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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Inside Passage small ship: Inaugural voyages with a “Swell” Tugboat history, Inside Passage, Canada

(News Release)

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’s Maiden 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 wine-growing region. 

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 passenger vessel. 

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.

These 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).

From approx $2150 plus tax (5-day trip) to approx $7000 (12 day Alaska trip). Info: www.MapleLeafAdventures.com or 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.

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