Join us for three incredible days of adventure and relaxation this Winter in the San Juan Islands
We're really excited to offer a unique "Mini Winter Cruise" on board Hopscotch in early 2019.
Let's be honest, Winter in the Pacific Northwest can be rough on everyone. But the San Juans offer a local, uncrowded, mini retreat that can take you out of the gloom and into adventure. Did we mention that the San Juans get less than half as much rain per year as Seattle!
We would never suggest that a Winter cruise in the San Juans is going to be all t-shirts and sunglasses (although it is possible). But we can guarantee that you'll have a fantastic trip filled with great food, amazing sights, cozy accommodations, and first class service.
Whether you're a local who's been coming to these islands for years, or this is your first time to the San Juans, you'll have an amazing time enjoying them in their winter beauty...and you'll have them all to yourself!
Here's what you need to know!
Our Winter Mini-Adventure is designed to keep us in protected water, and take advantage of the rugged beauty that these islands display even (and sometimes especially) in the cooler months!
Our Adventures begin and end in the charming town of Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island. The first day of our trip begins at 1pm. Which means you've got time to grab lunch and take a stroll around Friday Harbor.
Hopscotch will be docked at the main Marina (the Port of Friday Harbor). The Marina, Ferry Dock, and Town are all right next to each other and can easily be navigated by foot...no car necessary!
There are several ways to get to and from Friday Harbor:
We recommend that you DO NOT drive your car onto the ferry (Parking is available at the Anacortes Ferry Dock), and instead "walk-on" to the ferry. Walking on is much less expensive, and you'll not have to arrive too early or wait in long ferry lines.
You should catch (at the very latest) the 10:20 AM Ferry departing Anacortes. You'll arrive in Friday Harbor at 11:40 am, and have plenty of time to grab lunch, and do a little exploring before we meet at 1pm.
You can travel by car to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal and park in the lot there. You'll need to be parked and purchasing your ticket by 10am. If you are leaving from the Seattle area, plan on departing your home by 8am.
Ferry Schedules and information can be found at the Washington State Ferries website
If you choose not to take the ferry, your other option for travel to and from Friday Harbor is by plane. Flights leave daily from Lake Union (downtown Seattle, by seaplane), and Boeing Field (just south of Downtown Seattle). Flight information can be found on the Kenmore Air website.
Schedule — What to Pack — what’s included
FRIDAY, DAY 1
Please plan to arrive in Friday Harbor on no later than Friday morning. Some guests looking to extend their stay in the islands may wish to come to Friday Harbor on Thursday. This is a great option, and you can find many wonderful winter deals on lodging.
If you arrive on Friday, please plan to arrive in the morning so that you have time to check out the town, and also grab lunch before boarding Hopscotch at 1PM.
There are two ways to get to Friday Harbor:
Fly direct from Seattle via Kenmore Air (Daily flights departing from South Lake Union)
Drive to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal and walk onto the Ferry for Friday Harbor. There is no need to drive your car across the ferry, as the ferry dock is next to where Hopscotch is docked. Please consult the current Washington State Ferry Schedule and note that you’ll need a few extra minutes to find parking, and purchase your Walk Aboard tickets in Anacortes. Don’t be late! There is a ferry leaving at 10:20 AM from Anacortes that we recommend you be on.
Meet Brendan and Branden at the Popeye the Seal Statue in Fairweather Park (located 150 Yards North of the Ferry Landing)
Arrive Roche Harbor Resort
Roche Harbor has lots to see and do. Along with several places to grab a snack (or famous Donuts!) you can also pick up anything you need (drinks, toiletries, etc) at the Roche Harbor Store. For those of you who prefer to shower on dry land (instead of Hopscotch), Roche Harbor boasts some the nicest showers in the islands…but you’ll need some quarters (available at the store)!
Dinner tonight will be locally caught Salmon prepared in a special Asian-style marinade which will have your taste-buds dancing with delight. The entree will be served with roasted potatoes, greens, and topped off with a coconut based flour-less chocolate cake.
Evenings on board Hopscotch are usually spent telling stories, playing games, or cuddling up with your favorite book in your cabin. For those who prefer to keep the party going, there are few places more iconic than the fireside lounge at Mcmillan’s
Saturday, day 2
Coffee is on! If you are an early riser you’re certainly welcome to get up at dawn and walk the docks, shower, and explore! However, we ask that you “keep it down” (library voices) until 8 am…some guests like to sleep in!
We’ll have coffee and a special sweet treat at 7:30. Feel free to stretch your legs and explore until 9am!
Breakfast! We’ll have a great spread of sweet and savory!
Depart Roche Harbor and head south through Mosquito Pass.
We’ll be sailing on the West Side of San Juan and Henry Islands. Heading north of Haro Straight we will be on the look out for transient and resident Orca Whales! This is prime territory and we’ll cross our fingers that we get lucky and haven an encounter! If conditions allow, we will have lunch underway, around 12:30 PM.
We’ll arrive in Reid Harbor on Magical Stuart Island!
This is your time to get out and explore all the magic that Stuart Island has to offer! Brendan will be happy to show you the way to the enchanting old School House, and Teacherage Museum. For those who really want to stretch their legs, a hike to the historic turn point Light Station is always a great walk! And for those looking to gain some elevation, Brendan will show you the path to Tip Top hill…the best view in the San Juan Islands!
Come warm up with a hot drink, and a campfire! We’ll have a toasty campfire, some snacks, drinks, and maybe even a hammock or two to help you warm up and relax after a day of adventures!
Tonight’s dinner is one to remember! Chef Branden will make his famous Local Salish Sea Baked Halibut, Broccolini and Wild Rice. Dessert will just have to be a surprise!
Sunday, Day 3
Coffee is hot and ready for you to take on one of the incredibly beautiful hikes that start and end at the State Park Dock. Enjoy a 20-30 minute walk that will take you through madrona forest, old growth, and coastal rain forest.
We depart Stuart island and have a lovely Brunch underway.
9 AM - 11:30 Am
We’ll sail up the Northeast Side of Speiden Island and then down San Juan Channel back to Friday Harbor.
11:30 ish AM
We’ll arrive back in the town of Friday Harbor.
You’ll be back in time to catch the 12:10 Ferry back to Anacortes. Or if you’d prefer to grab lunch in Friday Harbor, you can catch the 3:40 PM Ferry.
What you should pack
Most importantly, we ask that you pack your luggage in a soft sided bag. Hard sided Luggage takes up too much space aboard Hopscotch.
Please make sure that you have these items:
Shoes that you can walk in. Usually tennis shoes are fine. But if you prefer hiking shoes, please feel free to bring them
We don’t recommend flip flops, or other sandals that can easily get caught on lines or edges of the boat.
A warm hat
A scarf (if you usually wear one)
We have plenty of blankets, umbrellas, (extra) gloves, and other items to keep you warm! Hopscotch is dry and warm, and you can always “get out of the weather” if you want to. However, there are moments when we might have some chilly weather (or wet) coincide with an amazing situation (whales, or other scenic opportunities) where you will want to be on deck. It’s also quite enjoyable to be outside when we are under sail. So, we recommend that you bring clothing that you might where if you were going for a walk in the Pacific Northwest in the winter time.
What’s included and what’s not
The cost for 1 stateroom (2 guests per stateroom in one “Queen” sized bed) is $2700 ($1350 per person)
Your adventure on Hopscotch includes:
You own stateroom (for 2 people) with towels, and extra toiletries (if you forgot your own!)
Each stateroom has a head (boat for bathroom), and the head is also a shower. Most guests prefer showering on shore, but it’s not a problem to shower on board too!
All food: meals, snacks, treats, etc, is included. Your first meal will be Dinner on Friday Evening (you are responsible for Lunch in Friday Harbor), and our last meal on board is going to be Brunch on Sunday morning.
We have all necessary safety gear, and equipment:
What’s not included:
Any alcohol you wish to consume on board. We will gladly store wine and beer and liquor on board, but we cannot supply it to you. There are several stores in Friday Harbor to purchase any alcohol you wish to consume. And there is also a store at Roche Harbor where you can “re-supply” on any alcohol, or purchase any other items you’d like to.
In the Charter Industry a 15-20 % gratuity (on the original cost of the charter) is customary if service was excellent. If service was less than excellent, we ask that you speak with us about it.