Explore the Broughton Archipelago:
Remote, Wild, and Steeped in Tradition
Step onboard this historic vessel to travel remote fjords and wild rivers learning the traditions and history of the local First Nations on this exploratory cruise of the Broughton Archipelago. With only 4 private staterooms available to 4 couples, this southern area of the Great Bear Rainforest will be your exclusive sanctuary. Apart from its renowned beauty, the Archipelago has sheltered and supported human activity since the ice age. Its remoteness has allowed the communities to keep hold of their rich heritage through the physical, vestigial remains and strong oral traditions.
Through the generous help of the founding First Nations members of the Dzawada’enuxw, Sea Wolf , we will visit their local communities, enter historic long houses, learn the ancient art of cedar basket weaving, feast on freshly caught salmon on private, isolated beaches, walk through abandoned pioneer outposts, and restore your mind and soul with the guidance of the healer-elder.
Starting in Vancouver, this 6-day all-inclusive excursion immerses you in the past while remaining in the most luxurious surroundings available.
- 5-nights accommodation
- All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
- All guided excursions and activities
- All transportation from Vancouver to the Pacific Yellowfin and back.
Per person, based on double occupancy, and in Canadian funds
Captain's Stateroom $7,700
Owner's Stateroom $7,700
Bears Cabin $6,600
Orcas Cabin $5,500
Available 2014 Departure Dates:
Whats Not Included:
- Government Sales Tax 5%
- Crew Gratuity
- Premium wines and liquors
Set Sail on the
|Departing from Vancouver, the impressive flight along the high ramparts of the Northwest BC Coastal Mountains will take your breath away. We deposit your troupe at Port Hardy, where you’ll find an extraordinary territory steeped in ancestral heritage; just two hours away from Anchorage. The Kwakwaka’wakw reside here, and are currently resurging with its formidable past as a springboard.
A quick transfer to Port McNeill, and then you’ll board the Pacific Yellowfin. The onboard adventure truly starts here! A swift briefing and a gourmet lunch follow. Soon, an interruption… whale song, and the approach of a hidden trailhead leading to venerable old growths. Options abound: a whale safari, a hike, or an exploration by canoe are on the table, time permitting. Tonight, try your hand at traditional cedar bark creations in the company of master weaver, Donna Cranmer, and under the guiding spell of a local max’inuxw (killer whale) story from fireside times past.
The first dinner sets the tone for the rest of our trip: delights and surprises at every course and at every turn.
Bridging the History
|A bridge between two cultures awaits you for this morning’s activity. An encounter with an extraordinary man, appropriately named Walrus, will begin our educational and intellectual tour. He will lead us through his garden, and on a thorough hike, revealing culturally modified trees, intelligently planted multiple suspended gardens, and a deeper understanding in a little known branch of archaeology.
We rejoin the Yellowfin at Xuxop’a for a one-off Picnic extravaganza. Spread out on “Insect Island”, where you’ll be surrounded by beaches the likes of which one couldn’t dream up. A small respite back on board preceeds another lesson: striking deep into history, this newfound knowledge recharges you for a visit to the oldest longhouse on this coast. It stands at Gwayasdams (the feasting place) an imposing architectural wonder. The immediacy of your first impression translates into raw emotion; the sanctity of this place comes further alive with the drum, warding off the declining day.
Our day ends after a scrumptious onboard dinner.
Ride into Ritual
|Meandering deeper within the archipelago, luxuriate in the comfort of the upper deck. The vantage point of the bridge, it allows a panoramic view of the imposing vistas of the Dzawada’enuxw lands: Kingcome Inlet. Try your gambling hand at Lahal, an ancient game of the indigenous people of the Pacific NW Coast (also known as the "bone game"). After an onboard luncheon feast, set out for cultural immersion: into the world of Gwa’yi, Kingcome Village, once made famous by the bestselling 1967 novel, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, by Margaret Craven. The village displays unexpected cultural juxtapositions in its display of totem poles, churches and longhouses. After meeting some of the local carvers and their ceremonial wares, you’ll have a further understanding of the dance elements and story themes that are pivotal to the local universe.
We adjourn shortly after a medicinal walk, highlighting the curative properties of many herbs, berries and plants considered paramount remedies, under the guidance of the knowledgeable healer-elder Ho’nayusamega (Helen Willie). A purification ritual completes your evening, after which you will be bestowed your own medicine bag. Carry it well, it holds meaning as well as healing.
Dinner is again served in the safekeeping of the Yellowfin, the ocean carrying you into the night.
Time to Play, Time to Learn
|The Pacific Yellowfin will steam off to commence its loop back on this circular route. You’ll busy yourself on another exciting small-craft safari: exploring the neighboring system of the Uk’wiyalis, Wakeman river, and re-acquainting ourselves with the Old growths of Awagawis, Holden Creek. Nearby lie the remains of the Lakwa’yi (Charles Creek) cannery, always a point of interest.
If time permits, you’ll drop in on a different historical viewpoint: the wondrous pioneer artifacts assembled by Billy Proctor. A final potential detour (if the tides are going our way): the intertidal coastal lunch spread set for the black bears at ‘Mit’ap, Viner Sound. Our lunch will be served onboard, not with the bears! Midday re-unites us with our mothership’s toys: kayaks or scooters anyone? Spend a few hours circum-navigating the Lix’is or Burdwood Group, or rev up the two wheelers and exploring the extensive logging road networks of Gilford Island. Bring along a towel (they protect the beer. Also useful for drying oneself)-a mid- afternoon dip is always a possibility…!
Tonight’s lesson encompasses language. Learn commonly used words, the names of varied wildlife, and how language truly embodies the essence of people’s relationships with each other and the land. Your connection to this place, and its people, deepens with each syllable and sound that emerges from your body.
Feast Under the Moon
|As we depart homeward bound, you’ll have some free time in the morning. Unless yesterday’s plate did not get fully cleared, and you want to revisit pioneer lore or head back for another bear viewing excursion! Meanwhile, the Yellowfin is already heading for its favorite shelter from seasons’ past: storied Spout Island.
After a hearty lunch, the day begins in earnest with the culture rich area of ‘Yalis, Alert Bay. Entranced by a viewing of the Potlach Collection, as well as the mesmerizing cemetery poles, you’ll be lured into a deep appreciation for the cosmology and traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw.
Keeping an eye on sunset, we board a traditional mode of transport for our final night together: the dugout canoe xwak’wana. The crew will paddle with a serious task in mind: seeking the welcoming cove where we can host our farewell feast. The mouth watering salmon barbeque will be a banquet like no other.
Good-bye to the Whales
|Synapses are firing after last night’s festivities; the prickle of excitement is still with you. Take advantage of your exuberance; call on some nearby whales! Better yet, get the best of both worlds; kayak the fantastic playground of the Plumper Islands, home to very large mammals and eagles, as the Yellowfin hovers nearby.
Once the horn blows, it is all hands back on deck. Help spruce up your seaside home, and get ready for shore leave at Port McNeill. You’ll depart mid-day, with the same quick transfer to Port Hardy airport and then onto Vancouver. You won’t look at things the same way ever again, as you’ve been given the gift of insight, a rare treasure in this day and age.
Set your course for your next adventure, knowing that a part of you now will always be a sailor.
Please contact us or check our Calendar to view availability.