I did a multi-day trip with Maple Leaf - the Tall Sails to Ales tour (a must for any beer and food lover or locavore) from Victoria through the Gulf Islands. The ship itself is a thing of beauty, being a perfectly restored heritage schooner with lots of space and a cosy cabin area.
The staff was well acquainted with maritime, geographical, and culinary arts and each day was packed with the best the West Coast can offer. Pods of orcas, porpoises, sea lions, seals, hawks, eagles, jelly fish, ancient white shell First Nations middens, quiet coves, day hikes and stunning views of the coastline from the sea. This is the kind of trip that made me (a local) so proud to be from this neck of the woods, and would be a great way for travellers to get an off-the-beaten-path look at our coastal secrets in comfort.