2021 PUGET SOUND & SAN JUANS
American Cruise Lines
We begin our voyage from the world-class city of Seattle, harbor hopping through the Puget Sound and cruising the San Juan Islands. Along the way, visit charming seaside towns, take in some of the most beautiful natural scenery, and learn about the area’s rich history and culture, before returning to the city where our journey began.
Travel to where the Cascade and Olympic Mountains meet the sea, forming the stunning Puget Sound and San Juan Islands archipelago. Cruise the clear blue waters to picturesque historic seaside towns such as Anacortes where you can partake in a traditional smoked salmon tasting.
As you journey through the San Juan Islands, witness abundant wildlife including whales, eagles, and seals. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the region on our customized shore excursion to Olympic National Park where you will witness breathtaking vistas.
Learn about the cultural influences of both the Norwegians and the Suquamish tribe from the American Cruise Lines onboard historians and local expert guides. On your private balcony, you can sip fine wines from local vineyards, while keeping an eye out for “Spirit," an Orca whale American Cruise Lines adopted during our first season on the Puget Sound.
Day 1 - Pre-Cruise Package Available
In order to be there for the cruise tomorrow, take the usual very early departure flight north. Since nothing is ACL official today, it won't be a problem getting there in late afternoon.
Our custom ($$$$) Seattle Pre-Cruise Package provides you with a seamless way to experience the city and easily board the ship. Arrive the day before your cruise and American Cruise Lines will handle the rest. The package includes a premium 4-star hotel stay in downtown Seattle, a complete city tour on the morning of your cruise, and transportation to the ship.
Day 2/1 - Seattle, WA
Abounding with natural and man-made wonders, Seattle is Washington’s largest city. Located on the Puget Sound, this vibrant city is surrounded by water, mountains, and evergreen forests.
Arrive a day early (yesterday) to explore this incredible destination. Stop at the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market, before exploring the iconic Space Needle, a 1962 World’s Fair legacy. Departing from the famous Fisherman’s Terminal, begin your cruise from this lively city to the majestic waters of Puget Sound.
Pre-Cruise Tour of Seattle – complimentary excursion
The Pre-Cruise Tour of Seattle brings you to all the city’s highlights, including downtown and the famous Pike Place Market. For convenience, the tour meets in the hotel lobby after breakfast and concludes at the ship for the perfect start to your cruise. All luggage will be brought directly from the hotel and placed in your stateroom aboard the ship.
Day 3/2 - Anacortes, WA
Anacortes is a picturesque waterfront town located on Fidalgo Island in Northwest Washington. This vibrant coastal community is home to one of the world’s largest whale watching fleets, as well as Deception Pass, one of the most photographed places in the Northwest.
More than 50 miles of trails run through Anacortes and Fidalgo Island, where you can enjoy views of Mount Erie, four fresh-water lakes, old growth forest, and a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles. Explore the downtown, just a few steps from our dock, and peruse its sophisticated boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops.
$$ Deception Pass Jet Boat Tour
Get an unobstructed view of Deception Pass aboard the Island Whaler, an aluminum catamaran, while exploring the sights and sounds of this historic region. Hear the tales of characters who once navigated these waters and visit local attractions including the Old Prison Rock Quarry and Deception Island.
Anacortes Experience - Complimentary Excursion
Located between Seattle and Vancouver, on beautiful Fidalgo Island, Anacortes is known as the gateway to San Juan. It is a thriving seaside town that reflects its fascinating boom and bust history as well as the area's entrepreneurial spirit. Your local guide will provide an orientation of the town while you admire the colorful murals depicting Anacortes' history.
Onboard Entertainment - An-O-Chords
Be welcomed onboard by wonderful harmonies in the acapella style of a Barbershop Quartet. These snappy-dressed gentlemen all originate from the Anacortes, WA area and have been singing for over 50 years!
Day 4/3 - Cruising the San Juan Islands
The only day that is cruising only. Your cruise is as much about the journey as it is about each destination. Today is a day to revel in the scenery, as we make our way through the San Juan Islands. Witness the whales, eagles, and seals that adorn the backdrop of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. As we cruise, listen to our onboard expert describe the native wildlife or simply sit back and enjoy the sun on the top deck.
Day 5/4 - Friday Harbor, WA
Friday Harbor is a charming town with a rich history and an abundance of character. Small enough to walk from one end to the other, this secluded coastal fishing village is adorned with historic storefronts, picturesque turn-of-the-century houses, and Coast Salish native carvings.
Explore Friday Harbor’s diverse topography, from pebbly beaches to magnificent mountains and lush valleys. Stroll through the historic district and witness the local population of whales from the Port of Friday Harbor. At the Whale Museum, learn about Spirit, the orca whale American Cruise Lines adopted during our first season on the Puget Sound.
? Signature Whale Watching Tour
Depart Friday Harbor for an exciting whale watching cruise. San Juan Island is considered the one of best places to view orca whales. Salmon, which are their prime source of food, travel up and down the west coast of San Juan Island and outlying areas, resulting in spectacular viewing of whales in their natural habitat. *This is a Signature Shore Tour.
Onboard Entertainment - Fidalgo Swing
This popular band transports guests to an era when Swing was king. Featuring horn, guitar, double bass, percussion and the stylistic vocals of Beth Baker, this exceptional group of musicians performs the best of big band and Latin Jazz music.
$$ The Whale Museum
Join a docent at the Whale Museum for a guided tour. In the Gallery of Whales, learn about the natural history of marine mammals, with a special focus on the orcas of J, K and L pods living in the waters of the San Juan Islands. Discover a mesmerizing collection of exhibits, artwork, models, and artifacts, including actual whale skeletons and a family tree of the resident orcas. You can also listen to the "songs” of various species of whales in the Whale Phone Booth and watch an informative video on Pacific Northwest orcas.
San Juan Island Adventure
Tour the beautiful and unique San Juan Island ... but I've been here three times before.
Day 6/5 -
Victoria, BC / Port Angeles, WA
The only Canadian town on our cruise, Victoria is a wonderful place to spend a day on a guided tour through the magnificent Butchart Gardens and lively waterfront. Start the tour from our berth in Port Angeles, continuing to Hurricane Ridge with vast views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the mountainous wilderness of Olympic National Forest.
Onboard Entertainment - Port Angeles Symphony
The well-known Orchestra showcases a featured performer while in port. The featured artist comes from the best local talent in the area ranging from sultry Jazz singers, award-winning high school band members, or a piano soloist.
Butchart Gardens & Victoria City Signature Tour
No thanks - been here 2 or 3 times before.
$$ Olympic National Park & Hurricane Ridge
The natural beauty of the Olympic National Park will be on full display as a local park ranger takes you on a tour of the grounds. Traveling in small groups, learn about the park's unique variety of flora and fauna and visit Hurricane Ridge, one of its most popular destinations. On the ridge, where natural wildflowers cover mountain meadows, witness the best vista views of the park.
Lake Crescent Lodge at Olympic National Park
The above option is better.
Heritage Port Angeles Experience
On this walking tour, discover the unique, downtown of Port Angeles. It would be good but the Olympic NP should be better.
Day 7/6 - Port Townsend, WA
Port Townsend is a charming town with a fascinating past. Beautifully restored Victorian architecture is now home to small museums, galleries, and shops. In the evening, members of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra will be aboard for a night of magnificent classical music. Maybe a chance to say hello to Eric Twelker.
$$ Fort Worden State Park Tour
Your guide will greet you on board to take you to the National Historic Landmark site of Fort Worden State Park. Here you will discover the history of the “Triangle of Fire,” a trio of forts built to protect Puget Sound at the turn of the last century. Fort Worden occupies the northwestern side of the triangle and sits atop a scenic bluff on the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Highlights include Point Wilson Lighthouse, built to help friendly warships navigate home, and the Parade Grounds, where military drills and training were once held. Before returning to the ship, your guide will take you to the ramparts atop the fort where massive gun emplacements look out onto fantastic views of the Puget Sound.
?? Historic Port Townsend Exploration
Our local guide dressed in Victorian-era attire will greet you at the ship for a one-of-a-kind welcome to Port Townsend. This lively guide will take you through the historic downtown area telling tales about the many colorful characters that helped build the city. Learn about the city's interesting architecture, the waterfront district’s unique past, and how this tiny town came to be called the “New York of the West.”
Day 8/7 - Poulsbo, WA
Poulsbo is a great place to visit for its history, scenery, and lively downtown. Originally a logging camp settled by Norwegians who likened the landscape to the fjords of their homeland, Poulsbo retains a Scandinavian influence. A distinct Native American influence is present in nearby Suquamish, located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, where a museum is dedicated to the history and culture of this native tribe.
$$ Suquamish Museum
The night before arriving in Poulsbo, WA, an onboard historian will share with you the history of local Suquamish tribe. The following day you will visit the new Suquamish Museum, which brings together a variety of artifacts and photographs from Suquamish people, many of which have never been exhibited before. A highlight of the museum is a uniquely designed cedar timeline depicting the tribe’s history from the beginning of the last Ice Age to current times.
Historic Poulsbo Tour
As you tender into the small town of Poulsbo, a friendly guide from the Poulsbo Historical Society will be there to greet you at the dock. Once a popular destination for Norwegian and Finnish immigrants, the town’s Scandinavian influence is evident the minute you step ashore. Your guide will take you through the historic downtown area, and afterward you will have the opportunity to sample authentic Norwegian pastries.
Onboard Entertainment - The Duwamish Dixieland Band
With an impressive song catalog and a truly talented group of musicians, the Duwamish Dixieland Band provides an incredibly fun night of entertainment. Join in by playing instruments provided by the band and sing along to classic Dixieland songs.
Day 9/8 - Seattle, WA
Welcome back to Seattle. Once we arrive, make the most of you time in Seattle with a tour, or allow American Cruise Lines to assist with transportation arrangements home. Since the usual flight to Houston isn’t until midnight, there should be time for this excursion.
$$ Museum of Flight
Enjoy a guided tour of the Museum of Flight, led by a docent who will lead the group through the evolution of aviation, describing in detail the onsite world-class aircraft collection. View the Aerocar III, the famous Blackbird SR-71, and the only remaining Boeing 80A around to this day. The museum also has a large collection of WWI and WW2 planes, as well as a Concorde and a former Air Force One used by Presidents.
Late evening ~11PM, take the overnight red-eye flight home.
Day 10 - Arrive Home
The flight usually arrives about 5:30-6AM. Home by 7:30, maybe.