The remote wilderness of Gwaii Haanas National Park in British Columbia offers the perfect location for this small group trip. Travelling on a comfortable yacht allows you to get close to black bears, humpback whales, orca and a wealth of seabirds.
The Haida Gwaii – or Queen Charlotte Islands – are one of North America’s richest biological and cultural areas. The shores of Moresby Island contain Gwaii Haanas National Park, an area of immense natural beauty that comprises over 100 islands, forested creeks, rugged headlands and sheltered channels between towering mountains. Seven whale species frequent these waters and in early summer thousands of Steller’s sealions occupy the beaches. The islands’ rich ecosystem also supports breeding colonies of up to a million seabirds.
Fly to Vancouver
Fly from the UK to Vancouver; depending on your arrival time you may have an opportunity head into the centre to explore one of North America’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities.
Note: you’ll be unaccompanied until you depart Sandspit on the morning of Day 3.
Accommodation: Hotel near Vancouver Airport, 1-night
Fly to Sandspit
Make your way to the airport and board your flight to Sandspit.
Accommodation: Hotel in Sandspit, 1-night
Visit Haida Heritage Centre, ferry to Moresby Island & board boat
After breakfast you will take a land tour of Haida Gwaii, transferring to the ferry landing at Alliford Bay to take the ferry across to Skidegate Landing, on Graham Island (a 20-minute crossing). Your first stop is a guided tour of the newly renovated Haida Heritage Centre followed by a traditional Haida lunch, hosted by a local Haida family from Skidegate, after which you will take the ferry back to Moresby Island and board your vessel, anchored at Moresby Camp. Once assigned cabins everyone will participate in an introductory & safety orientation with dinner to follow.
Accommodation: Island Roamer or Island Solitude, 7-nights
Explore Gwaii Haanas National Park
This morning you sail to the south of the island to explore Gwaii Haanas Park Reserve. Around these islands the Pacific Ocean drops off to incredible depths; resulting in a variety of whale species frequenting the waters, pods of orcas can be seen just about anywhere and large groups of humpbacks congregate early in the season. In early summer, thousands of Steller sea lions line the southern tip of the archipelago. The best time for birds is May and June, when the spring plankton bloom creates a rich influx of food that supports breeding colonies of up to a million seabirds. The coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest are remarkably old with the largest accumulation of biomass on the planet.
Disembark, transfer to Sandspit & depart
The cruise ends with your arrival back at Moresby Camp this morning, when you’ll disembark and transfer to Sandspit airport by private bus for an afternoon flight back to Vancouver, where you’ll connect with an overnight international flight to the UK.
You should note: Note: some departures will spend one extra day cruising in the Queen Charlotte Islands, and as a result the trip is one day longer.