The ‘Wild Inside Passage’ Cruise

If you want to visit Alaska’s tidewater glaciers, explore the coastal rainforest, and look into the eye of a whale, but know a cruise on a mega ship isn’t for you, read on.

Maple Leaf Adventures, an award-winning Canadian company, has been operating “adventure cruises” of British Columbia and southeast Alaska for 25 years. And their trips may very well be the way you should go.

A Small Group of Guests Explores Aboard the Schooner Maple Leaf
On these trips, an expedition crew takes a small group of guests on 5- to 11-night journeys aboard the classic, 92-foot schooner Maple Leaf. In addition to cruising the island archipelagos, you will go ashore often to experience the magic of the coastal wilderness.

exploringVisiting True Wild Sanctuaries
Some of these places you may have heard of (e.g., Alaska’s Fords-Terror Wilderness), but some are in government-protected sanctuaries that keep out large-scale tourism, so the names may be new to you: Haida Gwaii, B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park, and the Great Bear Rainforest, for example.

Experiencing B.C. & Alaska’s Nature, Wildlife and Culture
The focus of these trips is natural history, with a taste of cultural history as well. The crew are certified bear guides and experienced whale watching guides, so you can expect breathtaking views of animals such as:

•  Spirit bears, Grizzly bears, Black Bears
•  Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
•  Tufted Puffins and many other birds
•  Sea Lions and other marine and terrestrial mammals
•  Jewel-bright Intertidal Life

Hot Springs and Sailing Also on the Itinerary
You’ll also cruise fjords, walk the rainforest and beaches, and soak in secret hot springs. And yes, you can help raise the sails and steer the 95-ton ship across the calm sea!

Naturalist, Local Experts and Mmm … the Food
Supporting you in all of this glory is a top-rated chef, who prepares meals and snacks fresh each day from local ingredients. Maple Leaf‘s on-board naturalist makes the natural world come alive. And when you visit coastal villages, you have time for real conversations with the people that live there.

A Green Company Since 1986
Perhaps the best thing about these small-ship trips is their light footprint. Maple Leaf Adventures leaves no trace on nature, respects the land’s carrying capacity, and donates at least 1% of sales to conservation.


up closeTop-Rated by Frommer’s and National Geographic Adventure
They’re out to prove you can be green and a great experience at the same time. Last year, National Geographic Adventure took note, by giving them one of the highest ratings in their “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” surveys.

Maple Leaf’s Guests Are Hooked: 50% of 2009 Bookings Were Repeat Visitors
The best testimony to the quality of the trips are the guests themselves: a large percentage return for further trips, and frequently say a trip on the Maple Leaf was the best trip of their lives.

Trip Calendar 2010: Selected Summer and Fall Adventures

•  Alaska Adventure : June 13-24, June 24-July 5, $5975 all inclusive

•  Great Bear Rainforest: Aug. 17-24, Aug. 26-Sep. 2, $3400 all inclusive

•  Gulf Islands National Park : Oct. 18-23, $2150 all inclusive

Click for more trips.

For Further Information, Reservations and Inquiries:
For brochures, photos, videos, and the full 2010 and 2011 schedule, visit or email [email protected] or call 1-888-599-5323 (or +1-250-386-7245).

Top photo by Jose Larochelle