Community interaction at the heart of each West Coast adventure

Two ways to cruise the Inside Passage & Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)

Before walking the gangway to a large, impersonal cruise ship, making all the same ports of call as the other big name cruise lines, consider taking a more personal voyage – book with Maple Leaf Adventures for an intimate sailing adventure to some of the West Coast’s smallest communities and most unique, off-the-beaten-track experiences.

Since 1986, Maple Leaf Adventures has been offering adventure sailing cruises aboard the 92-foot classic sailing ship, SV Maple Leaf; a beautiful, comfortable and strong expedition ship built on the coast in 1904. With only eight guest spaces, and five crew, the cruise is an intimate, luxurious way to experience the whales and wildlife of the Great Bear Rainforest, the First Nations culture and communities of Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands), and the historical towns of Alaska.

Viewing the monumental poles at UN World Heritage Site SGang Gwaay with a Haida guide and just the Maple Leaf guests on the island

“With Maple Leaf Adventures, guests don’t just steam by these far-flung communities and incredible wildlife viewing opportunities at 20 knots. We anchor in remote bays and allow our guests to explore by kayak, shore boat and on foot with an experienced local guide or our onboard naturalist,” says Kevin Smith, president of Maple Leaf Adventures, who is himself a coastal resident. “On the Haida Gwaii: Islands at the Edge of the World tour, guests will be the only ones on an island, walking amongst the 150-year-old totem poles at the UN World Heritage Site SGang Gwaay with a knowledgeable Haida First Nations guide.”

Maple Leaf Adventures’ unforgettable West Coast journeys:

  • Haida Gwaii: Islands at the Edge of the World: Travellers looking to experience the ancient and modern culture of the First Nations should consider joining this eight night adventure. On Graham Island, guests will visit Old Masset and take a tour of the award-winning Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay (Skidegate); then guests spend 7 nights cruising monumental village sites scattered among 138 wildlife-rich islands. Departures from May 7 through June 13, 2012; price per person is $4,640 including all shore excursions, meals, accommodation and use of gear on board.

Visiting the researchers at Orca Lab, a remote whale research station on the Inside Passage

  • Great Bear Rainforest’s Whales & Wild Islands: For those travellers looking for an intimate view of the Inside Passage, hop aboard the Maple Leaf Adventures’ eight night adventure. Along with cruising spectacular fjords, this summertime sailing expedition’s highlights include a visit to Klemtu, a small village in the Great Bear Rainforest, where you can meet the locals at the village’s only café. The crew also has a planned stop for guests to talk with local whale scientists at a remote research station. This adventure sails Aug. 2, 2012; price per person is $4,650 including all shore excursions, meals, accommodation and use of gear on board.
  • Whales & Totems of the Great Bear Rainforest: Whale lovers will want to join Maple Leaf Adventures’ five night whale watching extravaganza. Guests will spend many hours with whales over the course of several days. Guests will also be immersed in the local culture with a visit to the impressive U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay to hear residents tell stories of the Kwakwala speaking peoples, see their world-renowned art, and enter the world of the potlatch with a special guided tour. At Echo Bay, guests will also visit Billy Proctor’s homestead. Billy is a long-time resident widely regarded as a local elder, who has created Billy’s Museum, which showcases a collection of beachcombing artifacts that provide insight into the history of the Broughton Archipelago. This adventure departs Aug. 15 and Oct. 8, 2012; price per person starting at $2,700 including all shore excursions, meals, accommodation and use of gear on board.
  • Alaska Super Voyage: For adventurers wanting to experience Alaska’s wildlife and history, Maple Leaf Adventures’ 12-night super voyage is the perfect balance of calving icebergs, newborn seal pups, school bus-sized whales, brown bears and historical towns and villages. Guests will visit the islands of Baronof, Kruzof, and Kupreanof (whose names echo the Russian period of Alaska’s history), explore Ketchikan (steeped in Gold Rush history) and Petersberg (with its strong Norwegian heritage). Guests can also expect to visit and talk to locals in one or more off-the-grid hamlets, in remote parts of southeast Alaska that big ships cannot access. The expedition also includes a customized visit to Sitka, with a historical tour, visits with raptors, meals and a stay in town, where Tlingit, Russian and American history converge. This adventure sails July 19, 2012; price per person is $6,780 including all shore excursions, meals, accommodation and use of gear on board.

About Maple Leaf Adventures

Maple Leaf Adventures has provided conservation travel experiences aboard a classic sailing ship 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. 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 one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. For more information, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com.

Sample tweet: Reach beyond the big-box cruise with @MapleLeafAdv #Cruise #Travel

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