- Photo Tours
- Live Voyage Reports
- Expedition & Niche Cruises
- Hurtigruten Midnatsol – North Cape
- Passing Cloud – Sailing Haida Gwaii
- Safari Endeavour – Alaska’s Glacier Country
- Safari Voyager – Mexico’s Sea of Cortes
- Schooner Zodiac – Brew Cruise 2013
- Schooner Zodiac – Wine Cruise
- Silver Discoverer – Australia to Indonesia
- Silver Explorer – British Isles
- Wind Spirit – Stockholm to Oslo
- Wind Star – Rome to Nice
- Luxury Cruises
- Mainstream Cruises
- River Cruises
- AmaLotus – Cambodia & Vietnam
- AmaLyra- Christmas Markets
- Emerald Waterways Emerald Star – Danube Delights
- Tauck ms Inspire – Maiden Voyage
- Tauck Swiss Jewel – Blue Danube
- Viking Baldur – Rhine Christmas
- Viking Freya – Danube Christmas
- Viking Longships Christening 2012
- Viking Longships Christening 2013
- Expedition & Niche Cruises
- Airport Guides
- About FTDC
- The Avid Cruiser
One of the hands-down coolest cruises I took last year was the one I had the most doubts about initially: a three night wine cruise aboard a 160-foot long Schooner originally built in 1924. But the Schooner Zodiac is no ordinary cruise experience: it is a fully immersive sailing adventure through Washington State’s San Juan Islands that will win your heart over in no time.
This year, the Schooner Zodiac returns for another exciting season that begins with an evening cruise on Saturday, April 27th and concludes with a three-day “San Juan Islands Getaway” voyage on October 11, 2013. For the full-immersion experience, though, I’d pin my sights on the massive, 13-day voyage to Desolation Sound.
Part of the charm of sailing aboard the Zodiac is her fabulous team of volunteer crew members. These people not only know how to sail, they’re enthusiastic about it, too. And you’ll get the chance to have as much hands-on knowledge as you could ever hope for during your time aboard her: multi-night guests will have the chance to stand on bow watch, assist with navigation, learn about charts and radio communications, and yes, even swab the decks.
But it’s fun – trust me. I spent some enjoyable time making the brightwork on the ship’s engine telegraph sparkle, washed the decks, climbed up on the sails, and even assisted in navigating the ship around a lighthouse. I doubt they’ll let me do that on the bridge of my next mainstream cruise…
Inside, the Zodiac is charmingly cozy, with a main kitchen, wood-panelled seating area, and a fabulously nautical lounge.
There are a handful of staterooms onboard, but to really get the true nautical experience, I recommend booking a berth. What’s a berth, you ask? In this case, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a single berth situated in the ship’s main lounge.
And it’s an awesome experience! Very cozy, very comfortable – just don’t sit up too quickly. Personally, I brought my iPod, loaded it with music, and enjoyed three of the best sleeps I’ve had in a long time.
If you’re in the Bellingham area this year – perhaps to take in an Alaskan cruise from either Vancouver or Seattle – the Schooner Zodiac is now offering a series of “Winemaker’s Dinner Sails” that complement the line’s “Schooners on the Schooner” beer-themed sails that highlight a different Bellingham brewery on each trip.
On-tap (no pun intended) for 2013 are:
- May 25th, 2013, 5:30 – 9 p.m. “Winemaker’s Dinner Sail” – Cost $95 per passenger, includes wine tastings, dinner and complimentary Zodiac Wine glass. (Wines are available for purchase onboard from the vintners).
- June 11th, 2013 5:30 – 9 p.m. “Schooners on the Schooner” (featuring Boundary Bay Brewery) Cost: $95 per person – includes dinner and beer, with complimentary Zodiac schooner glass.
- July 30th, 5:30- 9 p.m. “Winemaker’s Dinner Sail” – featuring Lopez Island Vintner Brent Charnley. Cost $95 per passenger, includes wine tastings, dinner and complimentary Zodiac Wine glass. (Wines are available for purchase onboard from the vintners).
- August 27th, 5:30-9 p.m. “Winemaker’s Dinner Sail” – (featuring Masquerade Wine Company). Cost $95 per passenger, includes wine tastings, dinner and complimentary Zodiac Wine glass. (Wines are available for purchase onboard from the vintners).
- September 17th, 5:30-9 p.m. “Schooners on the Schooner” (featuring Chuckanut Brewery) Cost: $95 per person – includes dinner and beer, with complimentary Zodiac schooner glass.
- October 24th, 5:30-9 p.m. “Oktoberfest Dinner Sail” (featuring Kulshan Brewery). Cost: $95 per person – includes bratwurst dinner and beer, with complimentary Zodiac schooner glass.
“The Pacific Northwest is world-renown for several things, and foremost would be our San Juan Islands, our seafood and our award winning wines. These cruises will highlight all three,” said Chris Wallace, Port Captain for the Zodiac.
“The Schooner Zodiac will be celebrating her 90th birthday at next year’s Bellingham Bay Rendezvous. We’d like to help and make sure that it’s a successful event,” continued Zodiac’s Steward Jacki Roberts.
After having discovered this ship last year, I couldn’t believe the Zodiac existed just across the border, literally in my own backyard.
I know I plan to be back for 2013 aboard the Zodiac. Will you?
More information on the Schooner Zodiac and her 2013 itineraries can be found by paying a visit to their website.
Sign up for the Avid Cruiser newsletter
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009