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Gwaii Haanas trip with Robin K. Wright

Gwaii Haanas
A place of wonder: with Robin K. Wright 
July 20-28, 2013

On this trip you will visit Gwaii Haanas, home of the Haida people. The Haida are masters of the elegant formline art style that has excited anthropologists, art collectors, and art historians around the world.

Tour highlights include visits to a number of ancient villages, including a visit to the UN World Heritage site Sgaang Gwaii (or Ninstints). The Island Roamer crew will share their extensive knowledge of the natural history of Gwaii Haanas, and Dr. Wright will guide you through the villages of monumental art with the Haida Gwaii Watchmen, the caretakers at each village site. This trip will provide participants with an opportunity to explore the Queen Charlotte Islands in a unique way and allows access to an array of fascinating wildlife. Along the way you will see various species of whale, sea lions, seals, eagles, and hopefully puffins. Traveling with Dr. Wright and Ms. Vanderhoop, you will learn about Haida culture, history, and art.

You are encouraged to come early or stay after the trip for a day or two, so you can rent a car and travel north to Old Massett to see more poles and visit with Haida artists. Bluewater Adventures can recommend a travel agent who can assist you with your travel arrangements.

This 68-foot ketch was launched in 1983. The boat's design, safety, and comfort make her particularly well suited for these trips. She sleeps 14 passengers in 7 private cabins, with 3 heads with hot showers. There is also a spacious, airy lounge, natural history library, and galley. A covered seating area on deck provides great viewing opportunities as well.


The Island Roamer affords easy access for people of any age and most physical capabilities. She is a Canadian Coast Guard certified passenger vessel and has all the safety and navigation equipment you would expect for a vessel of her standard. There are two large inflatables for shore excursions and both double and single kayaks for quietly exploring islands and shorelines.

The crew of the Island Roamer consists of a Coast Guard licensed captain, professional cook, and expert naturalist. They all bring knowledge gained from years exploring the islands, and training in marine biology, education, ornithology, or anthropology.

Robin K. Wright (Ph.D., Art History) is curator of Native American Art at the Burke Museum, director of the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art, and professor of Art History at the University of Washington. She has published extensively on Haida art and has been leading yearly tours to Haida Gwaii since 1986.

Robin K. Wright will meet you at the Sandspit Airport on the afternoon of July 20, 2013, and accompany you to the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay'llnagaay for an introductory tour of the art and culture of the Haida. This will be followed by a dinner feast in Skidegate of traditional Haida foods and a night at the Inn at Sandspit. On the morning of the 26th you will have breakfast at the Inn before boarding the Island Roamer when your sailing tour to the remote sites on Gwaii Haanas begins. Your voyage will stop at Skedans, Tanu, and Sgaang Gwaii (Ninstints: a UN World Heritage Site has the largest collection of standing poles with some two dozen weathered tributes to the Haida ancestors and artists of the 19th century) and possibly other old village sites of Cumshewa, Windy Bay, and Rose Harbour.

Birds, and other terrestrial wildlife have been protected by the Haida Nation and the Canadian government with the creation of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation area. These preserve the fragile ecology of one of the most wondrous spots in the world. This sailing voyage will work within Park regulations and codes of conduct, while providing you with unequalled access to the natural wonders of Haida Gwaii.


The trip cost is $4,650 (Canadian $) per person. This includes one overnight stay and breakfast at the Sandspit Inn, a visit to the Haida Gwaii Museum, and a welcoming Haida feast. It also includes seven days' accommodations on the Island Roamer and all on-board meals. Each person will be sharing a cabin on the ship. If you do not have a traveling companion, Bluewater Adventures will endeavor to match you with another participant.

A deposit of $500 (Canadian $) per person is required to reserve a spot. The balance of $4,150 CAN per person is due May 5, 2013. As trips fill up quickly, please register early to avoid disappointment. The Burke Museum reserves the right to cancel this program prior to departure, upon the refund of all payments received.

NOT INCLUDED IN TRIP FEE: Transportation to and from Sandspit, BC, dinner on July 20, accommodations or meals after leaving the Island Roamer, fishing licenses, travel or cancellation insurance, optional purchases, and gratuities for the crew.

Reservations may be made by contacting Bluewater Adventures directly and making a deposit of $500 per person. Be sure to indicate: 1) The Burke Museum trip and 2) the names and addresses of those traveling.

Bluewater Adventures, Ltd.
#3-252 East First Street
North Vancouver, BC V7L 1B3 CANADA
Phone: Toll Free 1-888-877-1770
Email: explore@bluewateradventures.ca
Web: http://www.bluewateradventures.ca

Download Trip Brochure (PDF)


The Island Roamer
Sgaang Gwaii
Photo by Robin K. Wright