Craft Beer and Culinary Cruise

Nature, Culture and Brewing on the Continent’s Edge

This combination beer tour, cultural history adventure and small ship cruise explores BC’s rich and colourful craft brewing scene—a hotbed of the renaissance in North American brewing.

Points of Interest


Craft Beer and Culinary Cruise

A Beer Tasting Tour With a Twist

With a respected brewing historian as your guide, you’ll learn about the tasting, food pairing, brewing techniques of 50 top BC craft beers, as well as fascinating social history of the past 150 years in brewing here.

Aboard the classic tugboat Swell, you’ll cruise the southern Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island region of British Columbia, Canada, going ashore frequently for tastings, nature walks and wildlife viewing. You’ll get a sense of how BC’s large-scale nature is reflected in the culture of the place and even in the region’s beer.

Itinerary Details
  • Ships: Swell (Converted Tugboat)
  • Duration: 5 Days
  • Ports: Nanaimo, Sydney

Experience Our Craft Brewing Scene

See our Craft Beer and Culinary Cruise through the eyes of our guests.

What People Say

See what our guests have to say about our Craft Beer and Culinary Cruise.

    “This week has been indescribable. Thank you to the crew for an adventure that has been both restful and exciting. Amazing food, orcas, whales, and sailing the Salish Sea with Neil on the bowsprit. So many smiles and memories made. Thank you, thank you!”

    Sue Denton, Canmore, AB

    “What struck me the most was the love all the crew displayed for us, the boat and each other. All of you had an aura of joy surrounding you. I love the boat. You’ve done an amazing job of putting everything together and maintaining the Maple Leaf. It was a grand adventure for me seeing how everything works, from setting the sails, catching prawns, and determining where to anchor”

    – Linda LeBlanc, Denver, CO

    “I’ve been anticipating this trip for many years after reading about Maple Leaf in the LA Times. You have met and exceeded my expectations!”

    Anne Linn, Escondido, CA

    “Wow!!! What an amazing adventure! Thanks to Maple Leaf Adventures for living up to their name. I loved the boat herself, so graceful and solid. Setting sail and steering her under sail was a real high point. I will highly recommend this trip to everyone I know”

    Gareth Dillistone, Regina, SK


Discover Stories of the Regions Brewing and Social History

Beers come from within 100 miles and are expertly paired with every meal and snack—plus wildlife you’ll find on no other tasting tour.

Sail the Brewing Renaissance

This southbound voyage visits pioneering breweries where our craft beer revolution began in the mid-1980s.

Cicerone (Beer Sommelier)

This beer tasting tour is joined by BC’s brew historian and beer expert.

Beer Tasting Cruise Like No Other

Including wildlife viewing, cruising, shore walks, and optional kayaking at the outer islands.

Superb Micro-Brews

From pales to stouts, each beer is different in character as the local brewmasters put their stamp on them.

Related Stories

Follow our coastal expeditions with notes from the field.

Inquire Today

Contact us for more information or to Book Your Expedition Adventure!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions about our Craft Beer and Culinary Cruise. Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for more general trip and booking information.

Taxi services are readily available from Nanaimo Airport (YCD), Departure Bay or Duke Point. Contact information for taxi companies is provided to you before your tour, should you need to call the taxi upon your arrival. At the end of your tour your captain will arrange a taxi pick up at the marina.

Our schedule is designed to accommodate incoming flights on the day of departure and most guests will arrive on the day. But, if you would like to arrive a little early to avoid the stress of possible flight delays, you will find recommendations for local hotels and activities in your welcome aboard package.

Located in a rain shadow, the Gulf Islands have a very unique semi-Mediterranean climate that keeps the region drier than the rest of the BC coast. Autumn continues to be a mild time of year with beautiful changing colours. Plus, in the south, there is often more sun than you would expect. The west coast truly comes alive in autumn. The west coast truly comes alive in autumn. When packing for your trip, consider bringing layers of clothing that you can easily add or remove to adjust to changing temperatures. A lightweight waterproof jacket or raincoat is advisable to protect against any potential rainfall. For the most accurate and up-to-date weather information, it’s recommended to check local forecasts before your trip.

During the fall season, migrating birds stop on the beaches on their journey south along the Pacific Flyway. Spawning salmon congregate among the islands before running up the mighty Fraser River, and marine mammals including seals, sea lions and orcas feast on the plenty. Exploring the islands’ trails and shorelines might also reveal other fascinating creatures like deer, raccoons, and various marine species. It’s important to remember that even with the local knowledge of our guiding crew, sightings of specific wildlife are never a guarantee. Visit with an open mind and see what the region has to offer.

Not necessarily. While the focus is on craft beer, the cruise also offers insights into culinary experiences, nature walks, wildlife viewing, and the region’s culture. There’s something for everyone to appreciate, regardless of their personal preferences.

Dates & Rates

Discover the stunning beauty of the BC and Alaska coast on a boutique nature and wildlife expedition. Browse our dates and rates and find the perfect trip for you.

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