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Sailing tours through the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in BC


Experience the Mediterranean climate of this ecologically intriguing island archipelago as we explore the culinary culture of the Salish Sea. We’ll visit local farms and vineyards and hand pick fresh, in-season produce, and local artisanal cheeses, meats, and wine for a truly unique farm-to-galley experience. This expedition is one for the foodies and one not to be missed!

Spring in the Southern Gulf Islands abounds in a burst of not only flavour but wildlife as well, both at sea and on land. Migratory birds return from their winter breeding grounds, deer trace the shoreline with their spotted fawns, and the southern resident killer whales make their way back home in search of Pacific salmon. Marine mammals such as humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions will make this a feast for the eyes.

Witness the diverse intertidal life and rare terrestrial plant communities with colourful spring flowers in bloom to welcome the beginning of spring. Our chef will pair freshly harvested and foraged ingredients with local wines from the renowned Cowichan Valley and Southern Gulf Islands selected by our onboard expert Sommelier. We’ll have the incredible opportunity to visit vineyards as the previous year’s vintage is bottled for tasting, with a tour of the vines and cellars alongside the winemakers.

We’ll visit ecologically and culturally significant islands, beaches, and rainforests of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, established in 2003 to safeguard this ecologically and culturally sensitive region. We’ll learn all about the natural and cultural history of the region, from shell midden beaches to ancient rainforests, and clam gardens, and learn how the Coast Salish First Nations relied on this land for food for millennia. By the end of this expedition, we’ll understand the saying, “when the tide is out, dinner is served.”

STARTING AT
$2695.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Sailing Tours
SEASON

April

DIFFICULTY
Easy / Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
6
GUIDE INFORMATION

Your crew is a team of enthusiastic, fun and exceptional individuals who work both onboard and behind the scenes to provide the best possible experiences and care for the guests. As professional guides, mariners, marine ecologists and fisheries biologists, marine mammal experts, archaeologists and anthropologists, photographers, and avid naturalists, your crew will give you behind-the-scenes insights into the natural wonders and cultural intrigue of the BC Coast and take great care of you along the way.

RESTRICTIONS
Not Applicable
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Philosphy & Environmental Practices

These small-ship expeditions provide extraordinary and intimate opportunities for being immersed in the ancient cultures and stunning wildlife of Canada’s Pacific Coast. Your hosts have a mission of contributing to the conservation and well-being of the ecosystems, cultures and communities of coastal British Columbia. They believe that helping guests experience first-hand and understand some of the most spectacular wildlife and ecosystems on the planet is key to their protection and preservation.

At the heart of this business is a desire to reduce the footprint on the planet. As such, your hosts integrate responsible ecotourism practices into the daily activities. They source and serve foods that are locally and sustainably grown, produced, raised or caught. They design itineraries that allow you to spend more time sailing in order to reduce the fuel consumption. The onboard recycling and composting programs help to divert waste from landfills. The promotional materials and transactions are mainly done over the Internet, and when necessary they use 100% recycled post consumer paper, saving trees, water, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy.

In each of the communities and cultures they visit, they partner with local people. They have protocol agreements with First Nations whose territories you visit, and hire local guides and businesses. They partner with parks, conservation areas and governments and obtain permits for all limited-use areas they visit.

TRANSPORTATION

Tours begin and end in the town of Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island. Sidney is located outside of the city of Victoria near the ferry terminal and airport.

WEATHER

Weather along the coast of BC in  April is usually warm but be prepared for possible rainy, windy and foggy days.

REGION
Vancouver Island & Southern BC Coast
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

Use of all onboard gear and resources, rubber boots, user fees.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

Clothing to suit a variety of coastal weather. Warm jacket, rain gear, hat, gloves, hiking boots, fleece or wool sweaters. A full packing list will be provided upon booking.

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Camera, daypack, binoculars, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle. A full packing list will be provided upon booking.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations are aboard a 70' schooner designed by William James Roué, famous for designing the legendary schooner Bluenose. Built in Victoria, BC, in 1974, this vessel has a rich history on the BC coast, renowned for her elegant design, exceptional accommodation, robust construction, and remarkable sailing abilities.

The ship is a Transport Canada certified passenger vessel and meets the highest standards of safety and construction. She is fully equipped with modern safety and navigation equipment including radar, GPS, VHF radios, EPIRB, and digital chart plotter and satellite telephone. Among her many features are four private staterooms, gorgeous main salon, traditional wheelhouse, generous deck space, and exceptional sailing abilities.

The main salon is her centerpiece below deck.Two large settees provide spacious seating for reading or socializing around her luxurious dining table. The surrounding shelves are the home to the extensive cultural and natural history, marine science, and maritime libraries. Finally, a cast iron oil-burning heater radiates an embracing warmth throughout the entire vessel.

Guest accommodation is in four private staterooms. The three forward staterooms each have two spacious single berths complete with fluffy duvets and wool blankets, a private vanity with sink, mirror, and hot and cold running water, a skylight or deck prism, brass reading lamps, and drawers and a hanging locker for personal effects. The aft stateroom is accessed from the wheelhouse, and boasts a large skylight, two double berths, private vanity with hot and cold water, and a small head (marine toilet). The spacious head and shower is accessed from the main salon.

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

All meals aboard the ship are included. The food philosophy holds that the cultivation, distribution, preparation and appreciation of the food you eat are critical to your individual and cultural well-being. Whenever possible, your hosts source and serve foods that are sustainably, locally, and organically grown, produced, raised, or caught in BC.

They provide a diversity of foods prepared by culinary experts, ranging from homemade granola, to fresh greens, to sustainably caught wild salmon and halibut, while accommodating guests’ dietary preferences and restrictions. The chefs and crew take great pride in preparing and serving guests delicious meals that are healthy, plentiful, and beautiful, and immersed in the ecosystems and cultural traditions of coastal BC.

5 day tour, available early Aprli - mid April
$2695.00 / per person - CAD
April 7-11, April 12-16, 2018. Prices based on double occupancy.
PAYMENT INFORMATION
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A $1000.00 deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 120 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
Cancellation greater than 120 days prior to departure: Payment refundable less cancellation fee. Cancellation less than 120 days prior to departure: Payment NON-REFUNDABLE (unless replacement found, see below). Cancellation fee: $300 CAD/person. If you cancel fewer than 120 days prior to the trip, then only if we succeed in filling your space on the trip and in so doing you are replaced with another Passenger that is in all respects as advantageous to us as the cancelling Passenger, shall the Deposit and Fare be repaid. If the Passenger needs to cancel their trip within 120 days of the departure date, the fare can be transferred to another person, or onto another trip. We highly recommend that you purchase cancellation insurance, which must be purchased through a travel agency at the time of booking.

5 day tour, available early Aprli - mid April

Day 1

Days 1-5:

This expedition will explore the Southern Gulf Islands while enjoying the tastes of the Salish Sea, and learning of the cultures and wildlife of this remarkable area. Accommodation and transportation among islands are spent aboard the 70’ classic wooden schooner. We will anchor at a different anchorage every night and visit as many islands as weather and time permits. Six guests will be accommodated in 3 private cabins. The crew will consist of a captain, mate, chef, and onboard expert sommelier. We will visit local farm and vineyards for a true Farm to Galley experience.