Business

San Juan Cruises add vessel for more tours

Captain Drew Schmidt, the owner of San Juan Cruises, shown Thursday, May 5, 2016, at Bellingham Cruise Terminal, has in his fleet Chinook, a new, 72-foot whale-watching boat. The twin-engine boat was recently delivered from Westport Shipyards.
Captain Drew Schmidt, the owner of San Juan Cruises, shown Thursday, May 5, 2016, at Bellingham Cruise Terminal, has in his fleet Chinook, a new, 72-foot whale-watching boat. The twin-engine boat was recently delivered from Westport Shipyards. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

San Juan Cruises has a new option for people who enjoy whale-watching but don’t have time to invest a full day.

The Fairhaven company recently added the 72-foot vessel Chinook to its fleet. The vessel seats 129 passengers and will be used for a variety of trips, including a new half-day whale-watching tour. The trip runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays starting June 18 and includes a lasagna lunch.

The half-day tour is being introduced in response to market demand, said Sean Berry, reservation manager for San Juan Cruises. He said they get quite a few visitors to Bellingham Cruise Terminal after the Victoria Star 2 leaves for the full-day trip, as well as people who want a quick trip without having to visit Friday Harbor.

Owner Drew Schmidt said the Chinook also offers nice outings for a medium-size groups of 60 to 90 people, while the Victoria Star 2 can handle larger groups and the other boats can handle smaller outings.

The company is coming off what was a strong year in 2015, helped by long stretches of sunny days last summer. Schmidt said weather plays a role in ticket sales, particularly to local residents who will tend to wait for good weather to venture out to watch for whales.

He said one aspect of the business that has really taken off is its beer cruises —a local brewer will come on board to serve beer and talk about how it’s made. Schmidt is impressed by the knowledge among the passengers.

“They sure love to talk about hops,” he said.

The office of San Juan Cruises is at Bellingham Cruise Terminal. For details about the company, visit whales.com.

OTHER TIDBITS

Piper Music at 2512 Meridian St. is under new ownership. William Brooke purchased it from founder Mary Jackson in a deal that closed Friday, April 29, according to a news release. Brooke plans to keep the business at its current location through the end of May, then move to the triangular building at 1705 N. State St., near Perch & Play. The new space will have the store as well as a recital hall that seats around 40 people, plus four soundproofed teaching studios, Brooke said in the news release. Details about the company can be found at PiperSheetMusic.com or by calling 360-738-7166. ... A Bellingham building permit application was submitted to put in a Mod Pizza restaurant at 2925 Newmarket St. in Barkley Village. ... Bellingham’s Scratch and Peck Feeds was named one of seven finalists for the DREAM Big Small Business of the Year Award, put on annually by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The finalists will attend an awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., June 14 during the America’s Business Summit. At the luncheon, the finalist will be named and receive a $10,000 cash prize. ... A state liquor license application was submitted for a bar called Thor Tavern at 1111 McKenzie Ave., in Fairhaven, near Jimmy’s Personal Care Salon. The applicants are Susan and Curtis Thor. ... A liquor license assumption application was submitted for Tadeos Northwest at 3040 Northwest Ave. The proposed new name is Los Cantaritos Mexican Restaurant and the applicant is Horacio Avila. ... Klicks Running & Walking at 1431 N. State St. is in the process of changing its name to BBay Running and is now operated by David Penrose. Details about the company can be found on its Facebook page. ... The Great Clips hair salon at the Fred Meyer Lakeway retail center has closed to make way for the store’s new online department. Great Clips has a salon at the Fred Meyer Bakerview retail center at 1231 W. Bakerview Road. ... A home-decor store from Seattle is moving into the former Fairhaven Pharmacy building at 1115 Harris Ave. It’s called Current and Furbish and remodeling is already underway. Details about the store can be found at currentandfurbish.com.

  Comments