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Travel

An Un-Cruise Adventure in the Pacific Northwest

One of the best things about an Un-Cruise Adventures cruise of the Washington and British Columbia coast, aside from the indescribably beautiful scenery, traveling in a luxurious yacht and having wonderful food, is the fact that you disembark from Seattle. This means you get to stay in the unique and lovely Mayflower Park Hotel. Recently, a USA Today article listed dozens of the best historic hotels in America and I was pleased to see that the Mayflower Park Hotel was on the list.

Located within easy walking distance of the Pike Place Market and other tourist destinations, the hotel is especially convenient because it adjoins the Westlake Center, a four-story shopping center with plenty of shops, restaurants – and a monorail which goes directly to the Space Needle! Built in 1927, it is beautifully decorated and furnished, but perfect for modern travelers with free wifi and all the conveniences you expect in a 21st century hotel. We were especially pleased with our roomy and comfortable one-bedroom suite. Be sure to have dinner one night at Andaluca which is next door to the hotel and entered through the lobby. The focus is on Mediterranean food and the menu includes seasonal salads and Northwest entrees – all of which are delicious!

Next, spend a week in equally luxurious surroundings on the Safari Quest yacht with Un-Cruise Adventures. We were surprised when we first spied the yacht moored at the dock as we were used to huge cruise ships with rooms for thousands of people. But it took no time at all for us to appreciate the small but beautifully designed yacht and realize there was plenty of room for all of us to enjoy the week. A roomy lounge area with cushioned furniture was a favorite place for everyone to congregate, especially since there was an open bar, with drinks included in the price of the cruise.

Our stateroom was on a lower deck accessed by a spiral staircase and was efficiently designed so that we managed to fit everything from our suitcases in the closet and drawers with no problem. A small library became my favorite place to curl up with a book and watch the incredible scenery scroll past the large window. With the yacht’s open bridge policy, my husband spent a lot of time getting to know our friendly and knowledgeable captain and looking for area wildlife.

The sun deck was also a popular location with its large hot tub, plenty of comfortable seating and a great view of the incredible water and islands of British Columbia. We spent one afternoon up there watching a pod of killer whales capture and kill a sea-lion – an amazing and terrifying experience.

We cruised up gorgeous inlets with amazing waterfalls and snow-topped mountains soaring in the distance and anchored by idyllic islands covered by lush evergreen trees.

Coming home after staying in two equally luxurious accommodations – one on land, one on the water – was quite an adjustment. We will have to start planning our next trip right away!

By Jan Ross, Staff Writer

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