Sailing with killer whales in BC. Photo (c) Jose Larochelle

Canadian company, top-rated by National Geographic Adventure editors, expands its schedule with summertime trips

VICTORIA, BC, Dec. 20, 2010 – Grandparents and parents seeking an educational, hands-on way for their family to see BC and Alaska may want to check out the new summertime family trips offered for the first time in 2011 by Maple Leaf Adventures.

These eco-cruises explore the natural and cultural history of the Inside Passage and Haida Gwaii, with world-class naturalist and guides, one family at a time, aboard the 92-foot sailing ship.

Adventure cruises on Maple Leaf provide a custom-to-the-family alternative to a big-ship Inside Passage cruise. They are designed for people who seek holidays that engage mind and body, and enrich their understanding of the world.

The trips, in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and the Inside Passage, feature:

  • Accommodations for 6 to 10 passengers.
  • Sailing and cruising island archipelagos.
  • Frequent shore trips for rainforest hikes, remote beach exploration, kayaking, and soaks in natural hot springs.
  • Visits to First Nations cultural sites, with First Nations guides, including UN World Heritage Site SGang Gwaay (in Haida Gwaii) and U’Mista Cultural Centre (in the Inside Passage).
  • Whale watching, bear viewing and other wildlife viewing.
  • Interpretation by the ship’s engaging naturalist.
  • Gourmet meals – for all diets – by the ship’s chef.
  • Learning to sail the traditionally-rigged tall ship as a family team.

“Maple Leaf Adventures has always placed top priority on the quality of education and memorable experiences on our trips,” said Capt. Kevin Smith, president of Maple Leaf Adventures. “We are well known for that on our adult trips, and also on our youth trips. Families have been taking advantage of it for years on an ad-hoc basis, so now we are making it easier for them by offering family-only trips for all of August.”

Maple Leaf Adventures is a Canadian adventure cruise company that was rated in the top 3 on earth by the editors of National Geographic Adventure’s most recent ratings survey. The company is run on the principles of ecotourism, and has operated trips in BC and Alaska since 1986. In 2006, the company was a finalist in the Better Business Bureau’s Torch award for educational services, and is rated by Frommer’s Canada as one of the nation’s six best travel experiences. Ship naturalists are veterans of scientific research on the coast.

The trips are:

  • Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, BC) – home to the “Canadian Galapagos” and the Haida culture, 9 days/8 nights, Jul. 30 –Aug 7 and Aug. 8-16, 2011, Cdn $36,400 for 6-8 passengers includes all accommodations, gourmet meals and snacks, beverages including wine and beer, all shore excursions and use of gear on board including kayaks. Also includes assistance with travel arrangements.
  • Whales & Totems of the Inside Passage – the best place to see killer whales, plus dolphins, humpbacks and other wildlife, and home to the Kwakwala speaking people, 7 days/6 nights, Aug. 20-26 and Aug 28-Sep 3, 2011, Cdn $26,600 for 6-8 passengers includes all accommodations, gourmet meals nad snacks, beverages including wine and beer, all shore excursions and use of gear on board including kayaks. Also includes assistance with travel arrangements.
  • Both trips depart and return a short plane flight from Vancouver, BC.
  • Some other, non-August dates may also be available for families. Contact Maple Leaf Adventures for details.
  • Contact: 888-599-5323 or +1-250-386-7245 or www.MapleLeafAdventures.com or info@MapleLeafAdventures.com

Said Samantha Patrick, an eight-year old who participated in a multi-generational family adventure cruise in Haida Gwaii in 2009, “That was my first time to Haida Gwaii! It was the best trip I’ve ever been on! Even better than Disneyland!”

Read about / see photos from Maple Leaf’s family adventure holidays.