Broughton Archipelago

The Broughton Archipelago is rich with biodiversity. The 200+ islands are frequented by an abundant array of marine mammals, fish, and invertebrate species.  Sea lions haul out along rocky shorelines, both fish-eating and marine mammal-eating killer whales cruise the waters around Hanson Island, humpback whales gorge themselves on small schooling fish, and Pacific White-Sided dolphins speed through in numbers of 50+, all making it an ideal destination for a whale watching holiday. Seabirds, kelp forests, and sea stars add brilliant splashes of color to this diverse paradise.

Explore the area


  • Explore intricate passageways between idyllic islands.
  • Experience a diverse array of marine mammals on this whale watching holiday.
  • Land on white shell beaches laden with early human history.
  • Watch humpback whales exhibit unique feeding behaviors.
  • See killer whales socialize and travel together.
  • Take forest walks on islands where cedars, hundreds of years old, bare evidence of early sustainable harvesting by First Nations. Known as culturally modified trees.
  • View black bears as they forage at low tide.
  • Visit a secluded coastal hamlet made up of float houses, docks, and trails through the forest.
  • Experience the entirety of this unique region, by taking the time to get to know its rhythms and intricacies, through cruising by yacht and anchoring in special places each night.



  • Moderate walking
  • Small boat rides
  • Whale watching
  • Marine mammal viewing (sea lions, seals) and bird viewing
  • Natural history through hands-on experience and talks with your naturalist and any scientists encountered on your trip
  • Village visit, cultural history and experience
  • Sailing (on sailing ship)
  • Exploring beaches
  • Kayaking and fishing (optional)




Featured Wildlife

  • Humpback Whales
  • Killer whale / orca
  • Pacific white-sided dolphin
  • Dall’s porpoise
  • Bald eagle
  • Stellar sea lions
  • Harbour seals
  • Rich intertidal life
  • Seabirds- surf scooters, rhinoceros auklets, harlequin ducks, marbled murrelets




Cultural History

The home of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples, the people who speak Kwakwala. Everywhere is evidence of their 10 000 year tradition on the land. From white shell midden beaches that mark ancient village sites to the modern village of Alert Bay where local residents welcome you and tell stories of potlatches, carvings, and ceremonial masks.

Layers of history are revealed in a turn of the century hamlet made up of cedar homes and a wooden boardwalk. Built by pioneers who sought opportunity through the challenging tasks of hand logging and commercial fishing.



Comfortable Ship & Expert Guides

On each whale watching holiday there are days of adventure and wildlife, supported by a very comfortable expedition ship, a gourmet chef and welcoming guides.  Share in the delights of the area by learning from the knowledgeable naturalist travelling aboard with you.


Seasons in the Broughton Archipelago

Our experienced crew and naturalist will take you to areas where you’ll be able to witness peak wildlife events:

  • Summer highlights flocks of surf scooters and rhinoceros auklets decorate the surface of the water, resident killer whales frequent the area foraging on salmon, view humpback whales, seals, and sea lions.
  • Autumn highlights experience the area quiet without boat traffic as the yachting season ends and few remain to marvel at the autumn Watch as humpback whales display incredible acts of feeding. Known to be the best time of year to watch these gentle giants. Witness late salmon runs and a multitude of bald eagles. Happen across transient (marine mammal-eating) killer whales, prowling for their next hunt.




What Makes it Unique?

  • Home to a complex whale community and many marine mammals
  • In depth human culture and history embedded in a wild landscape
  • Intricate watery passageways to explore among hundreds of islands



Caring for our Environment

Our partnership with North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association is directly inline with our vision. Both NIMMSA and Maple Leaf Adventures are committed to the sustainability of a
positive balance between human activities and the health of the local marine eco-system.




Trip Itineraries

Whales & Totems Summer by Sail

Sail away on summer breezes into Blackfish Sound in the southern Great Bear Rainforest. View orca, humpback whales, and other marine wildlife. Explore islands with white shell beaches (ancient village sites) and the ancient rainforest of the mainland...