Pacific Coastal Cruises, a twist on traditional cruising

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Lizzie Lau

Looking for a unique way to experience the coast of British Columbia? Check out Pacific Coastal Cruises to follow the route first established by Captain George Vancouver through one of the most species rich coastal marine environments on Earth.

Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours has been added by Destination Canada (DC) to the  Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE) collection. There are now over 200 across Canada, each has been chosen for the exceptional way it connects visitors to Canadians, our geography and rich cultural heritage.

View grizzlies, migrating and resident whales among other wildlife off coastal B.C. Cruise aboard an intimate, all-inclusive vessel then bed down in several rustic and comfortable ecolodges located in coastal villages and deep within the B.C. wilderness. 

“It’s a twist on traditional cruising,” explains Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours founder George Bartel. “I’ve been in the travel business for almost 40 years, and I’m interested in reshaping how people experience this part of the world. It’s an experience that you are unable to find anywhere else.”

About the tour: The British Columbia coast, including Desolation Sound, the Gulf Islands and Salish Sea is your atlas as you settle onboard the intimate “Pacific Bear,” a retrofitted former fishing vessel. With a maximum of just 16 passengers, this naturalist-led expedition motors into less visited small inlets and coves famous for their wildlife habitat. It is often possible to see grizzly and black bears feeding on shore, and it’s common to see humpback and orca whales, in addition to many other coastal animal and bird residents. The Captain welcomes visitors to his spacious pilothouse where he demonstrates the traditional navigation techniques used by Captain George Vancouver, whose historical route is traced by the boat. Dine collectively on board enjoying fresh cuisine, including complimentary wine and beer, while viewing the forested shoreline thru large windows or from the covered upper deck. Every evening, this marine excursion disembarks at renowned coastal ecolodges that including Homfray Lodge a Desolation Sound lodge resort. 

“I can’t think of a similar opportunity to thoroughly explore our abundance of waterways, while also enjoying the benefit of several different lodges,” saysAnnie Schroeder, Marketing Director, Sunshine Coast Tourism. “This kind of innovation in travel will help attract even more visitors eager to share in the beauty of our home.”

The 5-day all-inclusive tours depart mid-June to late September from Lund, B.C. A complimentary shuttle is provided from the Powell River Airport.

Tour rates begin at $2,555 per person, double occupancy. A special “Shared Chalet” price of $2,265 for 4 guests is ideal for friends and couples traveling together. Peak season rates ($2,775 and up) apply July 2nd – September 10th. Taxes and gratuities are also extra.

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Pacific Coastal Cruises, a twist on traditional cruising