Meet your First Nations guide at Port McNeil, or the indigenous village of Alert Bay, and take a 1 hour, 45-minute boat rip across Xakwikan (Thompson Sound). Watch eagles soaring overhead, and look for the native wolves that visit beaches along the coast; capture unforgettable images of the Pacific white-sided dolphins that play along side the bows of moving boats.
Enjoy a light breakfast on the water as you listen to your guide’s indigenous interpretation of local landscapes, and learn the legends that infuse the coastline. Continue up the Xakwikan River until you reach grizzly bear territory, and find a safe, quiet vantage point to hear traditional stories and wisdom as you wait for bears to come feed on wild salmon.
After lunch in a scenic riverside spot, continue to the historic Gwayasda̱ms site on Gilford Island. Learn about the remarkable heritage and cultural significance of Canada’s oldest standing Big House, then finish the day in the Broughton Archipelago and Queen Charlotte Strait, a favorite destination for spotting migrating humpback whale.
This is a once in a lifetime chance to experience British Columbian wilderness with the respect and perspective of indigenous, First Nations people.