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 9 days MS Fridtjof Nansen
22 September 2023
Price from
2790 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Explore North America’s West Coast, sailing from Vancouver to San Diego. You’ll spot whales around the San Juan Islands, walk sub-alpine Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park and admire some of the oldest trees in the world at Redwood National Park. See marine life on the Californian coast and enjoy the warm charm of Santa Barbara.

Olympic National Park and Vancouver

Embarking hybrid-powered MS Fridtjof Nansen in Vancouver, you’ll 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 its rich flora and birdlife.

Redwood National Park, Eureka, and San Juan Islands

You’ll have an opportunity to walk around the seaport city of Eureka which boasts splendid Victorian architecture and 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, over 100 metres in some cases, and around 1,500 years old.

Santa Barbara

We then set course for Santa Barbara, which has a distinctly Mediterranean feel to it, from terracotta-tiled architecture to inviting beaches. Look for whales and seabirds as we sail past the surrounding Channel Islands and all 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 Overnight

    22 September 2023

    Your exploration starts in Vancouver. Set amidst beautiful mountain scenery and the waters of English Bay, Vancouver is both a bustling seaport and a cosmopolitan city. If you arrange to arrive a few days ahead of your cruise, you’ll soon find out just why people rave about British Colombia’s largest city.  

    Its various neighbourhoods 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 neighbourhood either. Gastown’s Victorian buildings house some of the hottest restaurants and its 167-metre-high Vancouver Lookout also offers a perfect panorama over the city. 

    You can take in the neon lights and nightlife along the Granville Street strip or just go and chill on one of the beaches in West End. The latter is also the gateway to explore the wide-open spaces and towering red cedars of Stanley Park.  

    Enjoy your first night in Vancouver in a nice, centrally located hotel. The hotel welcomes you to relax and use its amenities after your long journey.

    Why not extending your stay in this lovely scenery with our unique Pre-Programme and taking a trip aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies? The scenery is nothing short of spectacular.

    Day 1
    Vancouver, Canada

    Vancouver Overnight

  • Day 2
    Vancouver, Canada

    Start of the Expedition

    23 September 2023

    After an enjoyable breakfast at your hotel, we will take you on a city tour discovering the main highlights of fabulous Vancouver. 

    The excursion will end at the pier where MS Fridtjof Nansen is waiting for you to take you onto an unforgettable expedition cruise.

    Day 2
    Vancouver, Canada

    Start of the Expedition

  • Day 3
    Sea Day

    The views of the Pacific North West

    24 September 2023

    Today, we’ll do some cruising around the ecological haven of the San Juan Islands. These rugged islands form an archipelago between the US state of Washington and Canada’s Vancouver Island, and 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 concentration of bald eagles, great blue herons, black oystercatchers and numerous shore birds.

    The Expedition Team will be joining you out on deck, helping you to spot wildlife and pointing out sites of interest along the way.

    Day 3
    Sea Day

    The views of the Pacific North West

  • Day 4
    Olympic National Park, USA

    Sub-alpine splendour

    25 September 2023

    We anchor up today at the small seaport of Port Angeles for a day of mountain exploration. The town itself has a lot of charm, 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 before being later designated by UNESCO 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 sub-alpine forest with wildflower meadows.

    Today, we’ll explore the sub-alpine region and take you to the mountainous area of Hurricane Ridge, where there might still be some snow from winter. From here, you’ll have the option to go on a guided hike through the park where you’ll discover its rich and varied flora and fauna. There will be plenty of bird watching opportunities along the way, and you may even come across Roosevelt elk, which are indigenous to the area, as are black bears.

    • Included Olympic National Park
    Day 4
    Olympic National Park, USA

    Sub-alpine splendour

  • Day 5
    At Sea

    Scanning for sea life

    26 September 2023

    Part of being on an expedition is knowing how to enjoy living in the moment; taking time out to reconnect with nature and the world around you. So settle into a spot in the panoramic Explorer Lounge or out on deck and really bask in the sights and sounds that surround you. The waves might be broken by signs of humpback whales known to swim in the area. Or tune in to the hum of the sea breeze punctuated by the cries of a wide variety of seabirds commonly seen along the West Coast.

    We also support a number of Citizen Science projects that you can join. These projects include Happywhale, where your photographs help identify and track the movement of specific whales across the planet due to their distinguishing characteristics. Or you can participate in the GLOBE Observer project, which combines your observations of clouds and sky conditions from below with data collected by satellites from above. This helps scientists at space agencies such as NASA get a more complete picture of the clouds in our atmosphere. By participating in these projects, not only will you be supporting the scientific community, you’ll also be gaining a better understanding of the world around you.

    Day 5
    At Sea

    Scanning for sea life

  • Day 6
    Redwood National Park

    Walk among ancient giants

    27 September 2023

    Today we drop anchor at Eureka, and from here we’ll go on an included excursion to the incredible Redwood National Park. Wandering around this International Biosphere Reserve is an awe-inspiring experience. With some of the old-growth giant redwoods over 100 metres 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. Welcome to a scenic seaport known for its Victorian era charm and eco-conscious vibe. The town’s prosperity was built 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 some boutique shops along the beautiful waterfront. Here, you can enjoy a drink while watching fishing boats return across Humboldt Bay.

    • Included Redwood National Park
    Day 6
    Redwood National Park

    Walk among ancient giants

  • Day 7
    Sea Day

    Leisure cruising

    28 September 2023

    Inspired by the landscapes and adventures so far, perhaps you’d like to use this day at sea to channel your inner artist in an onboard art workshop? Or maybe you’ll spend some time learning the basics of expedition photography from our onboard photographer who’ll make sure your digital memories will be as vivid as the ones in your head.

    Spend some time out on deck and watch the seas for signs of wildlife as the Californian coast rolls by in the distance - who knows, you may even spot a humpback or two! You might then be in the mood for soaking in one of the relaxing hot tubs or taking a dip in the infinity pool. Suitably refreshed, you could 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 too, so a wine-tasting session of Californian chardonnay or Cabernet wouldn’t be amiss!

    Day 7
    Sea Day

    Leisure cruising

  • Day 8
    Santa Barbara, USA

    The American Riviera

    29 September 2023

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

    The Santa Barbara Mission church is a great place from which to start exploring. You can admire the beautiful Spanish-era buildings, browse the shops along terracotta-tiled State Street and wander around the alluring Mission Rose Garden. At Stearns Wharf, California’s oldest pier, take in views of the Pacific and grab some homemade ice cream. If you’ve time, chill out in one of the many excellent restaurants and bars. This could be combined with a spot of wine tasting from a local vineyard – after all, the city is famed for its wines.

    On our way to or from Santa Barbara, don’t miss the opportunity to look out for whales from deck when we sail through the surrounding Channel Islands. 

    • Included Santa Barbara Trolley
    Day 8
    Santa Barbara, USA

    The American Riviera

  • Day 9
    San Diego, USA

    The start of an adventure

    30 September 2023

    We say a fond farewell to MS Fridtjof Nansen as we dock in the fabulous city of San Diego, where you will end your expedition on a high.

    Welcome to ‘America’s Finest City’ and California’s ‘Beach City’! With its heady mix of diverse urban sophistication, laidback surfer vibe, and year-round sunshine, San Diego has it all.

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

    Culture buffs should head straight to Balboa Park, the “Smithsonian of the West”, with its 17 museums, art galleries and other performing arts venues. And foodies will also be spoilt for choice with a melting pot of cuisines, local wines and craft beers to sample.

    There’s so much to do and see in San Diego that we highly recommend booking a Post-Programme to explore more of what the city and its surroundings have to offer before returning home. Enjoy a nice half day excursion and explore Cabrillo National Monument.

    Day 9
    San Diego, USA

    The start of an adventure



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What's included

Included in your voyage


  • Overnight in Vancouver before the expedition cruise, including breakfast


  • Transfer from hotel to ship in Vancouver including an excursion before the expedition cruise

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm 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 use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard Activities

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Loan of trekking poles and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage 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 make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities 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 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots

MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships – and the next generation expedition ship. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe.

Read more about MS Fridtjof Nansen

A large boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

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