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Haida Gwaii - formerly Queen Charlotte Island Tours, B.C.

In front of the poles

Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site
RATED #1 PARK DESTINATION IN NORTH AMERICA by the 2005 National Geographic Review.

Join us aboard our 54-foot motor yacht Great Bear II in Haida Gwaii to enjoy the Haida culture and biodiversity of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. The unique and powerful Haida culture, whale watching, intertidal exploration, and the awe inspiring land and seascapes of this spectacular wilderness, make this the trip of a lifetime.

 

All our cruises and boat tours to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site begin and end in Sandspit/Queen Charlotte City.

Our 54-foot motor yacht Great Bear II will be your home away from home for our 8-day tours in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. The ship is certified by Transport Canada passenger vessel and is equipped with all the latest safety and navigation equipment. Our 18-foot hard bottomed zodiac is perfect for shore excursions, shoreline exploration, and as a platform for witnessing the spectacular carpets of intertidal sea life in Burnaby Narrows. We also carry kayaks and a row boat for guests to use in the serenity of our coastal anchorages.

Mortuary pole, Sgang Gwaay, Haida Heritage Site FOCUS OF OUR TRIPS

Our Haida Gwaii tours in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve take us one hundred kilometers west of B.C.'s north coast, on the edge of the Pacific Continental Shelf, and to the archipelago of Haida Gwaii. Its shores bathed in warm, nutrient-rich waters, Haida Gwaii is often referred to as the Canadian Galapagos.

Because the Haida First Nations People had such an abundance of food, they had time to develop one of the world's most powerful and creative cultures. The Haida culture, art, and the unique flora and fauna of B.C.'s Haida Gwaii are the main focus of our tours in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.

VISIT THE NEW HAIDA HERITAGE CENTRE

Our Haida Gwaii adventure tour may begin or end with a visit to the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate where in 2001, the Haida raised six new totem poles in a memorable ceremony at the site of Kaay llnagaay, (Sea Lions Town). (Price of admission to the Museum is included in the price of our trips). In the summer of 2008 the new Kaay Ilnagaay Heritage Centre officially opened.

This important heritage centre celebrates the living culture of the Haida people, and includes an interpretive centre, carving sheds, theatre, and art school.

SEE OLD HAIDA VILLAGE SITES AND SPEAK WITH HAIDA WATCHMEN

As we travel south aboard our motor yacht Great Bear II into Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, our tour will bring us to the old village sites of Skedans, Tahnoo, Sgang Gwaay, (a World Heritage Site), and also Gandll K'in, (Hot Springs Island). In each of these sites, Haida Watchmen will greet and share with us the life and culture of each of these awe inspiring and very spiritual places.

You will be able to walk alone on trails through these old villages, and have the time to see, hear, and smell, all that makes these sacred places so special! Bring plenty of film for your camera!!

Tufted Puffins UNIQUE FLORA & FAUNA, A BIRD WATCHER'S "EDEN"

Because Haida Gwaii has been separated from the British Columbia mainland for so long and much of the land escaped the last ice age, there exist many unique and genetically different species that cannot be found anywhere else in Canada. (Even the larger Black Bears found here are genetically different from their relatives on the mainland.) Haida Gwaii are a bird watchers 'eden': you may see Tufted Puffins, Peregrine Falcons, Bald Eagles, Trumpeter Swans, Sandhill Cranes, Murrelets, Shearwaters, Cormorants, Oyster Catchers, some of which only come on land to nest in the summer and spend the rest of their lives at sea.

Humpback lunge feeding WHALE WATCHING

Whaling was once an important industry in the islands. Those days are thankfully long gone and the whales have returned, and the whale watching is great!

While it may be possible to enjoy whale watching throughout our tour in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, we have found ourselves surrounded by large groups of as many as 50 Humpback whales along the southern islands. Additionally, we can see Fin Whales, the second largest whales on earth, Minke whales, Transient Orca and if Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Dalls Porpoises that sometimes come to play on the ship's bow wake.

 

Starfish A CLOSE UP OF THE PROLIFIC MARINE LIFE

A "float" through in Burnaby Narrows in the zodiac or in the kayaks with our onboard Naturalist at low tide is one of the highlights of our trips in Haida Gwaii. Below you, in the tidal channel stretches an endless carpet of sea life: tiny Bat Stars, small to huge sun stars, anemones, sea cucumbers, clams of every description, mussels, some tiny, and some the size of your hand, clinging to the seaweed drenched rocks, colourful red turban snails and huge moon snails. Hermit and rock crabs scurry along the colourful bottom looking for their next meal.

Sunset in Haida Gwaii

RELAXATION AT IT'S FINEST

In late October 2012 after the 7.7 earthquake rattled Haida Gwaii, the hot pools at Gandll K'in dried up and the earth became cold. However, warm water has begun to return and has filled several of the pools which we are all very excited about!

If you are traveling with us in 2021, don't forget your bathing suits so you can revel and relax in the warm water on Gandll K'in, (Hotsprings Island).

Standing beneath Haida mortuary pole in Sgang Gwaay SMALLER TOUR GROUPS ALLOW FOR A MORE INTIMATE EXPERIENCE

Although we have had private charters with as few as 1 for a special photo assignment or 2 people celebrating their special anniversary, our scheduled trips are limited to a maximum of 6 guests.

We believe that our smaller group sizes allow our guests to really discover the heart beat of this unique and soul stirring wilderness.

Whether it's during our tours through the old village sites with Haida Watchmen, or during our float through of Burnaby Narrows, or during a forest walk, our small group sizes mean our guests enjoy a much more intimate experience while leaving the smallest possible footprint, something that is extremely important to us.

Testimonials

"...all shown to us with such modest competence--makes me proud to be part of Canada." ~ Phyllis, Toronto, Ontario

"As wonderful as the trips have been, the friendships with you are the most memorable and special aspects of these coastal adventures." ~ Al and Marilyn, Calgary, Alberta

"Your love and respect for these islands and these people are palpable and moving." ~ Margo, Vancouver, Canada


Experience the Wild  ...in Wilderness !

  
First class BC wilderness cruises, coastal tours and charters on the West Coast of British Columbia aboard the 54 ft. Great Bear II, out of Vancouver, BC.
· Haida Gwaii · Queen Charlotte Islands · Great Bear Rainforest · Gulf Islands · Princess Louisa Inlet ·
· Desolation Sound · Howe Sound · Indian Arm · Whale Watching · Bear Viewing · Wilderness Adventures ·

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