Day 1 — Vancouver, Canada
Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting Silversea Expedition — “America’s Western Frontier”.
Once you have settled in and before Silver Explorer leaves Vancouver, you will attend a mandatory safety drill. Later this afternoon you will be introduced to your Expedition Team.
Silver Explorer will stay in Vancouver until dinnertime; therefore you can enjoy the delights of a specially prepared menu in The Restaurant in calm conditions.
Day 2 — Friday Harbour and Lopez Island, San Juan Islands, Washington, USA
Heading south, Silver Explorer will have reached the San Juan Islands during the early morning. Friday Harbour offers two very different options: either transfer to scenic and historic Roche Harbor on the island’s north coast for a whale and wildlife-watching boat excursion looking for orca pods, Dall’s porpoises, harbour porpoises, minke and gray whales, harbour seals, Bald Eagles, and Rhinoceros Auklets; or discover San Juan’s remote wilderness with a naturalist guide –during the excursion an island winery or lavender farm will also be visited.
Lopez Island is quite rural and has a small village north of Fisherman Bay called Lopez Village. One can explore the village and the surrounding wetlands and parks, see the Museum and enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the island.
Day 3 — Anacortes and Cypress Island, Washington, USA
From Lopez Island to Anacortes on Fidalgo Island is just a short sail and Silver Explorer will be arriving quite early in the morning.
Fidalgo Island is the eastern-most island of the San Juan Archipelago and has an easy access via bridge to the mainland. Of Fidalgo’s 15.4 square miles almost half are public park and recreational lands. The 67 miles of trails throughout Anacortes and Fidalgo Island encompass Mount Erie, four fresh-water lakes, one of the last old-growth forested areas on the coast and a variety of wildlife, including Bald Eagles. This is a place to explore the northern woods.
Pending permission from the Department of Natural Resources we will take local boats to land at either Pelican Beach or Eagle Harbor and will offer various hikes on Cypress Island –a misnomer, as the trees seen when the island received its name were actually junipers. Despite an extensive trail system, the island receives a low amount of trail users and much of the area remains fairly pristine. Another option would be to do a Zodiac cruise around Cypress Island and Strawberry Island in Strawberry Bay.
This evening Silver Explorer will sail south -deep into Puget Sound.
Day 4 — Olympia
From Washington State’s capital Olympia we will be heading west 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 an active volcano.
If you prefer to hike a little closer to Olympia, you can choose to do so at the Mima Mounds, a National Natural Landmark some 30 miles south of Olympia. You will hike a 1.5-mile loop trail through low-growing prairie grasses and learn about the Native Americans who inhabited this area. 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 5 — Port Angeles
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.
If you would like to be more active, take a long excursion to hike in the Hoh Rainforest, one of the finest examples of an intact temperate rainforest, exploring the rainforest floor and mossy trees, and to paddle through Class II water in the glacier-fed Hoh River.
Day 6 — 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 rainforest before enjoying a beer tasting at Fort George Brewery with a special presentation by a Lewis and Clark historian.
In the evening Silver Explorer will start our cruise up the Columbia River.
Day 7 — Rainier
Rainier is due west of Mount St. Helens and during our morning we will take the Lewis and Clark Bridge, crossing into Washington to explore Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Monument. This monument certainly is one of the most powerful reminders of nature’s forces, and naturalists 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 experience 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 — At sea
Heading south our lecturers will take advantage of the time spent aboard to offer talks and seminars regarding the Pacific Northwest.
When not attending a lecture, seminar or workshop, take the time on the outer decks and watch for seabirds. Relax, enjoy a cocktail or any other refreshment and see the landscape go by.
Our culinary team will prepare and offer delicious choices using local produce.
Day 9 — Eureka, California, USA
A State Historic Landmark, Eureka, with its meticulously preserved and restored Old Town, will show off its Victorian heritage and will be our starting point for various choices for a morning excursion:
For the birders a birding tour of the Arcata Marsh, Humboldt Bay NWR, and other upland and coastal areas will be of interest; if you like beach hiking, then choose either the Trinidad State Beach for a hike through woods, open bluffs past seasonal wildflowers down to the beach or head for the Samoa Dunes where several stages of dune formation can be seen during your hike.
If you think Eureka deserves to be explored a bit more, than take an Old Town walking tour, including theatres, pubs, antique shops and local coffee houses, as well as a little gem: the Sequoia Park Zoo, the oldest Californian Zoo (and one of the smallest), right next to some magnificent old-growth redwoods.
Since Eureka used to be the centre of the lumber trade and redwood forests are still found all around, we will also offer an excursion to the Redwoods National Park, the Avenue of the Giants (referring to the redwood trees Sequoia sempervivens), and Founder’s Grove with a few very big trees –Founder’s Tree at 324.99 ft.- doing some hiking. To see the redwood trees from a different perspective choose the Trees of Mystery and the Sky Trail Gondola. This features a nearly 1/3 mile journey through the forest tree tops via the unique Sky Trail gondola ride. Nowhere else will you have the chance to get an up-close and downward perspective from the tops of redwood trees that measure 100s of feet in height.
During the afternoon Silver Explorer will continue to sail southward and our onboard Videographer will take you back in time when the voyage documentary is screened in The Theatre.
Day 10 — San Francisco, California, USA
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials:
Make sure you get all your essentials today. We offer packages or individual items, for your convenience, and recommend you place orders at least 30 days before your embarkation date.