The hallmarks of adventure travel are popping up everywhere – even in the cruising publications. This year, Fodor’s named Maple Leaf Adventures’ ecotourism trips in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest to its World’s Best Cruises list for 2016.
A far cry from many of the other ships in the list, Maple Leaf’s 88-foot, classic tugboat Swell meanders through fjords and islands, anchoring at night at the foot of thousand-foot mountains. Guests hop ashore from zodiacs and walk wildflower meadows where bears eat.
Swell carries a maximum of 12 guests and an all-local crew of expedition guides, naturalist and chef. Maple Leaf Adventures is a longtime eco-tourism company and proponent of developing a conservation-based, low impact economy in the Great Bear Rainforest.
“It’s an honour to be included in some very big company,” says Maple Leaf Adventures president Kevin Smith about the list. “I mean, one of the other ships in the list has more decks than we take guests. It’s a tribute to the stunning and interesting coast of British Columbia and Alaska that the Swell’s trips are included in the list.”
Maple Leaf Adventures was founded on eco-tourism principles in 1986 and operates trips in Canada and Alaska aboard classic ships – sailing ships and the tugboat. Trips begin in April each year and continue through October. They benefit from exclusive permits to wildlife-rich areas of Haida Gwaii, Great Bear Rainforest, Alaska and Vancouver Island.
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