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Maple Leaf Adventures Overview
Operating since 1986, Maple Leaf Adventures specializes in ultrasmall ship cruises (eight to 12 people depending on the vessel) to the islands and inlets of Western Canada's province of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska. From April through October, cruises focus on the culture of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), the Great Bear Rainforest (home of the spirit bear, a subspecies of black bear with white fur), Gulf Islands National Park (near Victoria) or Alaska's southern coastal islands and Inside Passage.
Who Goes on Maple Leaf Adventures Cruise Ships?
Active, agile and easygoing nature-lovers are the passengers you'll find onboard a Maple Leaf Adventures sailing. North Americans dominate with some Australians, Brits, Germans and other Europeans also onboard. Ages typically range from the late 40s to mid-70s, with 60 or so being the average. Given the intimate nature of the cabins and premium prices, most are couples with years of globe-trotting experience, though you'll also find one or two solo travelers on most sailings.
Children may travel, but only if the booking is made directly with the company and not through a travel agent. The small ships and active excursions are not suitable for toddlers or for those who are frail or have physical disabilities.
Do I Have to Dress Up on a Maple Leaf Adventures Cruise?
In a word, no. What you wear under your rain gear on a Zodiac ride works just fine for meals. In fact, if wildlife is spotted, you may leave the dinner table for a closer look at a critter with only time to grab a jacket. Cabin space is tight on most of the fleet, so it's best to pack light.
What are Maple Leaf Adventures' Most Popular Activities?
People choose Maple Leaf Adventures for an intensive wildlife-focused journey, with cultural interactions with Canada's First Nations also a big part of the experience. Every single person on one of these trips participates in the daily excursions (generally two to three a day, even into the evening), which include up-close sightings of humpback whales, sea lions and bears, including Canada's illusive spirit bear. Cruisers also jump at the chance to meet and talk with First Nations people one-on-one. The wheelhouse is usually open for visits with the captain, and you'll usually find a passenger up there.
Is Everything Free on Maple Leaf Adventures?
Most everything is included in your Maple Leaf Adventures cruise fare: Daily excursions, usually by Zodiac; entry fees and specialist guides, if any; and use of kayaks and fishing gear are part of your fare. Also included are filtered water, coffee and tea, soda, and wine and craft beer served at dinner. (Alcohol is not available during the day.)
You'll pay extra for gratuities shared by the crew, transfers to and from the ship and an optional fishing license. A sustainability fee is charged to each passenger to ensure environmentally responsible cruising.