Outer Shores’ small-ship expeditions provide extraordinary and intimate opportunities in which guests can immerse themselves in the ancient cultures and stunning wildlife of Canada’s Pacific Coast. Guided by a crew of professional mariners and expert naturalists, small groups of 6-8 guests explore the incredible coastline of British Columbia while living and cruising aboard the 70’ classic wooden schooner, Passing Cloud.
Member since: 30 Jun 2015
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
Economic responsibilityOne of the primary ways we try to add to the communities in an economically responsible manner is through purchasing locally sourced goods and provisions. This we feel is more economically responsible than using an outside supplier, and allows us to add to each community we visit.
Outer Shores is an active member in The Gwaii Haanas Tour Operator Association (GHTOA), a group that offers a unified voice for the tour operators in the area to communicate with the Archipelago Management Board. The GHTOA aims to foster quality, ethics and communication amongst Gwaii Haanas tour operators and to represent the interests of the tour operators, their clients and the public to the Haida Nation, the Federal Government, and the B.C. Government.
Through making protocol agreements with local First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest, we have outlined a code of ethics to adhere to for operating proceedings, ensuring operations consistently benefit the community. In addition we take advantage of the local Bear Viewing Stands, where we hire local guides to join us. The company also partners and aligns itself with organizations such as Parks Canada and BC Parks, the Wilderness Tourism Association, The Commercial Bear Viewing Association, and the Marine Mammal Association. In doing so, the Outer Shores crew are able to acquire important licenses (such as the Bear Viewing Guide License), provide field information for scientific research, and promote sustainable tourism practices both financially and through increased awareness to guests.
One of the ways Outer Shores Expeditions mitigates and minimizes impacts on nature and cultural heritage is through education. Above all else we operate as an educational experience focusing on the natural and cultural history and protection of the B.C. coast. Founder Russell Markel has spent his career as a marine ecologist and mariner studying, exploring and the sailing the B.C. Coast. His founding of the expedition cruise company is the realization of his dream to bring together his experience and passion to create an organization designed to foster education, awareness and stewardship.
In addition to education, Outer Shores have also offset their 2013 carbon emissions (21 tonnes). They have a 97% waste divergent rate and are able maintain this high rate because they focus on purchasing products with minimum packaging, performing a waste audit at the end of every trip, and rely heavily on composting and recycling.
Additionally, Outer Shores’ sustainability charge goes beyond their ship. The company has also ensured that top sustainability practices touch every aspect of their operations, which is why their office is located in the Victoria Quay Business Centre, a LEED platinum (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified building.
Outer Shores carefully selects the destinations in which it operates to offer guests an experience where natural and cultural heritage are the central focus of the expeditions. They work closely with world-renowned archaeologist Denis St. Claire in their Broken Group Islands charter, which takes guests on a trip back in time, to discover the pre-history of the area and learn about the Nuu-Chah-Nulth cultures. St. Claire, whose award-winning archaeological career has spanned more than 40 years of research in the Barkley Sound area, has joined the crew for expeditions and shares his unparalleled knowledge of the region and its people.
In Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, guests are brought to the world heritage site and given an introduction to the area through the individuals who know it best- the Haida Watchmen.
Whether it is shore walks, altering a route or timeline to view wildlife, or a crew member gearing up in a wet suit and bringing up creatures from below to show and teach guests, Outer Shores always finds a way to bring the area to life.