The Real Thing: Our small group gives you an authentic experience
Feel the breath of a whale drift across you. Have a frank discussion with a coastal resident about what big ideas like the conservation economy or the repatriation of First Nations items really mean to everyday life. Because Maple Leaf staff know the coast and the people on it, and because we travel in a small group, your trip is not just a "sightseeing" trip but rather a journey as the guest in a multifaceted world.
Experience: We're a pioneer of ecotourism on the coast
Maple Leaf Adventures has been operating ecotours in B.C. and Alaska since 1986. Our staff have promoted the principles of responsible tourism since before it was fashionable and have made real differences on the coast.
In the 1980s, Maple Leaf Adventures spearheaded and co-authored the Code of Conduct for the Gwaii Haanas Tour Operators Association, a code that is still used as an example for other regions. In the early 1990s, Maple Leaf researched and pioneered tourism into the Kitlope and the Great Bear Rainforest and the company's president assisted Karen and Ian McAllister in founding the Raincoast Conservation society.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Maple Leaf staff spent thousands of hours and sums of money on conservation work in the Great Bear Rainforest, and pioneered trips in a new area: northwestern Vancouver Island.
Our extensive knowledge of the coast creates a rich experience on your trip.
You can learn more about that here.
The Ship: You'll enjoy the beauty and history of the classic schooner Maple Leaf
Glossy mahogany cap rails. Warm fir deck planking. Ornate brass and glass period lightshades. These are just a few of Maple Leaf's beautiful elements.
A fast hull. Strong yellow cedar ribs. A history as the first ship on the B.C. coast with electric lights. These are a few highlights of the ship's construction. She has been both a society yacht and one of the strongest open-sea halibut longliners around.
Spending time admiring Maple Leaf's beauty and understanding her strength and her sailing rig is a pleasure for many people.
A Personal Experience: Exceptional crew-to-guest ratio ensures you personalized service
Maple Leaf has the highest crew to guest ratio on the coast - usually 8 guests and 4 or 5 crew. Take the time to sketch in an ancient village site. Receive a meal by a chef who knows your preferences. Take the exact photo you want because the Captain made sure you had the chance.
Enjoy long one-on-one conversations with a naturalist.
When you travel on Maple Leaf you are not a "passenger", but rather a guest. From your initial phone call to the moment we arrange your post-trip taxi, we are thinking specifically of you as an individual.
You will find that a trip with Maple Leaf can produce one of the most genuine experiences in your travelling life.
Experts in Natural History: Our naturalists are experts in their field, engaging you with up-to-date information
Maple Leaf naturalists are experts in their field, who choose to work on Maple Leaf on special sabbaticals for the love of it. They are scientists, authors, and community leaders whose daily work with the development of knowledge on the coast greatly enriches Maple Leaf trips.
Special Access: Our permits, size and expert knowledge give you special access
Many of the coast's most spectacular places forbid mass tourism. You won't find cruise ships in most of the places Maple Leaf goes, including the UN World Heritage Site Ninstints (Sga'ang Gway) and some of the coast's special bear havens.
Safety and Responsibility: Annual coast guard inspections, high crew certification standards and proper park permits mean your trip is safe and properly authorized
Operating a professional ecotourism business requires diligence, good planning and proper permits:
- Maple Leaf Adventures has all the required park permits to visit special places on the coast.
- Our ship undergoes many annual inspections by Transport Canada for professional passenger carrying vessels.
- Maple Leaf possesses a plethora of safety equipment, including sattelite communications and an AED.
The Best Equipment: Top-quality equipment and natural history tools give you a peak experience
Maple Leaf Adventures is managed by people that actually operate your trips. Therefore we have the best-designed equipment to provide the best experience for you -- Polaris aluminum-bottomed inflatable shore boats, stable kayaks, hydrophone for listening to whales' calls underwater, nets, flat-screen DVD player/presentation screen, and an excellent library.
Our Relationships: Relationships with First Nations and Researchers on the Coast
Maple Leaf Adventures led the way by establishing protocol agreements with First Nations communities in areas that we travel, recognizing their traditional territories. Therefore you benefit from a trip with the proper social license to travel, and that contributes to local economies at every level. Our friends in communities along the coast enjoy sharing their experiences with you.
Maple Leaf Adventures supports and contributes to natural science research. When possible, we arrange visits for our guests with friends doing research in the field.
Warmth and Expertise: Highly trained and hospitible crew
- Our crew are highly trained and ceritified by Transport Canada as master mariners and crew.
- They are also trained and certified in wilderness first aid, and wildlife viewing (marine mammals and birds, bears).
- Our crew includes some of the few bear guides certified as Full Bear Guides by the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC, as well as CBVA-trained assistant bear gudies.
Local: You're supporting a coastal company with deep local roots
Maple Leaf Adventures has been operating in and investing in the B.C. and Alaska coastal economy for decades. Your support of our business is a support of the economy of the area - one of the principles of ecotourism.
Maple Leaf Adventures was designed from the inside out as an ecotourism organization ... in 1986, long before it was trendy. This dedication to the natural systems and the ancient cultures of the coast informs every policy and decision we make, from what type of seafood to purchase, to establishing a protocol agreement with a First Nation.
We also support conservation research on the coast, as well as the development of true ecotourism. As a member of 1% For The Planet, we donate at least 1% of all sales (not profits, but sales) to coastal conservation each year. (Our accountants like to tell us how much more than 1% it usually is.)
FUN - Maple Leaf Adventures has a quadruple bottom line - the 4th being fun
Our crew's love of the coast and their expertise at operating wilderness adventures in it means that you will have a lot of fun with them. Every person on the Maple Leaf enjoys hosting our guests. They love to share the beauty and excitement of exploring the coast by sailing ship. They'll teach you to take the helm and steer the 95-ton Maple Leaf under sail. They'll take you under the spray of a waterfall if that's what you'd like. They'll remember your birthday or your jokes, and teach you to climb out on the ship's bowsprit to interact with dolphins.
View the sailing cruises.