Gulf Islands in Fall

Discover Hundreds of Semi-Mediterranean Islands

Island hop in the National Park Reserve, visit wildlife colonies, walk rainforest and rocky bluffs, and tiny islands not visited by ferries.

Points of Interest


Cruise the Gulf Islands in Fall

Sail Intricate Waterways Across Hundreds of Mild Islands

This small ship cruise explores the Gulf Islands, Canada, an archipelago of islands in the protected Salish Sea between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. It is one of the world’s best small-boat cruising destinations. You’ll island hop in the National Park, visit wildlife colonies, walk the rainforest and rocky bluffs, and explore remote beaches and tiny islands.

Itinerary Details
  • Ships: Maple Leaf (Sailing Ship)
  • Duration: 4 or 5 Days
  • Ports: Nanaimo or Sydney

Experience the Gulf Islands

See the Gulf Islands through the eyes of our guests

What People Say

See what our guests have to say about our  Gulf Islands adventures.

    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


Golden Colours of Autumn Line the Islands at This Time of Year

Explore the island colours on hikes, beach walks, and tours through historic homesteads.

Secluded Islands

Once the summer crowds begin to fade, fall is the perfect time to explore quiet towns and hundreds of islands off the roadmap.

Unique Microclimate

Located in a rain shadow, the Gulf Islands have a unique semi-Mediterranean climate that keeps the region drier than the rest of the BC coast

Diverse Landscapes

Some islands grow cacti, some great rainforests, and others host white shell beaches and meadows of wildflowers

Nature’s Spectacle

Migrating birds, spawning salmon and marine mammals including seals, sea lions and orcas.

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 Gulf Islands itineraries. 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 for Nanaimo departures, or Victoria Airport (YYJ) or Swartz Bay Terminal for Sidney departures. 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 to take you to the airport. If you choose to drive, a complimentary parking pass is available from the Van Isle Marina office.

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. Some people view autumn as a drizzly, wet time of year on our coast. Perhaps it is, but as long time explorers, we know that the rains bring waterfalls, salmon to the streams, and fruit to the trees. Plus, in the south, there is often more sun than you would expect. 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 or consult reliable weather websites 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 fascinating wildlife the Gulf Islands has to offer.

Absolutely. We encourage our guests to participate in any aspect of the trip that interests them and to whatever level they are comfortable with. We are patient instructors (no yelling) and delight in helping people learn. On the other hand, you are not required to sail or perform duties while on your vacation. The choice is yours.

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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