(c) Kevin J. Smith / Maple Leaf Adventures

Maple Leaf Adventures Adds Second Ship, as Interest in Soft Adventure Travel in Canada Grows

The classic schooner Maple Leaf in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith

Maple Leaf Adventures, a boutique, Canadian expedition cruise company, is proud to announce the addition of a second classic sailing ship to their fleet for the 2014 season. The new ship, a 70-foot, wooden schooner, will carry guests on 8-day expedition cruises in Haida Gwaii and the Great Bear Rainforest, on Canada’s Inside Passage. Ships anchor frequently for shore visits to monumental Haida poles at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meadows frequented by grizzly bears, and spectacular fjords.

The expansion is Maple Leaf’s response to increasing demand – in Canada and around the world – for personalized experience of Canada’s natural and cultural wonders. It is part of a worldwide, dramatic increase in adventure travel that has occurred in the last four years.

The coast of British Columbia, Canada, and Alaska, where Maple Leaf trips explore the coastal rainforest. Original map by Rosemary and Pat Keough and Clover Point Catrographics.

North of Vancouver Island, much of the British Columbia and Alaska coast is a roadless world. Ocean channels flood around islands and down fjords carved by ancient glaciers. This area contains some of coast’s last great wildlife refuges (with bears on land and whales in the sea), as well as ancient cultural sites, coastal communities, and historic routes sailed by European explorers. It takes a proper little ship and expert guides to see it and appreciate it.

But the company’s flagship, the 92-foot, schooner Maple Leaf, has been sailing at capacity for years, while the booking requests kept coming. So when a second classic schooner became available, Maple Leaf’s president Kevin Smith was delighted.

The second schooner, added for trips into Haida Gwaii and the Great Bear Rainforest. Photo (c) Peter Schultz

“They’re almost a matched set, really, the Maple Leaf and the second ship. Both are classic wooden schooners with a 100% coastal pedigree — and great beauties, both,” he said. “It was important to us that the new ship not compromise the quality of our trips in any way — we still needed it to be comfortable, exciting, rugged and beautiful. And we needed it to accommodate just eight guests who are looking for an informative, enjoyable vacation.”

The uptick in bookings and demand that Maple Leaf is experiencing is reflected coast-wide and, indeed, around the world. According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s 2013 market report, the adventure travel market grew 65% per year between 2009 and 2012.

UNESCO World Heritage Site, SGang Gwaay, on a Maple Leaf trip. Photo (c) Kevin J. Smith

Maple Leaf’s Haida Gwaii trips have won a “Signature Experiences” designation from the Canadian Tourism Commission, and an Outside Magazine travel award. They operate in May and June.

Maple Leaf’s Great Bear Rainforest (Inside Passage) trips have won a “50 Tours of a Lifetime” designation from National Geographic Traveler. Places are available in April, May, June, September and October.

Prices start at $2995 plus GST per person all inclusive. Information is on the company’s website at www.MapleLeafAdventures.com or by telephoning +1-250-386-7245 or by sending us a message here.

For details on the ships, please visit these pages:

####

A grizzly bear in a meadow on a June Great Bear Rainforest trip with Maple Leaf. Photo (c) Kevin J. Smith

About Maple Leaf Adventures

Selected for Canada’s “Signature Experiences Collection” by the Canadian Tourism Commission, 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. 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. National Geographic Adventure has rated Maple Leaf one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. For more information, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com