A west-coast, spring expedition cruise on classic ships celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday with a twist: First Nations history of British Columbia’s Salish Sea takes equal billing with Canada’s Pacific history and the region’s natural wonders. It’s representative of the country’s current reconciliation and re-imagining of its relationship with First Nations.
The April 15-19, 2017 sailing is operated by Maple Leaf Adventures and Canadian Geographic. Shore trips in region’s beautiful geography are a major feature: from white-shell beaches that are actually historic middens, to spectacular views of the location of a US-boundary “war” that’s a hotspot for whales. The trip also highlights spring wildflowers, seabirds and marine mammals. The itinerary includes remote, natural and historic islands that are off the ferry routes, and the original Salish stories behind place names. Guides include naturalists and historians, including Penelakut elder Florence James.
The ships are historic ships with long BC-coast stories: an 88-foot converted tugboat and a 92-foot schooner. Local crew, gourmet food and diverse natural settings round out the experience. As an eco-tourism company, Maple Leaf Adventures wanted to recognize the ancient cultures of the coast in any trip celebrating Canada’s birthday.
"We are proud Canadians and we work with many First Nations along the coast whose knowledge of the place and whose intimate ties go back millennia; these cultures generously share their long heritage with us through their rich stories and art," said Kevin Smith, Maple Leaf's president. "As an ecotourism company, when people asked what we were doing for Canada's 150th, we could only answer with a trip that included 15,000 years of history."
Dates & prices: April 15-19, 2017, 5 days/4 nights from Cdn $2390 to $3872 plus tax per person, all-inclusive (approx USD $1780 to USD $2890). Departs from & returns to Victoria, BC. For information, see MapleLeafAdventures.com.