Itinerary, Pricing and Cabins

Expedition Cruise

Haida Gwaii

July 1 to July 10, 2020

July 8 to July 17, 2020

$8,695 CAD + 5% tax

Single Supplement : Not available

Starts: Vancouver, BC

Ends: Sandspit, BC

  • Flights: Group flight available for this itinerary (contact us for details)

Group size: 12

Fitness Level: Moderate

Age Limitation: 16 and older

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Itinerary

Adventure Canada itineraries may be subject to change without notice due to weather, ice, and sea conditions

  • Day 1
    Vancouver

    We’ll meet our guide in the lobby of Skwachàys Lodge to begin our day program.

    In the evening, we will gather for a welcome dinner. We’ll also have an opportunity to meet an artist in residence.

    Vancouver On Water
  • Day 2
    Sandspit

    We fly to Sandspit, Moresby Island today. Upon arrival, a shuttle service will be provided from the airport to the Sandspit Adventures lodge, where we will spend the night. Our guide will point out highlights of the area. You will have the evening to relax with your fellow travellers.

    Moresby Island
  • Day 3
    Moresby Island

    We’ll transfer to Alliford Bay for the ferry to Graham Island. We’ll visit the Haida Heritage Centre for a guided tour followed by a Haida lunch at Keenawiis Kitchen. We’ll take a short walk at Spirit Lake and return to Moresby Island.

    We board our vessel at Moresby Camp and anchor overnight nearby. We depart early the next morning into the waters of Southern Moresby Island to explore the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.

    Moresby Island Totems Sgang Gwaay Linagaay
  • Day 4–9
    Exploring Haida Gwaii

    Daily activities include wildlife watching, shore excursions to explore Haida villages, old growth forests, beautiful creeks, and intertidal zones. We hope to encounter black bears, humpback whales, porpoise, fin whales, sea lions and orca.

    We’ll visit Windy Bay, site of the first totem pole raised in 130 years. And SGang Gwaay (Ninstints), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each evening we will anchor in a different bay, with a chance to explore the shoreline by kayak.

    Black Bear And A Man In A Canoe
  • Day 10
    Sandspit

    We’ll disembark at Moresby Camp. There will be a charter bus waiting to shuttle the group to Sandspit airport. The trip by bus takes about an hour.

    Travellers can do any last minute shopping at the souvenir shop located in the Sandspit Airport, prior to your afternoon flight to Vancouver.

    Old Forest

Pricing and Cabins

All Cabin Amenities

  • Private bath
  • Porthole window
  • Two singles beds
  • Closet or storage space

Inclusions

Included:

  • All meals from lunch day 1 to breakfast on day 10
  • One hotel night in Vancouver at Skwachàys Lodge
  • One hotel night at Sandspit Adventures’ lodge
  • All museum and park fees
  • Passage aboard the SV Island Solitude
  • All ground transportation

Not Included:

  • Flights from home to Vancouver and Vancouver to Sandspit return
  • Mandatory emergency medical and evacuation insurance
  • Discretionary trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Personal items
  • Discretionary gratuities
  • Any expenses incurred due to changes beyond our control

Ship

Sv Island Solitude

SV Island Solitude

With state-of-the-art technology, this new yacht is the most breathtaking, elegant, and efficient tour vessel on the northwest Pacific coast. She carries twelve guests in six cabins with two lower beds and ensuite bathrooms. The wheelhouse on deck accommodates the entire group for meals at two tables with incredible views.

Learn more about Ship name

Accommodation

  • Skwachàys Lodge, Vancouver

    A unique Aboriginal art experience, this stunning boutique hotel in the heart of Vancouver is the result of a partnership between six of the city’s best hotel designers and six Aboriginal artists. The hotel features a traditional sweat lodge and smudge room, as well as all the comforts of high-scale lodging.

    Skwachays Lodge Welcome Room
  • Local artists produced eighteen installation pieces—one for each room.

    Skwachays Lodge Feather Suite

Additional Details

Marine Wildlife

Because the islands lie on the edge of the continental shelf, a particularly robust plankton base bolsters the food chain. This plankton forms a rich feeding area for all manner of wildlife—particularly whales. Historically, blue, sperm, minke, fin, humpback, and orca whales have all called Haida Gwaii home.

Whale Haida

Though whaling in the early twentieth century devastated their populations, humpback and fin whales are now on the rebound and are regularly spotted. Harbour seals and Stellar sea lions congregate in large communities on shore and ply the waters for fish.

Land Animals

The Haida Gwaii black bear is the largest in the world. In isolation from their mainland brethren these bears developed a larger lower jaw to aid in shoreline foraging. Both black-tailed deer and raccoons have flourished on the island—problematically.

Dear Wildlife

Both species were introduced to the region, and without natural predators their ecological impact is becoming more pronounced each year. Bird colonies are at risk from the racoons and the local cedar forests—foundation of Haida culture—are suffering from the over-browsing of the deer.

Haida Culture

The Haida name for the southern islands is Gwaii Haanas, which aptly translates to “islands of beauty” or “place of wonder”. As a nation, the Haida were divided into two social groups, or moieties, called Raven and Eagle. Their mythology, like that of many other coastal tribes, was based on the epic cycle of Raven and his exploits.

A trickster to the core, Raven will set the universe in order at one moment only to throw it into chaos at the next. A greedy, mischievous lecher, Raven nevertheless unintentionally teaches mankind how to live well. He disguised himself to enter the home of the Sky Chief, from whom he stole the sun, moon, and stars to give to humankind.

Totems People

Most Haida objects are decorated with crests—the figures of animals, birds, sea creatures, and mythic beings. These crests are used to identify the moiety and often the lineage of their owners. The precise arrangement and interaction of various crests and recurring motifs act as a personal signifier, and much can be gleaned from an individual’s totem.

The true “text” of a single totem pole is impossible to read without a thorough knowledge of the mythology involved. Although the Haida have almost seventy crest figures, less than twenty are in general use. The orca whale in particular endures as a symbol of power, intelligence, cunning, and skill.

Permanent Haida villages consisted of one (or more) rows of houses along a beach. Generally, the house belonging to the town chief was larger and located near the centre of the settlement. According to myth, the house was one of the main contributions that Raven made to Haida life (after stealing the idea from Beaver). These houses formed the centre of Haida social, political, and economic life. They were build out of western red cedar with a framework of corner posts and massive structural beams.

Totem Infront Of A House

Like their houses, the Haida’s canoes were hewn from red cedar—they were exquisite craft and widely praised by the chiefs of other nations along the coast. Like their totems, houses, and tools, these craft were intricately adorned with crests, symbols, and motifs to identify their owners and their stories.