Maple Leaf Adventures’ 2012 Haida Gwaii tour showcases Canada’s Galapagos with softest footprint possible
Described as the Canadian Galapagos, Haida Gwaii is located at the western edge of North America and is a place teeming with wildlife and First Nations heritage. For more than 20 years, Maple Leaf Adventures has led authentic explorations aboard a classic 28-metre (92-foot) schooner into the Gwaii Haanas National Park Marine Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, an area rarely travelled and explored.
Recognized as a Signature Canadian Experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission, the nine-day, eight-night Haida Gwaii eco-cruise departs from Masset, BC (returning to Sandspit, BC) on five separate dates in 2012: May 7 – 15, May 16 – 24, May 25 – Jun. 2, Jun. 4 – 12 and Jun. 13 – 21. Cost per passenger is $4,640.00 Cdn (includes all shore excursions, meals, accommodations and use of onboard equipment). Masset is located at the northern end of Graham Island – the largest of the more than 150 islands that comprise the Queen Charlotte Islands, now known as Haida Gwaii. Typically, guests fly into Masset, BC aboard Pacific Coastal Airlines out of Vancouver, BC.
“It’s a real privilege to be one of the few tour operators permitted to travel into Gwaii Haanas,” said Kevin Smith, president of Maple Leaf Adventures. “We guide our guests into this maze of islands and waterways, a world class natural environment that made the Haida who they are. Now modern Haida watchmen welcome us into their Haida village sites, as our voyage takes us through this landscape forests, rugged cliffs, beaches and natural hot springs. All the while, we are surrounded by wildlife, from tufted puffins to bears and massive humpback whales.”
As a co-founder of Gwaii Haanas Tour Operators Association and co-author of its renowned Code of Conduct, Maple Leaf Adventures operates its Haida Gwaii tour by sail with the permission and respect of the Haida and Parks Canada. During the trip, guests embark on a number of guided land and sea explorations, including a visit to the UN World Heritage Site SGang Gwaay (Ninstints). Here, Haida guides share stories of the still-standing totem poles (some dating from the mid-19th century) and house remains, and the Kunghit Haida people who carved them so many years ago.
Other highlights of the sailing cruise include naturalist-led treks to islands that feature thousands of nesting seabirds, hikes through forests with centuries-old trees and soaks in natural hot springs. And after each day of adventure, guests return to the tall ship to enjoy gourmet meals prepared by the onboard chef, relax in the comfortable sleeping cabin or spend time in the above-deck wheelhouse where they can try their hands at steering the ship.
About Maple Leaf Adventures
Maple Leaf Adventures has provided conservation travel experiences aboard a classic tall ship 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. 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 in the field of conservation. For more information, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com.
Discover Haida Gwaii w/ rare @MapleLeafAdvent sailing cruise: visit ancient villages, spot rare wildlife and soak in natural hot springs.
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Maureen Gordon, Maple Leaf Adventures: 250 386-7245, 250-881-6143 (cell) or Maureen@MapleLeafAdventures.com
Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-882-9199 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org