Exploring the islands, when the spring wildflowers bloom. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith

Receive up to $550 in flight value

Spring on British Columbia’s west coast comes earlier than in much of North America. Expedition cruise company Maple Leaf Adventures is so keen for people to understand this, they’re offering a free one-way flight for guests on two epic April trips this year.

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What’s Up in April? Flowers and Wildlife
On the southern BC coast (Gulf Islands & Vancouver Island):

  • Flowers start opening in January, with lilies, orchids and pink sea blush are flowering by March.
  • British Columbia's balmy Gulf Islands, BC. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith

    In the ocean, a chain of events from the March frenzy of herring spawning to April’s plankton blooms bring thousands of birds, fish and marine mammals to feast and rest here.

In the northern inlets (Great Bear Rainforest):

  • New leaves and shoots at sea level bring wildlife close to shore, from mountain goats that gaze across the fjords as you sail past them, to bears munching salmonberry leaves and sedges.
  • Salmonberries dot the forest with bright pink flowers.
  • Humpback whales begin returning from winter calving grounds and migrating birds make stopovers along the shore.

Learning the natural history of the coast. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith

Maple Leaf Guests Have the World to Themselves
The early awakening makes April a great time to sail the coast aboard the classic Canadian schooner Maple Leaf.

Few people have launched boats — or even dug themselves out of the snow in many parts of Canada in April. So the Maple Leaf and her guests and crew can glide through the protected Inside Passage channels by themselves.

About Maple Leaf’s April Trips
Maple Leaf’s spring trips are expedition cruises by sail, with just eight guests at a time, expert naturalist and gourmet chef. They begin in the Gulf Islands National Park and then follow spring’s progress north, to the fjords of the Great Bear Rainforest. Frequent shore trips and wildlife viewing give people access to the spectacular landscape and remote communities of the coast.

Sailing the Great Bear Rainforest in spring. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith

Free Flight on Selected April Trips If Booked by Feb 28
Maple Leaf Adventures is offering  a special free flight for its Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage and Great Bear Rainforest Spring Explorer trips, Apr 20-27 and Apr 28-May 3. Combine the two into a coastal supervoyage, from south to north, and you can get two free flights. This is an up-to-$550 value. This special offer ends Feb. 28, 2013 and is available only to guests booked on either of the above trips by then.

Trip & Flight Details:


  • Spring Supervoyage: April 20 – May 3, 14 days / 13 nights, depart Sidney, BC, return Kitimat, BC, $5625 plus tax all inclusive. Click to inquire.

The SV Maple Leaf is a beautiful, comfortable expedition ship, and a gourmet chef prepares meals and snacks from scratch. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith


  • For guests booked on the Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage trip, Maple Leaf Adventures is offering a free flight from Bella Bella (the trip end point) to Vancouver airport.
  • For guests booked on the Great Bear Rainforest Spring Explorer, Maple Leaf Adventures is offering a free arrival flight from Vancouver airport to Bella Bella (the trip’s departure point).
  • For guests who book the Supervoyage (Sidney to Kitimat), Maple Leaf Adventures is offering a free flight from Vancouver airport to Victoria airport at Sidney, and a free flight from Kitimat to Vancouver airport.
  • Thousands of Bonaparte's gulls, diving birds and marine mammals gather around food feasts caused by spring plankton blooms in the coastal sea. Photo (c) Kevin J Smith

    Guests must accept the travel date and flight booking provided by Maple Leaf Adventures. Not redeemable for cash value or trip credit; not transferrable to other people; not for use with other trips; no substitutions. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.

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