The islands of Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) are one of the richest biological and cultural areas in North America. Also dubbed the 'Canadian Galapagos', the archipelago is located off the north coast of British Columbia and consists of over 100 pristine, isolated islands that are rarely visited due to their remoteness. During our sea-based voyage, we expect to see an abundance of wildlife including humpback whales, dolphins, orcas, sea lions, black bears, and a variety seabirds. This is also home to the Haida - One of the most culturally rich and developed groups to inhabit early North America. Haida Watchmen and naturalist guides provide great knowledge about the area and will teach us about the history and customs that surround the remains of great long houses and the best remaining examples of original totem poles in the world. Our new, elegant, 82-foot yacht features six spacious cabins with two lower berths, optional upper berths, and ensuite bathrooms, a large salon and lounge area, extensive reading library, and a large wheelhouse where the entire group can dine together.
Participants need to be amenable to live in the relatively close quarters of a sailing or motor yacht, healthy and fit enough to enjoy long, relatively active days in the outdoors and able to climb into and out of our zodiacs, along slippery shorelines and over the uneven terrain of coastal forests. Sea kayaking is a much enjoyed, but optional activity. No experience is required and the focus is on exploring protected waters along the shore and close to the ship. In general, a certain amount of agility is necessary to enjoy the trip and not impact the enjoyment of other passengers. Specific shore activities are always optional.
Arrive Sandspit Airport and make your way to the Sandspit Inn. Transportation to the inn is not required as it's located across the street from the Airport (approx 150 yards). Dinner this evening is on your own. We recommend the Inn's restaurant, or should you prefer to venture about, you can find 2 other restaurants nearby.
After breakfast and check-out, you will be picked up from the hotel (at 8:30am) and transferred to the ferry for your trip from Alliford Bay to Graham Island where we will make our first stop at the Haida Heritage Centre. After a guided tour and traditional Haida lunch hosted by a local Haida family, we take a short walk around Spirit Lake (if time permits) before heading to Moresby Island where our boat awaits. After checking into your cabin, you will meet the crew, participate in an orientation, and enjoy a lovely dinner while getting to know your travel mates. Overnight anchored near Moresby Camp and set off early next morning into the waters of Southern Moresby Island to explore the Gwaii Haanas Park Reserve.
The next 6 days are spent exploring the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. Specific highlights include T'aanu, Burnaby Narrows, Ikeda Cove, Rose Harbour, Hot Springs Island, and K'uuna (Windswept Skedans). Daily shore excursions allow for extraordinary wildlife viewing, visits to Haida villages, and walks amongst 'old-growth forests and low-tide shorelines. SGang Gwaay, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is where we will find the best remaining original totem poles in the world! From our experienced naturalists and our encounters with Haida we will learn about the art, legends, customs and food gathering methods of the Haida people. You are sure to be amazed by Haida Gwaii's remarkable evolutionary showcase including some noticeably different animal sub-species and the presence of plant species found nowhere else in the world. If we are lucky we may spot a few Gwaii Haanas Black Bears, the largest black bear in the world. Aboard the yacht, be ready to spot humpback whales, porpoise, fin whales, sea lions, dolphins and orcas. Interesting birds joining us throughout the trip include tufted puffins, horned puffins, rhinoceros auklets black-footed albatross and black oystercatchers. Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles are also a common to see at times. Each evening we will anchor in a different secluded bay and there will be opportunity to explore the shoreline by kayak.
You will disembark around 11:00am at Moresby Camp and be transferred to the Sandspit airport. The trip takes about an hour which will provide sufficient time to lunch prior to catching your flight home.
Per Person, Twin Share