mahogany interior she reflects an era long past when craftsmanship meant pride in artistry.
In 1941 ‘Discovery’ was commandeered for WWII, painted totally grey and converted to U.S. Navy Picket Ship “Q-136” to patrol along the Pacific and Alaskan coast.
After the war she was acquired by the Federal Government and put into service at the Mc Neil Island Federal Penitentiary transporting staff, prisoners and supplies. She was renamed the ‘James V Bennett’ after James Van Benschoten Bennett who served as director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons from 1937 to 1964.
In 1980 with the prison scheduled to close the boat was donated to the Sea Scouts who renamed her ‘Discovery’ and used her as a Sea Scout exploration ship.
In 1998 ‘Discovery’ was again up for sale. Desperately in need of attention she caught the eye of Captain Ben Swanson. With his father and another partner they purchased the boat. This team of talented craftsmen was just what ‘Discovery’ needed and over the next 12 months she underwent a total restoration.
Knowledge gained from 17 years of chartering in Alaska and having owned and maintained three previous wooden boats paid off. With a perfect blend of old world charm and modern conveniences ‘Discovery’ has been restored to her former glory and is today a well appointed charter yacht with 6 comfortable Staterooms, a fully equipped Galley and a Forward, Main and formal Dining Salon.
With pride we are constantly maintaining and upgrading ‘Discovery’ in an attempt to preserve a beautiful classic fantail yacht for future generations in a world where, in the race for monetary rewards, we sometimes forget to appreciate the wonders of nature and the worth of sleek lines and a little (lot) of elbow grease.