If We Do Something, We Do It Right

A Coastline for Experts

Great tidal exchanges, narrow passages, strong currents, uncharted reefs and islands, few aids to navigation, huge distances, and fjords that rapidly ascend to mudflats: navigating the BC and southeast Alaska coast is for expert mariners.
Add to that the millions of hectares of watersheds in their natural state, populations in some areas of large carnivores (who are not out to harm humans but who, if threatened by humans who don’t understand them, may protect themselves), cold water and big weather, and you also need expert guides ashore.

Ship Safety & Maintenance

Our ships are professionally operated, Canadian-registered, expedition ships. They are certified by Transport Canada as passenger carrying vessels. Even our small shore boats are Transport Canada certified.

This is the highest level of certification for a commercial vessel in Canada. Canada’s requirements are more stringent than those of most countries in the world.

The ships undergo scheduled, annual inspections by a series of Transport Canada inspectors. Our captains and first mates also perform daily inspections and planned maintenance during the operating season.

We have very high standards for equipment and maintenance. We buy the best equipment, and we maintain it in perfect condition.

Each ship has many redundant systems, emergency systems, first aid and lifesaving equipment, and communication methods.

Expert, Local Mariners

Our captains are very experienced on this coast.

In addition to being Transport Canada certified masters, they have many years’ experience navigating ships on this coast.

They also have many years’ experience working at Maple Leaf Adventures before they are considered candidates for captains or expedition leaders.

Our mates, engineers and other crew members also carry certification from Transport Canada.


Very Experienced Wilderness Guides & Crew

Our expedition leaders are exactly the kind of people you’d want to find yourself on a deserted island with.

Since you will find yourself on a deserted island with them (albeit with a ship anchored nearby), we hope you take great comfort from this.

They are capable outdoors-people, with decades of experience in coastal weather, geography, wildlife, wilderness living, and survival skills.

They are also genial leaders, able to give both wonder and confidence to their guests. Their certifications include advanced wilderness first aid for leaders, advanced bear guide training, CPR and other lifesaving skills, and years of training on how to work with guests on a Maple Leaf Adventures trip.

Our other crew/guides also have training in the coastal wilderness, first aid, bear guiding and working with guests.


Social Licence to Operate

Maple Leaf Adventures is a coast-owned and operated company. 

We have qualified for and purchased all of the permits and special use permits required to operate in park systems, including the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Heritage Site, the BC Parks system, and the Tongass National Forest.

We were also a proud pioneer and advocate in creating protocol agreements with First Nations communities in whose traditional territories we operate.

For decades we have held these economic and stewardship agreements. The agreements recognize another level of government, and their traditional territory. The agreements include fees paid to the local communities, enshrine our desire to work with cultural interpreters and other guides, and clarify our stewardship principles, which fit the First Nations’ governments’ stewardship principles for their territories.

We donate time and money to coastal conservation and to sustainable economic development initiatives.

And we maintain two pieces of Canadian maritime history – the Maple Leaf and the Swell – with no government grants or subsidies of any kind.

All of this means that our ships and their guests are welcomed all along the coast, in cities and villages, cultural sites and research outposts alike.


Environmental Safety and Protection

As an eco-tourism company, protecting our environment is one of our top priorities.

We build no structures and leave no trace in the places we visit.

We have many environmental protection systems aboard above and beyond those required by law.


Covid-19 Policies

Our top priority is ensuring the safety and health of the Maple Leaf Adventures guests and crew, as well as respecting the coastal communities we operate in. As a professional ecotourism company that has been operating in our coastal home for over thirty years, we make decisions with long-term thinking. To ensure everyone’s safety throughout the trip, we have adjusted our policies. As new information evolves, we will continue to adapt our policies.

Before departure

  • Guests must review and sign the self-assessment information provided. The standard online self-assessment tool for BC is BC Thrive Health. Anyone experiencing symptoms will not be permitted to participate in the trip.
  • For Fall 2020, we will only accept guests from specific jurisdictions or guests from other places who have been in the government-required a 14-day quarantine period in BC. This policy is still being developed, details will be available shortly.
  • Crew have been tested and isolated before working on board.

During the Trip: 

  • Crew and guests will be monitored daily for Covid-19 symptoms. Anyone who experiences an onset of symptoms will be asked to self-isolate within their cabin. Self-isolation should continue for a period determined by the self-assessment tool, as well as following consultation with a medical practitioner. We have the ability for guests to be removed by medivac from the ship and would make appropriate arrangements for that if needed.
  • Non-medical face masks will be required for both guests and crew anytime 2 metres of physical distance cannot be maintained. For example, during all trips in the tenders and on board briefings. Crew will be wearing masks during meal service.
  • Crew will have access to appropriate personal protective equipment and will be taking extra steps to ensure the ships remain regularly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized in accordance with federal and provincial health authority guidelines. This includes thorough cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces every two hours while guests are on board, regular handwashing, hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship, limiting the number of crew members handling food plates, and the use of an eletro-statically charged fogger machine for disinfecting all types of surfaces within public spaces and during cabin turnovers.
  • Food service will consist of our usual high-end plated meals, served by crew along with individually plated or wrapped snacks. Buffet-style food services will not be available at this time. 
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the vessels.
  • Our trips take place in the natural world, far from communities and other people.
  • There is plenty of deck space with seating on our ships to enjoy the pure, fresh air of the west coast. Most on board cabins have doors and windows that open to the fresh air outside. All shared spaces have plenty of fresh air moving through them from doors opening to the deck.

At this time, our trips will not be entering any First Nations or small coastal communities to respect their wishes and ensure their safety.