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“glacier bay”
Review of Pacific Catalyst

Pacific Catalyst
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Unique small ship cruises in the sheltered inside passage of SE Alaska, British Columbia, and the San Juan Islands of Washington as well as the Sea of Cortez, Baja California aboard the historic wooden vessels M/V Catalyst & M/V Westward. A larger cruise ship alternative...a smaller, more intimate, cruising experience.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

food was incredible. natualist was incredible. captain and engineer obviously good, but more in background, so hard to compare. i loved my trip and have recommended, with video sarah made, to several others already. you guys are amazing!

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Thank rwspiegel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 12 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This was an unique and amazing experience. Captain Bill, First Mate/Super Chef Tracie and Naturalist Carlos provide an excursion one will never forget. Our time began exploring ancient cave carvings and paintings before boarding the 1924 Westward and traveling from peaceful Loreto to La Paz learning about the local history and culture. Along the way we enjoyed kayaking, swimming, paddle boarding, exploring islands, a fishing village, swimming with sea lions, and enjoying the finest cuisine one could imagine. I highly recommend this unique experience. The awesome crew, lovely accommodations and beautiful scenery make this a most memorable adventure.

Thank jeanbQ9064XU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2018 via mobile

My wife and I just completed a delightful week on the small ship Catalyst in southeast Alaska. The nearly 90-year old ship has been kept in excellent, original condition and is very comfortable for the guests in the six cabins.
The crew of four are each very talented and experienced in their special roles on board. Each meal was prepared from fresh foods by a creative chef, sometimes using natural vegetation we gathered from our shore walks.
Of course, we were in Alaska and we not disappointed with sightings of whales, orcas, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and birds. On land many grizzlies and black bears showed us their lives and the spring blooms were colorful. Rising above the sea the glaciers and mountains were spectacular and the small boat was able enter little-seen fiords.

Thank Daniel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2018

We did the Sea of Cortez trip aboard M/V Westward - Loreto to La Paz. There are only four cabins on Westward, each with a head and shower, This is the way we like to travel - truly small group. Westward has an amazing history and Captain Bill has lovingly restored it to it's 1924 glory. The boat is amazingly stable due to it's deep draft. The aft deck is enclosed with side curtains. The interior lounge/library has a fireplace. The forward deck has a couple of benches for viewing while underway.

"First Mate" Traci is also a captain, but is the amazing chef with meals are (she grows things on the roof and buys in farmer's markets). Dinner was always paired with wine.

Carlos, from La Paz, was our naturalist. He formerly ran kayaking trips in the Sea of Cortez so knows every nook and cranny as well as the name of all the birds, plants, and sea life. He was also our guide over to Magdelana Bay to watch the Grey Whales with young.

Between the on board kayaks, small skiff, and snorkeling (all equipment including wetsuits provided) we were always busy. While transiting we saw a Blue Whale, several pods of Orcas (yes Orcas), and Humpback Whales.

Whenever we anchored it seemed that some local fisherman would would come over for water. Westward has fantastic fresh water making capability and Bill's philosophy is to work with the locals whenever possible. I don't think any other cruise does this.

We think of Bill, Traci, and Carlos as friends.

Thank TravelerPaul18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisa M, Front Office Manager at Pacific Catalyst, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2018

Thank-you for your kind words about our boat. We sure love her. We are happy that your trip to Baja was wonderful. We are excited to be adding 5 day trips leaving from La Paz and adding Whale Shark snorkeling to our itineraries. Captain Bill, Tracie, and Carlos are excited to explore our new routes and see what they find.

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Reviewed 14 May 2018

We spent a wonderful week on the Westward, a beautiful vintage wooden boat sailing from La Paz to Loreto in Baja, Mexico. The actual road journey between the two towns is only 4 hours but we took a leisurely 8 days by sea visiting many islands in the Sea of Cortez. Our trip commenced with three land-based days during which we swam with Whale-sharks near Loreto and then drove across to the Pacific Coast where we ventured out to see Gray Whale mothers and calves in Magdalena bay. These were both truly magical experiences - the Whale-sharks are so large and gentle and it is truly humbling to have a mother Gray Whale and calf deliberately approach you to be touched.

The crew of Captain Bill, Chef Tracie and Naturalist/Guide Carlos were all outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble and the meals prepared by Tracie were beautifully presented and always delicious. Don't know how he does it but Carlos can spot a Blue Whale from kilometres away. It's clear he loves his job and knows so much about this beautiful part of the world.

Over the week on the boat we swam with Sea-lions, visited a Frigate Bird colony, spotted whales, including two Blue Whales, witnessed a Pelican and Dolphin feeding frenzy, trekked across beautiful beaches, up arroyos and through cactus forests, zodiaced through Mangroves, kayaked around delightful little coves and just had a wonderful time with our fellow travellers.

The Westward itself is very comfortable with only 4 cabins. Each cabin has a double bed and 1 single bunk. There is also a small ensuite. Common areas of Library lounge and rear meals deck are very comfortable as well.

We didn't really know what to expect of this trip but we are so glad we did it. If you love wildlife, slow travel, great food and pretty enjoyable company on a beautiful boat, the Westward offers all this and more. We hope to one day go again.

Thank oneidin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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