The San Diego Union-Tribune
by Jason Leppert
Maple Leaf Adventures takes guests back in time aboard the historic MV Swell to scenic Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, in British Columbia, Canada. Seven- or eight-night itineraries include a one-day cultural primer on land in the northern archipelago before the 10-passenger wooden vessel whisks visitors away to the southern Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.
Specific stops are subject to weather, but plenty of landings and cruises are offered along the way, including opportunities to kayak and explore intertidal zones and the creatures therein. A naturalist details all the flora and fauna seen during the trip, such as various birds, seals, sea lions, deer and black bears. Relaxing day transits in between anchorages even shed light on possible humpback and orca whale sightings.