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By: Ian Stalker Photos: Simon Ager Photography
Maple Leaf Adventures is getting ready to weigh its anchors as it prepares to show people a B.C. coast that the company is helping make considerably cleaner.
The company traditionally offers cruises along the B.C. and Alaska coasts, sailings that were suspended as the tourism trade grappled with the coronavirus pandemic.
But Maple Leaf Adventures’ Maureen Gordon told a recent webinar that she’s “pretty confident” that company clients will again be sailing in B.C. waters as of July 1, with summer itineraries showcasing the likes of Vancouver Island; Haida Gwaii, once called the Queen Charlotte Islands; and the Great Bear Rainforest.
Maple Leaf Adventures – which has three smallish vessels – says summer B.C. sailings will only carry Canadians, an adjustment resulting from the pandemic. Only Americans will sail with it in Alaskan waters this summer.
The company is accepting American bookings for fall B.C. itineraries.
“When you look at our coast, it’s beautiful,” Gordon said.
The self-described “eco-tourism company” offers what Gordon calls “safaris by water – the water is the road here.”
Maple Leaf Adventures showcases the natural and cultural sides of the destinations it visits.
Gordon said interest in company sailings is now “skyrocketing,” with “people wanting to get out to nature and have fun.”
The company has been working to make that nature more pristine, participating in a coastal cleanup that Gordon said will see more than 150 tonnes of marine debris gathered from the province’s shores. That debris includes some 65,000 water bottles.
Maple Leaf Adventures held a similar cleanup last year, a year in which it didn’t sail at all because of the pandemic.
Gordon said a “huge amount” of this year’s gathered debris will be recycled.
Meanwhile, Gordon said those sailing with the company must have had at least one coronavirus vaccination and the company is taking other steps to ensure the safety of passengers and staff, including dockside coronavirus tests and requiring the use of masks at times and implementing social distancing.
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