Catch a wave and read the latest news and views from life at sea on cruise ship vacations by syndicated columnists Jim and Barb Fox.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015
New Inside Passage small ship: Inaugural voyages with a “Swell” Tugboat history, Inside Passage, Canada
A new, boutique ship begins offering expedition cruises along the Inside Passage in 2015.
The classic, restored tugboat Swell –
owned by the award-winning Canadian company Maple Leaf Adventures –
begins service with two inaugural voyages in April and May. She joins
Maple Leaf’s other classic ships in the fleet.
She will be the first boutique-size expedition ship on the west coast of Canada with all-private-ensuite staterooms.
Swell’sMaiden Voyage runs in the balmy Gulf Islands National Park in southern BC, Apr 20-24, 2015.
Passengers on the maiden voyage will be part of the ship’s blessing
ceremony with some very special guests, and will receive commemorative
gifts including a special bottle of wine from the local Saanich
The second trip is the Swell’s Inaugural Inside Passage Cruise,
Apr 25-May 2, 2015. This 8-day journey covers the inside passage along
Vancouver Island, a historic waterway that the Swell herself has plied
for over 100 years as a working tugboat before her conversion to a
Following these trips, the Swell's itinerary includes the Haida Gwaii archipelago, southeast Alaska, and Canada's Great Bear Rainforest.
With just 10 guests on each, the trips provide an experience of surprising exploration,
accessing beautiful islands and islets that are not accessible by
ferry, as well as coastal villages.
This boutique-sized industry is
blossoming on Canada's west coast and Alaska, where huge tracts of
intact natural areas invite safari-style trips by water.
trips specialize in wildlife, from whales and seabirds to bears to
other marine life, and include exclusive access to special areas.
The Swell is
an 80-foot, classic wooden tugboat, built in 1912. She has been
lovingly restored with exquisite craftsmanship and is a Transport Canada
certified passenger carrying vessel.
In addition to her private
staterooms, she has a salon, aft lounge, open air lounge, open
wheelhouse, hot tub, zodiacs and kayaks. Her expert crew includes
naturalist, gourmet chef and wilderness guides.
The Swell's 2015 destinations include Vancouver Island (BC), Alaska, Great Bear Rainforest (BC), and Haida Gwaii (BC).
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”.