Sailing Tour

Sailing through Haida Gwaii & Gwaii Haanas National Park | CA-OS902

Explore one of the most spectacular places on the planet aboard a 70' schooner

Overview

Explore one of the most spectacular places on the planet aboard a 70' schooner and learn about the local Haida culture on this sailing tour. Haida Gwaii (“Islands of the People” in the Haida language) is a remote island archipelago located 70 km off the northwest coast of British Columbia.

Highlights

  • Haida Gwaii Archipelago
  • Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
  • Haida Heritage Site
  • National Marine Conservation Area
  • SGang Gwaay Llnagaay
  • K’uuna Llagaay (Skedans)

This is a world where giant moss-laden spruce and cedar trees tower over enchanted salmon streams, and productive kelp forests and colorful intertidal communities fringe the interface between land and sea. The unparalleled diversity of marine life includes everything from puffins to albatrosses, sunfish to jellyfish, and killer whales to blue whales. Enmeshed in this rich ecological tapestry are more than 10,000 years of the cultural heritage of the indigenous Haida Nation, renowned for their prosperity, artistry, and seamanship.

This 9-day expedition is dedicated to exploring and learning about the ecosystems, wildlife, and cultural heritage of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Haida Heritage Site, and National Marine Conservation Area. You will visit ancient Haida villages and learn about their histories and people from the Haida Watchmen who protect them. Most famous is SGang Gwaay Llnagaay, abandoned in the late 19th century and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Here, a collection of haunting mortuary poles and the wooden house remains to stand testament to the traditional ways of the Haida Nation.

Meeting point: This tour departs from Queen Charlotte City, on Graham Island in British Columbia.

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Small group
Availability May - Aug
Duration 9 days
Departs From Graham Island, BC
Difficulty Easy / Moderate
Group maximum 6
Minimum age No limit
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No

From

6 300
Per Adult
    • Best Price Guarantee
    • Toll Free number in N. America: +1 888 285 1676
    • International number: +1 780 414 1676

Availability (2021): June - August
Based on double occupancy

  • June 10-17
  • July 18-25
  • July 26-July 3
  • July 4-11
  • July 12-19
  • July 20-27
  • July 28-August 4
  • August 5-12

What's Included

Find out what is included and what to bring.

Included

  • Use of all onboard gear and resources
  • Rubber boots
  • User fees
  • Land tour including the Haida Heritage Center, floatplane flight over Gwaii Haanas
  • Accommodation
  • All meals aboard the ship are included

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

Contact us for more Information about this tour

TOLL FREE NUMBER IN N. AMERICA: +1 888 285 1676
INTERNATIONAL NUMBER: +1 780 414 1676

You can also send an email to info@adventures.com, or use the contact form here below.

Itinerary

Find out more details about the tour and its highlights

Information

During frequent shore excursions and zodiac tours, you’ll explore old-growth forests, estuaries, white-sand beaches, rocky shores, and all the ecological treasures they hold for us. As you sail the schooner through the inlets, fiords, and passages of this island archipelago we’ll encounter the myriad populations of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and seabirds that inhabit these waters.

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.

Transportation: Trips begin in Sandspit and end in Queen Charlotte City, BC. Sandspit is accessible by air from Vancouver.

Weather: Summer weather along the north coast of BC can range from warm and sunny to rainy, windy or foggy. Prepare for all types of weather.

We’ll begin our Gwaii Haanas expedition with a private tour of the Haida Gwaii Museum, for an immersive introduction to the cultural history of Haida Gwaii. Tonight, we’ll be treated to a traditional Haida feast at Keenawai’s Kitchen in Skidegate. The next morning we’ll enjoy a short, scenic floatplane flight from Queen Charlotte to Cumshewa Inlet where we’ll meet the schooner, Passing Cloud to set sail for the ancient village of K’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans). Haida Watchmen will guide us through the cultural history of this ancient Haida village and introduce us to mortuary and memorial poles. We’ll continue our voyage south to the village of Taanuu Llnagaay (Tanu) and tour the remaining house depressions from this once-bustling community that was a gathering place for many villages.

As we work our way south, we hope to sail a few miles from shore into the pelagic zone for a chance to view marine wildlife, such as pelagic seabirds, sharks, giant ocean sunfish, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and humpback whales. Another highlight of Gwaii Haanas is the incredible marine biodiversity of world-famous Burnaby Narrows. Using our kayaks and inflatable skiff, we’ll follow one of our crew in snorkeling gear and check out giant predatory sunflower stars, multicoloured bat stars, massive moon snails, decorator crabs, and nudibranchs (sea slugs). Weather permitting, we’ll visit Cape St. James at the southernmost extremity of the Haida Gwaii archipelago. With ocean currents meeting from the east and west, this area is alive with marine life, including tufted and horned puffins, sea lions, and killer whales on the hunt for their next meal.

We’ll visit the World UNESCO Heritage Site of SGang Gwaay, the jewel of Gwaii Haanas. Here we’ll walk through the ancient village site amongst remains of massive longhouses, and a stunning grove of standing mortuary and memorial poles. We’ll also explore the beaches, tide pools, and spectacular vistas of the Gordon Islands. Our days will be spent exploring moss-laden coastal rainforests, intricate river estuaries, intertidal zones, and coastal bog ecosystems. We’ll discover the remnants of wooden-stake fish traps dating from more than a thousand years ago, and contemplate the interconnectedness of salmon, bears, coastal rainforests, and people.

We’ll continue on to Hlk’yah GaawGa (Windy Bay), where we’ll walk through the old-growth forest of massive cedar and spruce trees that ultimately led to the creation of Gwaii Haanas. The Haida Watchman here will share with us the story of Gwaii Haanas as told by the Legacy Pole. We cap off our day by enjoying a late afternoon sail before dinner. Make sure to keep a sharp lookout for the mammal-eating killer whales that frequent this area. This evening, our last night aboard Passing Cloud, we’ll share our highlights and reflect on all that we’ve experienced and learned over the past week. On our final day, we’ll say farewell to the Passing Cloud and crew and enjoy another short floatplane ride back to Queen Charlotte, where our expedition officially comes to an end.

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 are accessed from the main salon.

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 host's 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.

A $500/person floatplane surcharge will be added to all Gwaii Haanas expeditions for our fly-in/fly-out scenic De Havilland Beaver floatplane portion of the expedition.

Philosophy & 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. The 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 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.

Payment Details

Deposit and Taxes

  • 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 canceling 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.

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