Desolation Sound

Cruise Pristine Wilderness In Solitude

Explore the stunning waterways, fjords and islands of Desolation Sound, one of the world’s most popular cruising destinations.

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Desolation Sound

Cruise Fabled Fjords and Hidden Islands

Find yourself where the towering mountain peaks of the mainland coastal range plunge into deep water fjords, whale-rich channels and bays.

Rocky islets laden with arbutus trees and towering forested hillsides on islands make up the topography of Desolation Sound — where sealions, sea birds, porpoises and colourful intertidal life call home.


Sail into a landscape of glaciated peaks, rainforested hillsides and colourful waters with secret coves, stunning bays, and beaches to explore.

Sail Across an Inland Sea

Travel from the Discovery Islands into Desolation Sound.

Remarkable Wildlife

Opportunities to see marine birds, sea lions, whales and even the odd bear.

Secret Pathways

Explore rainforest trails to stunning views and secret coves.

Picnic on Remote Beaches

Perhaps even dip into the ocean on a sunny day.

Experience Desolation Sound

See Desolation Sound through the eyes of our guests.


This small boat tour lets you experience the power of nature without the summer crowds.

  • Moderate walking and hikes
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Natural history through hands-on experience
  • Beach Exploration
  • Optional kayaking
  • Small boat rides
  • Village visits
  • Talks with your naturalist
  • Sailing (aboard our sailing ship)
  • Optional fishing

What People Say

What guests like you loved about Maple Leaf Adventures in Desolation Sound

    “The Desolation Sound journey exceeded our expectations. From the crew greetings, pier side, assistance with our bags, and transfer from tender to splash deck on Cascadia, we were impressed with the friendliness, helpfulness and professionalism of expedition leader Kevin and crew”

    Elsbeth D., Tripadvisor

    “This was a trip of a lifetime for me. To sail was on my bucket list. Kevin and his crew made my trip unforgettable. What an experience. We were able to crew as little or as much as we wanted. The food was excellent and the accommodations were more than comfortable”

    Marie T., Tripadvisor

    “This was the best small ship cruise we have done – hands down (we’ve done six). The vessel was an understated luxury (MV Cascadia), the crew was competent, friendly and experienced (and fun), the wildlife, scenery and nature were spectacular and the food and wine pairings were exceptional”

    Charlie-Niagara, Tripadvisor

Featured Wildlife

Where Nature’s Largest Creatures Come in Search of Its Smallest

See some of our famed terrestrial and marine wildlife, in Canada’s remote wilderness.

Sea Lions

Observe as they grace the waters and rocky outcrops of Desolation Sound.

Humpback Whales

Pods navigate the pristine coastal waters, showcasing dynamic hunting strategies.

Coastal Bears

Scan the shoreline for foraging black bears. Special trips in the fall offer grizzly bear viewing opportunities.

River Otters

After years of conservation efforts, these gentle giants have made a triumphant comeback to the region.

Comfortable Ships Crewed by Expert Locals

Experience the comfort and warmth of sailing aboard a classic schooner, converted tug or luxury catamaran. With just a handful of guests and experienced local guides and naturalists, you will enjoy the relaxed nature of your adventure through Desolation Sound.

When Should I Go to Desolation Sound?

Spring highlights why Desolation Sound is one of the world’s most popular cruising destinations, you will enjoy the area in a unique way: without the bustle of other boaters. By touring Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands in early May, you will enjoy the tranquil waters in the calmness of spring before other cruisers arrive.

As the summer crowds begin to fade, fall brings its own charm to Desolation Sound. Embark on a journey during this season and be rewarded with stunning vistas, unique beaches, and captivating wildlife. Fall offers a quieter and more intimate experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at a leisurely cruising speed. Plus, salmon fill the streams this time of year, drawing out grizzlies, eagles and more.

There are few boats when we go, but there is traffic: the whale “rush hour” is one of many distractions you’ll find while aboard.

Desolation Sound with Maple Leaf Adventures

Travelling is a divine state, and exploring by boat its purest form

  • Dry rainforest, see up close the unique colours of arbutus trees and salmonberry flowers that bloom in spring.
  • When the salmon arrive in the fall, enjoy special access to coastal grizzlies in partnership with our friends at Klahoose Wilderness Resort. Currently featured on Cascadia trips only.
  • Discover hidden island lakes nestled in the forest.
  • Witness the remarkable comeback of humpback whales in the region, with naturalists on hand to identify individuals and their stories.
  • Explore natural gems such as Prideaux Haven, a long bay dotted with islets at the heart of Desolation Sound.

Desolation Sound Itineraries

We cruise Desolation Sound on all three of our small ships: classic schooner, Maple Leaf, converted tug, Swell, and luxury catamaran, Cascadia. Find your adventure below.

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