Tailor-Made Holiday

Canada - Culture & Wildlife in Haida Gwaii

Ocean cruise exploring the ancient culture of the Haida First Nations people

12 days

from £7,385pp (excluding flights)

Sail the remote waters of Haida Gwaii and explore the ancient culture of the Haida First Nations people and the spectacular scenery of this island chain set on the west coast of British Columbia. 

  • Explore Vancouver City with a private guide including tastings at Granville Island Food Market and a tour of the impressive Museum of Anthropology
  • Cruise the wildlife rich island archipelago of Haida Gwaii
  • Explore Gwaii Haanas Reserve rated by National Geographic the top National Park in North America
  • Visit the Haida Heritage Sites and view the monumental art and culture
  • Spot for wildlife including humpback whales, dolphins, black bears and a variety of seabirds

Discover the vibrant city of Vancouver through its gastronomy and history before setting out to cruise the remote waters of Haida Gwaii and explore the ancient culture of the Haida First Nations people and experience the spectacular scenery of this island chain located off the west coast of British Columbia. 

Board the luxury catamaran Cascadia to explore this incredible archipelago. Formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Haida Gwaii "Island of the People" continues to have a thriving Haida aboriginal culture making up over one third of the population. Cruise the island chain, rich with marine wildlife and intertidal life and explore the vast primary rainforests. The Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage to the south also protect a large number of marine species including 20 species of whales, dolphins and porpoise along with a number of the cultural heritage sites.

Why cruise?

Unlike the north, the Gwai Haanas National park and southern areas have no roads or settlements. This area is only accessible by water, the navigation is challenging and the shores rugged, so an experienced expedition vessel with skilled mariners and guides is crucial to explore this region. 

Unique Experiences

The Gwaii Haanas Reserve is one of the most important national reserves in North America and is strictly licensed. Few are permitted to travel here, so to visit this area is a true privilege.  Not only does a voyage on Cascadia around this archipelago give you access, but passengers are also permit-ted to explore the region off the boat. Passengers can experience the islands by zodiac, kayak or on foot, allowing for greater understanding of the coastal communities and the wildlife that resides there.  Days are spent walking through ancient forests or navigating the waters to explore the di-verse wildlife of this remote island chain.  Historical remnants of the First Nations Haida people can be visited on foot too, but the day and half spent on Graham Island really gives passengers an in-sight into the people who live there and how their culture is maintained today. 

What is given back?

  • Maple Leaf Adventures has pledged to donate $100,000 over 10 years to the Raincoast Conservation Foundation to help protect the Great Bear Rainforest.
  • Each departure supports the local nature conservation through 1% For the Planet, including Laskeek Bay Conservation Society, which has the longest running seabird study in Canada.
  • In partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, books are provided to the libraries at the Watchman sites within the Gwaii Haanas.
  • These departures also fund the employment of the Haida watchmen throughout the late spring and summer to interpret their culture and guard the special sites.
  • A high percentage of spending is in the local communities on Haida Gwaii which supports the on-island artists and businesses.


  • Maple Leaf Adventures are part of Travelers Against Plastic, and thus do not provide any single use plastics on board their vessels. Water and other beverages are served in jugs or glasses or in re-usable bottles for shore excursions.
  • Recycling and composting are a matter of course and waste heat from the engines are used to heat the water system for facilities onboard.
  • Soaps are locally made using conifer oils.
  • The number of visitors each year is limited to sustain and respect the capacity of each region visited, be it a rainforest trail, a small community village or an estuary where bears need to eat.   


The guides onboard are fun-loving and hardworking but moreover, passionate about the communities and environment in which they work. They have chosen a principled life by working for a conservation-based company. In addition to the crew members, guests will meet and be guided by historians, naturalists and First Nation people all experts in their field. Haida Watchmen, for example were traditionally carved figures on the totem poles placed in strategic positions to ward off the enemy. Today Haida men and women of all ages are employed each season to be the custodians of important heritage sites. For many, meeting the Haida watchmen is a highlight of the trip as they share their knowledge of the land and sea, their stories, dances and traditional foods. It is a true insight into the Haida culture.


For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 7385 £ 800
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • 1 night accommodation in Masset, Haida Gwaii
  • 3 nights accommodation in Vancouver
  • 6 Nights / 7 Days on board Cascadia
  • Domestic Flights: Vancouver-Masset / Sandspit-Vancouver
  • Meals as indicated and full board whilst on Cascadia
  • Privately guided city tour of Vancouver
  • Privately guided tour of Granville Island Market

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • International Flights
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

You will be staying at L' Hermitage Vancouver, room only

Day 2

Privately guided tour Grandville Island Market
Discover Grandville Island today with your guide. In the early 20th Century Granville Island was home to a hub of industry. Factories, plants and sawmills dominated the sandspit and economy. Today it is a bustling market neighbourhood and the go-to area for theatre, artisan workshops and craft studios. The daily public market is an indoor market with row upon row of stalls selling fantastic fresh produce from seafood and gourmet delis to artisan cheeses and sweet bakery treats. For those that love food, a tasting walking tour is a wonderful way to spend half a day.

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains of British Columbia, Vancouver is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, bustling throughout the year. Renowned for its scenic beauty and endless outdoor activities, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about.

Get active and cycle through Stanley Park, explore the North Shore mountain trails, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge or head out on kayak to explore English Bay.

You will be staying at L' Hermitage Vancouver, room only

Day 3

Time to Yourself
Vancouver is a city ideally explored on foot. The historic buildings of Gastown combined with the colourful Chinatown district offer a great contrast highlighting the diversity of Vancouver. Head down to Granville Market any day of the week and try some local produce. There are many art galleries and museums in the downtown area of the city that are worth a visit. The University of BC can be reached by car or bus and is home to an impressive collection of First Nations Art in the museum of Anthropology.

You will be staying at L' Hermitage Vancouver, room only

Day 4

Fly Vancouver to Masset

Arrival to Masset
Meet at Masset airport arrivals lounge and join the group. Explore northern Graham Island regions which typically includes Masset, Old Masset, North Beach, Tow Hill. Welcome Dinner and overnight in Masset.

Formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, Haida Gwaii is a chain of islands off the west coast of British Columbia, north of Vancouver Island. Within the archipelago of the national park, Gwaii Haanas, protects a range of historical monuments, archaeological sites, cultural events, indigenous heritage and artistic tradition.

Day 5

Explore Tlell, Skidegate and the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay. In the afternoon board Cascadia and have a brief orientation before setting sail for the southern half of your Haida Gwaii expedition. Whale watching and island exploration will take place in the afternoon.

You will be staying at Cascadia, full board

Day 6

You will be staying at Cascadia, full board

Day 7

T'aanuu village site and Burnaby Narrows
Visit a T'aanuu village site and Burnaby Narrows to view some of the planet's densest intertidal life.

You will be staying at Cascadia, full board

Day 8

SGang Gwaay
Opportunity today to view seabird colonies and visit a UNESCO World Heritage site, SGang Gwaay (ninstints), offshore islets and Rose Harbour - a remote community with a population of just four.

You will be staying at Cascadia, full board

Day 9

Rainforest Walks and Bears
Further cruising today, rainforest walks and maybe even some bears.

You will be staying at Cascadia, full board

Day 10

Juan Perez Sound
Sail Juan Perez Sound where hopefully you will see whales. Meet with seabird researchers at a seabird colony.

You will be staying at Cascadia, full board

Day 11

Windy Bay Cultural Heritage Site
Visit to Windy Bay cultural heritage site, whale watching, K'uuna (Skedans) Haida Village Site.

You will be staying at Cascadia, full board

Day 12

Morseby Camp and Sandspit Airport
Cruising through to Moresby Camp in Cumshewa inlet before disembarking and transferring to Sandspit Airport for your departure flight.

Please note that as with all expedition cruises, the itinerary may change based on weather, wildlife activity, and interests of the guests. This itinerary is to give you a general idea of the trip.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

L' Hermitage Vancouver

L' Hermitage Vancouver

L'Hermitage Hotel Vancouver is a 60-room, high-end boutique property, located on the corner of Richards and Robson Street, in the very heart of Vancouver's shopping and entertainment district....

View Accommodation



Cascadia is a delightful 138-foot steel-hulled catamaran accommodating up to 24 passengers in 12 spacious and comfortable cabins, each with an en-suite bathroom....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Canada

Paul Bird, Travel Expert

Read More

Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Enquire about this holiday:
Speak to a Canada holiday expert:

Tailor-Made Holiday Ideas

Booking a Tailor-made holiday gives you the flexibility to customise your journey, travelling when and where suits you.

Holiday Ideas in Canada

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey


  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides


  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates


  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom