Explore Haida Gwaii by Schooner

8 Nights / 9 Days • Cruise Adventure

This trip is the ultimate in small-scale expeditions. The schooner holds a maximum of 6 guests, so you will have the chance to explore places other ships can not possibly go. This one is on my list!
Jill round
Jill Fost
Sales Manager

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Passing Cloud is a 70-foot (21-metre) classic wooden schooner designed by William James Roué, famous for designing the legendary Canadian racing fishing schooner Bluenose.
  • The small size of this schooner means an incredible ratio of expedition staff to passengers 
  • The captain and crew are keen to provide wildlife viewing opportunities and the chance to explore whenever possible
  • This trip is exclusive, sells out early, and provides a unique experience
  • Visit ancient Haida villages, learn about the natural and ancient cultures from the Haida Watchmen - whose role is to protect and educate

INCLUDES:

  • One night hotel accommodation in Skidegate (Graham Island)
  • 7 nights on board the Passing Cloud
  • All meals lovingly prepared by an on-board chef
  • Transfers and inclusions listed in the itinerary

PRICE:

CAD$6295 + $944 (HST & PST)

Price is per person, based on double occupancy, and includes float plane transfer. Please see departure dates below.

The remote archipelago of Gwaii Haana (Haida Gwaii) has long captured the imagination. Perhaps you've fallen in love with the dramatic art of Emily Carr, or the evocative images of a thriving, mossy rainforest surrounding ancient, weather-beaten totem poles? Or perhaps the incredible diversity of wildlife is most appealing to you? Whatever the reason, this trip is truly extraordinary. 

ITINERARY:

DAYS 1 - 3 - Queen Charlotte, Keenawai's Kitchen, Haida Heritage Centre, Ancient Haida Villages

Our adventure begins in Sandspit on Moresby Island, which is about 130km off the BC coast (there are several ways to get to Moresby Island, depending on your time and interests, please ask).

Once you arrive in Sandspit you will take a shuttle (pre-arranged) to Queen Charlotte, where you will settle into your accommodation on land, before our traditional Haida dinner at Keenawai’s Kitchen.

The next morning, we’ll visit the award-winning Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay to learn about the culture and history of the Haida people - the perfect primer for our journey through Gwaii Haanas (also known as Haida Gwaii). Here we will also learn about the sensitive ecosystem of this protected area (a mandatory Parks Canada requirement).

After lunch at the Kaay Bistro, we’ll travel the short distance to Queen Charlotte, where our floatplane is waiting to fly us to our expedition vessel, located at the northern boundaries of Gwaii Haanas.

After meeting the crew, we’ll set sail for the ancient village of K’uuna Llagaay (Skedans), where we’ll have a guided tour of this ancient Haida village. The following day we’ll also visit the ancient villages of Taanuu Llnagaay (Tanu), and Hlk’yah GaawGa (Windy Bay). At Windy Bay, we’ll walk through an old-growth forest of massive cedar and spruce trees and a Haida Watchman will share with us the story of the Gwaii Haanas as told by the Legacy Pole.

DAYS 4 - 6 - Wildlife Viewing, Sailing, Burnaby Narrows, Cape St. James

As we work our way south, we hope to see a wide variety of marine life - depending on conditions, we plan to sail a few miles from shore into the pelagic zone. This area is the perfect place to search for marine wildlife, such as pelagic seabirds, sharks, giant ocean sunfish, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and humpback whales.

Anchored in a protected bay or inlet, we’ll go ashore to explore a small river system and old-growth rainforest. We’ll examine the remnants of wooden-stake fish traps dating from more than a thousand years ago.

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 snorkelling gear and check out giant predatory sunflower stars, multicoloured bat stars, massive moon snails, decorator crabs, and nudibranchs (sea slugs).

Our southward journey continues to Kunghit Island, traditional territory of the Kunghit Haida. 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.

DAYS 7–9 - Sgang Gwaay, Totem Poles, Sea Kayaking, Queen Charlotte

The jewel of Gwaii Haanas is the ancient village of SGang Gwaay, also known as Ninstints. This village was inhabited until approximately 1880, and in 1981 was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its globally significant cultural heritage.

Here we’ll see the remains of massive long houses, and a stunning grove of standing mortuary and memorial poles. We’ll enjoy a guided tour of the village with Haida Watchmen and learn about the traditional Haida way of life and social systems. Later that same day, we’ll explore the beaches, tide pools, and spectacular vistas of the Gordon Islands before sailing to our overnight anchorage.

On our final day, we’ll enjoy a morning of sea kayaking, beach walking, or standing amongst ancient spruce and cedar trees, and have time to reflect on all that we’ve experienced and learned over the past week. After lunch, you’ll enjoy another breathtakingly beautiful scenic flight back to Queen Charlotte, where our journey officially comes to an end.

2018 DEPARTURE DATES
May 24 - June 1
June 1 – 9
June 9 – 17
June 17 – 25
June 25 - July 3
July 3 – 11
July 12 – 20
July 20 – 28
July 28 - Aug 5
Aug 5 – 13

Please Note:

  • These trips sell out far in advance - we have listed all departures but up to date availability can only be confirmed on enquiry
  • With only 6 available berths, this is an intimate small group experience
  • A moderate level of fitness is required to enjoy this trip to the fullest

PLEASE NOTE:
Expedition Cruising relies on many factors such as weather and water conditions. Therefore, while the captain and crew make every possible effort to follow the posted itinerary, there are sometimes necessary changes made for the safety and enjoyment of the passengers on board. This is the nature of expedition cruising.

Options:

  • Ask us about affordable airfares and pre- or post-stay options 
Are you interested in this trip or one like it? Get in touch - I'd love to help!

1.877.926.2500
jill@thetravelsociety.com
Jill round
Jill Fost
Sales Manager

Price is per person based on two people sharing a standard room. Other room types: please inquire. Proof of insurance is mandatory; if you need to purchase trip cancellation or health insurance please inquire. For full Booking Conditions, please see thetravelsociety.com/booking-conditions/ Tour is operated by The Travel Society, Inc., 174 Spadina Ave., Suite 404, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C2, Canada; 1 (877) 926 2500; TICO Registration #1280649