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Maple Leaf Adventures

Victoria, Canada
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About Maple Leaf Adventures
Explore the natural wonders and wildlife of the inside passage, including Vancouver Island, the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. These week-long safaris by water are operated by expert guides and naturalists of this award-winning, locally owned ecotourism company. They include plenty of time ashore exploring rainforest, archipelagos, fjords and wild beaches, as well as cultural sites and hot springs. Wildlife viewing (bears, whales, seabirds, marine mammals) is a specialty of this company. Off the roadmap, you'll explore by yacht and anchor in quiet coves at night. Detailed itineraries are on the website.
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Maple Leaf Adventures
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GirlWandering wrote a review Nov 2020
1 contribution
All parts of the trip were amazing - seeing parts of the British Columbia coast that most people will never see, the inclusion of First Nation sites where possible, whales and more whales, bears, stunning scenery, wonderful food onboard, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and a very well appointed ship. I have been on 4 different trips and would go on any of them again, as well as trying new itineraries.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Linda A wrote a review Aug 2020
1 contribution
The Maple Leaf was my first experience on a cruise ship and it has set a very high standard for any potential new cruises. I have traveled with Maple Leaf Adventures on 5 cruises: the Alaska Cruise in 2010, Haida Gwaii in 2011, Broughton Archipelago in 2013, the Great Bear Rainforest in May of 2019 and the Great Bear Rainforest in September of 2019. Each trip has been amazing, the first four were on the Maple Leaf, a very cozy, comfortable 8 passenger ship and each time the captain and crew were exceptional and the wildlife-sea life was spectacular. Viewings of Black bears, Grizzlies, Orcas, Humpback Whales, dolphins, stellar sea lions were not limited by the clock but by what was happening at the time as long as we were at the scheduled anchorage by the end of the day. No set agenda for the day. Seeing a Spirit Bear has been on my list for quite a while and last September I was finally on my way. This was my first trip on the Cascadia, a lovely, comfortable ship and newest addition to the fleet. As always the crew was friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable about the ship, the surrounding waters, the sea life and animals we encountered on land. They were interested in each and every one of the passengers, learning about us and sharing parts of their lives and their experiences in this beautiful water world. The waterways of northern BC are unparalleled with the mountains, majestic waterfalls and traveling with Maple Leaf Adventures is a true adventure.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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LustyGlazeBeach wrote a review Jul 2020
Cornwall6 contributions1 helpful vote
This review is a little overdue but only now have found the time to sit and fully contemplate the experience with The Swell and Maple Leaf Adventures. I was given an experience on the Maple Leaf a few years ago on the Whales and Totems trip. It was life changing. It created such a deep shift in my thinking in a few short days. This was not only the immersion into the incredible wildlife and beauty of the coast but through the exposure to the crew and the company ethics. Rarely in tourism are we lucky enough to find organisations whose values are so clearly communicated and lived by. In October, I found myself in BC with a few days to spare and booked onto The Swell for the Wines and Islands trip. From the moment of booking (and yes, I was that guest who had to make some last minute changes!) the staff were accommodating and extremely efficient. On arrival, we were blown away by the entire package. The rooms, the facilities, the attention to detail. With a total of 10 guests and countless crew, nothing was too much trouble. The Swell layout is such that all 10 guests could happily spend alone time on deck or easily be sociable in one of the many communal areas. The crew were skilled in facilitating new friendships and ensuring that everyone was getting exactly what they needed from the trip. I cannot stress how beautiful The Swell is. Add to this the rather funky tenders (mini landing crafts!) which allowed guests who were not so sure footed to access all areas of the tour, we were left wanting for nothing. The food was exquisite and Tanya’s wine knowledge and pairings were superb. The private wine tours of the various vineyards was a truly wonderful experience. It is hard to describe how Maple Leave Adventures have successfully managed to combine two unique products and maintain the company ethos and values in both boats. The thread that runs between them is invisible yet you can almost touch it. A gentleness allowing the guest discovery, a structure whilst allowing freedom to explore, an education without being overbearing and most of all, a passion for the natural environment that is infectious. It was very clear to us that the values the owners and crew of Maple Leaf Adventures hold could be a lesson to us all. Their moto is ‘Remarkable Journeys’. I would flip this to say ‘Remarkable people, helping us understand and experience Remarkable Journeys’ A belated thank you to the entire Crew.
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Date of experience: October 2019
1 Helpful vote
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cruisegranny wrote a review Jul 2020
Vancouver, Canada2 contributions
I have traveled on a great many cruises, and I think travelling with Maple Leaf Adventures is a wonderful way to cruise. I love the small ships, being close to nature and away from crowds. It is easy to make friends with the guests and the crew, since numbers are so small.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Michelle C wrote a review Jun 2020
1 contribution3 helpful votes
No commitment to the customer. Would highly recommend that you avoid them like the plague! In January 2020 we booked a Great Bear Rainforest trip with Maple Leaf Adventures (MLA) on the MV Swell. We were clearly informed about the no refund policy and advised to take out trip cancellation insurance, which we did. Along comes COVID. In March they email us and say that they’re still going but we would have to self isolate for 2weeks before joining them so we should start the process to utilize our cancellation insurance. No way we can isolate. We would have to take 2 different plane rides to get to the starting location. However we write and say we’re not ready to cancel. Next time they write they’re writing to tell us that they are cancelling since they’ve been advised by Transport Canada that they are not allowed to go forward. BTW, they ask, how are things are progressing with our cancellation insurance. Now my questions are? How can they cancel and not provide us with our money back? We paid for a product and they’re not providing it. Why should the insurance company be paying? MLA never offered us any options. A trip next year; a voucher or even another trip later this year. On their website they are advertising trips for August and accepting reservations and fees. Michelle
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Date of experience: May 2020
3 Helpful votes
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Response from Maple Leaf A, Owner at Maple Leaf Adventures
Responded Jul 18, 2020
We were saddened to read your note here on Trip Advisor, about the effects of the various health and travel advisories related to COVID-19 and your trip. We were also sad that you chose not to speak with us, despite our attempt to look after you when you indicated you’d be making a claim with your cancellation insurance, and our attempts to keep in touch with how it was going for you. [Note: For the people reading this review, we note that once we saw this, we followed up again, and have spoken with our guest on the phone and sent other details via email. It is unfortunate that, although our guest’s distress was real, there are some inaccuracies written in the review that came from and misunderstandings, and that other people will read and may end up believing. So we felt it was important not only to speak with our guest personally and privately as we have done, but also to write a response here, however artificial that seems.] The health and safety effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the province of BC’s recommendations for safe distancing, self-isolation that you mention, and things like that, are not something that is of our making or that we have any say in or control over ourselves. It can make things difficult, but it’s not a reflection on Maple Leaf Adventures. When governments began posting travel advisories shutting down travel between countries, on cruise ships, and so forth, we emailed our guests and let them know that if they did have trip cancellation insurance and were unable to travel, then they could make an insurance claim. That is what insurance policies are for, and why our guests purchase them. We have been an advocate of cancellation insurance for decades to prevent guests from catastrophic things that prevent them from doing a trip once their fare becomes non-refundable. We know that you intended to take this action and we supported you with the documents you needed and asked you to keep in touch with us to let us know how it was going so that we could help you further depending on the process. This was the last communication we had with you, until you posted this review, which was really disheartening. We regret that somehow in this process, one we have until now not been familiar with, a misunderstanding occurred that resulted in this review. We believe it takes two to tango and therefore that our communication with you could have been better in some way. We also let you know that Transport Canada issued a sudden shutdown for all passenger vessels like ours in Canada to June 30, 2020, which was Transport Canada shutting down an industry and not providing any compensation to the affected parties, specifically you who had paid for your non-refundable trip and insured it, and us who had also paid almost all of the (non-refundable) expenses up-front to operate it that month. You see, in boutique adventure travel, we operators (lodges, little ships, safaris) must take on and pay for almost all of the expenses of our trips long before we operate them. It’s the nature of these trips, which provide exceptional experiences in remote locations, but they do require a non-refundable period beforehand as a result. With regard to other remedies, it is our understanding from our communications with you that you had cancellation insurance and intended to proceed with your claim. We knew that this is the best remedy for the guests with the forethought, like you, to have purchased it. We wish that you had gotten back in touch with us as we asked for, if you had changed your mind, to talk about the situation before cutting things off like this. You see, if you have an insurance claim in process, which we understood that you did, your insurer could deny your claim if you asked for and we gave you a travel credit as a back-up plan to the insurance refund. This policy of insurance companies is not really fair to tour operators, despite the fact that we support the idea of cancellation insurance. It puts us in a very uncomfortable position as a boutique ecotourism company, because it is in our nature to want to look after our guests and exceed their expectations. Yet, we cannot send out an offer of any back-up plan to an insurance claim if the claim falls through – or we will immediately make the claim fall through for our guest. Again, we note that we have now followed up privately with our guest by phone and email following our discovery of this review, to clear up any misunderstandings. We welcome any questions you may like to ask us (while respecting guest privacy) by phone. Warm regards, The management team
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