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West Coast & Alaska

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HAIDA GWAII:
The Queen Charlotte Islands

Escorted by art and culture expert Heather Beecroft
10 Day Sailing Tour from $5,595  (AC04)
03 – 12 July 2016

Heather Beecroft, art and culture expert, will lead this incredible experience in Haida Gwaii, focusing on Canada’s Haida community, one of early North America’s most culturally rich and developed groups of indigenous people.

Throughout the Islands, once called the Queen Charlottes, are signs of this both ancient and living culture. The remains of longhouses and intricately designed totem poles, deteriorating from the lush rainforest landscape of the West Coast, dot the region. We are privileged to visit these ancient sites with Haida interpreters, sharing stories, highlighting history and discovering potential archaeological sites which are shedding more light on the great heritage of the past. SGang Gwaay, at the base of the archipelago, is one such location and is recognized as a World Heritage Site.

Travel through old-growth forested creeks, rugged headlands and waterways that connected the many communities of the islands. Bird watching here is excellent, with puffins, auklets and eagles in the thousands. We hope to see Steller Sea Lions and a variety of whales from our vessel, the Island Roamer.

The richness of the landscape and sophistication of Haida society allowed for the development of a strong artistic outpouring in both the visual arts and ceremonial life. We will encounter much of both traditions on our journey. Bring your camera, journals and sketchpads and be seduced by one of Canada’s most culturally and visually rich destinations.

Highlights

  • Explore the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and the National Marine Conservation area
  • Enjoy a traditional Haida meal hosted at the home of a tribe elder
  • Visit Haida Gwaii Museum and the Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre
  • Explore villages in old-growth forests and destinations inaccessible by land
  • Tour SGang Gwaay Linagaay, UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Embrace quiet moorings and free time to sketch, photograph, and explore
  • Seek out multitudes of seabirds and marine mammals in their coastal habitats

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Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1 Vancouver – Anthropology Museum
You are free to arrive in Vancouver at anytime, however, we encourage you to arrive early, or the day before as Heather Beecroft will be taking people to the University of BC Anthropology Museum, followed by an included lunch.

Day 2 Sandspit, Queen Charlotte Islands
Fly to Sandspit to begin the Haida Gwaii journey. Upon arrival, it is a short walk to your accommodations in Sandspit, where you will stay for the night, and you will have time to explore or relax and get to know your fellow travellers.

Day 3 Graham Island
After a hot breakfast the group will be taken by shuttle bus to the landing at Alliford Bay to take the ferry across to Skidegate Landing on Graham Island. Our first stop will be the beautiful Haida Heritage Centre, Kaay Llnagaay on Graham Island for a guided tour followed by a traditional Haida lunch, hosted by a local Haida elder from Skidegate. After lunch. return to Moresby Island to meet up with the Island Roamer and her crew. Dinner will be served after everyone has settled into their cabin. Spend our first evening anchored nearby and depart early the next morning into the waters of Southern Moresby Island to explore the Gwaii Haanas Park Reserve.

Days 4-9 Moresby Island, SGang Gwaay, Hotspring Island
Over the next 6 days spend time exploring the eastern and southern shores of Moresby Island. Daily activities include wildlife watching, shore excursions to explore ancient Haida villages, old growth forests, beautiful creeks and shoreline, intertidal zones.

Be sure to keep an eye out and your cameras ready, as we will encounter a wealth of marine wildlife, which can include humpback whales, porpoise, dolphins, sea lions and orca. The mighty, Gwaii Haanas black bear, puffins, auklets, eagles and Steller sea lions all call this area home as well and you will be amazed by the myriad of intertidal creatures found in these nutrient-rich areas.

Visit the old Haida village of SGang Gwaay (Ninstints) — a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site — to see the fabulous totem poles. Stop at Hotspring Island for a warm and soothing dip while gazing at the San Christoval Mountain Range.

Each evening we will anchor in a different secluded bay with time for discussions on the wildlife sightings encountered during the day. While at anchor, there will be opportunities to explore the shoreline by kayak.

Day 10 Sandspit – Vancouver
After disembarking at Moresby Camp, transfer to Sandspit airport, where you can expect to arrive by midday. This will give you time to have lunch on your own, and do any last minute shopping at the souvenir shop or park office located in the Sandspit Airport, prior to your afternoon flight to Vancouver.

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Tour price: from US$5695* per person in an outside cabin with a porthole
* add 7% Canadian government tax

Included: Most meals | hotel night in Vancouver and in Sandspit | museum and park entrance fees | passage onboard Island Roamer | all ground transportation
Excluded: flights between Vancouver and Sandspit | Mandatory emergency medical and evacuation insurance | Gratuities to Island Roamer’s crew

Contact Vancouver Travel Consultant
Christine Boecker
for your
Haida Gwaii experience!

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About: ISLAND ROAMER

  • Capacity: 13
  • Registry: Canada
  • Length: 68 ft

This 68′ ketch was originally built as a luxurious private yacht in 1984 and completed a major renovation in 2003 to update the cabins and all safety systems. She features 8 private cabins (double occupancy), 3 heads with hot showers and a comfortable salon with a natural history library. On deck, the large deckhouse provides a comfortable spot to watch for wildlife.

The Island Roamer has all of the safety equipment, electronic navigation aids, and features you would expect from a vessel of her standard. All cabins have adequate storage space and there is electricity in each room to charge your camera batteries and enjoy a reading light in the evening.

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Contact Vancouver Travel Consultant
Christine Boecker
for your
Haida Gwaii experience!

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