Northwest Explorations, the Bellingham, Washington, company that runs the legendary Mother Goose flotillas up to Alaska, just announced that it still has a few openings on its cruises this spring and summer.
The reason that people, experienced skippers and those who are not so experienced, like the flotillas is that they offer safety in numbers, and they are planned, and led, by captains and crew from Northwest Explorations who have done this many times before. You cruise in a group, with planned stops every night, and excursions on shore that highlight the best of the natural beauty of this part of the world.
The flotillas from Bellingham to Sitka, Alaska, are in various legs, and you can sign up for one or more.
Leg 1, from Bellingham to Ketchikan, Alaska, starts on May 14.
Leg 2, from Ketchikan to Petersburg, Alaska, starts on June 10.
Leg 3, from Petersburg to Sitka, starts June 23.
Then, for the return trip, Leg 4, from Sitka back to Petersburg, starts July 7.
Leg 5, from Petersburg to Ketchikan, starts July 21.
Leg 6, from Ketchikan back to Bellingham, starts Aug. 3.
There are still three spots left on Leg 1, which cruises over to Victoria, British Columbia, and then travels up the west side of Vancouver Island. This is a route that goes out in the Pacific but that also allows for gunk holing and exploring in areas off the beaten track. At the top of the island the cruise goes back to the Inside Passage route, but along the way you’ll most likely see whales, orcas, bears, eagles and seals in their natural habitat. And the waterfalls along the way will be spectacular in May.
Northwest Explorations also runs bareboat charters and a powerboat training course. I chartered a Grand Banks, similar to my own boat, for a cruise in the San Juans several years ago and the entire experience could not have been better.
The company says they have added five new vessels to their fleet this year: a Grand Banks 42, a Pacific Seacraft 38 Trawler, a Grand Banks 49, a Grand Banks 49 Motoryacht, and an Offshore 64. Read more: http://www.nwexplorations.com/flotilla/alaska-flotilla-20/