Day 1 — San Diego, California, USA
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. Later this afternoon you will be introduced to important members of the crew and to your Expedition Team. In the evening enjoy the delights of a specially prepared menu in The Restaurant.
Day 2 — Santa Cruz, California, USA
Our first stop will be in the Channel Islands National Park on Santa Cruz -the largest of the islands. Using a local catamaran we will head for Prisoners Harbor and the Central Valley, which despite its name is located on the northern shore. The island used to have a ranch, but is now partly owned and managed 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. Walk up the Navy Road for a short distance to get a nice view from above. The Pelican Bay Trail will head in a northwesterly direction. During the moderate to strenuous 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 — Monterey, California, USA
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 had 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 — San Francisco, California, USA
Today a full day tour of San Francisco and the Bay Area will take you to Muir Woods and the rolling hills of the Marin County Headlands. On the return to the city of San Francisco you will cross the Golden Gate on the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. The highlights 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 neighbourhoods, 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 the 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 — At sea
During our day at sea, let our lecturers 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. Enjoy a cigar in the Connoisseurs Corner or scones in the Panorama Lounge.
Day 6 — Astoria, Oregon, USA
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, Oregon, USA
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
Silver Explorer will sail downstream to reach the Pacific and head north.
Have a leisurely breakfast, attend a lecture, seminar or workshop, and take the time on the outer decks to look for seabirds, dolphins and whales. Relax in one of the lounges, enjoy a cocktail with fellow travellers or read a book in the well-stocked library.
Our culinary team will prepare and offer delicious choices using local produce.
Day 9 — Port Angeles, Washington, USA
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 — Olympia, Washington, USA
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 11 — Anacortes and Friday Harbour, San Juan Island, Washington, USA
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 most other 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. 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 at your own or you can choose between a visit Deception State Park for nature walks, continue on to Whidbey Island and Fort Casey State Park, a coast artillery post featuring two 10-inch and two 3-inch 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 Harbour. Wander the docks in Friday Harbor during an afternoon of self-exploration and relaxation. Watch at the boats, enjoy a walk down the waterfront, and look for the sculpture of Popeye, a female harbor seal that has been a frequent visitor to Friday Harbor.
Day 12 — Vancouver, Canada
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.