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Evergreen Discoveries: Wilderness Explorations from Seattle to the San Juan Islands

Program Number: 21390RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/26/2014 - 10/4/2014;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Washington
Price starting at: $2,740.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 22; 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

A journey from Seattle through Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands is like no other — opportunities to spot orca pods and soaring bald eagles are abundant, while the character and people of Seattle enrich all who explore its neighborhoods. On this small-ship learning adventure, experience the natural beauty of Washington as our naturalist offers insight on local species and habitats, and local experts provide their perspective on both the Coast Salish and European history of the area, and more.




Activity Particulars

Frequent short hikes over varied terrain, kayaking, standing for up to an hour.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Seattle, Wash., 1 night; aboard Wilderness Adventurer, 7 nights.



Coordinated by Skagit Valley College.



Days 1-2: Arrival Seattle, Wash. / embark Wilderness Adventurer:

Delve into Seattle’s history during a field trip to a museum along the shores of Lake Union. Journey through the Hiram Chittenden Locks to Puget Sound, and admire the Seattle Skyline as you cruise through Elliott Bay. Lodging: Comfortable hotel with swimming pool and fitness center.



Days 3-5: South Hood Canal / North Hood Canal / Protection Island:

A short nature hike offers a look at the natural beauty of the area with the Olympic Mountains as the backdrop, then journey towards Eldon for an oyster and clam tasting. Naturalists offer education on marine life and habitat and set the stage for upcoming explorations.



Days 6-7: San Juan Island:

Explore the waterways through hundreds of islands where evergreen forests meet the Salish Sea. Enjoy the amazing marine vistas in the San Juan Island National Historical Park. Search for the areas three resident orca pods as you journey along Haro Straight. Explore the recently designated San Juan Islands National Monument areas through quiet kayaking or hiking excursions that provide a first-hand look at the natural world.



Days 8-9: Sucia Island / Seattle / disembark / departure:

On Sucia Island, delight in opportunities to explore via kayak and short hikes, and savor a BBQ lunch on the beach. Our naturalist offers insight into the challenges faced by residents along the Salish Sea. Enjoy a captain’s dinner on your final night on ship.



Wilderness Adventurer

Refurbished in 2011, the Wilderness Adventurer is the ultimate platform to deliver our Exclusive Road Scholar adventure--aboard the ship and in the water. The interior complements the outside and both public and private spaces are loaded with amenities. Enjoy socializing in the main lounge, which evokes the style of a National Park Lodge or neighborhood pub. Relax on deck with a set up perfect for viewing wildlife. Three accessible decks are fully equipped for comfort and action. The sundeck has an on-deck hot tub, sauna, and fitness equipment - ; the observation deck allows for over-the-top viewing from the bow; and the EZ dock should say dock launch platform on the main deck makes getting in the water a cinch. Onboard are kayaks; stand up paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, yoga mats, hydrophone for listening to below-surface sounds; and a bow-mounted underwater camera pipes the action to the lounge and to your cabin TV.


Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton
  Seattle 1 night
   Wilderness Adventurer
  Seattle 7 nights
 Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 1801 E. Valley Road
Renton, WA 98057 USA
phone: 425-430-1414 xor8777829444
web: www.hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/washington/hilton-garden-inn-seattle-renton-SEARHGI/index.html?WT.srch=1
  Room amenities: Rooms feature a spacious work desk with Mirra® ergonomic chair; secure in-room printing to the business center and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Enjoy a 32" LCD flat-panel TV with premium cable channels – plus a microwave, coffeemaker, refrigerator, clock radio with MP3 connection, iron, hairdryer and laundry services.
  Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include: complimentary internet access; indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa; 24-hour fitness center; on -site restaurant; Business Center; automated teller (ATM); baggage storage; coin laundry; elevators; laundry/valet service; local area transportation; on-site Convenience Store; • Pavilion Lounge; room service; complimentary parking and safety deposit box.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: *Contact Hotel directly When booking an extended stay, please ask for the AAA rate. This will give the best available rate for Road Scholar guests.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Wilderness Adventurer
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Refurbished in 2011, the Wilderness Adventurer is the ultimate platform to deliver our Exclusive Road Scholar adventure--aboard the ship and in the water. The interior complements the outside and both public and private spaces are loaded with amenities. Enjoy socializing in the main lounge, which evokes the style of a National Park Lodge or neighborhood pub. Relax on deck with with a set up perfect for viewing wildlife. Three accessible decks are fully equipped for comfort and action. The sundeck has an on-deck hot tub, sauna, and fintess equpment; the observation deck allows for over-th-top viewing from the bow; and the EZ Doack launch platform on the main deck makes getting in the water a cinch. Onboard are kayaks; stand up paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, yoga mats, hydrophone for listening to below-surface sounds; and a bow-mounted underwater camer pipes the action to the lounge and to your cabin TV.
  Ship Information: The 160' Wilderness Adventurer serves up to 60 guests in 30 cabins. The 160' vessel with a width of 39' has built in 1984 and refurbished in 2011. She has a cruising speed of 9.5 knots and a crew of 25.
  Contact info: 1
Seattle, WA 1 USA
phone: 1--
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Your Road Scholar program will begin with an orientation at 5:00 pm in hotel conference room. You will be staying at Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton that night.
  End of Program:
Your Road Scholar Program ends with Charter Coach drops at SeaTac Airport (approx. 12:30 pm) or Hilton Garden Inn Seattle (approx. 1:30pm),on final program day. *Schedule outbound flights after 2:30. You will be staying at Wilderness Adventurer the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Complimentary off street parking readily available at hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Seattle
  Nearest city or town:  Seattle
  Nearest highway: Interstate 5
  Nearest airport:  Sea-Tac Intl Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Seattle
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Courtesy Hotel Shuttle
phone: 425-430-1414

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

Complimentary shuttle available 5AM to 10PM daily.

 

Late arrivals to Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellow Cab of Seattle
phone: 206-622-6500

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$40
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

Convenient 24/7 backup service to the hotel provided shuttle, when arriving at times when the courtesy hotel shuttle is unavailable.

 
Driving Directions
  North of Seattle to Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton Take I-5 Southbound to I-405 and follow ramp to I-405 Northbound. Take exit #1, West Valley Highway, turn left onto Interurban. Take right at South Grady, Right at Lind, Left at SW 16th. Hotel is on right side around curve.
  South of Seattle to Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton Take I-5 Northbound to I-405. Take I-405 North to exit #1, West Valley Highway exit, Left to Grady Way, take right. Proceed to Lind Avenue turn right. Turn left onto SW 16th St. Hotel is 1 block down on right around curve.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome & Orientation Program
(Friday, September 26)
   
 Afternoon: Welcome and Program Orientation
 Dinner: Catered Welcome Dinner featuring meat or vegetarian lasagna in Conference Dining Room
 Evening: Get Acquainted Program follows dinner
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Seattle Activities & Embarkation on Wilderness Adventurer
(Saturday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: Extensive breakfast buffet served in hotel Conference/Breakfast Room featuring, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, a variety of fresh fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, breakfast breads/toast, juices and coffee.
 Morning: After a brief program overview presentation, and an introductory remarks from our Naturalist expert who will be weave our experience together all throughout the program, we'll board our Coach and head out for Seattle Adventures before heading to the ship in the mid-afternoon; Visit a state of the art museum in a historic building set on the shores of Lake Union that tells the historical and cultural story of Seattle. Take time to explore the historic Pike Place Market and savor the fresh flowers, produce, and the many ecclectic Northwest vendors.
 Lunch: Savor a Northwest style lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Adventures continue to the Hiram Chittenden Locks, the gateway from Seattle's freshwater lakes into the Puget Sound. After we board the ship, we'll join the parade of boats and pass through these locks. We'll Embark on the ship and settle in, and get an safety orientation and famiarize ourselves with the ammentites of the ship.
 Dinner: Enjoy time in the ships lounge before dinner, served in the ships dining room.
 Evening: Cruising through Elliott Bay past the Seattle skyline, we'll sail North through the Puget Sound bound for anchor in serene Hood Canal. Set sail with a detailed route overview presentation by Ship's crew, and join a presentation by our Ecologist/Naturalist to discuss the wide-ranging life in and near the Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. An overview of geologic forces, microclimates, tides, and life in and around the sea set the stage for our exploring. NOTE: Due to the nature of our shipboard explorations, itineraries are guidelines and will change in order to maximize wildlife and natural encounters. Variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur.
   
Accommodations: Wilderness Adventurer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: South Hood Canal
(Sunday, September 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the ship's dining room.
 Morning: If you wish, begin your day with a short guided paddle in a stable sea-kayak or inflatable skiff. Later we'll have the option of going for a short nature hike in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains.
 Lunch: Lunch served in the Ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: Cruise toward Eldon, where a local family joins us on board for a tasting of their home-grown Oysters/Clams followed by dinner in the dining room underway.
 Dinner: Dinner in the Ship's dining room as we cruise north in Hood Canal
 Evening: Join in a presentation from our Road Scholar Naturalist about Coast Salish Native history in the San Juan region.
   
Accommodations: Wilderness Adventurer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: North Hood Canal / Port Townsend
(Monday, September 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in Ship's dining room
 Morning: The intertidal wetlands near Quilcene Bay—the pearl of the peninsula—make the ideal setting for kayaking, skiff exploration, and excellent birding opportunities.
 Lunch: Lunch in Ship's dining room
 Afternoon: This afternoon, cruise along lesser visited channels keeping watch for gray whales, orcas, seals and sea lions, and learn the history of Puget Sound’s “Triangle of Fire.” This afternoon, dock in historic Port Townsend and explore its maritime heritage.
 Dinner: Dinner in Ship's Dining Room
 Evening: Our on board expert shares insight about the geology and tidal forces of Deception Pass.
   
Accommodations: Wilderness Adventurer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Protection Island / Deception Pass
(Tuesday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in ship's dining room
 Morning: The timing for today depends on tides and currents, but the morning has us underway for bird watching, possibly around Protection Island—a federally protected National Wildlife Refuge. Protection Island is located near the mouth of Discovery Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A large percentage of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca nest on the island, which includes one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world and the largest nesting colony of glaucous-winged gulls in Washington. The island contains one of the last two nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area. About 1,000 harbor seals depend upon the island for a pupping and rest area.
 Afternoon: Cap off the day with afternoon hikes, shore walks, and kayaking near scenic Deception Pass.
 Dinner: Dinner in Ship's dining room
 Evening: Join our Road Scholar Naturalist for a discussion of marine mammals including Orca Whales, both "transient" orcas and the three "resident" pods (J,K, & L pods). Anchor late evening of southern Lopez Island.
   
Accommodations: Wilderness Adventurer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: The San Juan Islands - Lopez and San Juan Island / Friday Harbor
(Wednesday, October 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the ship's dining room
 Morning: Today lands us in one of the most scenic areas of the San Juan Islands. The rocky outcroppings of Lopez Island play host to harbor seals, and it is Orca whale territory too. Keep your eyes peeled above and below the surface, whether you opt for kayaking or a chance to snorkel. If you’re interested in more paddling, the kayaks and paddle boards are up for grabs too.
 Lunch: Lunch served in Ship's dining room
 Afternoon: Cruise the scenic west side of San Juan Island along the Haro Strait, prime habitat for resident Orca Pods. Pass the picturesque Limekiln Lighthouse, built in 1919 and now used as a whale research observation outpost. Dock in the Port of Friday Harbor and visit the Whale Museum, dedicated to whales living in the wild, or take an excursion to the San Juan Island National Historical Park.
 Dinner: Dinner served in Ship's dining room.
 Evening: Explore cultural life in the San Juan's with a special visit from a local Islander who describes the reverence for nature and unique bonds that make this community special, and gives insight into contemporary Island life.
   
Accommodations: Wilderness Adventurer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The San Juan Islands-Orcas Island
(Thursday, October 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in Ship's dining room.
 Morning: En route to San Juan Island, cruise past Speiden Island. This beautiful island has an unusual climate that makes the north side heavily forested and the south side barren. Large boulders, called "glacial erratics," are scattered around the south side, left there when the glaciers receded millennia ago. In the 1970s the island was used for big game hunting; game animals were imported and a hotel, airport, and small hangar built to accommodate visitors. The resident animal population still includes exotic animals such as Mouflon sheep from Corsica, Fallow deer from Europe, and Sika deer from Asia.
 Lunch: Lunch served in Ship's dining room.
 Afternoon: At Orcas Island, enjoy an evergreen forested hike in Moran State Park, one of Washington's Gems, or go behind the scenes with a Biologist at a Salmon rearing project on Orcas Island known as a benchmark for natural rearing methods for Chinook Salmon.
 Dinner: Dinner served in Ship's dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Wilderness Adventurer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The San Juan Islands - Sucia Island
(Friday, October 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in ship's dining room.
 Morning: En route through the San Juan Archipelago to Sucia Island. Anchor off Sucia Island for opportunities to Kayak, and take inflatable boat to shore for a short hike on this small, isolated, and stunningly beautiful Island.
 Lunch: BBQ Beach Picnic Lunch on Sucia Island.
 Afternoon: Recap our epic journey with a brief closing program from our Naturalist guide and discuss challenges facing people and other living residents of the Salish sea, Ponder what the future holds for this special region.
 Dinner: Captain's dinner in the ship's dining room while en route south toward Seattle.
 Evening: Special closing program reflects upon this special journey, friends made, and highlights our educational journey.
   
Accommodations: Wilderness Adventurer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Farewell and Departure
(Saturday, October 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in Wilderness Adventurer Dining Room, while transiting the Ballard locks.
 Morning: After breakfast we'll disembark together and board coach. Program concludes in Seattle with drop off at SeaTac International airport(approximately 10:30pm) or the Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Renton (approximately 11:00 AM) on final day of the program. We recommend scheduling outbound flights after 2:30 pm.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Seattle Seattle Visitor's Guide
Seattle's Convention and Visitor's Bureau For additional information, visit www.visitseattle.org
  Visitor's Guide
Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau For additional information, visit www.seeseattle.com
  Friday Harbor, San Juan Island San Juan Island Activities
Among the many free time activities in Friday Harbor are whale watching, kayaking, beachcombing, bicycling, fishing, shopping, museums, outdoor sculpture park, historic sites, and ferry trips to other islands. For additional information, visit www.sanjuanisland.org
  San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
The San Juan Islands are just a scenic ferry ride or a short flight from the northwest Washington mainland. Whether you yearn for the slow pace of island time or the excitement of new experiences, you're sure to enjoy your time in the San Juan Islands. For additional information, visit www.visitsanjuans.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Friday Harbor


Author: Mike Vouri, San Juan Historical Society, Julia Vouri


Description: A book that reviews the rich history and residents of Friday Harbor throughout the past 100 years.



Living High: An Unconventional Autobiography


Author: June Burn


Description: This autobiography chronicles Farrar and June Burns travels around the United States and their experience homesteading in the San Juan Islands, teaching Eskimos and traveling across the United States in a covered wagon. She wrote extensively for various periodicals and wrote several books. Burn's autobiography Living High: An Unconventional Autobiography (1941) documents much of her early life story, particularly her time on Sentinel and Waldron Islands in Washington’s San Juan Islands. The book has been republished several times.



San Juan Islands, Afoot and Afloat


Author: Marge & Ted Mueller


Description: Thousands of visitors are drawn annually to the San Juan Islands, which are famed for their safe, scenic boating, lush meadows and dense forests, abundant bird life, and fascinating bits of history. Most of those visitors (and residents alike) have relied on this best-selling guide to outdoor recreation in the Islands. Now in a fully revised third edition, the book covers everything you want to know about park and marina facilities, beaches, shorelines, historic sites, natural science, and marine life. Whether you arrive by land, sea, or air, this fact-filled guide is a must for enjoying the best of the San Juans.





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