Do you feel that rising sense of optimism and restlessness, the number “2020” echoing in your mind? My friend, you are experiencing adventure-itch, a common side effect when facing a new year full of possibilities. A tried and true cure for this condition is to count those vacation dollars, do some research, and put an exciting trip on the calendar. Behold, the 2019 edition of our annual Northwest Yachting Chartering Guide, our attempt to enable the part of your soul that hungers for the horizon.
While some of us are blessed with a seaworthy boat, weeks if not months of free time, ace mariner skills, and more key attributes that allow you to tear off to Alaska and back, most of us will lean
on chartering a boat to sate our need at one time or another.
The benefits of chartering are widely written about, and they include flexibility of locations, more time experiencing a place and less time worrying about your own boat problems, and using the charter as an educational experience to further equip you to do it all yourself someday.
We’ve completely revamped our guide this year with a new look, expanded charter company listings, and even include small and notable cruise ship company information. From the lovable mom and pop operations sailing their fleet of one around the San Juan Islands to no-expenses spared luxury cruises going to Alaska, there’s something here for everyone. Note that these are all multi-day, cruising-style charters. While fishing trips, whale watching excursions, and the like are all technically charters, the companies listed here are tailored to the extended Pacific Northwest adventure.
Even if a charter just isn’t in the cards this year, what is life without its daydreams and aspirations? Enjoy!
GO YOUR OWN WAY 2019:
There are a handful of global, hyper luxury yacht charter companies that have physical offices in the Pacific Northwest. If you really want to go all out, these no expenses spared vacations to locations near and far are as posh as it gets.
Worth Avenue Yachts
Brokerage giant Worth Avenue Yachts opened a Seattle, Washington, office this year, and the company offers luxury megayacht charters all over the world. Their professional charter brokers help cater a dream yacht vacation around your custom itinerary in locations from Alaska to Tahiti, Sardinia to the Galapagos, and more. There’s nothing budget about these experiences that include three-course meals aboard some of the most jaw-dropping megayachts on the planet. You can learn more by contacting Worth Avenue Yachts and checking out their website.
Phone: (206) 209-1920 [Seattle Office]
Email: Online form
Big Blue Yacht Charters
Vancouver-based, luxury crewed yacht charters are offered. Big Blue Yacht Charters operates throughout the West Coast in addition to other popular destinations around the world, including—but not limited to—the South Pacific and the Mediterranean. Discuss with the Big Blue staff, who will design your unique trip. Each charter is priced by the week, for upwards of 12 guests and varies per boat, location, and season.
Phone: (778) 928-4941
Oriana Yacht Charters/Sager Charters
Charters on the 96’ Burger superyacht Oriana travel through British Columbia’s Inside Passage and include Desolation Sound, Broughton Archipelago, and the beautiful Gulf Islands. She features four guest staterooms and accommodates up to five crew members with Wi-Fi, Sonos system throughout, and five satellite TVs. Their onboard world-class chef will cater to your food preferences. Paddleboards, snorkeling equipment, water skiing, wakeboarding, fishing gear, a 15’ inflatable Zodiac tender, and two jet skis and two electric bikes are all available for use. After adventuring, return to your luxury en suite stateroom complete with a vanity and king-sized bed. Oriana has completed a major refit of its systems and now offers hydronic air conditioning, plus so much more. Contact Oriana Yacht Charters for details.
Phone: (604) 720-8881
Spirit Yacht Charters
A luxury crewed charter out of Vancouver, the Spirit of 2010 is a 120’ megayacht that can be chartered for several hours, days, or weeks. Up to 100 passengers for a daytime sail with sleeping arrangements for 10 to 12. Charters are available for Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Alaska, the San Juans, Haida Gwaii, and others. The six-person crew includes a private chef and steward. Amenities include wireless internet, 12 LED TV’s, a 900-gallon hot tub, and jet skis. The weekly charter rate is $100,000, although, trips as short as four hours are possible. Price includes all crew, but food, fuel, and tax are additional.
Phone: (877) 832-3518 / (604) 562-4164
In contrast to the larger megayacht offerings on the previous page, the following charter companies are the more quintessential Cascadian charter experiences. The options are varied from sail to motor and barebones to fully crewed.
Anacortes Yacht Charters
Begin your bareboat or crewed yacht charter in Anacortes, Washington, the gateway to the San Juan Islands. Anacortes Yacht Charters offers approximately 75 power and sail boats ranging from 27’ – 82’ in our private management fleet. Additional services include night-before sleep aboard, meal provisioning, outboard rentals, kayak & paddleboard rentals, and professional skippers, chefs, and deckhands for hire. For sailors we offer liveaboard ASA classes for 101-103-104 certifications, accepted worldwide. For power boaters/cruisers, we offer Introduction to Powerboating, both single and twin, plus Advanced Powerboating courses. Classes can be either private or in a group. Boats are available for charter year-round in the protected waters of the Salish Sea.
Phone: (800) 233-3004 / (360) 293-4555 | Home Base: Anacortes, WA
A chartering service based in Vancouver, B.C., on Granville Island, offering crewed and bareboat charters. Fleet includes the 40’ Marquis Mimi, which seats 10 passengers, and the recently refurbished Anglers Dream II, a 42’ convertible, fully stocked with fishing gear and bait, and a 25-horsepower Yamaha thruster for trolling salmon. Take the Mar Y Arena out with a group of four for a day on the water, or charter the 65’ Desert Mariner, which comfortably sleeps eight, for a week. Aquatic Venture also provides fishing and whale-watching charters.
Phone: (778) 882-3474 / (866) 742-3474 | Home Base: Vancouver, B.C.
Cedar Wave Charters
Cedar Wave provides custom private picnic tours and day cruises on beautifully restored classic wooden yachts. The company books year-round trips, starting at $375 for groups up to six. Gourmet meal options include entrées like clam bakes, fish tacos, and sunrise fruit puddings. Private tour guides and other special services including weddings, engagements, and memorials are offered. USCG licensed captains provided. Maritime heritage education and historic vessel preservation consulting are available. Cedar arranges pick-ups individually with clients.
Phone: (206) 355-0133 | Home Base: Seattle, WA
Bareboat and skippered sailboats and powerboats are available ranging in size from 30’ to 62’ from a fleet of over 40 vessels. Flotillas, offshore training, and circumnavigation of Vancouver Island are options. Professional instruction is offered as a special service. There are three operation bases to choose from: Vancouver and Sidney for Gulf Islands cruises, and Powell River for Desolation Sound trips. Spring season (April to June), peak season (July to August), late summer season (September), and off season (October to March) rates vary. Damage deposits are $1,000 to $10,000. Reservation deposits are 30 percent of the balance, due 60–90 days prior to departure.
Phone: (604) 683-6837 / (888) 999-6419 | Home Base: Vancouver, B.C.
Crown Yacht Charters
Bareboat and crewed charters offered with a fleet of 32’ to 100’ powerboats. Dinghy with outboard, BBQ, linens, and towels for up to four guests, pre-charter briefing on boat systems and operation, assistance with itinerary planning, and cleaning after completion of charter is included. Numerous courses and instructional classes are available to hone boat maneuvering and navigational skills. Car parking is available near the marina. Prime season (June 21 to September 8), midseason (May 17 to June 20/September 9 to 29), and low season (January 1 to May 16/September 30 to December 31) have different rates. Modest additional charges are added for liability insurance and vessel hull insurance, with reductions in deductible amounts. Early booking and payment receive a 5 percent discount, as do repeat customers. Ten or more nights are 5 percent off.
Phone: (360) 293-9533/(800) 426-2313 | Home Base: Anacortes, WA
M/V Discovery Charters
M/V Discovery, a crewed charter boat built in 1931, is based in Seattle September through April and in Alaska during the summer months. Available for charters in Seattle, the San Juans, Alaska’s Inside Passage, and the Canadian Inside Passage. Take a trip to Alaska to watch whales and brown bears, or cruise in the San Juans and design your own itinerary. The yacht is a blend of classic design and modern comforts. Accommodations include six guest cabins and four large common areas; on board are two Boston Whaler skiffs, four kayaks, and plenty of fishing and crabbing gear. Available in the Seattle area from September 15 to May 1. Rates are $600 an hour (3-hour minimum) or $4,000 a day for six guests on extended cruises. A 50 percent deposit is required at the time of booking with the balance due 14 days prior to your cruise date for day cruises, and a 25 percent deposit is required at the time of booking with the balance due 30 days prior to departure for extended cruises.
Phone: (206) 406-7288 | Home Base: Seattle, WA
Desolation Sound Yacht Charters
Cruise the incredible Desolation Sound. Bareboat or skippered charters on powerboats from 25’to 54’ and sailboats from 36’ to 49’ offered. All charters are fully serviced except for food (provisioning available). Courses in sail and power yacht handling with international certifications are available. Prime season (June 20 to September 11) rates for power are $3,000 to $6,200. Sail is $3,900 to $6,000. Off-season power boat rates are $2,400 to $5,900, sailboats are $3,300 to $5,400. The damage deposit is $2,000 to $5,000, while insurance is $60 to $80 per day. The reservation deposit is 25 percent plus applicable taxes, balance due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellation policy is 90 days prior to departure with a $300 service fee. If within 60-90 days, the cost of cancellation is 25 percent of the total charter fee. Rate in CAD plus applicable taxes.
Phone: (250) 339-7222 / (877) 647-3815 | Home Base: Comox, B.C.
Operating out of Deep Cove Marina (North Saanich, B.C.), we offer monohull and catamaran sailboats and power yachts from 30’ to 50’, all in pristine condition. Ownership options are available in the fleet. A Leopard catamaran as well as Beneteau and Jeanneau monohulls are some of the makes available. Offering bareboat to competent sailors or skippered yachts that include ASA-trained professionals. Additional charter options available from Comox, B.C.
Web: islandcruising.com and coastlinemarine.ca
Phone: (250) 656-7070 | Home Base: Sidney, B.C.
Reserve the fully crewed, USCG certified 75-foot luxury motor yacht Jamal for an extended journey exploring the many coves and pristine harbors of the Pacific Northwest coast. Cruise nearly anywhere between Seattle and Alaska including, but not limited to, Desolation Sound, Princess Louisa Inlet, the San Juan Islands, Canadian Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, and more. One to four guests for seven days and six nights is $30,000, and each additional passenger (up to eight people) is $3,500. This rate includes the yacht, captain, crew, chef, all meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel, moorage, and sales tax. An off-season 10% discount is offered between October 15 through April 30.
Phone: (206) 605-8484 | Home Base: Kirkland, WA
GO YOUR OWN WAY 2019:
While most charter companies offer fleets of motoryachts or a mix of power and sail, some companies are all about the sailor’s life. The
companies below are one sailboat shows with adventure a guarantee.
Cruise the beautiful San Juan Islands aboard the Annapolis 44, Chariot, a lovingly restored classic sloop, built in 1963. Six days and nights, sailing during the day and practicing skills, and cooking and sleeping aboard makes for a wonderful adventure! You’ll earn three levels of American Sailing Association certifications which will allow you to go out and charter a boat on your own, anywhere in the world, or just feel more confident on your own boat. The skipper, Captain Cathy Franklin, enjoys working with couples and small groups. Fine food included. Now taking reservations for spring and summer.
Phone: (360) 961-6657
Emerald Isle Sailing Charters
Adventure aboard a 54’ sailing yacht, the custom S/V Nawalak pilothouse ketch. Planned trips and custom cruises are available April through October. Meals are provided by a gourmet chef, and the captain leads wildlife and naturalist tours. Pricing details available online.
Phone: (360) 376-3472
Lady of the Sea Charters
The 72-foot motoryacht Lady of the Sea is a classic beauty with a large full-beam salon and separate formal dining room. Her 30’ foredeck and spacious flybridge with 360-degree visibility allow for spectacular viewing & lounging pleasure. She had a full refit in 2018/2019 and now sports three staterooms plus crew quarters, each with private heads/showers.
For the 2020 Alaska season, they will have Captain Jim Kyle aboard as a guest during their Inside Passage learning cruises in May and June. He has traveled the Alaskan Inside Passage 98 times over the past five decades and his knowledge and experience are priceless. Join them for 12 days of hands-on training to prepare you for your own passage or simply come to enjoy the trip! Whales, bears, glaciers, and hot springs await you.
Phone: (360) 319-7119 / (360) 961-1535 | Home Base: Bellingham, WA
Ledger Marine Charters
Crewed sailboat and powerboat charters, plus bareboat powerboat charters, are offered from Puget Sound to Southeast Alaska. The fleet boasts powerboats ranging 26’ to 72’ in length and vessels up to 180’. Crewed sailboats range from 60’ to 127’. Special services are available on all vessels upon request. Prime season (July 13 to September 7) weekly rates are $1,200 to $14,000 for power. Midseason rates (June 1 to July 12, September 8 to 28) are 15 percent less. Low season (before June 1 and after September 28) is discounted 30 percent. The reservation deposit is 33 to 50 percent of the charter rate, due at the time of the booking. The balance of funds is due 60 days prior to the charter.
Phone: (206) 283-6160 | Home Base: Seattle, WA
Located in Bellingham, Washington, the NW Explorations charter fleet is made up of luxury diesel trawlers (Grand Banks, Kadey-Krogen, DeFever, and Ocean Alexander) ranging from 42’ to 70’ in length. They offer bareboat charters throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska. The iconic Mother Goose Flotillas include a lead vessel with a USCG captain, a marine technician, and an onboard naturalist. The flotillas cruise to Alaska, Desolation Sound, and Princess Louisa Inlet. Special services included in the rate: linens, fully outfitted galley, RIB dinghy with outboard, crab pots, and cleaning upon return.
Summer season rates are $7,750 to $22,000, with discounts for spring/fall and winter. Early bird discounts and multi-week discounts are available on non-flotilla charters. The reservation deposit is 40 percent of the charter rate, with the balance due 120 days prior to departure. The new office in Port Sidney, B.C., allows them to provide service to you on both sides of the border.
Phone: (360) 676-1248 / (800) 826-1430 | Home Base: Bellingham, WA
North Pacific Expeditions
North Pacific Expeditions is an expedition-style charter company that offers incredible trips to rarely frequented Southcentral Alaska locations like the Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound. Their vessel Sea Star is a 85-foot Burger yacht that offers private staterooms with en suite heads, catered meals from their onboard chef, as well as cultural and natural information via a designated naturalist. You can read more about what a Kenai trip aboard Sea Star is like in our Northwest Yachting feature Kenai Kingdom in the August 2019 issue.
Phone: (206) 886-8107 | Home Base: Mukilteo, WA
Email: Online form
Nanaimo Yacht Charters and Sailing School
The Nanaimo Yacht Charters management has been in the charter business for over 40 years, having run charter operations in Brazil, the Caribbean, Greece, Vancouver, and now in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island – their favorite charter destination. They manage a fleet of 25 boats both sail and power ranging from 30’ to 60’. A 2020 42’Lagoon Catamaran, a 59’ Marquis, and a 34’ Silverton were recently added to the fleet in addition to many powerboat options.
Nanaimo is the perfect spot for starting a charter. It’s located at the head of the Gulf Islands, close to the Sunshine Coast and the world-renowned Princess Louisa National Park. Another day’s sail from here puts you in the heart of Desolation Sound. Nanaimo Yacht Charters is also an accredited sailing school.
Phone: (250) 754-8601 / 877-754-8601 | Home Base: Nanaimo, B.C.
Northwest Coastal Charters
Bareboat power yacht and sailboat charters offered with a fleet of 27’ to 65’ powerboats and 40’ to 42’ sailboats. Cruise the British Columbia waters on three- to ten-day charters through Howe Sound, the Gulf Islands, or the Sunshine Coast, or create your own custom itinerary based on preferred charter vessel. Rates vary per vessel and length of charter. A booking deposit of one-third the overall price is due 60 days prior to the start of your charter. Some boats allow pets with an added cleaning fee. If you are unable to fulfill the dates you’ve booked, choose to rain check and reschedule for a different date (subject to availability). Otherwise, cancellations should be made 90 days in advance to receive a full refund minus an administration fee.
Phone: (604) 283-2330 | Home Base: Vancouver, B.C.
Crewed charter service specializing in wildlife and whale-watching tours, with custom (private) tours also available. Luxury accommodations and dining offered aboard 54’ motoryacht, Great Bear II. Small group sizes of two to five passengers on our 6- to 9-day trips. We specialize in wildlife viewing and photography in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest. Small group sizes provide a closer experience with nature and less impact on the environment. You can also design your own trip, emphasizing local locations of your choice. Deposits of $1,500 CAD required to confirm reservation with balance due 120 days prior to trip.
Phone: (604) 812-9453 / (604) 812-9453 | Home Base: Courtenay, B.C.
Paradise Yacht Charters
Bareboat charters out of Vancouver, B.C., powerboat fleet ranges from a 21’ Sea Runner 210 to a 76’ McQueen 76. Rates range from $900 CAD a day to $6,000 CAD a day during peak season (July through August) and $800 CAD a day to $5,000 CAD a day during off season. The fleet also includes a 2012 Bayliner 255, 2008 Princess 50, and a 2016 Sea Ray L650. Charter options range from one to 22 days.
Phone: (604) 428-6978 | Home Base: Vancouver, B.C.
Ship Harbor Yacht Charters
Power yachts ranging from a 29’ tugboat to a Nordlund 65’ motoryacht, and sailboats ranging from a 30’ Catalina to a 50’ Beneteau are available. Special services such as sleep aboards, provisioning, and instruction are available. Free linen packages, planning maps, and outboard engines are offered. Luxury crewed yachts also available. Rates vary according to season. Off-season rates are $1,367 to $7,641 per week, while prime season rates are $1,785 to $9,980 per week. Four-day, three-night charters are the minimum length. Multi-week charters have a 10 percent discount. The reservation deposit is 30 percent, and the balance is due 60 days prior to the charter.
Phone: (360) 299-9193 / (877) 772-6582 | Home Base: Anacortes, WA
San Juan Sailing & Yachting
Bareboat and skippered charters offered on powerboats 29’ to 51’ in length, sail monohulls 33’ to 45’, and sail catamarans 38’ to 41’. Special services include complimentary linens and towels, and guided flotilla options. Provisioning available. Full-service powerboat training and weekend/week-long liveaboard sail courses are also available. Private instruction also available during your charter. Peak season (June 6 to August 28) rates are $3,325 to $7,625 and the second consecutive week of a charter is discounted 10 percent. Daily damage waiver varies by vessel. Liability insurance is $140 per week. The reservation deposit is 30 percent, and cancellations are required 60 days prior to departure.
Phone: (360) 671-8089 / (800) 670-8089 | Home Base: Bellingham, WA
Windworks Sailing & Powerboating
Windworks Sailing & Powerboating has been a premiere sailing club in the Pacific Northwest since 1992. They are committed to making boating available, affordable, and approachable to anyone with the desire to sail or powerboat. Use the vessels as you would your own, hire their captains, or take lessons through their U.S. Sailing & Powerboating Certification Program. With annual and quarterly club events and a fleet with boats ranging from 22’ to 47’, the Puget Sound is your playground. All sailors and powerboaters welcome!
Phone: (206) 784-9386 | Home Base: Seattle, WA
GO YOUR OWN WAY 2019:
CRUISE SHIP OPTIONS
What are cruise ships but a type of chartering, albeit on a larger scale? While not a complete reference by any means, we offer a few unique and notable cruise ship options that could appeal to those looking for an ocean-based adventure in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Big Cruise Lines – All Roads lead to Alaska
It’s virtually impossible to single out one of the main cruise ship lines as the go-to for the classic Alaska experience. Nearly all the global players in the industry offer an all-out Alaska trip. We at Northwest Yachting don’t mean to pass the buck, but it’s best you research and find out what you like best. Good resources are cruisecritic.com and the annual U.S. News & World Report Alaska cruise ranking list. Many of these trips start in Seattle.
Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Columbia and Snake Rivers, and Beyond
Founded in 1990, UnCruise Adventures is a Seattle-based company that touts its “anti-cruise” small ship philosophy. Their vessels host 90 guests at the most, with itineraries meant to go off the beaten path. A big plus is that they are involved in the Northwest boating culture, notably as sponsors of the Northwest Maritime Center’s infamous Race to Alaska. They even field a team every year, talk about walking the walk!
Phone: Reservations, (888) 862-8881
Email: Group & Charter Inquiry, email@example.com
American Cruise Lines
Alaska, Pacific Northwest, and Columbia and Snake Rivers
American Cruise Lines is widely considered the largest cruise line based in the U.S., and river cruises are a unique niche they’ve thrived in. Their multi-day excursions up and down the Snake and Columbia rivers of Washington and Oregon may be the perfect trip for lovers of our inland waters, aficionados of Pacific Northwest culture (including local wines and food), and Lewis and Clark fans.
Phone: (800) 460-4518
National Geographic/Linbald Expeditions
Alaska, Pacific Northwest, and Beyond
This long-standing partnership between National Geographic and Linbald Expeditions offers small ship experiences around the world, including the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Built around the National Geographic Society’s adventuring ethos, the trips are curated by pros in the fields of science, history, photography, and more. If all goes according to plan, you should feel like part of a magazine feature.
Phone: (888) 966-8687 or (202) 835-0021
American Queen Steamboat Company
Snake and Columbia Rivers
For those with young Mark Twain “I want to be a riverboat captain” daydreams, the American Queen Steamboat Company has a fleet of riverboat cruise ships meant to channel that storied cultural zeitgeist. American Queen, widely considered the largest riverboat ever built, has the look nailed with giant paddlewheel and gingerbread trim. They offer trips up and down the Snake and Columbia rivers.
Phone: (888) 749-5280