U.S. West Coast – Highlights and National Parks of the Pacific

  • CAD $TBA

  • 8 days / 7 nights

Explore the Pacific Northwest, sailing from San Diego to Vancouver. Enjoy warm and charming Santa Barbara and see marine life off the Californian coast. Explore Redwood National Park and admire some of the oldest trees in the world, walk the subalpine Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, and spot whales around the San Juan Islands.


Some call San Diego the ‘birthplace of California’, a perfect match for the first day of our expedition in celebration of new beginnings.

This laid-back city boasts more than 60 beautiful beaches and possibly the best weather in all of North America. There is exciting culinary culture here, cooking up signature Baja California cuisine and concocting more craft beer flavors than anywhere else in the U.S.

It’s a shame to spend less than a day here; perhaps come a few days early and participate in our Pre-Program? Or, come early and explore a few of more than 17 museums and the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, then enjoy Mexican-inspired comfort food and choose your favorite beach for a day or two of sun.

After you’ve boarded the MS Roald Amundsen and checked in, pick up your complimentary expedition jacket and unpack in your cabin. Other than the mandatory safety briefing you must attend, you can spend your free time exploring the ship and settling in. After we set sail, the captain will give a welcome toast. Enjoy the first of many sumptuous meals, and you will meet your Expedition Team.

Situated between the fertile vineyards of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the pristine Pacific coast beaches, Santa Barbara has old-style Spanish charm in a Golden State setting. For over a decade, the city housed the world’s largest silent film studio, until the business grew too big and they took it all to Hollywood.

A great place to start exploring is the Santa Barbara Mission church. Admire the beautiful Spanish-era buildings, browse the shops along terracotta-tiled State Street, and stroll through the peaceful Mission Rose Garden. At Stearns Wharf, California’s oldest pier, take in views of the Pacific and grab some homemade ice cream. Still have some time to spare? Try one of the excellent restaurants or bars here. Or do a wine tasting from a local vineyard—the city is famed for its wines, after all.

On our way to and from Santa Barbara, don’t forget to get on deck to spot whales as we sail through the surrounding Channel Islands.

An important part of any expedition is knowing how to enjoy living in the moment, remembering to take time to reconnect with nature and the world around us. Enjoy panoramic views from a spot in the Explorer Lounge or head out on deck and bask in the sights and sounds that surround you. Who knows? Maybe the humpback whales known to swim in the area might make an appearance between the waves. The atmosphere is idyllic, with the hum of the sea breeze punctuated by cries of a wide variety of seabirds found along the West Coast.

You can also participate in a number of Citizen Science projects we support. These include the Happywhale project, where your photographs help identify and track the movement of specific whales across the planet, identified from their distinguishing characteristics. You may also join the GLOBE Observer project, which combines your observations of clouds and sky conditions with satellite data. This helps scientists at space agencies such as NASA more comprehensively understand the clouds in our atmosphere. By participating in these projects, not only will you be supporting the scientific community, you’ll also be gaining better understanding of the world around you.

Today we drop anchor at Eureka. From here, we’ll go on an included excursion to the incredible Redwood National Park. Wandering this International Biosphere Reserve is an awe-inspiring experience. With some giant old-growth redwoods towering over 325 feet tall, you’ll see why the world’s tallest trees are often called ‘nature’s skyscrapers’. Certain trees here are also over 1,500 years old, a living testament to the success of a well-supported conservation project that saved these ancient giants from the lumberjack’s saw.

After your visit to Redwood National Park, there’s an opportunity to explore Eureka. This scenic seaport is known for its Victorian-era charm and eco-conscious vibe. The town earned its prosperity on the lumber trade, and there’s evidence of this in the handsome Victorian mansions on display. Check out the picturesque Old Town, where you’ll find boutique shops along the beautiful waterfront. You can also enjoy a drink here and gaze as fishing boats return across Humboldt Bay.

Inspired by the landscapes and your adventures so far? Consider using this day at sea to channel your inner artist in an onboard art workshop. Or maybe spend time learning the basic concepts of expedition photography from our onboard photographer, who will make sure your digital memories are as vivid as the ones in your head.

Spend time on deck and watch for wildlife as the Californian coast rolls by in the distance. Who knows? You may even spot a humpback or two! Give into your temptation and soak in one of the relaxing hot tubs or take a dip in the infinity pool. Suitably refreshed, you can head up to the bar and enjoy a cocktail or two with some of the other guests. We’re sure to have some bottles of local wines stocked up, so you wouldn’t go wrong with a wine-tasting session of Californian Chardonnay or Cabernet.

Today we cruise around the ecological haven of the San Juan Islands. These rugged islands form an archipelago between the state of Washington and Canada’s Vancouver Island—they’re a world class destination for spotting marine wildlife. What could be better than sitting on deck and gazing at these pine covered islands with a backdrop of snowy mountain peaks in the distance?

If we’re lucky, you might spot humpbacks, minke whales, and even orcas. The islands also host a great number of bald eagles, great blue herons, black oystercatchers, and numerous shore birds.

The Expedition Team will join you on deck and help you spot wildlife and will point out sites of interest along the way.

Today we drop anchor at the small seaport of Port Angeles for a day of mountain exploration. The town itself is charming, especially the downtown area near the ferry port, but we plan to spend most of this day exploring Olympic National Park.

Olympic National Park was declared a National Monument in 1909 and UNESCO later designated it as an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. The park hosts three distinct ecosystems: the rugged Pacific coast, an area of temperate forest, and a subalpine forest with wildflower meadows.

We’ll explore the subalpine region and take you to mountainous Hurricane Ridge, where some snow might still linger from winter. From here, you’ll have the option to join a guided hike through the park to discover its rich and varied flora and fauna. There will be plenty of bird-watching opportunities along the way. You may even come across Roosevelt elk, which are indigenous to the area, as are black bears.

Your expedition cruise along the Pacific coast comes to its final port of call as we sail into Vancouver. Set amid stunning mountain scenery, Vancouver is both a bustling seaport and cosmopolitan city.

There’s always a cultural event on tap in Vancouver. You’ll soon find out why people rave about British Colombia’s largest city. After your exciting expedition voyage, you might just want to relax and sample Vancouver’s world-class cuisine or take in a few art galleries or museums.

If you want, extend your stay in Vancouver with a Post-Program to the nearby mountain resort of Whistler. Or spend a few extra days as you wind down from the experiences of the past nine days. It’s up to you!

Dates & Prices

Start/EndNightsSailing ScheduleStarting From
Vancouver / Halifax25

* Price per person based on double occupancy. Due to the dynamic nature of availability and pricing, please click here to contact us directly for sailing schedule and full pricing.

Ship Information


MS Roald Amundsen

MS Roald Amundsen is the first of two hybrid ships Hurtigruten will add to its fleet over the next few years, cutting emissions by sailing with electrical propulsion. Hybrid technology, combined with the advanced construction of the hull and effective use of electricity on board, will reduce fuel consumption and CO2-emissions on the ships by 20%. The building of these two ships represents the largest single investment in the history of Hurtigruten.


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