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Adventure Cruises with Maple Leaf Adventures | Whale & Dolphin Watching

Explore the world of humpback whales, killer whales, and other marine mammals on a 5-night adventure cruise on the BC coast. Very high quality naturalists & crew, frequent shore trips, whale watching, sailing, gourmet food and more. Rated the "Trip of a Lifetime" by Frommer's travel guide.

Northern Vancouver Island and the Broughton Archipelago is the "Serengeti of the sea": rich in wildlife, home to a complex orca / killer whale community, addictive cruising and ancient human cultures. It is the best place on earth to see killer whales. Board the classic B.C. schooner Maple Leaf for a five-night, educational whale watching cruise that takes you beyond the spectacle of just seeing whales, and lets you learn about their communities, and natural and human history of the entire area they inhabit. Expect to spend hours with whales for several days. Expect to wake at anchor in the wilderness, where mists may be rising up the mountains, and to spend your day in nature. Islands of Natural Bounty Among the 200+ islands of the Broughton Archipelago, the orcas have come for millennia to eat salmon. The salmon support the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples, too, and a colourful frontier culture. On Maple Leaf's Whales and Totems whale watching cruise, discover this island world, where people live in houses that float on water, where it's possible to listen to whale song as you dine, and where white beaches turn out to be the shell middens from thousands of years of human villages. In the forests grow ancient cedars, and in the shallow water constellations of colourful sea stars and other intertidal life flourish. (We may even catch some of the succulent crabs for dinner.) Orcas/Killer Whales, Dolphins and Other Wildlife This area is the seasonal home to 275 killer whales known as the Northern Residents. Here, they socialize and gorge on salmon. Stand on deck and watch these whales deftly fish or raise their heads out of the water to look at you. Keenly intelligent, killer whales have a complex, matriarchal society and an appetite for play. Huge groups of pacific white sided dolphins and Dall's porpoises also feed here, often streaking across a channel to play in our wake. You'll be able to look them in the eye just inches away as they leap from the sea. Humpback whales are also on the comeback in the area. Seals and sea lions share its bounty. Thousands of seabirds - common murres, mergansers, harlequin ducks, scoters, cormorants and scores of eagles - abound. Occasionally we'll see a grizzly or black bear fishing or eating intertidal life.


April • May • June • July • August • September • October



Vessel types

Live-aboard boat • Under sail / Yacht

Times and prices

Trips operate April through October, in peak areas at peak times for wildlife. Please see our website for exact dates and prices:

About our skippers and naturalist guides

Maple Leaf Adventures is a Canadian-owned and operated adventure cruise company. Our guides are seasoned experts and our naturalists are engaging and knowledgeable, veterans of field studies in the area.


Access to wheelhouse • Deck with 360?vision • Hands-on materials (bones, shells etc) • Naturalist guide(s) as well as skipper • On board hydrophone • On board video • Onboard research • Posters / displays / maps • Public participation in research • Reading material available • Restrooms / toilets on board • Scenic backdrop to encounters • Snacks / drinks • Support conservation • Use a code of conduct

We frequently

Listen to whale song • Listen to whales and dolphins • See a whale's tail • See leaping dolphins • Showered by whale blows • Watch whales and dolphins

Baleen Whales

Humpback Whale • Minke Whale

Toothed Whales

Killer Whale / Orca

Ocean Dolphins

Pacific White-sided Dolphin


Dall's Porpoise • Harbour Porpoise

Other wildlife and points of interest

Stellar sea lions, California sea lions, harbour seals, river otters, sea otters, black bears, grizzly bears (in the northern areas), spirit bears (in the northern areas), intertidal life, seabirds

PO Box 8845, Stn Central
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2013 Responsible Whale Watch Partnership:Click here to read more about the partnership