The San Juan Islands by Land and Sea: Hidden Anchorages

Cruise the San Juan Archipelago aboard a private chartered yacht, visiting national parks, spotting Orca whales and other wildlife, and enjoy guided scenic walks as we explore trails.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 21786RJ
7 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Orcas breach nearby, harbor seals caper in the straits and bald eagles soar overhead as you navigate the pristine waters and narrow passageways of Washington’s San Juan archipelago. During three daylong voyages aboard the M/V Chinook, observe porpoises, whales and seabirds from the deck of the privately chartered vessel as you learn from the knowledgeable local captain and crew. Discover the islands’ unique ecology and geology on shore excursions with a local expert. You’ll dine on cracked crab as you make your way between islands and enjoy comfortable lodgings in the seaside port of Friday Harbor, the heart of the San Juan Islands.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles daily on varied terrain and standing for up to one hour. Walking up/down boat ramps, getting on/off vessel; climbing stairs. Elevators and lifts unavailable on vessel and mini-buses.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy three days of private study cruises in the San Juan Archipelago aboard the M/V Chinook, highlighted by onshore explorations of the lighthouses, historic sites and hidden corners of three islands.
  • Experience the history and beauty of San Juan Island with lodgings and museum visits in charming Friday Harbor.
  • Enjoy a short hike on the northern island of Sucia, an exclusive jewel accessible only by private vessels, followed by a picnic lunch aboard the M/V Chinook while cruising the islands.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Cindy Hansen
Cindy received her bachelor's degree in zoology with a focus on marine mammals from the University of Washington. She was the onboard naturalist for Mosquito Fleet Whale Watching for eight years, worked as the education curator for The Whale Museum from 2007 to 2016, and is currently the education and events coordinator for Orca Network. Since 2001, she has spent the winters migrating with the gray whales to San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico and working as a naturalist and group leader for Baja Discovery.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Kevin Culmback
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Kathleen Foley
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Cindy Hansen
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Kevin Loftus
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Living High: An Unconventional Autobiography
by June Burn
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
by Marge & Ted Mueller
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.
Friday Harbor
by Mike Vouri, San Juan Historical Society, Julia Vouri
A book that reviews the rich history and residents of Friday Harbor throughout the past 100 years.

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