Kruger Escapes | FAQs
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FAQs

Of course you have questions, we would too.

Hopefully we can answer the easy ones here.  If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us.

Where will we go on our day sail? What is the tour?

This is a question with many possible answers! First, we don’t exactly offer tours. When we think of a tour, our minds go to an established route with scheduled stops and a rehearsed monologue. That never happens. What we love about our sailing trips is that each one is truly, and necessarily, unique. The wind, the weather, the tides, the currents, all inform where we will sail and what we will see. Bearing all of that in mind, there is a very good chance that during your sail with us you will see the Wasp Islands (a micro-archipelago of the San Juan Islands), Jones Island, San Juan Island, Spieden Island, Shaw Island and Waldron Island. The Canadian Gulf Islands are also typically in view.  A three hour sail isn’t enough time to travel to a second destination and stop to visit, but if a trip like that interests you we can definitely create the right day on the water for you.

Where will our sail depart from?

Unless you have made special arrangements with us, your sail will depart from the Deer Harbor Marina on Orcas Island. Parking can be tight near the marina, so you may wish to consider a taxi. Reservations may be made at 360.376.TAXI. After you have arrived/parked, proceed down the pier toward the dock store. Take the left hand ramp and walk straight out to the fuel pumps. We will meet you there on the fuel dock. Tomahawk is a blue hulled boat with gold lettering. Winakpew is a white boat with blue sail covers.

Can we sail longer than three hours?

Yes! We love our long days on the water with guests, as everyone gets to know each other and the boat better. Additional time can also mean anchoring at a non-ferried island for lunch on the beach, hiking, or paddle boarding. A six hour booking is the minimum amount of time for adding a stop and activities to your sail. Or, if you want to simply stay under sail, additional hours may be added at the discounted rate of $90/hour.

What if it rains?

Welcome to the gorgeously green Pacific Northwest! That said, here on Orcas Island, we really don’t see too many days of intense rain in the summer. Yes, it can happen, but it isn’t likely. If showers are in the forecast, what we usually see are showers at night or in the morning, clearing by afternoon and evening. Here is our official rain policy: We sail in all but unsafe weather. We do not cancel or refund on account of rain UNLESS it is truly raining cats and dogs and there is no wind. Nobody, including us, wants to go sit and bob under slack sails in a downpour.

Will we see whales?

Maybe! While we would love to promise whales, there is a reason whale watch companies use power boats. They are able to speed out to where the whales are, and speed back in again. We simply cannot go as far in three hours as they do. However, we do occasionally see whales while sailing with guests, and it is always incredible and magical. To date we have seen Orcas, Humpbacks and Minke whales. We frequently see porpoise. If you are only booking one activity, we tell people they should pick by their priority: Is it more important to you to see whales? Or to sail? If your answer is whales, then you should book a whale watching excursion. However!! If you want Sails AND Whales, check out our Sails & Whales package tour. This is a special trip we have created in partnership with San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours.

Are your sails safe for kids? What about toddlers? Babies?

We are experts with boats and babies. And toddlers. And kids. We began living aboard when our own daughter was 5 months old. We sailed from Orcas Island to Alaska and back with her the summer she turned two. And since then, we have logged thousands of miles sailing with both her and other children. We know what to expect with kids, and how to keep them safe on board. We are a very family friendly business, and love getting kids out on the water.

Which boat will we be on?

If you are booking a day sail with us you will most likely sail aboard Tomahawk. If you are booking a long day on the water with us, or a multi-day trip, you will most likely be aboard Winkapew (Wing-KAH-poe). When might that be different? We always take into consideration both the weather and the needs of our guests. For example, one day last season we substituted Winkapew for Tomahawk when it was raining with heavy gusts of wind.

How do I book a sail?

Taking a quick look at our availability calendar is recommended, but not required. The calendar will let you know if the date/s you want are still available. (That said, if the date you want is booked, always feel free to contact us and be “next in line.” Cancellations are extremely rare, but they do happen.) Then, just call or email us with your name, contact info, the date/s you would like, the number of adults/kids in your party, and if you would like a private sail or a shared sail. If you would like a shared sail, we will do our best to pair you up with others to share the cost, but we cannot guarantee that another party will also want to sail on the same day/time.

I called / wrote to you three hours ago, why haven't I heard back yet?

We are a small, family owned and operated business. This is awesome because it gives us a personal connection to every one of our guests. Karl and Jess are the only two people you will speak with / communicate with during your booking, and we will also be your sailing crew. While out sailing, we focus on the guests who are with us and do not take calls. So, if you call while we are out sailing, we hope you will leave us a voicemail / email, and then hang tight until we are back on the dock and can call you back!

Can we bring food and eat on the boat?

You can! It happens all the time, but it is good to consider what you bring to eat. We will be sailing, and hence the boat will be heeling (tipping to one side). Consider food that is easy to hang on to and eat. French onion soup? No.

You can also order one of our catered, picnic baskets if you would like to have food waiting on board for you.

Finally, please let us know as part of your reservation if you plan to eat on board. We will do our best to create a downwind ride for your dining pleasure, which will level out the boat and make your meal easier!

What about those ferry reservations?

You absolutely, 100%, no questions asked, need to make your ferry reservations. Do not wait on this. Visit the website and learn how to “SAVE A SPOT.” The ferries open up availability in three waves. Approximately 1/3 of the spaces are available two months in advance, 1/3 two weeks in advance, and 1/3 2 days in advance (10% of spots are saved for emergency vehicles and standby). Make your reservations as soon as you can for peace of mind, and carefully read the policy page on keeping your reservation. You will still need to line up in advance. You may not drive up last minute, or you will find that your reservation has been given away. Kruger Escapes is not able to give refunds for failure to make ferry reservations or for missed ferries.

Can I reschedule my sail?

Unfortunately, probably not on short notice. But we will always do our absolute best to work with you. We understand that life happens, and if we can make rescheduling happen we will. However, the majority of the time our sails are fully booked days or weeks in advance. Because of this, if you suddenly need to reschedule your Thursday sail for Friday or Saturday… chances are good that Friday and Saturday are already full. 

What is your cancellation policy for day sails?

A copy of the following policy (day sails) will also appear on your invoice from us:

Reservation is complete upon receipt of funds. If guest initiates cancellation of sail, forty-eight (48) hours notice is required for fifty percent (50%) refund. If Kruger Escapes initiates cancellation of sail (i.e. unsafe weather conditions), full refund will be given. Please DON’T FORGET to make your ferry reservations with the WA State Ferry Save a Spot Reservation System. We CANNOT give refunds for failure to make ferry reservations or for missed ferries.

What is your cancellation policy for multi-day trips?

A copy of the following policy (multi-days) will also appear on your invoice from us:

Deposits for Multi-Day sailing trips are non-refundable, except in the event that Kruger Escapes cancels. If Kruger Escapes cancels a trip for any reason (i.e. unsafe weather), full refund will be given. The balance for Multi-Day trips of three days or less is due 30 days prior to departure. For trips greater than three days, the balance is due 60 days prior to departure or upon booking, whichever is less. Due to the time invested in planning and the expense undertaken for provisioning these trips, refunds will not be given on the balance, except in the event Kruger Escapes cancels. We recommend purchasing trip insurance, which covers the cost of the trip should you have to cancel for health or other emergency reasons. Find insurance links on our  web page: HERE