Cruise the Queen Charlotte Islands - Haida Gwaii on this spectacular small group boat tour. One hundred kilometres west of BC's north coast, lies the magical, awe inspiring islands of Haida Gwaii. The southern portion of these islands, once threatened by clear cut logging, are now Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.
Located on the edge of the Pacific Continental Shelf, with its shores bathed in the nutrient rich waters, these islands have been dubbed the 'Canadian Galapogos'. Because the Haida First Nations People had such an abundance of food, they had time to develop one of the world's most powerful and creative aboriginal cultures. The Haida culture is a large part of the focus of our trips in Gwaii Haanas National Park.
During your travels into the Park you visit the old Haida villages of Skedans, Tahnoo, Sgang Gwaay, (a World Heritage Site) and also Gandll K'in (Hot Springs Island). In each of these sites, Haida Watchmen, (interpreters) will greet and share with us the life and culture of each of these awe inspiring and very spiritual places. Stories told by these Haida interpreters will take you back to a time when these villages were bustling with the activity of thousands of Haida people. You will be able to walk alone on trails, if you wish, through these old villages and have the time to see, hear and smell, all that makes these sacred places so special.
Haida Gwaii has been separated from the mainland for so long, much of the land escaped the last ice age therefore many unique and genetically different species that cannot be found anywhere else in Canada, exist on these islands. (Even the larger black bears found here are genetically different from their relatives on the mainland.) These islands are a bird watchers 'eden': you may see Tufted Puffins, Peregrine Falcons, Bald Eagles, Trumpeter Swans, Sand hill Cranes, Murrelets, Shearwaters, Cormorants, Oyster Catchers, some of which only come on land to nest in the summer, spending the rest of their lives at sea.
It is not unusual for us to spend hours, surrounded by groups of Humpbacks-- just a short distance from the ship. Minke whales are often seen and Dall's Porpoises and White Sided Dolphins love to join us for a ride on our bow wave. A "float" through Burnaby Narrows in the zodiac and kayaks, at nearly low tide, is one of the highlights of these trips.
A trip to the natural hot springs is always welcome. Take a shower in the bathhouse and then walk the seaside trails, cut into the salal matted rocks, in search of the pool with the perfect temperature. As the warm water of the pool envelopes you, you will see sweeping ocean vistas stretch out before you.