Whales and Totems

Welcome to the “Serengeti of the Sea”

Explore intricate passageways between idyllic islands in the Broughton Archipelago, one of the best places on earth to see whales.

Points of Interest


Whales and Totems

Discover the Coast in Ways That the First Explorers Did

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 fjords. Visit villages brimming with culture.

Itinerary Details
  • Ships: Maple Leaf
  • Duration: 6 Days
  • Ports: Port McNeill

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Experience the Broughton Archipelago

See our Whales & Totem’s Tour through the eyes of our guests.

What People Say

See what our guests have to say about our Whales and Totems adventure.

    “’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


A Collision of Spectacular Wildlife and Ancient History

Rich in wildlife, home to a complex whale community, hundreds of hidden islands and ancient human cultures.

Sail the Broughton Archipelago

Dozens of wild islands and islets are situated at the mouth of Knight Inlet off the northern reach of Vancouver Island.

Home of the Kwakwaka’wakw

Discover the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Pacific Northwest as you visit First Nations villages and learn about their art, traditions, and way of life.

Living Exhibition of Land & Sea

Flocks of sea birds decorate the surface of the water, resident killer whales hunt for salmon beneath.

The Best Way to See Whales

This whale-watching experience offers days of adventure and wildlife, supported by a very comfortable expedition ship, a gourmet chef and knowledgeable guides.

Related Stories

Follow our coastal expeditions with notes from the field.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions about our Whales and Totems itinerary. Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for more general trip and booking information.

If you are arriving by air, we recommend flying to Port Hardy Airport (YZT) which is a 30 minute drive to Port McNeill. Contact information for the taxi company is provided to you before your tour, you can reserve a taxi prior to your flight, they will meet you at the airport and take you to Port McNeill to meet the ship. 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, limited parking is available beside the marina for $5/day.

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.

In the summer, the Broughton Archipelago experiences mild and pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from comfortable to warm. However, weather conditions can vary, so it’s advisable to come prepared for changing conditions. It’s a good idea to bring layers, including light jackets or sweaters, as well as sun protection such as hats and sunscreen. Additionally, occasional rain showers are possible, so having a rain jacket or waterproof gear is recommended. Overall, summer in the Broughton Archipelago offers a beautiful coastal experience.

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 view black bears as they forage at low tide, 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.

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.

As a responsible and eco-friendly organization, we follow and often exceed the guidelines set out by North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association. Our crew includes many naturalists who are directly involved in marine conservation efforts, who educate guests on the importance of being cautious, polite, and silent in proximity of these magnificent creatures.

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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