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Cruises in the San Juan Islands

We offer a wide variety of cruise opportunities designed to fit your group's special needs and interests.

While the boat is licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry 133 passengers, we've found that groups of 20 to 120 work best for comfort's sake. We have a license to sell beer and wine onboard or if you wish you can get a banquet permit and bring your own. As for food service there are many excellent caterers in the area that we can put you in touch with. Prices of group charters vary according to the amount of travel involved, the day of the week, and the time of the year. While we will take you just about anywhere you want to go and customize the trip to fit your needs, we offer these suggestions:

Birds-Birds-Birds: A Trip for those who Love Birds

This is the time of year that Northern Birds are arriving. Join Island Mariner for a fun, memorable and educational bird cruise. The trip is narrated by Dick McNeely, one of the leading seabird authorities on the West Coast. Departing from Bellingham on board the 110’ Island Caper, the trip route includes Bellingham Bay, the Northern Skagit Flats, La Conner Slough, Rainbow Bridge, Southern Skagit Flats, past Hope Island, Cornet Bay, under Deception Pass Bridge, Northern Whidbey Island, Burrows Bay, Bellingham Channel and return to Bellingham. The boat departs Bellingham at 10:00 a.m. and returns at approximately 5:00 p.m. Call the office to find out about future trip dates, 360-734-8866. Click here for details and pictures from the 2012 cruise.

Beer & Brats Evening Cruise (Wednesdays)

Join us for our summer Beer & Brats evening cruises on Bellingham Bay, Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on board the Island Caper. Spend an evening sightseeing in Bellingham Bay and through the Chuckanut area. The cruise features some of Bellingham's locally made products; Kulshan Brewery beer, Hemplers bratwurst sausages (free of allergens, gluten, and MSG) and Avenue Bread buns. Click here for details.

Red, White & Brew Cruise - July 4, 2014

Reserve your seat now for the Red, White & Brew cruise on July 4, from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. on the 110' Island Caper. Enjoy fun in the sun and sightseeing around Bellingham and Chuckanut Bay, then return to Bellingham Bay to watch the fireworks display from one of the best view points in Bellingham. The cruise features Marvin J at the piano and includes some of Bellingham's locally made products; Kulshan Brewery beer, Hemplers bratwurst sausages (free of allergens, gluten, and MSG) and Avenue Bread buns with Potato Salad and watermelon. There is plenty of outside viewing space plus indoor seating and tables.
Click here for details.

Bellingham Bay Cruise

Looking Back on Bellingham Bay Cruise Essentially the same as our regular Harbor History Cruise except arrival and departure times and even location can be custom tailored to fit your and your group's needs. You provide the reason - birthday, anniversary, reunion, company outing, or just plain fun - and we'll design a cruise to fit and make it a memorable occasion.

La Conner

Enjoy a gorgeous cruise to La Conner. We will take you past Anacortes, through Deception Pass, going under the Deception Pass bridge passing Hope Island and into the Swinomish Channel going under the Rainbow Bridge stopping at La Conner for lunch/dinner at the many restaurants they have. Also there are many excellent gifts shops in La Conner. We offer a complete narration of the history of La Conner, Swinomish Channel, Deception Pass, Anacortes and Fidalgo Island. This is an exciting one of a kind trip.

Friday Harbor

Take a cruise to Friday Harbor. It is the county seat of the San Juan Islands. You will find hotel, motel and bed and breakfast accommodations available should you wish to stay over night. For a day cruise in the San Juan Islands schedule a 2-3 hour stop at Friday Harbor. This gives you time to explore the whale museum and the many shops and restaurants there.

Roche Harbor

Roche Harbor is a beautiful resort on the northern end of San Juan Island. It is a historic Seaside Village. In 1886, John McMillin transformed a sleepy Hudson Bay camp into a full-fledged Lime works company town. At one time having 800 residents. Some of the original buildings still stand. The quaint little church and Hotel be Haro are a must to see. While at the Hotel be Haro look at guest registry and you will find that at one time Teddy Roosevelt stayed there.

Orcas Island

Let us take you to the fabulous Rosario Resort and Spa on Orcas Island. Originally the private home of Robert Moran now a destination stop with 80+ rooms and dining for over 200. While there, you can see and hear the wonderful pipe organ, look at the teak parquet floors and huge mahogany doors, and much more. Robert Moran was twice mayor of Seattle and owner of Maron ship Yard. He brought many shipwrights up from Seattle to build this beautiful mansion. Rosario Resort caters to many convention groups and weddings or you can just stop by for lunch. If you want to have a convention or wedding at Rosario Resort, the Island Caper can be chartered to transport your group there and back.

Wedding & Reception

What better place to tie the knot than the middle of Bellingham Bay? Or anywhere in the San Juan Archipelago? It doesn't get more romantic or memorable than this! Reserve the boat for the ceremony only, the reception only, or both! Under cover on the upper deck is an ideal setting for the ceremony. No need to worry about rain. Tables and chairs inside on the lower deck are ideal for a sit-down dinner or just hors d' oeuvres. For food and drink, caterers such as Hotel Bellwether, Hilltop Restaraunt or Kelly O'Deli plus many others are able to provide you with a fabulous array of the finest quality foods. When you need the utmost in privacy, we've got the answer. No telephone calls or knocks on your office door will interrupt you. Enjoy the home-like, quiet setting in our forward cabin. Plus you may use our big screen TV and VCR/DVD player to put on your best training ever.

Custom Sunset Cruise

One of our most popular charter options. Bask in the splendor of an island sunset while enjoying hors d'oeuvres, dinner or just dessert. Have it catered or bring your own. Add some champagne and a little music and you have the perfect evening getaway. We customize our regular trip for your pleasure. If you want to change arrival and/or departure times, maybe stop along the way at La Conner, Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor or Rosario Resort for lunch or dinner, we will make it happen just for you.

History Sunset Cruise wtih Whatcom Museum

This is our 30th year of providing the History Sunset Cruise for the Whatcom Museum. This cruise is a fund raising event for the museum. If you haven't explored Bellingham by water, THIS CRUISE IS A MUST! Where did Bellingham begin? What were those four towns that used to be here? Who were some of the early characters in local history? How has the bay changed and how do we use the exciting and vital resource today?

These are but a few of the questions answered in the popular History Sunset Cruises. The two hour and thirty minute sunset cruise is a great way for old timers and newcomers alike to learn more about the place they live and see the sites on the bay. The Bellingham Bay History Cruise is also a wonderful way to introduce your summer visitors to the beautiful place we live. Read more...

If you have questions, please contact us at mariner@orcawatch.com or call (360) 734-8866 or 1-877-734-8866.

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Friday Harbor Photo

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