Skip to navigation, or go to main content.

WINGS Birding Tours – Itinerary

Pacific Coast Seabird Cruises from Southern California to Vancouver

Albatrosses, Pterodromas, and Seabirding in Comfort

Tuesday 28 April to Saturday 2 May 2020
with Paul Lehman as leader
Thursday 14 May to Sunday 17 May 2020
with Paul Lehman as leader

Price: $325 (04/2020)

View details

Reserve Now

featured image

A Cook’s Petrel arcs over the Pacific off Santa Barbara, California Photo: Tony Leukering

When major cruise companies reposition their boats from winter to summer cruising schedules, the cost of these staging cruises are often remarkably reasonable. Recently West Coast birders have used these cruises as a comfortable platform to look for offshore species, including several pterodroma petrels, albatrosses, and storm-petrels.  On this cruise we have a reasonable chance of encountering Hawaiian, Murphy’s and Cook’s Petrels among many others.

28 April-2 May 2020, on Holland America Cruises (Koningsdam) from San Diego to Vancouver: The 4-Day cruise on Holland America Cruises departs from San Diego in the afternoon, has two full days at sea, and then arrives in Victoria on the afternoon of 1 May. The cruise then departs Victoria that evening and arrives in Vancouver on the morning of 2 May. Cost is $325 plus the cost of your berth which should be booked directly with the cruise company.  Non-birders traveling with you are exempt from the $325 WINGS charge. Berth prices for this cruise start at only about $350 per person plus tax, gratuity, and port charges. Details on booking a berth can be found here.

14-17 May 2020, on Princess Cruises (Emerald Princess) from Los Angeles (San Pedro) to Vancouver: The 3-Day cruise on Princess Cruises departs from Los Angeles in the afternoon, has two full days at sea, and then arrives in Vancouver in the morning on day 3. Cost is $325 plus the cost of your berth which should be booked directly with the cruise company.  Non-birders traveling with you are exempt from the $325 WINGS charge. Berth prices for this cruise start at only about $350 per person plus tax, gratuity, and port charges. Details on booking a berth can be found here.

NOTE: In deciding whether to go in 2020 on the late April/early May Holland America (from San Diego) or mid-May Princess (from Los Angeles) sailings, be aware that most pelagic species seen will be the same on both trips. Whether or not one trip turns out to be “better” than the other for the most desired species will depend more on luck and on the weather conditions during each of the trips (e.g., windy weather is much better for the three pterodroma petrels—Hawaiian, Murphy’s, Cook’s—than light wind). But a few differences which do exist include:

1) Holland America stops in Victoria for a day, Princess does not.

2) Holland America starts in San Diego, which gives one a somewhat better chance for Scripps’s Murrelet and Black Storm-Petrel, and perhaps Black-vented Shearwater.

3) Princess has a slightly better ship for viewing and photography, with a wrap-around bow deck which Holland America lacks.

4) Princess has more daylight in waters between San Francisco and Mendocino County, which can be especially good for pterodromas in California.

5) Holland America dates slightly better for Laysan Albatross, but both trips should get this species.

6) Princess dates slightly better for Hawaiian Petrel and South Polar Skua, although Holland America also has a chance for both.

Updated: 20 June 2019

Prices

  • April 2020 Cruise price : $325
  • May 2020 Cruise Price : $325

Notes

Questions? The Tour Manager for this tour is Kim Dean. Call 1-866-547-9868 or 520-320-9868 or click here to email.

The “Tour Information” tab at the top of this page links to details on booking berths, deposit and payment dates and other relevant information.

* The maximum number of birders for these cruises is 12.

There is no limit to non-birders.

Share on Facebook