Haida Gwaii: Queen Charlotte Islands picture

Haida Gwaii is the Queen Charlotte Islands and home of the Haida - one of the most culturally rich and developed groups of people to inhabit early North America. Among the southern islands are many ancient villages - K'uuna (Skedans), Cumshewa, T'annu and SGaang Gwaii (Ninstints). These sites contain the remains of the great longhouses and the best remaining examples of original totem poles in the world. Now is a particularly good time to visit these islands. Every year nature ages and slowly deteriorates the magnificent totem poles. SGaang Gwaii is recognized as a "World Heritage Site, of importance to the history of mankind." The old villages are now uninhabited, but each summer the Haida have watchmen at several of the old villages to protect their heritage and greet visitors.

The chance to listen to a Haida story, to learn about the traditional and modern Haida life, is for many people a highlight of the trip. It is a unique opportunity found almost nowhere else on the coast. Our encounters with the Haida are learning opportunities for art, legends, customs and food gathering methods. We gain an understanding of how the Haida related intimately to their environment to produce a unique and highly evolved art form. With over one hundred islands, beautiful forested creek walks, rugged exposed headlands and protected passageways between towering mountains, our excursions will provide ample scenery. Bird watching is excellent, with puffins, auklets and eagles; hundreds of thousands of seabirds nest on the islands. We hope to see Stellar sea lions and spot a variety of whales from our vessel, the Island Roamer. Come follow in the footsteps of Emily Carr! Bring your camera, journals and sketchpads and be seduced by one of Canada's most noble destinations.

Whether we motor or sail, the daily itinerary and choice of stops is intentionally flexible to meet group interests, weather patterns, any management restrictions and of course, wildlife sightings! Visits to as many village sites as possible provide key insights into the rich cultural world of the Haida.

Clients should arrive in Vancouver on July 6th. Your guide, Carol Heppenstall, will meet you in the lobby of the hotel at 5:00pm for a brief orientation. The hotel night at the Delta Hotel is included in your trip cost, as well as breakfast on July 7th. Dinner the evening of July 6th is on your own.

day 1
Graham Island
day 2-7
Moresby Island
day 8

Begin your day with a hot breakfast in the Seaport dining room prior to your journey to the Island Roamer.

Carol will inform you of the time you will be departing from the hotel this morning and you will then meet in front of the Inn at Sandspit.

Please be sure to check out of your hotel room with luggage in hand, prior to this time. You will be greeted in front Seaport B&B at Sandspit by our shuttle bus driver/guide for your land tour. You will be transported to the ferry landing at Alliford Bay to take the ferry across to Skidegate Landing on Graham Island. The ferry crossing takes approximately 25 minutes.

Our first stop will be the beautiful Haida Heritage Centre, Kaay Llnagaay on Graham Island for a guided tour followed by a traditional Haida lunch, hosted by a local Haida family from Skidegate. Following lunch, we will catch the ferry back to Moresby Island. Then we are off to Moresby Camp to meet up with the Island Roamer and her Crew. After boarding the vessel, there will be introductions, a safety orientation and cabin assignments. Dinner will be served at this time too. We will spend our first evening anchored nearby and will depart early the next morning into the waters of Southern Moresby Island to explore the Gwaii Haanas Park Reserve.

July 6, 2012 - July 15, 2012

All prices are per person, in US Dollars (USD) unless specified otherwise, and are cash or cheque discounted.

Haida Gwaii: Queen Charlotte Islands

Island Roamer


  • Capacity: 13
  • Registry: Canada
  • Length: 68 ft


This 68' ketch, The Island Roamer is the sister-ship to 'Island Odyssey'. Originally built as a luxurious private yacht in 1984, she completed a major renovation in 2003 to update the cabins and all safety systems. She features 8 private cabins (double occupancy), 3 heads with hot showers and a comfortable salon with a natural history library. On deck, the large deckhouse provides a comfortable spot to watch for wildlife. A certified Canadian Ministry of Transport passenger vessel, Island Roamer has all of the safety equipment, electronic navigation aids, and features you would expect from a vessel of her standard. All of our cabins have adequate storage space for your bags, personal items and jackets. Coat hangers and life jackets are stowed in every cabin for your convenience. There is electricity in each room, so you can charge your camera batteries and enjoy a reading light in the evening. More

  • Carol Heppenstall

    Carol Heppenstall

    Arts and Cullture

    read bio ...

What's Included

  • Most meals
  • Hotel night in Vancouver
  • Accommodations
  • Museum and park fees
  • Passage onboard Island Roamer
  • All ground transportation
  • Tips to the ship's crew

    What's Not Included

  • Flights: your home to Vancouver and Vancouver to Sandspit return
  • Mandatory emergency medical and evacuation insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any expenses incurred due to changes beyond our control

    Vancouver-Sandspit return flights

    The mandatory flights to/from Sandspit are not included in the tour price and must be booked separately.
    • Explore the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and the National Marine Conservation area
    • Tour the Haida Heritage Centre at Skidegate
    • Enjoy a traditional Haida meal hosted at the home of a Haida elder
    • Visit with Haida Watchmen at the abandoned village sites
    • Follow in the footsteps of Emily Carr. Sketch, photograph or just relax during quiet moorings