Cruising the waters of the Northwest from Seattle to Southeastern Alaska can be done in several different venues: cruise ships, ferries, and charter yachts.

Charter Yachts, while sharing some of the luxuries and same general price of ocean going lines, can present a new perspective for passengers. A close-up view of the islands and their small communities, and the peacefulness of spending the night cradled by forested shores, lulled by calm waters among other boats bobbing at anchor in a small bay. They offer the option to observe a pod of whales more closely if passengers wish, or to stop for some great fishing.

These yachts come in many different styles: modern or classic-style, elegant and romantic wood vessels, wind or motor powered. They generally accommodate 4-12 guests overnight and range from 40 to 150 feet in length.

The first major cruising area is the San Juan Archipelago of Washington State, the peaks of an underwater mountain ridge extending from the southeast tip of Vancouver Island to the northern part of Whidbey Island.

Upon completion of an inspection of the San Juans (this can take years), the Canadian Gulf Islands lie just to the north in the shadows of Vancouver Island.

Continuing north or east from the Gulf Islands encounters British Columbia's Sunshine Coast. This area is loaded with coves, bays, fjords, and inlets, including the spectacular Princess Louisa Inlet.

Not to missed are the numerous Islands and secluded getaways of Britsh Columbia's North Coast portion of the famous Inside Passage.

Explore the wild side of Alaska. Whales, seals, sea lions, salmon, puffins, eagles, bear and moose abound in these majestic surroundings.