Day 1: Seattle to LaConner
Board the historic MV Olympus at her Seattle boathouse. Be sure to allow extra time to view the
historical material beautifully displayed in her boathouse which depicts the yacht's colorful history including her
service as Washington State Governor's yacht.
Upon departure, you will cruise through Lake Union and enter the Ballard
Locks which connect the fresh waters around Seattle to Puget Sound's saltwater. Your cruise will carry you through
beautiful Puget Sound where you will see Camano and Whidbey Islands and then you will enter the Swinomish Channel.
You will want to ride on the teak deck chairs on the bow during this passage so that you don't miss the bald eagles
who make this area their summer feeding grounds.
The first day's moorage is at the historic town of LaConner,
which is full of beautiful shops, galleries and is an excellent place to get off the boat and take a short walk
before the Chef prepares your first fabulous dinner in the MV Olympus dining salon. The beach along the
Swinomish Channel is beautiful for walking.
Day 2: Anchor - Blind Bay
After an incredibly restful sleep in the comfort of your luxurious stateroom, you awake to hear the water gently lapping outside
of your sparkling brass porthole. After a delicious breakfast, the MV Olympus gets underway. You pass the town of Anacortes,
where oil tankers bring oil for distribution to the Puget Sound region. Thanks to the efforts of Washington Senator
Warren Magnuson in the early years, there will never be any tankers allowed in Puget Sound. The protection of
the environment was very important to Senator Magnuson, perhaps because he lived on Bainbridge Island near Seattle,
but we like to think it is because he spent so much time cruising aboard MV Olympus with President Truman.
The yacht will wind her way through the beautiful San Juan Islands, arriving late afternoon at Blind Bay near Shaw Island.
You won't believe your eyes when you see traditionally dressed nuns, with their habits flying in the wind, wearing orange
safety vests, directing ferry traffic. Tiny Shaw Island almost lost her Washington State ferry connection in budget cuts,
until the determined nuns stepped forward to run the ferry dock. You will watch the skilled crew of the MV Olympus
select the perfect spot to anchor and will observe with awe as they lower her large anchor. The tender will be
lowered, and you can go ashore at the tiny state park on Blind Island, or head over to Shaw Island to get a
closer look at those nuns while the Chef prepares another gourmet dinner.
As you dine in the dining salon, suddenly the photo on the wall of a young Senator Warren Magnuson boarding the
MV Olympus with President Harry Truman in June of 1948 has more meaning to you.
Day 3: Rosario Resort - Orcas Island
Tiny Blind Bay is so quiet that you don't awaken until after 9:00. The crew of the MV Olympus is always ready for you with hot
coffee, tea, espresso, or what ever you desire - whether you awaken at 6:00 am or 10:00 am. Before the anchor is raised, another
brief tender trip takes you to the shores of Orcas Island, near the ferry landing, where you see historic Orcas Hotel,
built in 1900 and welcoming guests since 1904.
After returning to the MV Olympus, the yacht heads on a leisurely course for Rosario Resort, also on Orcas Island.
You moor on the dock at Rosario Resort, unquestionably the most outstanding historical landmark of the San Juan Islands.
Built in the early 1900's by Robert Moran, a Seattle native who was a shipbuilder, millionaire, and man
of unlimited talent and energy, his home, now a resort, was built as solidly as he built his ships, anchored
on solid bedrock. The fifty four room main building took six years to complete, and you will want to see all of it,
especially the organ complete with 1,972 pipes. If you are lucky, you might catch a pipe organ concert, but
unquestionably you will enjoy a tour of the gardens and grounds. Rosario has a wonderful spa, let the crew
know if you want a massage or other spa treatment.
There is a pool at Rosario which you can use when the yacht is docked at the Rosario dock. The guests visiting
Rosario from all over the world often wonder onto the dock when they see the MV Olympus, for she is of the same
era as the beautiful resort. Your evening ends on the bow with warmed brandy.
Day 4: Lopez Island
There are more sights in store today. You are awakened by the first Kenmore Air Float Plane flight landing nearby,
bringing guests to the dock at Rosario. You don your Olympus robe and come up onto deck, to see the disembarking floatplane
passengers taking a close look at MV Olympus to see if Julie Andrews, Candice Bergen, Robin Williams, or any of our other frequent
Hollywood guests are aboard. Alas, they don't recognize you.
Breakfast is underway today, and the yacht cruises slowly through beautiful passages between islands on her way to Lopez
Island. The third largest island in the San Juans, Lopez Island was once a major agricultural supplier for Western
Washington until new irrigation methods made farming in arid eastern Washington more feasible. Many beautiful
farms still remain, and Lopez is nicknamed "Slowpez" and is considered to be the slowest, friendliest island in
the San Juans. First time visitors are often surprised to find that everyone waves to each other, and wonder
if they have been mistaken for someone else. Usually it then dawns on the visitor that this is simply a charming
practice unique to an island where the population is so small that everyone is known and even "off islanders" are
The afternoon is spent exploring the shoreline, wading in the water, and taking a quiet nap on the bow. Dinner
tonight is on the fantail, a seafood extravaganza, with a little beef on the side for that non-seafood eater.
As you doze off to sleep, you wonder how it can get any better, but nature may have a surprise for you tomorrow.
Day 5: Roche Harbor, San Juan Island
The captain and crew seem eager to get going today, and you can sense that there is something exciting about to happen.
The binoculars are out, and the yacht heads to the west side of San Juan Island, the largest of the islands and the
county seat. Here, the resident orcas in several pods live and play. The captain is well acquainted with the commercial
whale watching operators, and will listen to their "secret" channel on the marine radio so that if orcas are spotted the
Olympus can carefully approach. You cannot believe the sight of wild orcas enjoying their natural waters. The crew will
explain to you what their behaviors mean, and you may see "spy hopping" "breaching" or just simply a happy Orca pod with
three generations swimming and feeding.
Our itinerary today may change dramatically, because you will love the whales, and you may wish to sit and watch for hours.
After you have seen the whales, and perhaps dahl porpoise, the yacht will take you to historic Roche Harbor. Relics of an
earlier much different era mingle easily with the trappings of a modern day resort. A display in the lobby of the historic
Hotel de Haro explains the resort's history. Built by a young Indiana lawyer in the early 1900's, Roche Harbor was the
largest lime producing company west of the Mississippi. Read about Roche Harbor in the books aboard Olympus, and be
sure to borrow the little booklet called "A Walking Tour of Historic Roche Harbor" from the yacht so that you don't
miss a thing on your arrival.
Guests can frolic in the swimming pool, and don't miss the flag lowering ceremony featuring the American and Canadian
flags at sunset. Finish your day with a stroll just before bedtime in the beautiful gardens.
Day 6: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
There is much to see and do in Roche Harbor, and staying here another night is an option if you want to go crabbing
at nearby Westcott Bay. But alas, you don't want to miss your next and final destination. The MV Olympus will depart at
your leisure, and you will head around the other side of San Juan Island to Friday Harbor.
This town has been described as a
nautical "Times Square" as you sit on the dock you will see hundreds of boats coming and going, along with the Washington
State Ferry and the Kenmore Air float planes. The public dock plays host to 12,000 overnight transient boats in June,
July and August, who stop to provision, fuel and clear customs from Canada. The large marina has 463 slips, and
galleries offer quality work by local artists and craftspeople, while other shops have selections of souvenirs,
books and gifts for family and friends back home. Friday Harbor is also home to the University of
Washington Oceanography Lab, and the Whale Museum which is full of information and interactive exhibits
which delight children and adults alike.
Before you know it, your last full day in the San Juans is drawing to a close, and it is time to return to the
MV Olympus for the "Captain's Dinner." The captain will dine with you and discuss your itinerary for your next
trip which might include Princess Louisa Inlet or Desolation Sound in Canada, and if the timing is right
you may be able to join MV Olympus as a guest aboard during one of her future trips to southeast Alaska.
There is more time to explore Friday Harbor by foot or by tender. You pack your belongings and get ready to
return to Seattle. Since the yacht trip to Seattle is two long days, rather than spending your last two days
returning to Seattle by boat and missing some of the beautiful sights that you have been able to enjoy, you
elect to return to Seattle on an exciting forty five minute float plane ride via Kenmore Air. The
float plane will arrive in Seattle on Lake Union where you can obtain transportation to the airport
or where ever your final destination may be.
Thanks for joining us aboard MV Olympus and we hope to see you next summer.