IMAX Great Bear Rainforest: How to be the star of your own movie on Canada’s Wild Coast with Maple Leaf Adventures
The just-released IMAX movie Great Bear Rainforest takes viewers on an odyssey through one of the planet’s last great wild places, Canada’s west coast. But here’s a secret: you, too, can travel in the Great Bear Rainforest, in an IMAX-like journey of discovery, thanks to pioneers of Canada’s ecotourism industry, Maple Leaf Adventures.
In fact, guests can see some of the same animal characters (including grizzlies and spirit bears) who starred in the film on many of these week-long trips. Guests are also introduced to many of the local experts featured in the 45-minute, epic film.
Maple Leaf Adventures, a boutique expedition cruise company that pioneered ecotourism in the Great Bear Rainforest, offers trips in spring, summer and fall that explore the region’s astounding nature, wildlife and culture.
Maple Leaf’s team are also recognized area experts. It’s a company run entirely by local coastal people, with long-standing ties to research, conservation, and community leadership in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Safaris by Water: Expedition Cruises in the Great Bear
The trips are operated in a similar style of a Galapagos trip or a luxury African safari: guests travel aboard small yachts, and go ashore frequently with guides to view bears, the rainforest, and explore wild beaches. They also visit local communities, where indigenous ambassadors introduce guests to the culture that’s thrived here for millennia, and researchers talk one-on-one about their discoveries.
There are no roads in the Great Bear Rainforest: it’s a land of fjords and islands, threaded with calm ocean channels. The best way to explore is by boat. Each of Maple Leaf’s ships – the classic schooner Maple Leaf (8 guests), the classic tugboat Swell (12 guests) and the catamaran Cascadia (24 guests) — offers expert guides, gourmet cuisine, comfortable accommodations and great access to special places.
Bears, Wildflowers, Salmon, Whales: Seasons of the Great Bear
Each season in the Great Bear Rainforest features highlights:
- Spring (May, June): grizzly bears, wildflowers, stunning scenery, generally settled weather
- Summer (July, Aug): access to remote islands and beaches, increased whale and seabird activity, most stable weather
- Autumn (September, October): grizzly and spirit bears, salmon run
Maple Leaf is held up as stewards of the Great Bear Rainforest for their commitment to low impact travel into these fragile ecosystems. Limited access is one way to minimize footprints but maximize the experience, and owners Kevin Smith and Maureen Gordon present all over the world on their style of expedition cruises which is considered a best practice in the industry.
These week-long trips operate between May and October each year, and the all-inclusive fares range, depending on trip length and season, from:
- Maple Leaf (sailing ship), 7 nights, spring Cdn $4750 to 8 nights summer Cdn $5850, to 8 nights autumn $6650.
- Swell (tugboat), 6 nights, spring Cdn $5443, to 8 nights autumn Cdn $7980 for a category 1 cabin.
- Cascadia (catamaran), 7 nights summer Cdn $7040, to 7 nights autumn Cdn $8825 for a category 1 cabin
For more information, please visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com or call +1-250-386-7245.
About Maple Leaf Adventures
Selected for Canada’s “Signature Experiences Collection” by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Maple Leaf Adventures has provided conservation-focused, big adventures aboard small ships since 1986. With a reputation as one of Canada’s top sustainable tour operators, its multi-day excursions give guests one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the most beautiful and rare places in the world, often in areas that were once under threat of destruction or in dire need of protection. In 2012, Maple Leaf was awarded the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award, for promoting the appreciation of Canada’s natural, cultural and aesthetic heritage, while also protecting them. As a long-time practitioner of ecotourism, Maple Leaf Adventures pioneered travel in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest and northwestern Vancouver Island and has made significant contributions to conservation. National Geographic Adventure has rated Maple Leaf Adventures one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. For more information, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com.