From scenic backwaters to wildlife hotspots to cultural sites, this journey among the islands and fjords of the storied British Columbia coast includes Desolation Sound and the Broughton Archipelago as well as neighbouring inlets. This is the place north of Vancouver and off edge of the Island that most people never see.
Snowcapped mountains, glacier-fed fjords, calm and scenic cruising are the backdrop to our journey through the nature and wildlife of the west coast—from rainforest to grizzlies and whales and dolphins. We’ll partake in bear viewing to see fjordland grizzlies fish for salmon, visit the Namgis U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, and usually visit local legend Billy Proctor and other off-the-beaten-track places, too.
Desolation Sound in Fall (8 days) aboard Cascadia sets sail this October 17-24 starting at $6,800 before taxes, based on cabin category. 9 cabins still available.
There is no single supplement on this departure, so solo travellers save at least $3,400 on a private ensuite cabin.
|Photo by Jeff Reynolds
|Explore intricate passageways between idyllic islands in one of the best places on earth to see whales. Flocks of sea birds decorate the surface of the water, and resident killer whales hunt for salmon below—greeting us with incredible breaching displays.
On this summer sailing adventure of the Broughton Archipelago you’ll discover the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Pacific Northwest, visiting with First Nations guides to learn about their art, traditions, and way of life. Then, we explore dozens of wild islands and islets situated at the mouth of Knight Inlet, off the northern reach of Vancouver Island, a region dubbed as the “Serengeti of the Sea”. This whale watching experience offers endless days of adventure, supported by a very comfortable sailing ship, gourmet chef and knowledgeable guides and naturalists. There’s also lots of time ashore exploring rainforest, beaches and tiny settlements. If the warm weather has you raring for adventure, this is the trip for you.
Whales and Totems (6 days) aboard Maple Leaf sets sail this August 3-8 (4 spaces available) at $4,400 before taxes.
Photo by Jeff Reynolds
Embark on a summer expedition across one of the richest coastal ecosystems in the world. This short or long summertime epic is about whales and the oceanic world they inhabit. Cruise along the remote north and central coast of the Great Bear Rainforest to faraway islands, by sailing ship or catamaran.
Step onto wild, white-sand beaches, where the only footprints you’ll find belong to the elusive coastal wolf. Spend hours with humpback whales and other marine mammals, visit one of the best places on earth to see bubble-net feeding humpbacks, orcas (killer whales), and meet the whale researchers who are making new discoveries from their station at the aptly named Whale Channel.
Rainforest, other wildlife, and frequent shore trips round out this odyssey of British Columbia’s remarkable natural and cultural history. This is our award-winning journey into the nature, wildlife and culture of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Whales and Wild Isles of the Great Bear Rainforest (9 days) aboard Cascadia sets sail this July 23-31 (6 cabins available) and August 3-11 (7 cabins available) starting at $10,100 before taxes, based on cabin category.
There is no single supplement on this departure, so solo travellers save at least $5,500 on a private ensuite cabin.
Whales and Wild Isles of the Great Bear Rainforest (9 days) aboard Maple Leaf sets sail this August 21-29 starting at $7,050 before taxes, based on cabin category.
Whales and Wild Isles of the Great Bear Rainforest (5 days) aboard Cascadia sets sail this August 12-16 (just 2 cabins available) at $7,850 for a Category 3 cabin, before taxes.
|Photo by Alina AndrushkoVineyard walks, sealion haul-outs, and fine dining aboard luxury catamaran… These are just some of the experiences we uncork in Canada’s “Wine Islands”. Join us as in the colourful harvest season, as we cruise islands and natural coves in a wine region like no other, guided by experts and industry pioneers.
Each day you’ll learn about and taste the best wines from BC’s distinct wine regions, as well as the nature that inspires it, aboard a spacious catamaran yacht, Cascadia. This adventure will take you into hard-to-reach South Gulf Island pockets to marvel at stunning landscapes, and local wildlife.
You’ll feel immersed in the region’s nature, anchoring in remote locations inaccessible by car or ferry. This signature journey is a celebration of BC’s emerging wine regions, and unlike any other tasting experience you’ll find.
Wines & Islands (5 days) aboard Cascadia sets sail this October 26-30 starting at $5,250 per person before taxes, based on cabin category. 8 cabins still available—just one Category 3 and Category 2.
Photo by Greg Shae
Once the summer crowds begin to fade, fall is the perfect time to explore quiet towns and hundreds of islands off the ferry route. Located in a rain shadow, the Gulf Islands have a very unique semi-Mediterranean climate that keeps the region drier than the rest of the BC coast: migrating birds stop on the beaches on their journey south along the Pacific Flyway; spawning salmon congregate among the islands before running up the mighty Fraser River: marine mammals including seals, sea lions and orcas feast on the plenty. Exploring the islands’ trails and shorelines might also reveal other fascinating creatures like deer, raccoons, and various marine species.
Aboard BC’s oldest tall ship, you’ll island hop the National Park reserve, visit wildlife colonies, walk the rainforest and rocky bluffs, and explore remote beaches and tiny islands. You’ll sail among eclectic island communities, then across hundreds of islands that few ever visit.
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (6 Days) aboard Maple Leaf departs this October 26–31 starting at $3,200 before taxes. Six spaces still available.
|Photo by Greg ShaeEmbark on a unique culinary adventure aboard the charming, classic tugboat—her polished brass and oiled wood interior evoking an intimate pub with a dozen or so great new friends. This southbound voyage visits pioneering breweries where our craft beer revolution began in the mid-1980s. Led by brew historian and beer expert, the trip showcases the versatility of beer with locally sourced brews paired meticulously with every meal. The breathtaking Salish Sea that is star of the show, offering magical encounters like orcas gracefully swimming by the ship’s bow. Join us on a small ship cruise where culinary delights, cultural history, stunning landscapes, and new discoveries await.
Craft Beer and Culinary Cruise (5 days) aboard Swell departs this October 27-31 starting at $3,750 before taxes, based on cabin category.
A Sailing Adventure in Desolation Sound Soothes the Soul and Revives the Spirit
On the second morning of our week of sailing around Desolation Sound, I woke up early. I was about to roll over and go back to sleep when I caught sight of a pink glow outside the porthole. Quietly, so as not to wake my husband Evan or our friends in the next cabin.
6 Breathtaking Canadian Wildlife Experiences
When people think of Canada and wildlife, their minds tends to go to one animal in particular: the beaver. While we do love that furry little lumberjack, Canada’s wildlife viewing extends well beyond our buck-toothed national icon. In fact, Canada has some of the most unique and extreme wildlife experiences in the world.
When It Comes To An Alaska Cruise, Smaller Is Better
When Alaska visitor Zulette Gordon nudged a floating iceberg with her fingertips, it drove home how different this trip was. “We touched the icebergs. We could hear them melting beside us. We could see the bubbles rolling down inside,” she said of that moment, floating in a 20-foot zodiac with several other guests.