Guided Flotillas!

You can explore new cruising grounds with confidence, having an expert flotilla leader and the camaraderie of fellow sailors, or share familiar cruising grounds with the companionship of new faces! Our flotillas give you as much privacy or togetherness as you like. Each day you can cruise together with the flotilla or separately. You are welcome to raft to other boats in the group, or seek solitude in your own corner of an anchorage. You can join your cruise mates for evening hors d’oeuvres after exploring shore-side trails, poking your dinghy (or a kayak) into tiny inlets, or enjoy a relaxing evening watching the shadows of the evergreens stretch into the water.

What are the benefits of flotilla cruising?

Here is what flotilla fans say:

  • an ideal setting to gain confidence and familiarize yourself with new cruising grounds
  • camaraderie among fellow cruisers
  • your flotilla leader serves as a knowledgeable guide, providing skills “coaching” and docking or anchoring assistance as needed. Have a question? Assistance is always there.

In addition to safety and guidance, your flotilla leader(s) provide history and in some cases naturalist briefings on each cruising area. For example, each day’s cruise begins with a weather report and a chart briefing. They’ll review your destination and course and highlight both hazards and special natural scenes en route. In addition you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history of each area, the original peoples, the Spanish and English explorations of the region, and even anchor in the same coves as George Vancouver.

In other words, it’s the best of both worlds as we help one another moor, point out wildlife, avoid rocks and reefs, and share prawns, oysters and crab straight from the sea.




Spring Guided Flotilla: Princess Louisa Inlet & British Columbia's Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Flotilla

Late Spring is the perfect time to visit the "Sunshine Coast". Days are long, breezes are kind, waterfalls are running strong and wildlife is abundant. This relaxed 10-day flotilla takes advantage of our “10 days for the price of 7 days” Spring Special...a 43% added value...and spring charter rates that are 12.5% less than our summer rates! Your flotilla leader, Mike Anderson (USCG Captain, American Sailing Association and Recreational Power Boating Association certified instructor and "Instructor of the Year" for our company), will guide you along BC's Sunshine coast (the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia), into Jervis Inlet and through Malibu Rapids to spend two nights at Chatterbox Falls. (Spend the day in between exploring Princess Louisa Inlet, relaxing, or hike to the top of the falls, and for the really ambitious, continue on with the 2-hour hike up into the forest to explore the Trapper's Cabin.) Other stops on this flotilla include protected Garden Bay (Pender Harbor), quiet Secret Cove, labyrinthine Smuggler's Cove, quaint Gibson's Landing, and historic Snug Cove (Bowen Island).

Enjoy daily history, weather, route, and naturalist briefings, camaraderie and periodic “rafting” with complimentary beverages.

Options:

  • Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee ($350/boat). Reminder: This charter is for 10 days at the "10 Days of Charter for the Price of 7 Days" special rate. Click to view the sail fleet or the power fleet.
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, consider reserving a stateroom . Please inquire about 2018 options.

Dates: 10 days. May 2-11, 2018.

("10 Days of Charter for the Price of 7 Days"... a 43% added value!)

Note: Be sure to pack your passports to clear customs in to Canada. Minimum of 5 boats booked for the flotilla to be a “go”. (Limit 10 boats.) So book soon!




Spring Guided Flotilla: Desolation Sound, Princess Louisa & the Sunshine Coast

Locals call this the “Dream Cruise”. From Bellingham journey through the San Juans, Gulf Islands, and Sunshine Coast to Desolation Sound. Then on return detour into Jervis Inlet to explore Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls. Timing this trip in late May puts us ahead of the crowds and at the perfect time of the year for viewing waterfalls. Three weeks allows us time to explore, discovering the nature and history of this incredible cruising ground along the way. Serving as guide, naturalist and local historian, your flotilla leader will help you discover an enriched cruising experience among these beautiful and diverse inlets and islands. Charter one of our well-maintained yachts or, if you prefer, we often have several by-the-stateroom rental options available.

Rafting in Desolation Sound

Dates: 21 days. Saturday, May 12 - Friday, June 1, 2018

(These dates include two "10 Days of Charter for the Price of 7 Days" specials!)

Enjoy daily history, weather, route, and naturalist briefings, camaraderie and periodic “rafting” with complimentary beverages.

Options:

  • Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee of $750 ($250/week)
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, consider reserving a stateroom on one of the lead boats:
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Beneteau 42 Sailboat "Kipper Kite". $1750/per week for the stateroom rental plus $350/person/week for cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Navigator 51 Motoryacht "Sea Wings". $1450 - $2450 per week (depending on which stateroom) for the stateroom rental plus $450/person/week for cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).

Note: Be sure to pack your passports to clear customs in to Canada. Minimum of 5 boats booked for the flotilla to be a “go”. (Limit 10 boats.)

Click here for a sample itinerary for the Desolation Sound Guided Flotilla.




Summer Guided Flotilla: The San Juan Islands & Gulf Islands

Charter a boat of your own or split a boat with other sailors. (Just let us know if you prefer the role of skipper or crew).

ASA Flotilla rafting

Dates: Saturday, June 23 - Friday, June 29, 2018

Join fellow sailors in cruising the beautiful Gulf Island and San Juan Islands. This cruise offers a variety of excellent cruising destinations to discover, including elegant resorts, small island towns and idyllic anchorages. Planned stops include peaceful Montague Harbor Marine Park, beautiful Poet's Cove Resort, picturesque Maple Bay, elegant Roche Harbor Resort, and Inati Bay (the perfect spot to enjoy a final-evening raft-up and pot luck). Weather is generally mild in June, with little rain. Come sail with us!

Whether new to these waters or a frequent visitor who enjoys the benefits of flotilla sailing, we think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this opportunity for sailing, seamanship, adventure and exploration. This popular American Sailing Association group sailing event was first offered in the San Juan Islands during the summer of 2008, and is led by ASA instructor and U.S. Coast Guard Captain Roger Philips, a veteran of the local island waters. Optional group activities include rafting, campfires, potlucks, wildlife viewing and impromptu sailboat races.

Charter the sailboat of your choice plus a flotilla fee of $175 per person. Click here for further information!




Summer Guided Flotilla: Independence Flotilla (San Juan Islands & Victoria)

Summer Independence Flotilla

Enjoy summer cruising in the picturesque and beautiful San Juan Islands and Victoria BC. The adventure starts in the San Juan Islands, where you will spend your first evening at Spencer Spit Marine Park and enjoy salmon barbecued on a traditional cedar plank Then we cross Haro Straits (keep an eye out for the Orcas!) to our next stop, Victoria, BC (Vancouver Island). Victoria Harbor has a long history, starting with its use by the First Nations, and is one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. We moor for two nights and one full day in the center of this vibrant heritage city, at the base of the Empress Hotel, just steps from its historic streets and distinctive English architecture. During the summer months, the harbor is the focus of festivals, shows and music. The next day celebrate the 4th of July while rafted at anchor at popular Roche Harbor (San Juan Island). Happy hour will be followed by a potluck dinner and front row seats for the 4th of July Fireworks Celebration. Next we’ll head to Rosario Resort and Spa to enjoy their newly revamped marina, relax in their pool/spa, experience the museum and organ concert, and enjoy an evening celebration dinner. Finally cross Rosario Strait to Inati Bay to relax at anchor before heading back towards majestic Mount Baker and across Bellingham Bay to return to Bellingham. A truly memorable experience.

Enjoy daily history, weather, route, and naturalist briefings, camaraderie and periodic “rafting” with complimentary beverages. These flotillas are designed to offer a fun and flexible environment to build your cruising skills, explore new places and enjoy time with fellow boaters.

Dates: Saturday, June 30 - Friday, July 6, 2018

Options:

  • Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee of $250
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, consider reserving a stateroom on one of the lead boats:
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Beneteau 42 Sailboat "Kipper Kite". $1750 for the one-week stateroom rental plus $300/person for the week's cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Navigator 51 Motoryacht "Sea Wings". $1450 - $2450 (depending on which stateroom) for a one-week stateroom rental plus $450/person for the week's cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).

Note: Be sure to pack your passports to clear customs in to Canada. Minimum of 5 boats booked for the flotilla to be a “go”. (Limit 10 boats.) So book soon!




Late Summer Guided Flotilla: Victoria, Vancouver & the Islands of the Salish Sea

Late Summer Flotilla

Late summer in the Pacific Northwest is marked by beautiful, sunny weather and reduced crowds. This flotilla has been designed as a relaxed exploration of the best of the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands, including side trips to the cities of Victoria and Vancouver. This two-week flotilla takes advantage of both a multi-week discount and a seasonal discount to provide you 20% off the second week! Your guide will be Lothar Taylor, USCG Captain, American Sailing Association and Recreational Power Boating Association certified instructor, and experienced flotilla leader. Highlights include:

  • Anchor at Spencer Spit and get to know your fellow flotilla members while barbecuing dinner on the beach.
  • Search for orca whales in Haro Strait.
  • Discover the unusual history of the Pig War at English Camp on San Juan Island.
  • Enjoy a lay day soaking in the European flavor of Victoria, BC. Optional side trip to wander among the blooms of Butchart Gardens.
  • Peruse produce and artisan handiwork at the Ganges Saturday Market.
  • Explore the colorful murals of Chemainus on Vancouver Island. Option to see a play in their well-known theatre.
  • Anchor or dock beneath the towering sky scrapers of international Vancouver, BC, and spend your lay day strolling the forested and waterside trails at Stanley Park and experiencing the vibrant energy of Granville Island.
  • Wander the grounds of Gatsby-era Rosario Resort, take a dip in the pool or learn about Rosario’s history during the organ concert. Enjoy a fine celebratory dinner at the mansion that evening.
For the full itinerary click here.

Dates: August 25 -September 7, 2018

Options:

  • Bareboat Charter: Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee of $250/week ($500 total).
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, consider reserving a stateroom on one of the lead boats:
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Beneteau 42 Sailboat "Kipper Kite". $3500 for the two-week stateroom rental plus $700/person for the two-week cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Navigator 51 Motoryacht "Sea Wings". $2900 - $4900 (depending on which stateroom) for the two-week stateroom rental plus $900/person for the two-week cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).
  • Private Boats: You are welcome to join our flotillas on your own private boat provided there is space available. Flotilla fee of $250/week ($500 total).

Note: Be sure to pack your passports to clear customs in to Canada. Minimum of 5 boats booked for the flotilla to be a “go”. (Limit 10 boats.) So book soon!




Fall Guided Flotilla: Desolation Sound & Sunshine Coast

Discover the joys of exploring Desolation Sound at the end of the season, when the crowds have left and the air turns crisp. From Bellingham journey through the San Juans, Gulf Islands, and Sunshine Coast to Desolation Sound. Two weeks allows us time to explore, discovering the nature and history of this incredible cruising ground along the way. Serving as guide, naturalist and local historian, your flotilla leader will help you discover an enriched cruising experience among these beautiful and diverse inlets and islands. Charter one of our well-maintained yachts or, if you prefer, we often have several by-the-stateroom rental options available.

Cteakearne

Dates: 14 days. Saturday, September 22 - Friday, October 5, 2018

Enjoy daily history, weather, route, and naturalist briefings, camaraderie and periodic “rafting” with complimentary beverages.

Options:

  • Charter the boat of your choice, plus flotilla fee of $500 ($250/week)
  • By the stateroom (with USCG Captain): If this is a trip that you’ve always wanted to make, but you are short on crew or experience, consider reserving a stateroom on one of the lead boats:
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Beneteau 42 Sailboat "Kipper Kite". $3500 for the two-week stateroom rental plus $700/person for the two-week cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).
    • Reserve a stateroom on the Navigator 51 Motoryacht "Sea Wings". $2900 - $4900 (depending on which stateroom) for the two-week stateroom rental plus $900/person for the two-week cruising expenses (covers flotilla fees, food/beverages, fuel and moorage/dock fees).

Highlights: This cruise has two days of long passages. The fall timing invites the chance of weather conditions to challenge your skills and build confidence in the company of other boats and a highly experienced Flotilla Captain. Yet, the schedule allows time not only to savor special sights, but can provide the experience of carefully planning cruising strategy around weather forecasts (which are quite accurate as well as long range) to maximize both your safety and comfort. And the scenery is simply unparalleled.

Note: Be sure to pack your passports to clear customs in to Canada. Minimum of 5 boats booked for the flotilla to be a “go”. (Limit 10 boats.)

Click here for a sample itinerary for the Desolation Sound Guided Flotilla.

Caribbean Learn-n-Cruise: Catamaran or Monohull Spring Guided Flotilla: 10-day Sunshine Coast Spring Guided Flotilla: 21-day Desolation Sound & Princess Louisa Summer Guided Flotilla: 7-day San Juan Islands & Gulf Islands Summer Guided Flotilla: 7-day San Juan Islands & Victoria Late Summer Guided Flotilla: 14-day Victoria, Vancouver, San Juans & Gulf Islands Fall Guided Flotilla: 14-day Desolation Sound
February 2018 May 2 - 11, 2018 May 12 - June 1, 2018 June 23 - 29, 2018 June 30 - July 6, 2018 Aug 25 - Sept 7, 2018 Sept 22 - Oct 5, 2018
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