U.S. West Coast – Highlights and National Parks of the Pacific (Southbound)

U.S. West Coast – Highlights and National Parks of the Pacific (Southbound)

U.S. West Coast – Highlights and National Parks of the Pacific (Southbound)

U.S. West Coast – Highlights and National Parks of the Pacific (Southbound)

Travel information 8 days MS Fridtjof Nansen
September 23, 2023
Price from $ 4,176
$ 3,550
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Explore North America’s West coast, sailing from Vancouver to San Diego. Watch for whales around the San Juan Islands, walk the subalpine Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, explore Redwood National Park, and admire some of the oldest trees in the world. See marine life on the Californian coast and enjoy the warm charm of Santa Barbara.

Olympic National Park and Vancouver

Embark hybrid electric–powered MS Fridtjof Nansen in Vancouver and explore Hurricane Ridge, the sub-alpine region of Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Go on a guided hike through the park to spot some of its rich flora and birdlife.

Redwood National Park, Eureka, and the San Juan Islands

You’ll have the opportunity to stroll through the seaport city of Eureka and enjoy its splendid Victorian architecture. Then do some whale-watching around the spectacular San Juan Islands, near Olympic National Park. Prepare to be amazed as you enter the old-growth forest of Redwood National Park. These are some of the tallest trees in the world, in some cases over 325 feet tall and about 1,500 years old.

Santa Barbara

Then, we’ll set course for Santa Barbara. This city has a distinctly Mediterranean feel to it, from the terra cotta–tiled architecture to its inviting beaches. Look out for whales and seabirds as we sail past the Channel Islands along our way down the Pacific coast.

U.S. West Coast – Highlights and National Parks of the Pacific (Southbound) U.S. West Coast – Highlights and National Parks of the Pacific (Southbound)
  • Day 1
    Vancouver, Canada

    Vancouver, Canada

    September 23, 2023

    Your expedition starts in Vancouver. Set amid gorgeous mountain scenery and along the waters of English Bay, Vancouver is both a bustling seaport and cosmopolitan city.

    Its neighborhoods buzz with world-class farm-to-table cuisine. Chinatown and Punjabi Market have arguably the best Asian food in North America, while Commercial Drive is the home of Little Italy.

    Don’t miss Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood! Gastown’s Victorian buildings house some of the city’s hottest restaurants and Vancouver Lookout also offers a great view of the city.

    Take in the neon lights and nightlife along Granville Street strip or just relax on one of the beaches in West End. The West End is also the gateway to the towering red cedars of Stanley Park, filled with wide-open spaces to explore.

    Then, head to the pier, where MS Fridtjof Nansen awaits to take you to an unforgettable expedition cruise.

    If you have some extra time, perhaps extend your stay amid such lovely scenery. Our unique Pre-Program will take you on a trip aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular.

    Day 1
    Vancouver, Canada

    Vancouver, Canada

  • Day 2
    Sea Day

    Views of the Pacific Northwest

    September 24, 2023

    Today we cruise around the ecological haven of the San Juan Islands. These rugged islands form an archipelago between the state of Washington and Canada’s Vancouver Island—they’re a world class destination for spotting marine wildlife. What could be better than sitting on deck and gazing at these pine covered islands with a backdrop of snowy mountain peaks in the distance?

    If we’re lucky, you might spot humpbacks, minke whales, and even orcas. The islands also host a great number of bald eagles, great blue herons, black oystercatchers, and numerous shore birds.

    The Expedition Team will join you on deck and help you spot wildlife and will point out sites of interest along the way.

    Day 2
    Sea Day

    Views of the Pacific Northwest

  • Day 3
    Olympic National Park, U.S.

    Subalpine splendor

    September 25, 2023

    Today we’ll drop anchor at the small seaport of Port Angeles for a day of mountain exploration. The town itself is charming, especially the downtown area near the ferry port, but we plan to spend most of this day exploring Olympic National Park.

    Olympic National Park was declared a National Monument in 1909 and UNESCO later designated it as an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. The park hosts three distinct ecosystems: the rugged Pacific coast, an area of temperate forest, and a subalpine forest with wildflower meadows.

    We’ll explore the subalpine region and take you to mountainous Hurricane Ridge. From here, you’ll have the option to join a guided hike through the park to discover its rich and varied flora and fauna. There will be plenty of birdwatching opportunities along the way. You may even come across Roosevelt elk, which are indigenous to the area, as are black bears.

    Day 3
    Olympic National Park, U.S.

    Subalpine splendor

  • Day 4
    At Sea

    Scanning for sea life

    September 26, 2023

    An important part of any expedition is living in the moment and taking time to reconnect with nature and the world around you. Enjoy panoramic views from a spot in the Explorer bar & lounge or head out on deck and bask in the sights and sounds that surround you. Who knows? Maybe the humpback whales known to swim in the area might make an appearance between the waves. The atmosphere is idyllic, with the hum of the sea breeze punctuated by cries of a wide variety of seabirds found along the West coast.

    You can also participate in a number of Citizen Science projects we support. These include the Happywhale project, where your photographs help identify and track the movement of specific whales across the planet, identified by their distinguishing characteristics. You may also join the GLOBE Observer project, which combines your observations of clouds and sky conditions with satellite data. This helps scientists at space agencies like NASA more comprehensively understand the clouds in our atmosphere. By participating in these projects, not only will you be supporting the scientific community, you’ll also be gaining better understanding of the world around you.

    Day 4
    At Sea

    Scanning for sea life

  • Day 5
    Redwood National Park

    Walk among ancient giants

    September 27, 2023

    Today we’ll drop anchor at Eureka. From here, we’ll go on an included excursion to the incredible Redwood National Park. Wandering this International Biosphere Reserve is an awe-inspiring experience. With some giant old-growth redwoods towering over 325 feet tall, you’ll see why the world’s tallest trees are often called ‘nature’s skyscrapers’. Certain trees here are over 1,500 years old, living testaments to the success of a well-supported conservation project that saved these ancient giants from the lumberjack’s saw.

    After your visit to Redwood National Park, there’s an opportunity to explore Eureka. This scenic seaport is known for its Victorian-era charm and eco-conscious vibe. The town earned its prosperity on the lumber trade, and there’s evidence of this in the handsome Victorian mansions on display. Check out the picturesque Old Town, where you’ll find boutique shops along the beautiful waterfront. You can also enjoy a drink here and gaze as fishing boats return across Humboldt Bay.

    Day 5
    Redwood National Park

    Walk among ancient giants

  • Day 6
    Sea Day

    Leisure cruise

    September 28, 2023

    Inspired by the landscapes and your adventures so far? Consider using this day at sea to channel your inner artist in an onboard art workshop. Or maybe spend time learning the basic concepts of expedition photography from our onboard photographer, who will make sure your digital memories are as vivid as the ones in your head.

    Spend time on deck and watch for wildlife as the Californian coast rolls by in the distance. Who knows? You may even spot a humpback or two! Give into your temptation and soak in one of the relaxing hot tubs or take a dip in the infinity pool. Suitably refreshed, you can head up to the bar and enjoy a cocktail or two with some of the other guests. We’re sure to have some bottles of local wines stocked up, so you wouldn’t go wrong with a wine-tasting session of Californian Chardonnay or Cabernet.

    Day 6
    Sea Day

    Leisure cruise

  • Day 7
    Santa Barbara, U.S.

    The American Riviera

    September 29, 2023

    Situated between the fertile vineyards of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the pristine Pacific coast beaches, Santa Barbara has old-style Spanish charm in a Golden State setting. For over a decade, the city housed the world’s largest silent film studio, until the business grew too big and they took it all to Hollywood.

    A great place to start exploring is the Santa Barbara Mission church. Admire the beautiful Spanish-era buildings, browse the shops along terracotta-tiled State Street, and stroll through the peaceful Mission Rose Garden. At Stearns Wharf, California’s oldest pier, take in views of the Pacific and grab some homemade ice cream. Still have some time to spare? Try one of the excellent restaurants or bars here. Or do a wine tasting from a local vineyard—the city is famed for its wines, after all.

    On our way to and from Santa Barbara, don’t forget to get on deck to spot whales as we sail through the surrounding Channel Islands.

    Day 7
    Santa Barbara, U.S.

    The American Riviera

  • Day 8
    San Diego, U.S.

    The start of an adventure

    September 30, 2023

    Bid a fond farewell to MS Fridtjof Nansen as we dock in the fabulous city of San Diego, where you’ll end your expedition.

    Welcome to ‘America’s Finest City’, the ‘Beach City’ of California! San Diego has it all: a mix of urban sophistication, a laid-back surfer vibe, and year-round sunshine.

    Spend your final day enjoying some fun in the sun and water sports at one of its many beaches. Or take a trolley car tour and explore Downtown, from the historic Gaslamp Quarter to the San Diego Bay waterfront.

    Culture buffs should head straight to Balboa Park, the ‘Smithsonian of the West’, which has 17 museums, art galleries, and numerous performing arts venues. This city is also a delicious melting pot of cuisine, local wines, and craft beers.

    San Diego offers so much to do and see that we highly recommend booking a Post-Program to better explore the city and its surroundings before you return home. On this Post-Program, you’ll enjoy a nice half-day excursion and explore Cabrillo National Monument.

    Day 8
    San Diego, U.S.

    The start of an adventure



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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in the cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • Fine-dining in À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organizes and guides activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, an infinity pool, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Loan of trekking poles and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers help you configure your camera settings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area


  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
Pool area on MS Fridtjof Nansen
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Your Ship

MS Fridtjof Nansen

Year built 2020
Shipyard Kleven Yards, Norway
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20,889 T
Length 459 ft
Beam 77.4 ft
Speed 15 knots

MS Fridtjof Nansen is a next-generation expedition ship, just the latest in Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships. She explores some of the most spectacular corners of the globe.

Read more about MS Fridtjof Nansen

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