Pacific Coast Pelagic Cruise Itinerary

Intro Itinerary Information and Pricing Gallery Birdlist Registration


Spring dates: May 9-13, 2018

This itinerary is for our Spring 2018 Los Angeles to Vancouver cruise.

Day 1, May 9 – Arrive in Los Angeles. Group members arrive independently at LAX Airport, Los Angeles, California and transfer to our cruise ship, the Emerald Princess.

NOTE: Folks planning to arrive on May 9th, our day of departure, should insure that their flights arrive as early as possible in the morning hours. If your flight is delayed or cancelled causing you to miss our ship’s departure, joining us becomes an impossibility. You might be better served arriving in Los Angeles the evening of May 8, 2018. You would be able to join our California in Spring tour group at our hotel that evening and may be able to join us for a bit of birding the following morning before you board the ship.


Black-footed Albatross. Photo by Kim & Cindy Risen ©

Day 2-3, May 10-11 – At Sea. Two full days are spent aboard our home for four nights, the exceedingly comfortable 951ft long cruise ship, Emerald Princess. While daily activities are up to each individual, leaders will spend the majority of the day scanning and scoping for seabirds from the forward deck of the ship for deep-water pelagic species. Group members will be able to come and go as you like for meals or breaks. We plan to eat dinner near the same time each evening so that we can have a social period together in order to review the day’s sightings, discuss ID challenges, etc.

Most of our time at sea will be in deep water, as much as 50 or 60 miles offshore. The ship does move steadily while at sea, so getting everyone on each bird can sometimes be a challenge. Pelagic birding is often difficult and weather can complicate matters. While scopes are not required, if you are proficient with your scope you might find it helpful. NatureScape Tours will have a scope set up at all times. With patience and a bit of luck, everyone should get good looks at most things.

Seabird possibilities at this time of year are many. Possibilities include Rhinoceros Auklet, Pigeon Guillemot, Common Murre, Black-footed Albatross, Pink-footed, Buller’s, Sooty, Short-tailed, Black-vented and Flesh-footed Shearwaters, Fork-tailed, Black, Ashy, Wilson’s and Leach’s Storm-Petrels, Hawaiian, Murphy’s and maybe Cook’s Petrels, Northern Fulmar, perhaps Ancient or Marbled Murrelets, Tufted Puffin, Black-legged Kittiwake, Sabine’s Gull, Pacific Loon, Arctic Tern, Red-necked and Red Phalaropes, perhaps a Scripps’s, Craveri’s or Guadalupe Murrelet and maybe a Laysan or, if exceedingly lucky, a Short-tailed Albatross!


Laysan Albatross. Photo by Kim & Cindy Risen ©

Day 4, May 12 – Victoria, Vancouver Island. The rising sun view from your window will show the stately spruces and coastline of Vancouver Island. We’ll arrange an optional day of birding ashore for those who wish, and we’ll depart immediately after breakfast. Our first priority is of find members of the introduced population of Eurasian Skylarks that are resident on Vancouver Island. We should be able to find them singing and ‘skylarking’ before we leave to visit some of the local birding hotspots. Targets for the day would include west coast specialties such as Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Vaux’s Swift, Northwestern Crow, Glaucous-winged Gull, Mew Gull, California Gull, Bewick’s Wren, Bushtit, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Harlequin Duck among others. Visiting the scenic shore may give us shorebirds such as Marbled and Hudsonian Godwits, Western Sandpiper, Black Turnstone, Black Oystercatcher, Wandering Tattler and perhaps Pacific Golden-Plover. We’ll return to the Emerald Princess for our last evening together as a group.


Chestnut-backed Chickadee. Photo by Kim & Cindy Risen ©

Day 5, May 13 – Arrival in Vancouver, transfer to Seatac Airport. After breakfast, we’ll complete our off-loading procedures and say, “Good-Bye!” to the Emerald Princess. Boarding our comfortable coach bus, we’ll make the multiple hour journey to the airport in Seattle. We do have to clear customs & immigration along the way, but we’ll soon arrive at Seatac Airport where our tour ends. Those continuing onto the Washington in Spring tour will depart for local birding once we have everyone and their luggage loaded into our vehicles. Everyone departs with fond memories of our Spring Pelagic Cruise…and hopefully some great photographs as well.



Intro Itinerary Information and Pricing Gallery Birdlist Registration