A classic tug refit into an expedition yacht offers adventures in British Columbia and Alaska

MV Swell, Maple Leaf Adventures' new boutique expedition yacht for the BC and Alaska coast. Photo (c) Jason Bradley.

May 27, 2014, Victoria, BC – British Columbia-based Maple Leaf Adventures is adding a new ship to its fleet for 2015: Swell is an 80-foot, classic wooden tugboat which has been beautifully restored to offer boutique expedition cruises along the dramatic BC and Alaska coast.

Kevin Smith, president of Maple Leaf Adventures. Photo (c) Mark Hobson

Responding to the growing global demand for enriching, multi-day journeys aboard small ships, Maple Leaf Adventures has begun selling 2015 packages aboard Swell.

No more than 10 guests at a time will explore the coast’s wild fjords and archipelagos with resident experts as guides and crew. These boutique expeditions are very personalized trips.

The introduction of Swell extends the ability to take these live-aboard adventures to people who seek more privacy and space than these trips typically offer.

Guests will have unparalleled access to the bears, whales, glaciers, nature and culture of:

  • The Great Bear Rainforest
  • Canada and Alaska’s Inside Passage
  • Haida Gwaii (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands)
  • Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and Vancouver Island

Click to view a PDF with photos

Swell is the perfect sister ship to our grand, 110-year old, schooner Maple Leaf,” says Captain Kevin Smith, founder and president of Maple Leaf Adventures.  “Like Maple Leaf, Swell has beautiful, classic lines and a history as a tough coastal ship.  What is different is that Swell offers a lot more room, comfort, and privacy for guests.”

Swell has five private staterooms – each with its own private ensuite – plus a salon, two deck lounges and a hot tub. All cabins open onto a covered promenade and have natural light and opening windows with views to sea and landscape.

Kayaks, rigid-hull inflatable boats, hydrophone and other gear ensure that Swell, as well as the Maple Leaf, continue to offer these remote-access trips with the spirit of discovery that the company is known for.

Click to view a PDF with photos

Most of the coast’s spectacular wildlife and scenery, and some of its greatest cultural sites, are hundreds of miles from roads, and accessible only by water.

Starting with a minimum of five day, four night packages, trips aboard Swell range from Cdn $1925 to Cdn $8000 per person and include all gourmet meals, snacks and beverages, shore excursions, expert local guides, interpretation on natural and cultural history; photography tips; wildlife viewing; taking part in local and nautical customs; wild food foraging; special access permits to off-limits areas; and the friendships and camaraderie that develop from full days exploring the natural world together.

To introduce Swell, guests who book 2015 trips before September 30, 2014 will receive free local flights or gear shop gift certificates.  More information on Swell`s coastal adventures may be found at  www.MapleLeafAdventures.com, and on the ship page here.

Built in 1912, Swell worked the coast for 92 years as one of its most beloved large tugs, and recently underwent a $3.5 million refit to offer guest accommodation. Maple Leaf Adventures is planning upgrades to the staterooms and lounges, and, as befitting Maple Leaf Adventures` commitment to ecotourism, serious sustainability upgrades to Swell`s mechanical operations. A coastal company-through-and-through, one hundred percent of Maple Leaf Adventures’ revenues are reinvested into the communities who welcome the ships` small gatherings of guests. As a benefit, guests learn first-hand about life in BC`s remote coastal communities.

Swell’s 2015 trips are true voyages of discovery that are designed to take advantage of the coast’s natural rhythms – starting in spring, when flora and fauna flourish on the coast, and continuing into autumn, when salmon runs and wildlife migrations keep life pulsing along the shores.

For more information on Maple Leaf Adventures’ 2015 offerings aboard Swell and the Maple Leaf, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com or call 250-386-7245.

About Maple Leaf Adventures

Selected for Canada’s “Signature Experiences Collection” by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Maple Leaf Adventures has provided conservation-focused, big adventures aboard small ships since 1986. With a reputation as one of Canada’s top sustainable tour operators, its multi-day excursions give guests one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the most beautiful and rare places in the world, often in areas that were once under threat of destruction or in dire need of protection. In 2012, Maple Leaf was awarded the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award, for promoting the appreciation of Canada’s natural, cultural and aesthetic heritage, while also protecting them. As a long time practitioner of ecotourism, Maple Leaf Adventures pioneered travel in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest and northwestern Vancouver Island and has made significant contributions to conservation. National Geographic Adventure has rated Maple Leaf Adventures one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. For more information, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com.

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Note to editors: High resolution images available upon request

Media Contacts:

Maureen Gordon, Maple Leaf Adventures: 250 386-7245, 250-881-6143 (cell) or maureen@MapleLeafAdventures.com

Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-882-9199 (cell) or deirdre@tartangroup.ca