The Pacific Northwest covers some magnificent coastline and forms a perfectly protected playground for your yacht charter vacation.
The sheltered, waterways offer endless miles of calm, protected cruising, which makes this charter area great for beginners. Hundreds of inlets and coves offer stunning anchorages amongst majestic evergreen beauty. The facilities throughout the area are extensive.
From Vancouver Island to Alaska’s capital Juneau, the coastline ventures alongside a pristine wilderness of secret coves, glacial valleys, majestic mountains and sheltered fjords. Abound with phenomenal sea life, birds and mammals, the Pacific Northwest is extremely popular with outdoor enthusiasts.
Cruising the Pacific Northwest offers boaters the opportunity to leisurely cruise the protected waters of the Canada’s Inside Passage while enjoying the spectacular vistas of soaring mountains, miles of wilderness, iceberg summits, sandy beaches and fishing streams teeming with trout and salmon.
Start in Alaska’s state capital of Juneau. A variety of sightseeing and shopping adventures are available.
Leave Juneau and steam for Saginaw Channel, located at the top of Admiralty Island on the eastern shore of the Mansfield Peninsula, which offers excellent whale watching. Continue around Point Retreat for Funter Bay, located at the base of Icy Straits on the western side of Mansfield Peninsula. Steam across the Icy Straits to Chatham Strait to Tenakee Inlet. Just inside the inlet you will find Tenakee Springs, the town has a delightful coffee shop and gift shop and, more unusually, a community bathhouse with alternating hours for ladies and gentlemen.
Leave Tenakee Springs and steam through the Peril Straits for Sitka, a town rich in Russian history and native culture. Visit the Sitka National Historic Park for its totem pole collection and exhibits on the Tlingit heritage. Spend the day near Sitka, where you will find great clamming nearby and possibly halibut, ling cod or salmon fishing around the entrance of Salisbury Sound.
Leave Sitka and steam through Salisbury Sound, into the Peril Strait and out into Chatham Strait for Baranof. Well worth a visit are the Baranof Springs, where you can enjoy a soak in the natural hot pool adjacent to a roaring waterfall. In the afternoon, leave Baranof and head down Chatham Straits to Red Bluff. Red Bluff is a spellbinding anchorage with a huge waterfall cascading nearby.
Leave Red Bluff and enter Frederick Sound for more fabulous whale watching. Cruise to Tracy Arm Glacier, where you will take an incredible trip through a granite-walled fjord to observe Sawyer Glacier. You will see eagles, seals and perhaps even brown bears, mountain goats and moose.
Leave for St. Petersburg, an exceptionally prosperous Norwegian fishing community rich in Nordic tradition. Cruise from St. Petersburg to La Conte Glacier. Anchor in a cove slightly north of the entrance and go in to explore this pristine fjord and retreating glacier by tender.
The peak cruising season for the Pacific Northwest is from June through to September. The yacht charter shoulder seasons of May and early October are also well worth considering, as they are less crowded and the weather is usually still fairly settled.