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BC Great Bear Rainforest Tour Aboard the Maple Leaf To Be Recognized as One of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime

Dolphins leaping beside the schooner Maple Leaf in the Great Bear Rainforest – photo by Kevin Smith / Maple Leaf Adventures

Maple Leaf Adventures’ trip selected for rich experience, sustainability, reputation

Victoria, BC –  British Columbia tourism will get a boost from National Geographic tomorrow, as the editors of its Traveler magazine highlight a British Columbia holiday by BC company Maple Leaf Adventures as one of their 2011 “50 Tours of a Lifetime”.

Maple Leaf’s Great Bear Rainforest sail-cruise was selected by the magazine from thousands of tours worldwide. In choosing the 50 tours to honour, editors sought enriching, transformative experiences offered by outfitters with solid reputations in the industry.

Maple Leaf’s Great Bear Rainforest trips are 8 to 10-day cruises aboard the 92-foot schooner Maple Leaf in the fjords of BC’s central and north coast. Independent guests from BC and around the world receive a warm welcome and personalized trip by the Maple Leaf crew.

Maple Leaf and guests playing with a waterfall, Great Bear Rainforest – photo by Kevin Smith / Maple Leaf Adventures

Trips include bear and whale viewing led by experienced guides, rainforest and beach excursions with the ship’s naturalist, First Nations cultural interpretation by local residents and sailing the 6 million hectare area. The trips are characterized by the thrill of adventure, based on a comfortable tall ship, and enhanced by expert local knowledge and a gourmet chef.

“These are an antidote to the average,” National Geographic Traveler says of the 50 selections in its online edition. “We looked for tours designed for experience, immersion, sustainability, and cultural connection.”

The Tours of a Lifetime list is published annually, following months of work.

“I’d like to congratulate Maple Leaf Adventures, a B.C. owned and operated business, for being recognized by the world renowned National Geographic Traveler magazine,” said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. “The tours offered by Maple Leaf Adventures epitomize what Super, Natural British Columbia is all about. This international exposure helps to support B.C.’s tourism industry, which provides jobs for so many British Columbians.”

Maple Leaf Adventures is a pioneer of adventure travel in the Great Bear Rainforest. The company conducted its first, exploratory trip there in 1991 at the invitation of the Haisla and Henaaksiala people of Kitamaat. This year’s trips run June 5-12, June 12-21, June 23-July 1, Sept 4-11, Sept 12-20 and Sept 22-30.

Bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest – photo by Greg Shea / Maple Leaf Adventures

“The Great Bear Rainforest is one of planet Earth’s last great natural places,” says Kevin Smith, president of Maple Leaf Adventures. “You can view grizzly and spirit bears in their natural habitat, then cruise down a fjord to a village for a conversation about the culture that sprang from such an environment over ten thousand years ago, and then end the perfect day with a soak in a natural hot spring. We are absolutely thrilled and honoured that our tour, and especially the Great Bear Rainforest, have been recognized by National Geographic Traveler.”

An ecotourism company, Maple Leaf Adventures donates to coastal research and conservation and has established economic protocol agreements with area First Nations.

For information, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com or call 1-888-599-5323 / +1-250-386-7245.

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