Victoria, BC — Responding to a growing demand for expedition cruises in ecologically rich environments, Canadian ecotourism pioneer Maple Leaf Adventures will, in 2019, launch British Columbia’s first ship designed specifically for luxury expeditions along Canada’s spectacular west coast – the 138-foot catamaran Cascadia.
Owners Kevin Smith and Maureen Gordon were inspired by the increasing demand among affluent travellers for genuinely transformational experiences in unspoiled regions. As well, their research shows upscale small ship expedition cruising is exploding worldwide. However, while expedition cruising is all about the high quality and exclusivity of the experience, most cruises still carry anywhere from 100 to 300 passengers. Accommodating only up to 24 guests, Cascadia is designed to offer a more intimate and authentic experience, one aligned with the scale of the coastal inlets and communities her guests will visit.
According to Smith, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Adventures, Cascadia will embody expedition cruising on a human scale. “We’re part of a conservation economy here on the coast, so conservation informs all of our plans and decisions at Maple Leaf Adventures. Cascadia’s luxury is that she provides incredible access, great guides and a spacious expedition vessel, for just a small group of people. The carrying capacity of a place we view bears means that each shore trip group has a maximum of 12 guests. We’re never going to be about volume here; it’s all about the experience.”
Maple Leaf Adventures has invested seven figures into upgrading Cascadia’s systems, transforming this former South Seas boutique sailing vessel built in 2007 into a sturdy ship capable of navigating British Columbia’s challenging coastline. Thoughtful comfort hasn’t been spared either. Her light, spacious cabins, all with ensuites, are outfitted with generous windows.
The open-air lounge is perfect for dining al fresco, and the fully-accessible bridge boasts 180-degree views. Filled with local art evoking the essence of a traditional West Coast lodge, Cascadia promises a sophisticated and elegant expedition cruising experience. And her small-scale is unmatched for discerning voyagers seeking an ecotourism experience.
While aboard, guests will experience some of the wildest and ecologically rich parts of British Columbia’s rugged coastline; magical places that only such a small ship can access. Operating along the same ecotourism principles as the Maple Leaf Adventures fleet’s award-winning journeys on its other vessels, Maple Leaf and Swell, Cascadia will offer what has become a hallmark of the company – extraordinary access to wildlife, including bears and whales, as well as to coastal experts – from leading field researchers to First Nations elders. All while adhering to a strict conservation code that promotes responsible land use, small carrying capacity and a ‘leave no trace’ environmental policy.
Cascadia will embark on her inaugural British Columbia voyages in the spring of 2019 and will offer regular itineraries that include Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rainforest, Vancouver Island, southern BC’s fjords, and even wine cruising through the picturesque Gulf Islands.
2019 all-inclusive prices for these luxurious, multi-day eco-adventures range from $3,980 to $11,680 CDN per person.
For information about Cascadia and its upcoming sailings, please visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com or call 250-386-7245.
About Maple Leaf Adventures
Selected for Canada’s “Signature Experiences Collection” by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Maple Leaf Adventures has provided conservation-focused, big adventures aboard small ships since 1986. With a reputation as one of Canada’s top sustainable tour operators, its multi-day excursions give guests one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the most beautiful and rare places in the world, often in areas that were once under threat of destruction or in dire need of protection. In 2012, Maple Leaf was awarded the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award, for promoting the appreciation of Canada’s natural, cultural and aesthetic heritage, while also protecting them. As a long-time practitioner of ecotourism, Maple Leaf Adventures pioneered travel in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest and northwestern Vancouver Island and has made significant contributions to conservation. National Geographic Adventure has rated Maple Leaf Adventures one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. For more information, visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com.