Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage

An Odyssey Through Time & Nature

Spend a week cruising up Vancouver Island’s diverse coast with a world-class crew.

Points of Interest


Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage

Cruise the East Coast of Vancouver Island on a Boutique, Classic Ship

An amazing journey through the wild island archipelagos on Vancouver Island’s east coast. Highlights of Desolation Sound, Discovery Islands, and the Broughton Archipelago, including wildflowers, beaches, waterfalls, seabirds, marine mammals, rainforests, and exploring.

Itinerary Details
  • Ships: Swell
  • Duration: 8 Days
  • Ports: Campbell River, Port McNeill

Experience Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage

See Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage through the eyes of our guests.

What People Say

See what our guests have to say about our Vancouver Island tours

    “’Wild and wooly’ within a pristine wilderness. Pushing life to the limit. The best of days from sunrise to sunset. Thank you for the opportunity to rejuvenate our spirits. Merci from two Victorians and ex-Montrealers”

    Sheila Madill and Bill Fuller, Victoria, BC

    “From our first inquiries to the final docking, our trip has been first class all the way”

    F. Shirley, Ontario, Canada

    “An unbelievable experience with the most dedicated and involved crew I’ve ever experienced. Every day was ‘magical’. The bar for my next adventure now is high! A true way to tick off a bucket list item in such a successful way. Thanks so much to all the fabulous crew”

    Chuck Cole, Washington, USA

    “Another wonderful trip on the Maple Leaf. Once again, the people, as well as nature, were great! This is always the most difficult part of the trip, saying Goodbye. Already planning the next journey”

    Jim and Judy Colvin, Los Angeles, CA

Featured Highlights

Embark on a remarkable Island odyssey

You’ll have a unique, up-close experience of the best sights of Vancouver Island’s “inside passage”.

Nature’s Spectacle

Seabirds, seals, orcas, humpback whales and bears call this region home.

Diverse Ecosystems

From the warm islands to the steep-sloped rainforest of the Broughton Archipelago.

Explore Ashore

Navigate the inside passage of Vancouver Island, and step onto secret coves.

Heritage Tugboat

As a guest, you’re welcome to join us in the wheelhouse and learn how the crew makes navigation decisions.

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 Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage itinerary. Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for more general trip and booking information.

If you are arriving by air, you can fly to Campbell River Airport (YBL) through Air Canada, Pacific Coastal and Central Mountain Air. Contact information for taxi companies is provided to you before your tour and you can reserve a taxi prior to your flight to take you to your trip starts at Discovery Harbour Marina. At the end of your tour, your captain will arrange a taxi pick up at the marina in Port McNeill to take you to the airport.

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 accommodations and activities in your welcome aboard package. Please do not book nonrefundable airfare before getting the boarding and disembarking times for your trip.

May on Vancouver Island’s east coast (and Desolation Sound) typically offers temperatures ranging from 10°C to 18°C (50°F to 64°F) with a mix of sunny days and moderate rainfall. May is considered the start of the sailing season, and you can expect fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months. You should prepare for variable weather and check up-to-date forecasts in the lead-up to your trip.

Bears are wild animals and their presence and visibility can be influenced by various factors such as food availability and their natural behavior. There is a chance to see spring bears foraging in the sedges, but sightings can never be guaranteed. Our experienced guides will do their best to enhance wildlife viewing opportunities and share their knowledge about the local wildlife.

May offers a good chance of spotting various whale species, including orcas, humpback whales, gray whales, and occasionally minke whales during their migration. Since we’re on the water every day, we get the opportunity to see whales exhibit a wide range of behaviours in a way that is non-disruptive. As a responsible and eco-friendly organization, we follow and often exceed the guidelines set out by the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association. Our crew includes many naturalists who are directly involved in marine conservation efforts, and who educate guests on the importance of being cautious, polite, and silent in proximity of these magnificent creatures.

We follow the history of the people who have navigated these islands for thousands of years, exploring ancient petroglyphs, midden beaches and village sites of the Coast Salish peoples. Trips include a tour of the Namgis U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, and usually visit local legend Billy Proctor and other off-the-beaten-track places, too.

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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