Discover the warm charm and stunning wilderness of the Pacific Northwest
Venture into the natural and human history of the Pacific Northwest—and discover its modern charms and formidable culinary scene as well. Your ship will be your home for an unforgettable journey and will feel like home in no time, as the community camaraderie kindles over local wines in the lounge or lingering on the ship’s bow, appreciating the views. You’ll explore by Zodiac, stroll forests and historical sites, kayak, and visit out-of-the-way art galleries and museums—all in the company of an attentive and fun expedition team who are your experienced guides in discovering the best of Pacific Northwest travel.
Book by July 31, 2021, to receive a $500 air credit per person on select departures. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers, or extensions. Call for details.
Book by July 31, 2021, to have the solo premium waived on solo cabins on select departures. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
Book now and waive the solo premium on solo cabins on select departures. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
$500 AIR CREDIT ON SELECT DATES
Book by July 31, 2021 to receive a $500 air credit per person on select departures. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Credit will be deducted from cabin fare prior to any additional applicable savings. Call for details.
Hike island forest trails in search of wildlife, kayak verdant shorelines, and bike the waterfront of a scenic city—or cruise by Zodiac and visit a mixture of quaint and world-class museums. Options abound for indulging your interests in the Pacific Northwest. Hear the legends and learn the traditions of Native Americans and First Nations through their art or moving performances. Taste the bounty of the region. Dine on salmon straight from local waters, foraged wild mushrooms picked within 50 miles, and provisions delivered directly from farmers along our route.
Expedition Dining—Then & Now
The Pacific Northwest is known for its incredible bounty and some of the freshest ingredients around. You can look forward to meals that celebrate the region’s world-famous flavors, like a vibrantly pink coho salmon filet, bright green coils of fiddlehead ferns, and a bottle of terroir-rich pinot noir.
See, do, and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades.
Veteran expedition leaders are the orchestrators of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, the experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for our guests.
Our naturalists, passionate about the geographies they explore (and return to regularly), illuminate each facet through their enthusiasm and knowledge. Our guests consistently cite the expertise and engaging company of our staff as key reasons to repeatedly travel with us.
Every expedition aboard a ship in our National Geographic-flagged fleet offers an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to offer assistance with camera settings and the basics of composition and to help you become a better, more confident photographer.
On the Columbia River, enjoy the company and perspective of a historian who can quote extensively from the journals of Lewis and Clark. And on expeditions that sail along the coast, go with a cultural interpreter or an anthropologist who has lived among the Coast Salish peoples of the San Juan Islands.
Video chroniclers accompany every expedition and shoot vivid HD footage—with no recycled footage ever—to provide you with a professionally edited and completely authentic memento of your expedition. Working during the day and editing into the night, they have your video ready for preview prior to—and available to purchase at—disembarkation.
Our wellness program embodies the belief that nature is vitalizing and that wildness, as Thoreau famously said, supplies a tonic. Wellness Specialists are fully accredited and experienced licensed massage therapists and are aboard every ship in the National Geographic-flagged fleet. They lead morning stretch class on the deck, aerobic walks ashore, kayak outings, and more.
Relax and settle in to life aboard as you cruise the waters of the Pacific Northwest. Your expedition ship offers the absolute best way to access all the sites, culture, and history along the river—without ever having to change hotels or wheel luggage around. We add to that the luxury of comfort with a quality of shipboard life and a philosophy of wellness designed to relax and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit as you cruise the Pacific Northwest.
Making a Difference
Lindblad Expeditions supports stewardship efforts in the places we explore, and one way we do that is through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund. Traveler contributions to the LEX-NG Fund in the Pacific Northwest currently support the National Geographic Society’s Early Career Grants, which promote future leaders with novel and exploratory projects that span the fields of conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology.
Today we had the opportunity to experience the brisk wind on our faces and pelting of cool, occasional raindrops as we visited Cape Disappointment in Washington and the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon. This was nowhere near the level of discomfort the Corps of Discovery endurred when they explored these same grounds in the fall of 1805. As the Corps came west, they were excited to get to the Pacific Ocean, but that excitement was literally and figuratively dampened with the white-capped waters of the Columbia and miserable weather that initially pinned them and their canoes to the Washington shoreline at a campsite to be later named Dismal Nitch. A most notable feature was the sound created by 30-knot winds as they swept through the needled branches of Sitka spruce and the leafy limbs of Red Alder.
We ended our day taking refuge on
National Geographic Quest
, warm, dried off and with a glass of wine to enhance our internal warmth. Our journey has been diverse and that has been reflected in the weather as well as the landscape and the flora and fauna that call the Pacific Northwest home.
When we woke this morning, we were met with an almost completely different environment than the one we’ve traveled through the last few days. We had arrived at the town of Hood River, in the Columbia River Gorge. The slopes on both sides of the Columbia were covered in Douglas fir, ponderosa pines, bigleaf maple, and Oregon white oaks. And the weather, too, had changed. It was rainy and dark with clouds. This is exactly what one should expect at this time of year when moving westwards across the great Cascades Range toward the Pacific Ocean.
After another wonderful breakfast, we took a short Zodiac ride to the dock in Hood River and then rode in coaches to several great sites in the Hood River area. Some of us went to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. This museum has excellent interpretive displays on the local natural and human history. Naturalists Grace and Linda led nature walks outside of the museum.
Another group went to WAAAM—the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum. The buildings of this museum cover about three acres and house dozens of fully functional and beautiful classic airplanes and cars. It was a fascinating walk down memory lane for many of us.
We enjoyed a catered lunch at the Crag Rat Hut, overlooking the picturesque Hood River Valley, with its extensive apple, pear, and cherry orchards. We then returned to the ship, dodging the rain and wind as best we could.
From the warmth and comfort of
National Geographic Quest
, we journeyed further down the Columbia River to experience the Bonneville Lock, our eighth and final on this voyage.
We concluded our expedition in the Pacific Northwest by exploring picturesque Sucia Island, one of the many islands that make up the San Juan Archipelago. Comprised entirely of sedimentary rock and nearly entirely forested, it provided a perfect setting for our last operations of the week. Setting out in almost all directions on the well-manicured trails of this State Park, and from the driftwood strewn beach, we launched our kayaks in the protected waters of Shallow Bay. Still others set out by Zodiac to examine the many nooks and crannies of the shoreline and witness the current and windswept seas bringing productivity to the fish and birds that call these waters home.
After wrapping up our morning outings we set out in search of wildlife, cruising the many channels that wind their way through the various islands in the Salish Sea. As luck would have it, we came across a group of 9 Biggs (transient) killer whales. These largest members of the dolphin family are common in these waters but are constantly on the move in search of prey such as harbor seals, porpoises, and Steller sea lions. It would appear this tight-knit family group had just recently made a kill as they were being very playful at times, breaching, tail lobbing, and spy hopping, as well as rolling along the surface in close contact with each other, likely portioning their recent kill. It was a truly grand performance and an iconic and fitting conclusion to our expedition in this rich and diverse area of the world.
Come 6:15 a.m. – in the very earliest light of dawn – the constellation Orion, the Mighty Hunter, studded the southern sky just below a waning gibbous moon. Overnight we had sailed from the Snake River onto the mighty Columbia, the Great River of the West. We entered the lock at McNary Dam and down we went. The great barn-door-style gates split before us, and we continued our way downriver. In the morning, we enjoyed presentations by our naturalist Ivan and photo instructor Linda. Our afternoon destination was Crow Butte Island where we hiked and launched our kayaks for some quality paddling. Crow Butte Island has an arid sagebrush steppe climate with many interesting plants adapted to this environment.
Today we awoke dockside in the port of the small town of
Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. San Juan Island is the second largest island
in the archipelago, and is enjoyed for its beautiful scenery and marine and
Tours of the island took guests to San Juan Island National
Historic Park and Lime Kiln State Park, where they explored some of the most
scenic overlooks in the Salish Sea on foot. Others visited a biodynamic organic
farm and learned how locals take sustainability into their own hands by eating
In the afternoon we cruised through the San Juan/Gulf Island
Archipelago spotting wildlife and enjoying the intermittent showers.
Exploring the Pacific Northwest reveals great natural beauty, and yet it features modern incredible feats of human engineering—an imposing system of locks and large-span bridges. To explore it by ship offers a chance to marvel at both.