The Best Waterfront Dining Experience In Bellingham
- Come relax with us on this un-matched crab dinner cruise experience around Bellingham and Chuckanut Bays!
- Dine on the Northwests finest Dungeness crab, as well as Tuscan herb chicken, delectable side dishes, salads, and dessert
- Deluxe tour vessels with indoor seating and outdoor viewing on two levels
- Full bar with a selection of Northwest beers, wines, and cocktails
San Juan Island Adventure Package
Skip the ferry and combine the convenience of a scenic flight from Bellingham to San Juan Island for a whale watch or sea kayak tour. Bellingham is a short 15 minute flight from San Juan Island, which is the best location in the Pacific Northwest to search for orca whales. We partnered with San Juan Airlines to bring you this incredible adventure.
Per Person PRICE $275* | UNDER 2 YEARS SITTING ON LAP FREE | PLUS PORT FEES AND SALES TAX
- Views of Mt. Baker and North Cascade Mountain Range
- Stunning San Juan Island and Canadian Gulf Island Views
- Seaside Village of Friday or Roche Harbor
- See Orcas, Humpbacks, and Other Marine Wildlife
- No TSA – No Waiting in Line – Free Parking
How Do I Get To Your Office
From Interstate 5, take Exit 250. Turn west onto Old Fairhaven Parkway and follow the signs to Alaska Ferry and Fairhaven Terminal. See the map below . The Port of Bellingham charges $0.50/hour for parking, in the large lot with numbered spaces about 30 yards in front of the terminal building. If you are gone more than a day, the charge is $6/day. There is free parking for up to 2 hours in front of the terminal.
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How Big Is Your Boat Will I Get Seasick
The Victoria Star 2, our whale watching boat, is 100 feet long and licensed for 149 passengers. Since we only operate during the summer months, when the weather is nice and winds arent too strong, the water is usually calm. Also, our cruises go through the protected waters of the San Juan Islands, so there is very little open water that we are going through and the islands provide a natural buffer from the elements. Our other vessels are also stable, comfortable boats ranging from 50-100 feet long. It is very rare for people to get seasick on any of our cruises.
Sailing Day Trips In Bellingham Bay And Beyond
Even if you dont have multiple days to devote to exploring the beautiful San Juan Islands, you might be surprised how much you can experience by boat on your own private day trip around Bellingham Bay. This is a great way to spend a little quality time with family, friends, or co-workers. Cruises are 3 to 6 hours in duration.
Just a few miles yet seemingly worlds away, Chuckanut Bay offers a tantalizing taste of what exemplifies the San Juan Islands. Experience the excitement of arriving under sail from Bellingham Bay. Observe marine wildlife up close in their natural environment. Watch bald eagles as they nest in the trees on Chuckanut Island and seals basking on the rocks. You may even spot deer as they wander the shoreline!
Blew Dreams can host up to six guests on your day trip. Youre welcome to bring your choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. Hors doeuvres, snacks, or a sack lunch are always a hit with your party. Well provide plates, glasses, and flatware.
Day trips are a great way to test the waters to see if youre up for a longer sailing adventure in the future!
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Whale Watching In San Juans
Enjoy a fully narrated whale watching tour in the scenic San Juan Islands from San Juan Cruises! Its a great opportunity to see Orca whales, bald eagles, seals, porpoises, sea lions, and more, as the captain tells you about the history, wildlife and geology of the area. Onboard, there is a full bar with Northwest wines, beers, and cocktails. The trip also has a two-hour shore visit in Friday Harbor enough time to visit local attractions and the Friday Harbor Whale Museum. Tours start in May and continue through September, subject to availability. Tours hours are from 9:30am-5:30pm.
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Day Trips & Evening Sails
If your schedule only allows for a day or an evening in the San Juans, it’s easy to get out on the water from Bellingham . Here are some options to explore.
San Juan Cruises offers a full-day Friday Harbor Sightseeing Cruise. The voyage is popular for its onboard bar, interpretive narration, and three-hour shore excursion in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island before returning to Bellingham. Voyagers depart from Bellingham at 10 a.m. and return at 5 p.m.
A Whale Watching Lunch Cruise is also available through San Juan Cruises on Saturdays and Sundays in May and daily from May through September. The trip departs at 11 a.m. and returns at 5 p.m. with a complimentary lasagna lunch offered onboard. The trip is a great option for a weekend visit to Bellingham. You’re also guaranteed to see whales or your next cruise is half off!
San Juan Cruises also offers a full-day Bird Watching Cruise in June and July. Naturalists help guests locate bald eagles, great blue herons, cormorants, Caspian terns, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, and more.
Another option is spending a full day on the Sucia Island Picnic Cruise. Sucia Island is a Washington State Park that is only accessible by private yacht or charter vessels. The gorgeous 564-acre island includes a trail system and 77,700 feet of shoreline. Departing Saturdays and Sundays in July and August, this cruise includes a picnic lunch and nature walk on the island.
See below for more information on the Zodiac’s multi-day experience.
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Two Day Overnight Sailing Adventures
Not enough time for an extended sailing adventure? Want to try a shorter cruise to see if its your cup of tea? A 2 day overnight cruise might be perfect for you! Well spend a delightful day under sail, arriving at your destination in time to enjoy a shore excursion before a gourmet dinner is served aboard. Youll enjoy a pleasant evening in a snug cove and a restful night in your luxurious cabin. After breakfast, you may explore the island a bit more before we set sail for Bellingham. Possible destinations include Sucia Island, Cypress Island, or San Juan Island. Diminuendo can comfortably accommodate parties of 2 to 6 guests.
Blew Dreams is also available for overnight charters. She is quite comfortable for parties of 2 and has accommodations for up to 4 guests.
What Is There To Do In Bellingham
There are PLENTY of things to do in Bellingham! The city is located on Bellingham Bay, so there are numerous water-related activities, as well as a great variety of waterside dining options. Mount Baker, Mt. Shuksan, and the Cascade Mountains are also just a short drive away on the Mt. Baker Highway. Downtown Bellingham is home of the Whatcom Museum, antique shops on Holly Street, Mindport Exhibits, the SPARK Museum Of Electrical Invention and much more. Some of the best microbreweries in the Northwest are found in Bellingham, including Boundary Bay, Kulshan, Wander, Stones Throw, and Chuckanut breweries. The Bellingham Cruise Terminal, where our boats and office are located, is just down the hill from the Historic Fairhaven District, where classic brick buildings house a variety of great shops and restaurants. The best resource for Bellingham/Fairhaven information is the Bellingham / Whatcom County Tourism website.
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Take A National Geographic San Juan Island Cruise
The newest ship to offer San Juan cruises, via the 8-day Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands trip, is the 100-guest National Geographic Venture. This purpose-built expedition vessel launched in 2018, in California, and now embarks on regularly scheduled departures. Get on this ship for the excellent expedition staff, high-tech exploration and educational equipment.
National Geographic Venture is state-of-the-art, a vessel made for exploring coastal waters, shallow coves and fast-moving channels thanks to her shallow draft that draws only nine feet of water. This allows her to sail into places where much larger ships cannot go, and further setting her apart from other San Juan Island cruise ships is a guide complement that includes a historian, a geologist/naturalist, a wellness specialist and a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor.
Her San Juan Island cruises depart from either Vancouver, BC or Seattle. Two days are spent cruising Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands by expedition landing craft, kayak, paddleboard and hike, with a special stop at picturesque Friday Harbor to visit the Whale Museum and local shops. Were thrilled that Vancouver is an embarkation/disembarkation point on this trip, a bonus as travelers can explore this world-class Canadian city before or after exploring the San Juan Islands by boat.
Smith Island Puffin Search
Smith Island is one of few areas left that tufted puffins are regularly seen in the San Juan Islands. Historically, these birds had many nesting colonies throughout the islands, but they have become rare and are listed as a species of concern due to population declines.
Bring your binoculars, a camera, sun screen, and jacket/windbreaker. Our vessels have plenty of indoor seating, as well as ample outdoor viewing areas on two levels of the boat.
This tour departs from the Channel Lodge Dock in La Conner, WA. Reservations can be made by booking online, or calling 1-800-443-4552.
View birds seen on past cruises on our blog.
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Sample Itinerary For A Weekend Getaway Cruise
Day 1- Bellingham to Sucia Island:
Board the David B in Bellingham on Friday morning. Passengers are given time to stow their belongings before gathering with the crew for an orientation of the boat and safety meeting. Approximately 10am the boat will leave the harbor and cruise through Bellingham Bay and Rosario Strait to Sucia Island State Park. Once anchored at Sucia the crew can take people ashore for a walk along some of the trails that run the length of Sucia. Others might elect to stay aboard and enjoy some appetizers.
Day 2 Sucia Island to Roche Harbor and Garrison Bay
The first full day starts with coffee and muffins at 7:00 am. After some breakfast, everyone is encouraged to go for a walk around Sucia. Native plants, a sunken forest and fossils are some of the highlights of Sucia Island. After the walkers have returned, the boat gets underway from Sucia to Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. Roche Harbor has a number of activities to enjoy such as the Westcott Bay Sculpture Garden and Nature Preserve. Once everyone is back on board we head over to Garrison Bay and English Camp. As soon as the boat has anchored anyone wishing to kayak or hike will have plenty of time to do so before dinner.
Day 3 Garrison Bay to Bellingham
Cruise The San Juans On A Historic Yacht
The 6-day Voyage Through the San Juan Islands aboard 12-guest Catalyst offers cruises round-trip from Bellingham, Washingtona short drive, flight or shuttle bus ride from Seattle. Experience the emerald jewels of the San Juan Archipelago on this close-to-home voyage, with daily opportunities to experience nature in an active way while also tasting local foods, beer, wine and spirits. Start each morning with a walk or kayak paddle and spend each afternoon visiting with the vintners, brewers and distillers that the Pacific Northwest is known for.
The Catalyst is an intimate small ship offering historic charm and hearty, experienced crew members with character. The crew will surely be among the highlights of your Puget Sound and San Juan Islands cruise. Her original 1932 Washington Diesel engine is the only one like it in the world, so history and boat aficionados will love sailing the San Juans on this boat. Plus theres the ships gourmet cuisine paired with the beers, wines and spirits discovered daily on her Puget Sound cruises.
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Discover The San Juan Islands On A Small Ship Cruise Out Of Bellingham
Bellingham is the perfect place to board a small-ship cruise through the evergreen San Juan Islands.
Within view of downtown Bellingham, the San Juan archipelago encompasses 172 islands and rocks in the Salish Sea, including 75 sites officially designated the San Juan Islands National Monument.
Three local cruise companies out of Bellingham offer a variety of one-day and overnight options for sailing, whale watching, and exploring the San Juan Islands from May through October:
Bc Ferry: Washington Bellingham Victoria
Victoria San Juan Cruises sails May through October between Bellingham, the San Juan Islands of Washington State, and Victoria, British Columbia.
Bellingham, located on the northern edge of Puget Sound, is situated between two of North Americas most international cities, Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia.
The lovely town of Bellingham is located 80 miles north of Seattle. Driving time is generally around 1 1/2 hours. Plan to arrive at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal between 8:00 and 8:30 am, at least 1/2 hour prior to departure. Take exit 250 off of Interstate 5 and follow the signs to the Fairhaven Terminal and Alaska Ferries. Secure parking is available at the terminal.
Walk-on tickets may also be purchased 1/2 hour prior to departure from the captain at the Belleville Terminal in downtown Victoria. You may travel from Victoria to Bellingham one-way, or you may spend the night or several nights in Bellingham to take advantage of their round-trip cruise.
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Cruise From Seattle To San Juan Islands On A Luxury Yacht
The 8-day San Juan Islands & Olympic Wilderness aboard the intimate, luxury 22-guest Safari Quest offers the most time and flexibility exploring the San Juan Islands. Youll spend five or more days in this famed archipelago, stopping at Lopez Island, San Juan Island, Orcas Island and Sucia Island, among others. Sail round-trip from Seattle, exploring this citys waterfront before sailing through the San Juans, dropping anchor for kayaking and hiking. A highlight of this itinerary is Sucia Islands 564-acre Marine State Park, considered the crown jewel of Washingtons marine park system. This horseshoe-shaped island is accessible only by watercraft and boasts a population of just four residents!
This trip is also the top choice for travelers seeking San Juan Island cruises from Seattle since it embarks and disembarks in Seattle. This makes pre- and post-cruise arrangements easy. A cruise from Seattle to the San Juan Islands like this saves you from driving two hours from the city or figuring out how to link complicated ferry schedules. Not to mention your accommodations and guided activities are all from the ship for a truly seamless, efficient and hassle free way to travel!
Fly On Over For An Adventure
Fly with San Juan Airlines — who operates on the philosophy of offering safe, simple, and exceptional service — has a long history of serving the San Juan Islands and Pacific Northwest. Arrive in either Roche Harbor or Friday Harbor, San Juan Island just 15 minutes after take off. Enjoy the many shops and restaurants before joining a whale watch tour by vessel or guided sea kayak tour. Then, fly home in the afternoon.
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Discover The Remote Corners Of Pacific Northwest Waters Aboard The Schooner Zodiac
The Schooner Zodiac is a classic, 160-foot U.S. Coast Guard certified vessel, operated by a licensed captain and experienced team of volunteer crewmembers. She departs her Bellingham homeport for a variety of public and private charters, as well as day and evening sails from spring through fall, exploring the pristine anchorages of the San Juan Islands and Canadian Gulf Islands. The Zodiac is an ideal setting for company events, team-building retreats, wedding receptions and gatherings of family and friends. This beautiful, historic vessel is available for private charter or simply join one of the many public cruises.
Wednesday Evening Beer Tastings Aboard The Victoria Star 2
- Stay cool this summer with our popular series of beer tasting cruises on Wednesday evenings aboard the Victoria Star 2.
- Each week Boundary Bay Brewery will be joined by other local breweries to feature their delicious ales and lagers.
- Its just $44/adult for this cruise around Bellingham Bay & Chuckanut Bay, which includes beer tastings and snacks.
- These cruises sell out quickly come enjoy beer and fresh air! You can reserve online, or by calling 1-800-443-4552 or 738-8099.
- Depart from the Alaska Ferry Terminal in Fairhaven. The boat leaves at 6:30 pm contactless check-in at the top of the dock!
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San Juan Islands Cruise With Lasagna / Caesar Salad Lunch
- Fully narrated whale watching tour through the scenic San Juan Islands
- Experienced wildlife guides on board each cruise
- Includes a complimentary lunch on board, with freshly baked lasagna, caesar salad, fresh bread, fruit, and dessert
- Deluxe 100 tour vessel with indoor and outdoor seating on two levels
- On-board snack bar
- Full bar with a selection of Northwest beers, wines, and cocktails
- Committed to responsible whale watching since 1987
Day Cruise Through The San Juan Islands
There is just something about being on a sailboat in the San Juans that works. Maybe its the wind in the sails, the salty sea air, or the porpoise following in our wake. Part of the allure of the San Juan islands is about being in touch with the rhythm of the tides. It is about whales and eagles, and emerald islands that await your discovery.
So much of the world passes before us without our being able to see, touch, or feel it. Our San Juan island trips provide a way to experience what is so often missed. Sheltered from the Pacific Ocean and nestled dry and warm in a rain shadow formed by the Olympic mountains, the San Juan islands receive less than half of Seattles rainfall.
From quaint seaside villages to remote cedar lined coves, the verdant islands beckon sailors to explore. Discover a deserted lighthouse on an early morning hike, the joy of setting sail in the warm afternoon sun, or the freedom of paddling a kayak over eel grass shallows to reveal a myriad of colorful sea stars. Our sailing adventures will leave you refreshed and renewed.
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