Great Bear Rainforest

Yacht-Based Heli-Skiing

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Bella Coola Heli Sports and Maple Leaf Adventures Launch North America’s Most Exclusive Yacht-based Heliski Adventure

BC tourism operators partner on bucket list-worthy “Soar and Explore” expedition experience

Bella Coola, British Columbia (September 23, 2020): Bella Coola Heli Sports has partnered with eco-tourism operator Maple Leaf Adventures on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure across British Columbia (BC)’s soaring mountains, majestic ocean and picturesque fjords. The most exclusive and luxurious yacht-based heliski experience available in North America, the Soar and Explore package is currently accepting bookings for 7 night stays during March 2021.

Connecting guests to 3.25 million acres of prime powder – the largest ski area in the world – Soar and Explore combines what has been voted as “the World’s Best Heli Skiing” with the freedom and excitement of an expedition yacht. Throughout the journey, guests are treated to decadent amenities like private helicopter flights, fjord cruising, kayaking and paddleboarding, seafood feasts, and unlimited powder in a curated ski program – providing plenty of amusement for skiers and non-skiers alike.

Designed for groups of up to eight skiers and riders, Soar and Explore begins with guests skiing their way from the Bella Coola airport to the Bella Coola Harbour where guests land on the MV Cascadia, a 138-foot catamaran featuring spacious cabins, elegant lounges and dining, lodge-quality amenities and a hot tub on the top deck boasting 360-degree views of the surrounding fjords.

Expedition yacht Cascadia at anchor deep in BC’c Coast Mountains. Photo by Jeff Reynolds.

Each morning, powderhounds board a private helicopter in search of pristine, remote terrain, often where no one has ever skied before; in the evening, skiers return to the yacht, moored at a beautiful new anchorage every night to ensure each day offers a fresh experience of the epic landscape.

Guests will be cruising the largest network of fjords in the world, situated in the Great Bear Rainforest; with opportunities to try their hand at catching crab, prawns and halibut that the chef will transform into a feast; explore river estuaries via kayak or paddleboard; take epic photos on journeys with seasoned guides ashore and by tender; soak tired muscles in natural oceanside hot springs; and participate in a cold-ocean “spirit bear” swim, then warm up by a beach fire under a vast sky glittering with stars.

“There is nothing like this in the world – it’s epic. BC’s fjords are stunning from the mountain peaks and to the ocean,” said Kevin Smith, co-owner of Maple Leaf Adventures. “When we introduced Cascadia, our luxury expedition yacht, I knew this was the right ship to support an exclusive yacht-based heliski trip. Bella Coola Heli Sports shares that vision and dedication to exploration and offering the best experiences in the region.”

Situated in the Coast Range of BC – an easy 70-minute flight north of Vancouver – Bella Coola Heli Sports connects skiers and snowboarders with the sprawling terrain of the Coast Mountains through multi-day heliskiing and heliboarding adventures. The company holds distinction as the world’s first climate positive heliskiing operation, and boasts the world’s largest heliskiing tenure with 3,250,000 acres (13,150 square kilometres) of skiable terrain – bigger than the entire Swiss Alps, and nearly 400 times the size of Whistler-Blackcomb combined. In addition to the MV Cascadia, guests can choose to stay at one of five land-based lodges, all with their own flavour and style. A common thread with all the lodges is a “boutique” feel, and when fully booked the combined capacity is just 54 guests, ensuring plenty of space to play and explore.

Apres ski soak in the top deck hot tub with a 360-degree view of the Coast Mountain fjords.
Apres ski soak in the top deck hot tub with a 360-degree view of the Coast Mountain fjords. Photo by Jonny Bierman.

“We are thrilled to connect skiers and riders with some of the best landscapes and ski experiences BC has to offer through our new Soar and Explore adventure,” said Beat Steiner, co-owner of Bella Coola Heli Sports. “This year has been a challenge for all of us and more than ever, I think people need an escape, something to dream about and look forward to. We are stoked to be able to offer the Soar and Explore program – unlimited powder, exploring remote wilderness, and contemplating the stars from the deck of a luxury catamaran! We designed this package as the ultimate ski trip, a unique opportunity for the skier that has been everywhere to take a turn out of the ordinary into the extraordinary. We trust our guests will agree!”

The Soar and Explore package includes return flights between Vancouver and Bella Coola; eight ski days; 20 hours of flight time; private, single-occupancy cabins for seven nights; all meals and drinks, including alcohol; daily massage treatments; two professional ski guides; and all amenities onboard the MV Cascadia. The package starts at $319,000 (CAD), and will be offered for four weeks starting March 2022. To learn more, or to book, click here.


About Bella Coola Heli Sports

Bella Coola Heli Sports (BCHS) is the world’s first, and only, climate positive heliskiing operation and was voted as the “World’s Best Heli Ski Operation” at the 2019, 2018 and 2017 World Ski Awards. It is renowned for, and dedicated to, crafting the ultimate in small group heli-skiing. The company operates in British Columbia’s rugged Coast Mountains, connecting skiers and boarders with more than 3.25 million exclusive acres, making it the largest heli-skiing area on the planet. Access to all the lodges in the company’s portfolio is one of the quickest in the industry: all that is required is a short 70-minute flight from Vancouver, meaning it may be possible to ski a few runs on arrival and departure days. After a day on the slopes, guests return to one of five land-based lodges, including Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, a winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and Traveller’s Choice Award (Best Small Hotels Canada); and a founding member of The Magnificent 7 Luxury Wilderness Lodges of Canada, and now the MV Cascadia, a 138ft catamaran with a helipad on the deck. Families and groups of friends have plenty of accommodation options, including having exclusive lodge access for just their group as the different lodges can host a maximum of 4, 8, 9, or 16 people.

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”.

Media Contact

Marika Mousseau

Beattie Tartan



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