The port of Prince Rupert is the largest community on British Columbia's north coast. Deep-green fjords and coastal rain forest surround this quaint fishing town, located on Kaien Island at the mouth of the Skeena River, where the Tsimshian people have been for thousands of years. Prince Rupert was, at the time of its incorporation in 1910, poised to rival Vancouver as a center for trans-pacific trade. Prince Rupert turned instead to fishing and forestry.
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Join us on this memorable excursion of discovery through the rich and pristine waters of scenic Chatham Sound, British Columbia.
Take a short, 5 minute walk to the Atlin dock where you will board a boat for your cruise through the North Coast's incredibly scenic Inside Passage. Aboard our modern and comfortable catamaran vessel, you will be guided through these ancient waters by a crew of local and professional guides who are knowledgeable about the history and wildlife that you will encounter.
This beautiful area of the north coast is home to a wide variety of wildlife including Humpback Whales, Orca / Killer Whales, Porpoises, Sea Lions and Harbour Seals. Coastal birds like Murres, Guillemots, Cormorants, Rhinoceros Auklets, Great Blue Herons and the majestic Bald Eagles make these rich waters and coastline their preferred permanent home.
Our vessel is the most modern on the west coast and is equipped with washrooms, snack bar, two glass-enclosed indoor seating cabins and 4 outdoor viewing decks. This memorable discovery excursion is a photographer’s paradise for wildlife and scenery, so don’t forget your camera and binoculars.
Snacks, beverages, beer and wine are all available for purchase at the kiosk on board the vessel.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 5-minutes of walking between the cruise ship pier and Atlin Dock and there is a ramp to negotiate at the dock which can be steep at low tide. There is limited wheelchair availability and wheelchair guests cannot be confined to the wheelchair, but must be able to exit the chair and sit in a vessel seat. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and those who are prone to motion sickness are advised to take pre-emptive measures. Warm, layered clothing; waterproof jacket and flat, comfortable shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended. Staff and crew will help to the best of their ability with guests needing assistance down the ramp and boarding the vessel.
Take an exhilarating seaplane flight into the Canadian wilderness and land in an unspoiled inlet for a close-up view of the largest waterfall on British Columbia’s north coast.
After departing from the pier, you will soon arrive at an awaiting seaplane that will whisk you off on a thrilling adventure. You will begin by flying north over Work Channel, a long narrow waterway lined by towering cliffs and dense forest. This is some of the wildest, most spectacular scenery in British Columbia, and it is absolutely breathtaking.
Continuing on, you will fly high over Quottoon Inlet, an arm of Work Channel that was first explored during George Vancouver’s late 17th-century expedition along the northwest coast of North America. Wildlife flourishes in this pristine environment, and you may spot bald eagles, seals and grizzly bears.
To offer an even closer look at the rugged Canadian wilderness, the pilot will land the seaplane in the glassy waters of the inlet, near Quottoon Falls. From this spot, you will enjoy an incredible view of the majesty and spectacle of Mother Nature, as the falls roar into the inlet. The thundering cascade is the largest waterfall on British Columbia’s north coast, so expect it to be inspiring.
In time, you will return to the air with the pilot once again providing commentary on the points of interest. You will then fly directly over Kaien Island and Prince Rupert harbor, the deepest ice-free natural harbor in North America. Afterwards, you will transfer back to the ship.
Please note: There is minimal walking on this tour; however guests must be able to negotiate the ramp to board the seaplane. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. There is a maximum allowable height of 6'4" and maximum allowable weight of 265 lbs. The maximum capacity per plane is 5 guests so there is a possibility that guests traveling together may not be able to fly in the same plane.
Get a birds-eye view of British Columbia's wilderness by flying overhead in a seaplane, eventually landing in an inlet by a glacial waterfall.
It's a short transfer from the pier to the Seal Cove Seaplane Base where your seaplane stands ready to whisk you away on an unforgettable and incredibly scenic flight. As your plane climbs into the sky, you will have an excellent view from your window seat. There is so much to see, all of it compliments of Mother Nature.
As you soar over lush rainforests, deep valleys, rugged mountain fjords and spectacular glaciers, you will see cascading waterfalls, winding rivers and remote freshwater lakes. Your flight will also take you over the unspoiled Khutzeymateen Valley, a wilderness area that boasts one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears in the world. It's quite a sight to see one of these massive bears feeding on the lush vegetation or lumbering across a hillside. Of course, there are many other species of wildlife that live in this area as well, including mountain goats, bald eagles and even whales, who migrate here to feed in the nutrient-rich water each summer.
With all of the awe-inspiring wonders you will experience, one still stands out. Well into the flight, your seaplane will touch down in a magnificent inlet and float alongside a glacial waterfall. Looking out the window, you are treated to the spectacular sight of the water as it plunges into the rocky mountain fjord. It's simply unforgettable. Once you have had ample opportunity to take in this incredible display of Mother Nature at her best, your seaplane will take off and return to the airport.
Upon touchdown at the Seal Cove Seaplane Base, your transportation awaits to transfer you back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes a limited amount of walking and is available to wheelchair guests who are able to exit the chair and sit in a seat on the aircraft. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and those who are prone to motion sickness are advised to take pre-emptive measures. Warm, layered clothing and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. The maximum capacity per plane is 5 guests so there is a possibility that guests traveling together may not be able to fly in the same plane.
Cruise to the wilds of the Khutzeymateen Valley, Canada's only grizzly bear sanctuary, to watch these highly intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.
It's a short walk from the ship to Atlin dock where you will board your touring boat for a cruise to the best grizzly bear viewing areas. Traveling north through picturesque Chatham Sound, you will be entertained with stories about life in the surrounding villages. Along the way, keep an eye out for Dall's porpoise, playful seals, Stellar sea lions and a variety of birds, including majestic bald eagles and graceful blue herons.
Cruising for just over 2 hours, you will reach the Khutzeymateen Valley, an area uninhabited by humans, with no roads, trails, or signs of intrusion by civilization. The hills here are blanketed with dense forests of Sitka trees and hemlocks, an ideal environment for supporting wildlife such as the grizzly bear, an at-risk species. More than 50 of these magnificent creatures live here, earning the valley the distinction of having one of North America's highest concentrations of grizzlies.
The bears often feed on the vegetation that is in relatively close proximity to the shore, so there is an excellent chance of seeing several bears at once. The valley and the surrounding waters also support a thriving population of moose, wolves, shorebirds, kingfishers, seals, orca and humpback whales.
After cruising this incredible valley for just over an hour, you will make the return journey back to Prince Rupert with a box lunch provided on board. Arriving at Atlin Dock, you will walk back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 10-minutes of walking between the cruise ship pier and Atlin Dock and there is a ramp to negotiate at the dock which can be steep at low tide. There is limited wheelchair availability and wheelchair guests cannot be confined to the wheelchair, but must be able to exit the chair and sit in a vessel seat. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and those who are prone to motion sickness are advised to take pre-emptive measures. Warm, layered clothing; waterproof jacket and flat, comfortable shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended.
Discover the spirit of Prince Rupert by touring its most popular downtown attractions, including two intriguing museums.
Boarding your coach at the pier, you will begin with a drive through historic Prince Rupert, a city founded as the railway terminus to deliver salmon throughout North America. Of course, prior to the railway, the native Tsimshian had lived here for centuries, and their history is forever intertwined with the early Europeans who immigrated here.
Some of the stories of the Tsimshian are told in the intricately carved totem poles found at one of your tour stops, Totem Park. A different side of history is expressed at another stop, the Kwinitsa Railway Museum. This interesting museum commemorates the lives of the early station agents and linemen who worked the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway at the turn of the century. Meanwhile, the Museum of Northern British Columbia beautifully presents the most revealing art and artifacts of the Northwest Coast, with an emphasis on First Nations artisans.
Along with your museum visits, you will also see several of Prince Rupert's most acclaimed modern attractions, including the trendy Cow Bay shopping district and City Hall, a lovely federal building constructed in 1938. For the best panoramic view of the area, you will stop at the overlook above the port.
After a wonderful overview of the city that serves to showcase its nature, art, culture and history, you'll have the choice of remaining in town to further explore on your own, or returning with the coach to the ship. Those who remain in town will be responsible for making their own way back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of easy to moderate walking/standing; however, there is an incline to negotiate to reach the museum. The tour is available to wheelchair guests with collapsible, non-motorized wheelchairs who are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have a companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. No guides or service animals are permitted in the Museum. A Museum staff member may be requested in advance for visually impaired guests. Warm, layered clothing; waterproof jacket and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
One of the world’s great rivers, the Skeena has provided nourishment, transportation and inspiration to people of the north for over 10,000 years. This three-hour tour begins with a narrated journey via bus transportation to the place where pioneer industrialists and workers first established a rustic settlement at the river’s mouth. You will be welcomed to North Pacific Cannery, a sprawling historic site expertly restored to its 19th-century condition. Through a 15-minute epic multimedia experience you will travel down 350 miles of the Skeena River, through the fur trade era to the gold rush to the age of paddle wheelers. This will be followed by a 45-minute interactive tour of the cannery complex itself, complete with demonstrations of original machinery. A coastal ecologist will provide hands-on insight into the estuary ecosystem at tidewater before you have an opportunity to explore the cannery gift shop — featuring indigenous artwork and a variety of products by local crafters. A tour guide accompanies the group back to the cruise ship, ready for conversation and questions.
Note: We recommend that guest dress warm and wear comfortable footwear. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Discover the rich and enthralling history of the Tsimshian through native dances, songs, stories and priceless artifacts on display in a museum.
Your tour begins with a 20-minute walk from the ship to the renowned Museum of Northern British Columbia in downtown Prince Rupert. The moment you step inside, you will realize that this is a special place. The lobby resembles a traditional Native North American longhouse made with massive cedar timbers. The exhibits in the Great Hall and Treasures Gallery reveal a rich legacy of archaeological artifacts and unique ceremonial works of art that reflect thousands of years of Northwest Coast history and culture. You will also encounter exhibits devoted to the more recent history of fur trading, the railway and the development of the fishing industry. Additionally, you may watch a video presentation that shows the vital role of the natural environment in the lives of the local people.
To enhance your understanding of the Tsimshian culture even further, you will make your way to another longhouse where you will be greeted as guests of the feast and named to your clan before being treated to an authentic performance of traditional dances and songs.
Following the performance, you are free to stay behind and further explore on your own or make your own way back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing. There is an incline to negotiate to reach the Museum and the longhouse. The tour is available to wheelchair guests with non-motorized wheelchairs only. No guides or service animals are permitted in the Museum. A Museum staff member may be requested in advance for visually impaired guests. Warm, layered clothing; waterproof jacket and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Take part in an exhilarating adventure as you ride a jet boat and hike through an old-growth forest, culminating with a feast of wild salmon cooked over an open fire.
Traveling by coach from the pier, you'll start off with a 1-hour scenic drive through the rugged Coast Mountains into the valley of the mighty Skeena River. Arriving at a riverside base at the foot of a towering rock wall, you will receive an introduction and orientation before beginning your exploration of the surrounding countryside and nearby waterways.
The jet boat portion of your tour begins on the Exchamsiks River, a tributary of the Skeena. As you zip along the wild river, you will incredible scenery that includes waterfalls cascading from the shoreline cliffs and perhaps glacial ice bobbing along the surface on its way to the sea. Still, in all the excitement, don't forget to look ashore for moose, bears and mountain goats, which constantly wander through the scenic valley.
The land portion of your tour has you following a local forester and naturalist through an old-growth rainforest known for its 600-year-old cedar and Sitka spruces. It's a truly humbling experience to walk among these giant trees in the serenity of the virgin forest.
Included in your excursion is a delicious feast served at the riverside camp. The main entrée is wild sockeye salmon barbecued over an open fire by a First Nations cook. It couldn't be fresher or more delicious, as are the accompanying side dishes and desserts.
After spending just over 2-hours exploring this incredible area and enjoying a tasty meal, you will re-join your coach and make the return trip to the pier in Prince Rupert where your tour concludes.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of moderate walking over natural pathways. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns, pregnant women or guests with back or neck problems. Participants should be in good physical condition and able to enter and exit the jet boat with minimal assistance as well as negotiate an aluminum bridge. Minimum age to participate is 6 years old and children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Sturdy, flat shoes; warm layered clothing and waterproof outerwear are suggested as you may be exposed to the elements. Life jackets are provided for the jet boat. Participants will be split into groups upon arrival at the riverside base with the different activities taking place simultaneously and then reversing the order.
Play a round of golf on the spectacularly scenic Prince Rupert Centennial Golf Course, an emerald-green gem in British Columbia.
Depart from the ship for a short taxi ride to the esteemed Prince Rupert Centennial Golf Course, where you will be able to enjoy 18 holes of golf. Built in 1967 near the base of Mount Hayes, this par 71, 5,526 yard golf course is immensely picturesque as well as challenging. The layout winds through a coastal rain forest and numerous creeks cross the lush, green fairways. The course is known for its well-contoured, smallish greens and immaculate condition and is widely recognized as being perhaps the best in the Alaska and Northern British Columbia coast.
The course offers up plenty of variety from hole to hole. The second hole, known as Sargent Pepper, is a short par 3 that requires a high shot over wild fescue grass growing in front of the green. The eighth hole is a 457-yard par 5 that long hitters can reach in two, setting up an eagle putt. The finishing hole, known as Mount Marion after the course's designer, is a tricky par 4 that doglegs left, requiring an accurate second shot that clears a creek.
Prince Rupert Centennial Golf Course is an inspiring setting for a memorable round of golf. Wildlife sightings of deer, marmots and squirrels are not uncommon, which adds to the course's considerable charms.
After playing, you will be transferred back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 5 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Participants must be able to enter and exit the transfer vehicle (local taxis) without assistance. Golf clubs, golf cart, golf balls and tees are provided; however, golfers must bring their own golf shoes. Proper golf attire and collared shirt is required. Shorts, tank tops, collarless shirts and flip-flops are not permitted. A waterproof jacket is recommended. Minimum age to participate is 8 years old. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Food and beverages are available at the bar and pro shop but are not included in the tour price.
Nature lovers won't want to miss this tour that follows a nature trail through an old-growth rainforest, stopping along the way as your guide describes the importance and uses of the various plants.
Travel by bus from the pier to the nearby Butze Rainforest for an interpretative guided walk. The variety of flora and fauna is remarkable because the forest supports both coastal and temperate ecosystems.
Walking along the trail, you'll pass through an old-growth forest, with many of the trees as old as 500 years. You'll notice towering cedars, hemlocks and spruces. In spots, the sunlight can penetrate the patchy, multi-layered canopy, encouraging a dense understory and the growth of many moss and fern species. Elsewhere, you will cross peat bogs carpeted with sphagnum moss. The landscape is so verdant and unspoiled it looks almost primeval.
To sate your curiosity about the diversity of the plant life, your guide will stop periodically to describe a particularly interesting specimen. Many of the plants have medicinal properties used by the First Nations people while others provide food for the wildlife. Of course, there are some that are just simply beautiful. Your turnaround point on the hike is the Butze Rapids viewing platform, where you can watch the water roar to life if the tide happens to be falling or rising.
Following a 30-minute break at the viewing platform, you will retrace your steps, re-join your bus and drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours (2.8 miles) of moderate to strenuous walking that includes some steep inclines. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition and able to sustain a moderate pace throughout the duration of the hike. Sturdy, flat hiking or walking shoes; warm layered clothing and waterproof outerwear are recommended as you will be exposed to the elements.
Kayak along the beautiful coastline of Kloiya Bay, where the waters are typically calm and the wildlife plentiful.
It's a short transfer from the ship to Kloiya Bay, located in Morse Basin, a picturesque coastal area sheltered from the wind and protected from ocean swells. The waters here tend to be almost lake-like, attracting kayakers of all skill levels. Despite being close to Prince Rupert, the area feels quite remote. In fact, in the native Tsimshian language, "kloiya" means an "out of the way place."
Following a safety briefing and instructions about your kayak and equipment, you'll hop in and start paddling through the pristine, placid waters. Kayaking may well be the most intimate means of experiencing the wilderness firsthand and as they are easy to maneuver, you can paddle wherever you wish.
A temperate rainforest here blankets much of the countryside and in many cases stretches to the shore. While you are paddling, be sure to scan the water's surface for frolicking seals and other marine life. A variety of sea birds also live throughout the bay, as do majestic bald eagles. These raptors have become icons of British Columbia, and you may spot their large stick nests atop the trees.
After approximately 2-hours on the water, you will follow your guide back to the beach where you will return your gear and join your van for the return ride back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking; however, the tour is not available to wheelchair guests, those with mobility concerns, pregnant women or guests with back or neck problems. Participants should be in good physical condition. Minimum age to participate is 8 years old and children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Sturdy, flat shoes; warm layered clothing and waterproof outerwear are suggested as you may be exposed to the elements. Maximum height allowance is 6'2" and maximum allowable weight is 350 lbs. Those who take part in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility and participants will be required to sign a liability waiver before being allowed to take part in the tour.
Hike a rugged, wild mountain trail through a coastal rainforest that leads to a series of waterfalls, where you will have to time relax near the splash pools.
After departing from the trailhead, you will enjoy a short but picturesque drive to the head of the Kiwanis Trail, which starts with a slight incline lined with salmonberry bushes. This initial part of the trail will give you time to settle in and find a comfortable hiking pace.
Once you reach the creek, the grade will increase and you will be required to negotiate parts of the trail with rocks, roots and slick surfaces. The terrain will be extraordinarily beautiful, but still somewhat difficult to hike so you might use a hand line for balance.
The waterfall trail branches off in a mature forest, where the terrain will become steeper and maybe even wetter before leveling out into rolling alpine meadows blanketed with berry patches. As beautiful as this area will be, your effort will really be rewarded once you get the first glimpse of the waterfall. It will be spectacular, as will be the view from a nearby cliff.
Once you reach the lower falls, you may stop to relax on a boulder, enjoy a well-earned snack and admire the majestic scenery. You can expect the forest to be wonderfully serene and silent with the only sounds coming from your group. A second falls tumbles through the forest a bit farther up the trail, if you choose to venture on.
Note: Please wear waterproof footwear and outerwear. Rain boots are best, but waterproof hiking boots paired with gaiters (provided) also work. Wear wool or synthetic hiking socks and synthetic or wool hiking pants and tops. Not allowed: sandals, loafers, high heels or other casual footwear.