GREAT VACATIONS DON'T HAVE TO INVOLVE flying to the other side of the world. Sometimes the best times—fresh air, stunning scenery, breathtaking culture— are just around the corner…or up the coast.
That’s where Victoria-based Maple Leaf Adventures comes in. The company has joined the UVic Alumni Travel program as a partner offering educational voyages aboard the beautiful heritage schooner, Maple Leaf.
Operated by class of 1994 alumni Kevin Smith and Maureen Gordon, Maple Leaf Adventures offers a variety of coastal excursions, including trips to the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) and the pristine waters of southeast Alaska.
The nine-day journey through Haida Gwaii includes several hours of shore time each morning and afternoon with the guidance of expert naturalists.
“We’ve travelled this area extensively,” says Gordon, “and the knowledge of our crew, combined with the knowledge and experience of our top-flight resource people, help us give you insights into the magic of the islands that is rarely experienced.”
The Alaskan voyage also emphasizes the quiet, personal approach to experiencing amazing eco-systems and cultural history, Gordon says. “We will come to a better appreciation of the native people of this coast and their connection to the land and its wildlife, not by visiting a totem park or salmon bake with eight other bus loads of strangers, but by walking among still-standing totems which guard the ancient ruins of abandoned villages.”
The small group of guests sits down to enjoy a gourmet meal. Frommer’s Canada lists Maple Leaf Adventures as one of its six “Best Travel Experiences.”
The UVic Travel program also includes escorted cruises and land travel through University Travel and adventure travel and short-term travel through Merit Travel. The latest travel options for all three partners can be found online at www.alumni.uvic.ca/travel.
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