2 independent reviews for Queen Charlotte Islands sailing holiday, Canada

Reviews for Queen Charlotte Islands sailing holiday, Canada

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review 9 Aug 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Learning of the culture of the people of Haida Gwaai.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Definitely bring rubber boots, even though they are a pain to carry. Check with the company whether you need to bring a sleeping bag or whether hiring bedding is possible.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Definitely yes. We had a local person as part of the ship's crew, and used local guides in small groups to minimise impact. Unfortunately we needed to use diesel as the wind was not cooperative!!!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

110%

review 22 Jun 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were so many highlights: probably the most extraordinary was on the first afternoon when we saw the whole undersea foodchain in action before our very eyes: millions of krill eating plankton, to be in turn gobbled up by the pilchards twinkling on the water surface by their thousand, to be in turn hoovered up by tens of humpback whales, working as teams, waving their pectoral fins, diving with flukes aloft. The photos of the whales cavernous mouths are pretty spectacular! Another highlight was the incredible smell of food each time we returned to our mother boat: of superb quality and variety. And believe me, that kayaking makes you real hungry!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't take too many belongings with you as space is limited but do take lots and lots of warm layers even in midsummer: if you want to sit on deck and not miss any of the extraordinary wildlife you will freeze without warm hat, gloves, layer after layer of warmth and full wet gear. There is an enclosed observation area but it just isnít the same! If possible take a back up camera (and enough film or cards to last). There are no shopping opportunities on the trip. My wallet had a good rest! I managed to knock my new digital into the hotspring and despite valiant efforts of the crew it did not recover. So was so grateful to have my trusty 35mm backup and even my mobile phone. There is however no phone reception in the Queen Charlottes: halleluiah!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely: certainly travelling by a boat fully undersail when possible, must be ecologically sound. The crew were skilled at respecting wildlife-not overcrowding whales or sealions; not allowing us to tramp through precious intertidal areas. Our food and drink was locally sourced and in season where possible. The crew had diplomatic and respectful contacts with the Haida Watchmen and encouraged us to behave similarly. They respected their request to have only 12 people on site at once, to stick to paths and conceal evidence of our being there-eg our life jackets. The donations paid to the nature reserve must benefit its protection and the memory of the people who lived there. One memorable activity was collecting rubbish from the beautiful beach at Wooruff: nylon rope, large plastic containers, japanese light bulbs, and a shocking quantity of plastic bottles. We only saw approx. ten people on the trip so all this had been deposited from the "world" by the ocean. Collecting was not compulsory, just receptacles supplied by the crew, but it was truly a good mission and hopefully Island Roamer conveyed the rubbish to proper disposal and recycling.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was a truly great holiday-made exceptional by the crew who were professional, skilled, caring, knowledgeable, fun -the list is endless. I told them that I can never take another holiday as nothing could ever compare! And I did threaten to stow away and do it all over again...

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