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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.

Typical Itinerary

  1. Day 1: 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

  2. Day 2: Fly to Sandspit

    Make your way to the airport and board your flight to Sandspit.

    Accommodation: Hotel in Sandspit, 1-night

  3. Day 3: 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

  4. Days 4-9 : 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.

  5. Day 10: 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.

  6. Day 11: Arrive 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.

Key info

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 11 days from £5,395 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 10 days from £4,295 pp
  • Single supplement: From £210: Hotel only
  • Group size: 16
  • Departures: View all departure dates
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Flights between Vancouver and Sandspit (flight inclusive package only)
    • 1 night hotel in Vancouver (flight inclusive package only)
    • 1 night hotel in Sandspit
    • 7 nights wildlife cruise in shared cabin
    • Most meals
    • All excursions with on board naturalist guide
Featured locations:

Haida Gwaii

The peaks of the seven largest islands of this archipelago rise like a submerged mountain chain, with the tallest perpetually capped in snow. Fiords plunge into the sea, misty forests cover their flanks and windswept sandy beaches lie at their feet and the continental shelf plummets into the Pacific Ocean.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Ideal for viewing: blue whale, humpback whale, minke whale, orca, sperm whale
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Dolphin watching

Gwaii Haanas National Park

Arguably one of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world, Gwaii Haanas National Park is a remote reserve of 138 islands in the southern Haida Gwaii. The park – a place of wonder – is an untamed wilderness, home to a superb array of marine life and land species, including the humpback whale.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Ideal for viewing: blue whale, humpback whale, minke whale, orca, sperm whale
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Dolphin watching

Moresby Island

One of the two largest islands that form the Haida Gwaii, the San Cristobal Mountains form its backbone and rise over 1,200 metres. The higher elevations are dominated by mountain hemlock and alpine tundra, whereas the lower elevations are mainly cedar, pine and western hemlock, becoming densely wooded.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Ideal for viewing: blue whale, humpback whale, minke whale, orca, sperm whale
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Dolphin watching


British Columbia’s largest city stands in a fine coastal setting, against a backdrop of lofty tree-covered peaks - a great starting point to any wildlife holiday in the province. There is plenty to see in this lively, multi-cultural city, such as exploring Stanley Park on foot or by bike.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Excellent for: Activity & adventure, City stopover, History & culture

Queen Charlotte Strait & Johnstone Waters

Situated between Vancouver Island and British Columbia’s mainland, this area is considered the best place in the world to observe orca who, during the summer months, are present on a daily basis. They can often be viewed close up from the boat, offering some wonderful sightings and photo opportunities.

  • Where: British Columbia
  • Ideal for viewing: orca, brown bear, Steller’s sealion, tufted puffin, humpback whale
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Dolphin watching
This itinerary is available on the following cruise vessels:

Island Roamer

A 21-metre ketch-rigged yacht, the Island Roamer is large enough for comfort, privacy and safety, yet small enough to create a good atmosphere on board. She features eight private cabins, showers, a large salon and lounge areas. On deck, a large covered seating area provides protection against the elements.

Island Solitude

The Island Solitude accommodates 12 guests in large, spacious cabins, each with two lower berths and an en suite bathroom. At 24 metres in length, she has been built locally and specifically designed for cruising the coastline of British Columbia in search of the prolific wildlife to be found there.