Witness one of nature’s most profound events; the journey of the wild pacific salmon into the rainforest. Rivers are thick with fish burying their eggs in gravel - the spectacle brings bears and wolves to feast on the bounty. Even the eagles, ravens, harlequin ducks and gulls join in.
The Maple Leaf is a classic, 92-foot schooner. She accommodates up to 8 guests in 4 private sleeping areas, with 3 shared washrooms, and a crew of 4 or 5. Maple Leaf is a sea-kindly vessel with a long range. She can take you to the coast’s wildest, most remote corners more comfortably and safely that most other vessels. Her sails and 40,000-pound keel keep her steady, and her crew’s warmth and culinary delights keep your soul soaring. She is outfitted for engaging with the natural world.
Why book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours to ensure you get the grizzly bear viewing experience you've been dreaming of.
- We work with local partners operating in the Great Bear Rainforest, to not only to guarantee an immersive, authentic experience; but also to economically support the area and divert funds into local conservation efforts.
- We provide for a comfortable, all-inclusive experience; sit back, relax, and leave ALL of the planning to us!
2021 Departure Dates and Costs (6 - 9 days varies between trips)
Aug. 31 - Sept. 8 (9 days)
Cost: $ 6,910 CAD/ $ 5,050 USD
Sept. 9 - 17; Sept. 18 - 26; Sept. 27 - Oct. 5; Oct. 7 - 15 (9 days)
Cost: $ 6,910 CAD/ $ 5,875 USD
Departures are from Bella Bella or Kitimat onboard the 92-foot schooner Maple Leaf.
Limited availability. Must call for space.
5% gst additional, on top of costs.
The approximate airfare from Vancouver to Bella Bella is $650 CAD/$520 USD per person, return-trip.
Please ask us about ours, and our partners' protocols put in place in response to COVID-19.
Sample Itinerary - Bella Bella to Bella Bella
Day 1: Board Maple Leaf in Bella Bella, BC, orientation, cruising. Island anchorage, river exploration, and learning about the ‘salmon forest’.
Day 2: Beach walk. Cruising into Fjordland. Massive
waterfalls, spectacular inlet, pictographs, estuary exploration and search for bears.
Day 3: Cruising to one of the leading grizzly bear havens. Extended watching for grizzly bears. Optional evening kayak, fishing, quiet time.
Day 4: Morning shore walk, visit First Nations village, Klemtu. Big House tour by village guide. Intertidal life. Fjord anchorage.
Day 5: Exploring coastal river by zodiac. Forest walk. Sea lion and black or grizzly bear viewing. Nature hike. Hot springs.
Day 6: Spirit bear island anchorage. Shore excursion to spirit bear viewing site with bear stands. Whale Channel, humpback whale watching. Optional kayak.
Day 7: Sailing down coastal channel, Island anchorage, cultural site visit. Optional evening kayak.
Day 8: Outer coast beach exploration, sailing and cruising the western waters, whale viewing, shore trips.
Day 9: Cruising to port in Bella Bella.
Sample Itinerary - Bella Bella to Kitimat
Day 1: Board your ship in Bella Bella, orientation, cruise into Fjordland viewing spectacular mountains and waterfalls. Rainforest walk.
Day 2: Visit great Fjordland river estuaries, wild salmon spawning. Possible bear viewing.
Day 3: Visit First Nations community of Klemtu, including guided tour and conversations at Big House, example of First Nations artistry, culture and architecture.
Day 4: Mainland inlet, bear viewing, rainforest walk, waterfalls, inside passage cruising, hot springs visit.
Day 5: Spirit Bear Island anchorage. Shore excursion to spirit bear viewing site with bear stands. Whale Channel, humpback whale watching.
Day 6: Optional kayak, sailing down whale channel, viewing of marine mammals including whales and sea lions. Visit remote whale research station and speak with scientists. Cruise to west coast beach and explore.
Day 7: Sailing the outer coast, exploring remote islands. Intertidal life, whales, seabirds, beaches.
Day 8: Exploring north coast wolf habitat, cruising from outer coast to inner coast, rainforest walk.
Day 9: Cruising to Kitimat, wildlife viewing.
"I’ve attached a few of my photos from the Great Bear Rainforest, and would love to go back".
- All accommodations included in your trip, including comfortable, classic ship-board accommodations with fluffy duvets, and local lodges if your trip includes a lodge stay.
- All shore trips, wildlife viewing, and zodiac excursions are guided by our expert, knowledgeable local crew and guides.
- All meals and snacks are prepared freshly for you by our chef. Meals feature great variety, and highlight local, fresh specialties.
- All beverages including coffee, tea, juices and sodas, filtered water, wine and craft beer.
- The services of our naturalist and crew both aboard the ship and ashore. These caring, entertaining and knowledgeable people are your hosts for the trip, always available for questions, teaching, or conversation.
- Open wheelhouse. You are welcome to come into the ship’s wheelhouse, from which our crew are navigating the ship. On our sailing ships, you are also welcome to take the helm under our crew’s guidance, and help sail the ships, if you like.
- Use of gear on board including kayaks, fishing gear, and rubber boots.