Sail away from civilization to the extraordinary coast of British Columbia. Canada’s westernmost province hides a rich heritage and biodiversity in its remote corners, best explored from a small sailing ship.
Embark on a life-enriching adventure and explore inlets and bays, view wildlife and take in the smell of the fresh ocean air from a sunny deck. Participate in exclusive visits to local vineyards or tracking mystical Spirit bears. Join our small expedition team to be one of the few to explore this secluded corner of the world.
Sailing tours are flexible and event-rich adventures, designed so passengers can take full advantage of their time in nature.
Our sailing trips employ different styles of vessels, from schooners to ketches and private sailing yachts. The small-scale size of these vessels allows them to be maneuvered into remote locations and around islets otherwise inaccessible to larger ships.
Each of our ships are equipped with staterooms, libraries, and main salons to make your voyage pleasant and engaging. As the sailboats are typically not large, you travel with like-minded fellow passengers in a pleasant, lively and relaxed onboard atmosphere.
The expert crew is there at all times to provide information or give assistance and guidance. Crew members are certified and will assist in navigating kayaks and Zodiacs, and share their knowledge about the location we’ll visit. Meanwhile, onboard chefs make delicious meals from fresh local ingredients and offer complimentary wine.
Each morning, the skipper will go over the day’s agenda, but the schedule is always flexible to suit guests’ interests. Onboard activities differ depending on the destination. During the tour, you might hop in zodiacs or kayaks to go on an excursion or simply hike in the surrounding area. Some locations even offer a dip in a natural hot spring!
The Great Bear Rainforest holds a quarter of the world’s intact coastal temperate rainforest, stretching along British Columbia’s breathtaking northern coast. It’s a protected area spanning more than 23,166 mi2 (60, 000 km2).
Sailing these protected territories will introduce you to the incredible biodiversity of this vast coastal wilderness. 1,000-year-old trees hide iconic coastal wolves, along with grizzly, black and Spirit bears - making your boating tour an unforgettable journey.
The Great Bear Rainforest is renowned for the world-famous elusive Kermode, or spirit bear. This rare creature is a subspecies of American black bear with all-white fur and black nose and paws that live in greatest numbers only in Canada.
Spirit bears are not to be confused with albinos, as the unusual color change is caused by a recessive gene that both parents must have. Such genetic phenomenon is rare, and is only estimated to occur in one in 10 bears in the area. The First Nations tribes have been telling stories and legends about this borderline mystic creature for centuries. Even though it is difficult to spot spirit bears, it’s not impossible, and guides will do their best to catch a glimpse of one.
In the heart of this untouched wilderness, you’ll observe, photograph and learn about these majestic predators. Kayaks, inflatable skiff and shore expeditions will take you to coastal estuaries and salmon spawning streams and rivers. Expect encounters with marine animals such as porpoises, seals, sea lions and sea otters living in the flourishing coastal seas.
The spectacular archipelago called Haida Gwaii, previously known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, is an outstanding wilderness area, replete with ancient First Nations totems and abundant wildlife. This remote region is not easy to access, but its seclusion only adds to its charm.
Island waters are teeming with large marine animals such as grey and humpback whales, Orcas, seals, sea lions, porpoises, and marine birds. On land you’ll encounter Sitka deer and mighty eagles flying overhead. You may also spot a Queen Charlotte Islands black bear, the world’s largest black bear.
Our sailboat expeditions will introduce you to the Canadian part of the renowned Inside Passage among the fascinating natural canals connecting Canada to Alaska. Delve further into the lush moss-covered rainforests and ancient First Nation village sites to uncover this mythic corner of British Columbia. There are over 500 archaeological heritage sites that dot the archipelago!
A tour to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve is an adventure in a huge Unesco World Heritage site. You can only access it via boat or plane, meaning that this place of wonderful natural beauty, is largely undisturbed by humans.
Cruise the waters around Knight Inlet and explore a maze of islands and waterways, bursting with wildlife, alluring vistas, and rich history.
The Johnstone Strait on the Northern End of Vancouver Island is considered the best place in the world to observe orcas (killer whales). These giant predators come here to feast on salmon and have developed some specific intelligent behaviors. Watching orcas from a boat is a thrilling opportunity to see them forage for salmon, spyhop and breach, leaping clear out of the water.
Another exclusive activity during this voyage is the chance to watch powerful grizzly bears in the wild. We’ll see these fascinating creatures catching spawning salmon in mountain rivers from the safety of raised platforms.
Multiple migratory bird populations, ancient cultural artifacts and mesmerizing coastal forests make this sailing vacation an absolute must for nature lovers and pretty much everyone else.
Unbridled marine adventures await in the Gulf Islands archipelago, blessed with a Mediterranean climate and unique ecology characteristic of the Pacific Coast. As we sail the Salish Sea, you’ll learn about the local culinary culture and traditions, while also exploring its unparalleled natural landscapes.
The Salish Sea is one of the world’s largest inland seas (419 islands). This biologically rich network of coastal waterways includes parts of Canadian British Columbia and the U.S. state of Washington.
Apart from the delicious local cuisine, the Gulf Islands are also known for their vast biodiversity. You’ll have a chance to glimpse wildlife both on land and at sea. Keep an eye out for deer strolling on the shoreline, large flocks of migratory birds, and Southern Resident Killer Whales on the hunt for Pacific salmon. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get up close with some amazing marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, and humpback whales.
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve - a culturally and ecologically sensitive region established in 2003. The renowned clam gardens, shell beaches, and age-old rainforests all serve to make it an incredible place to visit.
The Gulf Islands is a phenomenal destination, with some of the best sailing experiences on the west coast of North America and Canada!
Canada’s Pacific coast abounds with unique wildlife, unparalleled landscapes and rich history. Our tours offer full immersion into the beauty of the region. Just follow your passion and choose from some of the most sublime secluded destinations.
Still got questions about sailing? Find the answer here!
The length of our sailing tours typically ranges from 4 to 9 days.
The participants should be in reasonably good health and physical condition. It’s compulsory that you have some swimming knowledge.
Sometimes you’ll need to climb in and out of small boats, and walk on uneven terrain. There are normally a few hiking options on each stop, offering both simple and more advanced trails.
However, participants can normally stay on the sailboat during shore excursions if they wish so. Occasionally when we stop at a small coastal village, we can simply step from the boat onto a dock.
You can always discuss your needs and preferences with us to find a solution that suits your needs.
You’re never too old to go on a sailing adventure with us if you are reasonably healthy and in good physical condition!
Normally children can also participate in sailing tours accompanied by their parents or legal guardians. However, policies regarding children can differ among the tours. Therefore, please contact us regarding the age limit.
Most of our itineraries sail from early April until late October. During this period the conditions for sailing are most reliable and comfortable, and it’s the perfect time for wildlife watching and exploring the surrounding wilderness.
On the Pacific Coast, the weather can change quickly. You can expect a mixture of sunshine, rain and wind. On most trips, especially during the summer, we enjoy a fair amount of sunshine, but the air is cooler on the water than on land. Be sure to pack your windbreaker!
However, this makes the trips even more exciting, showing the local nature in all its beauty. Just make sure that you go through the suggested packing list before you go!
As we travel in protected areas most of the time, the waters are generally calm and flat. On some itineraries the boat might cross open waters, so there might be slightly more movement.
If you are prone to seasickness, it’s a good idea to bring some medication. We advise consulting your doctor or a medical expert before departure.
You don't need any boating or sailing experience to enjoy traveling with us!
However, if you are interested in learning about boat operation, the crew will be happy to involve you in the navigation process or helping with tasks on deck.
Yes, many of our guests are solo travelers! Normally you’ll be matched with another single traveler of the same gender, or there might be other options. Please contact us for further information or to make special requests in advance.
Storage space is limited, but sufficient for the gear you’ll need on most of our trips. It’s easier to store soft compressible luggage, for example a duffel bag.
We try to get off the boat for the shore excursions at least once a day depending on the trip. However, the schedule remains flexible, as the guides are looking for the best opportunities to explore the area and catch sight of wildlife.
Not all trips include kayaking, and some boats are equipped with inflatable boats instead.
On the trips that include kayaking, these are double or single kayaks and they are always used within sightline of the sailboat when we are at anchor.
The guides will be happy to give you instructions and get you started. Therefore, with the help of the crew, even complete beginners can enjoy kayaking!
Yes, the boats are equipped with electricity, available when the generator is on. However, it’s a good idea to bring extra batteries for your camera or other devices.
Usually, cellular coverage is poor to non-existent in the areas in which we travel. It’s a great opportunity for our guests to take a break from technology and fully immerse into the sailing life.
There is a sufficient water supply on sailboats. However, it’s important to remember that the boats are totally self-contained and there is little or no water supply in the wilderness. Therefore, we ask participants to try and save as much water as possible.
The meals on the boats are usually served buffet style. With advance notice, we might be able to accommodate your dietary preferences.
It might be useful to bring cash for personal purchases or gratuities for the crew. There may be items available for purchase on board. You might also want to buy local goods and crafts in small community shops, where credit cards are not accepted.
If you feel that the crew have made your trip special, a tip is always appreciated. Typically, a tip is from CAD $25/day per passenger, up to 5% - 10% of the overall trip price.
The skippers are all licensed Captains. Other members of the crew are all highly qualified in emergency procedures training, boat handling and first aid. The guides also have extensive knowledge about the areas we will visit.
All boats are certified passenger sailing vessels and undergo strict yearly inspections.
We always expect to see a variety of wildlife on all of our sailing trips.
Of course, in some cases luck determines how close the animals approach us or how they may behave. At all times, we stay cautious and respectful to the animals without invading their spaces or putting any pressure on them.
Our expert guides know how and where to spot the animals, which increases your chances of wildlife viewing. You’re advised to bring a pair of binoculars and a good camera if you want to capture the most thrilling moments.
If you want to take good wildlife photos, cameras with long lenses are the best. A lens of 300mm is ideal, but lenses of 180-300mm generally give good results too. Consider taking photos in low light, or capturing animals in motion.
Luckily, you don’t need any previous sailing experience! Our expert crew will take care of all the necessary tasks, leaving you free to simply enjoy your trip.
However, it’s highly important that passengers know how to swim, and are in reasonably good physical condition