The Pacific Northwest is, slowly but surely, increasing in popularity as a superyacht destination. Recently, 199m motoryacht A and 96m motoryacht Vava II have reportedly cruised the waters of the Pacific Northwest, suggesting that though the destination isn’t within the confines of the standard Mediterranean-Caribbean seasonal circuit, it does have something to offer superyachts.

Diane Lander is the owner of 28m motoryacht Olympus. The 1929 vessel is based in Seattle – ideally situated to begin a voyage to the Pacific Northwest and one which just so happens to be the owner’s favourite. “The Pacific Northwest is frequently overlooked as a yachting destination, and it is absolutely beautiful here,” Lander explains. “We would like to see more people visit here and particularly more superyacht owners bring their yachts here to the North West coast and the inside passage up to Alaska. I think people just think it’s snowy here year round, but they should come. They’re totally missing out by only staying in the Mediterranean.”

The picturesque Pacific Northwest

With Olympus based in Seattle, Lander often gets a first glimpse of those superyachts choosing to undertake this voyage and on the first leg of their journey. “Vava II was here in Seattle for three to four weeks and they had a great time here. I never met the owners but I did meet the chef. I’m a kind of foodie and know where to get all the good stuff in Seattle [so] I talked to the chef a lot about where to go.”

Lander’s familiarity with the Pacific Northwest means she has a few top destinations that she would recommend to visiting superyachts. “Alaska’s really beautiful, but the best part of our cruising experience in my opinion, after 20 years on the water here, is Northern British Columbia. It has wildlife like you’ve never seen before, and there’s a place called the Great Bear Rainforest that’s only accessible by water or airplane; very secluded.” Another destination Lander recommends is Desolation Sound, a deep water sound in British Columbia. “Huge mountains made of granite form long inlets which result in limited cold water flow; the water can war up to nearly 70 degrees [Farenheit] and makes for fabulous swimming,” recounts Lander.

"I think people just think it’s snowy here year round, but they should come. They’re totally missing out by only staying in the Mediterranean."
- Diane Lander, owner, M/Y Olympus

However, to really get the best out of the voyage, understanding when the weather is at its best is paramount. “The mild climate of the Pacific Northwest allows for cruising year round," says Lander, "although the best months in Alaska are May and June, and in British Columbia July, August and September.”

M/Y Olympus in the Pacific Northwest, taken by Lander earlier this week

A good local infrastructure is always on the list of priorities when superyachts visit destinations, and Lander believes the Pacific Northwest can offer this too. “The North West Trade Association is an organisation that can help superyachts. Fuel is ready available, as is our provisioning service.” For those captains unfamiliar with the destination, moreover, cruising charts are also available. “With tides as major as 20ft and daylight that lasts until 10pm during the summer, it is essential to obtain local cruising guides and charts. Two excellent resources are the Waggoner’s Cruising Guide and the online newsletter called Three Sheets Northwest.”

For Lander, the Pacific Northwest is must. “My biggest message would be come to the Pacific Northwest and enjoy yachting in the most beautiful corner of the world.”

Lander enjoys being a resource to crew and owners who have questions about the Pacific Northwest and is happy to be contacted with any questions. Please contact The Superyacht Owner if you would like to get in touch with Lander.

An interview with Diane Lander features in issue 13 of
The Superyacht Owner.