This Summer Discover Vancouver Island's Rugged and Beautiful Northwest
Veiled from most travellers by a mountainous spine, north-western Vancouver Island is still remote and wild. Maple Leaf's Captain Kevin Smith came to love it as a marine park ranger and developed an intimate knowledge of the waterways, islands, wildlife and forests.
Join us for a Vancouver Island vacation, sailing the beautiful, classic schooner Maple Leaf into a special place few are ever privileged to visit.
Northern Vancouver Island's Rivers and Rainforests
You will board Maple Leaf in Coal Harbour, just 20 minutes from the airport, and travel down an inlet so long it almost cuts huge Vancouver Island in half. At coves along this sheltered inlet, we'll explore the island's temperate rainforests.
Richly productive rivers spill into the ocean from the folds of steep mountains. Here, towering trees draped in moss and lichens live thousands of years, providing a home to wolves, black bears, elk, eagles and many other species.
A Glacial Refugium: One of the World's "Magical" Places
We plan to visit East Creek, one of the world's most magical rainforests -- and possibly one of the oldest. During the last ice age, the East Creek watershed escaped glaciation and flourished, while ice scoured other vegetation from the continent. In the alpine areas grow plants found nowhere else on this coast.
Vancouver Island's Bears
This trip includes bear viewing activities; late June and early July is a good time to spot Vancouver Island's black bears on beaches and in estuaries.
Bears viewed on this trip are totally wild, and in their native habitat.
Wild Beaches, Sea Otters and More
After this world of towering forests and great rivers, you will sail along Vancouver Island's west coast.
You'll walk on white sand beaches that unroll between forest and sea, where relatively few people have ever walked. In other places, the sea meets the Island's jagged coastline.
This area is home to multitudes of sea otters, sea birds and other wildlife. Indeed the recovery of Vancouver Island's sea otters began here. We may see transient killer whales, puffins and sea lions.
We plan to visit the beaches of Brooks Peninsula and Rugged Point. Weather permitting we may sail through the beautiful Cape Scott area and offshore islands.
Vancouver Island Culture
This area is the traditional home of the Kwakwak'wakw, or Kwakwala speaking, and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. We may visit Kwakwak'wakw cultural sites and explore the way of life for all who live on Vancouver Island's "wild coast".
The weather in July is the best of the season, with a summer high frequently blessing us with unexpectedly sunny weather.
The Vancouver Island Most Will Never Get to See
This is Vancouver Island's "last frontier". The navigation is challenging for inexperienced boaters. There are few roads here. And the huge Brooks Peninsula is a wild, unroaded wilderness. This trip is for the adventurous of spirit, those who wish a vacation on Vancouver Island where they can unplug from the grid, smell salt on the breeze at low tide, and listen to the beat of an eagle's wings overhead.
An Educational Vancouver Island Vacation
Our trips are accompanied by an expert naturalist who makes even the tiny world of a tide pool so fascinating it's hard to move on The ship's crew are happy to teach what they know about sailing and navigation, and guests are welcome to help sail the ship.
Sadly, some of the areas we will travel through are threatened by industrial clearcut logging. If you have ever dreamed of a relaxing and educational journey in one of the world's secret "beautiful places", this is the trip for you.
Dates & Prices
| Sample Itinerary
| Trip Planning
| Get Free Brochure
| Guest Comments
| Ask About/Book Trip