Join us on exciting flotilla trips in 2018!
Group flotilla travel with experienced leaders is fun and a great way to expand your boating knowledge.
We are pleased to offer two flotilla trips for 2018. Our round trip to Desolation Sound is designed for those who may have only experienced cruising in the San Juan and Gulf Islands. For adventurous cruisers, try the holy grail of Pacific Northwest cruising: the Inside Passage to Alaska. This 750 mile, 3-week passage concludes in Ketchikan, the jumping off point to explore the glaciers, whales, and bears of Southeast Alaska.
Not sure what flotilla cruise suits you best? Call or email us and we’ll be happy to offer advice.
Waggoner Cruising Guide 2018 Flotillas
Desolation Sound Roundtrip
Anacortes, WA to Anacortes, WA (turn around at Gorge Harbour, BC)
Includes half-off our 2-day seminar, in April in Mt. Vernon and the key cruising guides for the trip including the 2018 Waggoner Cruising Guide and the 2018 Ports and Passes Tide and Current Guide
This trip leaves from Anacortes, WA and takes you to the best Desolation Sound marinas and anchorages. It is designed for those who want a guided trip the all the way there and back. This is also ideal for those on a 2-week charter or with limited vacation time.
The Inside Passage to Alaska
Anacortes, WA to Ketchikan, AK – Cost $2900
- Flotilla 1: May 20 to June 8
Includes half-off our 3-day Alaska Cruising Seminar, in March in Anacortes, and the key cruising guides for the trip including the 2018 Waggoner Cruising Guide and the 2018 Ports and Passes Tide and Current Guide
This 750 mile, 3-week cruise stops at many of the most popular destinations in the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Desolation Sound, The Broughtons, and Northern BC before concluding in Ketchikan, AK. About 2/3rds of the stops are at marinas and 1/3rd are anchorages. The focus of this trip is a safe, comfortable, fun, and educational passage. We focus on teaching weather and the currents to participants so they’re prepared for further exploration in Southeast Alaska and their return trip.
The longest cruising day is about 70 nautical miles over 10 hours, though the average day is about half that long. We plan stops for fuel, water, provisions and laundry, and sightseeing along the way. Whale and bear sightings are not unusual. Waterfalls line the passages and add to the mountain scenery in the beautiful anchorages. This is the trip of a lifetime with memories and new friendships made along the way.
How Waggoner Cruising Guide Flotillas Began and What To Expect
In 2014 we announced the first Waggoner Flotilla Cruises, beginning in Anacortes and ending in Ketchikan. We soon had applications from 96 boats, solidifying our belief that people want to explore these areas in the company of experienced guides and fellow cruisers.
By departure time we had 23 boats on three flotillas. The vessels on our trips were a mix of power and sail, some fast and some slow, ranging from 22 feet to 70 feet. Each of our 23 participating boats had an experience with memories that will last a lifetime. You can see more of what our flotilla was like in this video produced and edited by one family who participated in 2014:
For the last 3 years, we have successfully led flotillas covering majestic Desolation Sound, the enchanting Broughton Archipelago, and the inspiring Inside Passage to SE Alaska.
Flotilla cruising is making new friends and sharing the experience with a small group of like-minded cruisers. It’s wine tasting in Ganges, soaking in hot springs, and enjoying happy hour on the dock.
Experienced flotilla leaders help educate participants along the way on topics as diverse as selecting weather windows, timing passage through the tidal rapids, anchoring, managing a stern tie for your boat and route planning.
The experience begins long before departure. We start with telephone briefings soon after you sign up and send mechanical check lists to make sure your boat is ready. We present a 2 to 3-day seminar that takes you through the entire experience, including places to visit after the flotilla portion of the trip concludes. As the cruising guide and tide and current guide experts, we provide a complete library of books and briefing maps for the trip.
What else is included in the experience? We coordinate all moorage and plan special events. We closely monitor the weather. We provide daily briefings, in person and in writing, with information on the planned route, weather forecasts, relevant tide and current information, and notable local history. We monitor a preselected VHF channel 24/7, and quickly respond to questions or issues participants have. And using our connections along the coast, we can help arrange for expedited repairs or shipments of spare parts if needed.
What’s not included?
Moorage, meals out, and gratuities are not included and are paid by each individual vessel.
Waggoner Cruising Guide Flotillas Testimonials
Our participants from last year raved about the experience. Here are a few of their comments:
“Sam and Kevin: We are returning to Port MeNeill on Saturday to make our way back to Seattle. Thanks for all of your help on this trip. It has been fabulous to say the least.” –Jim Hunnex, Alaska 2014
“Hi Sam, Greg and I made it back and all went well. Again I really want to thank you and Kevin for your teaching and advice as I learned so very much from you both.” –Ronald Saunders, Alaska 2014
“For anyone who is thinking about trying the inside passage and feels that having some navigational, local knowledge assistance along the way would be wonderful. Maybe you also would like moral support, companionship and some boat mechanical expertise from capable and knowledgeable boaters? If so then STOP READING THIS BLOG and sign up for the Waggoner group trip next summer. We loved our Waggoner flotilla! Sam and Kevin the flotilla leaders were incredible and shared so much information along the way. They assessed the group early and made good choices along the way about teachable moments. They worked hard and worked together to empower each and every boater with the tools to make safe, practical decisions because this is a one way trip and we all have to make it back on our own!” –Tammy and Andrew Adams, Alaska 2015
“This seminar was fantastic — an intense amount of information covering SO much: mechanical issues, weather, tides and currents, navigation, culture, attractions, safety, provisioning, technology and communication, medical emergencies, cooking, photography, fishing, crabbing, and other “what ifs”, delivered by some very knowledgeable people.” –Laura Domela and Kevin Morris, Alaska 2015