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5 Day Desolation Sound Wilderness Discovery Cruise and Wildlife Tour in British Columbia, Canada

Homfray Lodge, Powell River A, British Columbia, Canada

Wildlife Cruise Canada

Pacific Coastal Cruises is redefining a journey of discovery along British Columbia’s breathtaking coastal waterways. In this immersive all-inclusive experience, your daylight hours are aboard our intimate ship, while overnights are spent at comfortable eco-lodges in the heart of the unspoiled wilderness. Reawaken your explorer’s spirit amidst the awesome vistas, fog ensconced mountain peaks, and austere, northern grandeur of Desolation Sound. A paradise as pure and remote as any destination on earth, Desolation Sound remains virtually unchanged from its earliest discovery.

Key information

  • Group safari
  • Group size: Maximum 16 persons
  • Children policy: Children from the age of 8 years old are allowed to participate under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • Starting point and ending point: Lund Harbor, British Columbia
  • Languages: English speaking guide.

Highlights

  • Witness spectacular coastal scenery
  • 4 days cruising and a day exploring from Homfray Lodge
  • Search for humpback whales, sea lions, eagles, and porpoises
  • Explore quaint harbor villages including Lund and Gorge Harbors
  • 3 nights stay at Homfray Lodge and 1 night at Tsa-Kwa Luten Lodge
  • Cruise aboard a refurbished vessel for exclusive coastal cruising
  • Full board meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 5
  • Discover First Nation Pictoglyphs

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


5 activity days
Group size: Maximum of 16 participants
Airport transfer included: Powell River Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
13:30
Check-out Time:
12:00

During this cruise holiday, you will stay three nights at Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours' own Homfray Lodge and one night at Tsa-Kwa Luten Lodge on Quadra Island.

Homfray Lodge (three nights)

It's impossible to capture all the rustic charm and authentic warmth of Homfray Lodge in pictures or with words. Visiting Homfray Lodge brings you to the heart of British Columbia’s coastal wilderness paradise, where breathtaking scenery, vibrant marine life, and the relaxed pace all come together for the perfect Pacific coastal experience.

Homfray Lodge is located in Homfray Channel, one of the isolated inlets of globally renowned Desolation Sound, British Columbia. Only reachable by boat or float plane, it's truly an amazing wilderness lodge that allows you to get away from it all.

The lodge offers an assortment of accommodation options. There are spacious and open private one- and two-bedroom chalets that sleep up to six guests, as well as lodge suites, each with private bathrooms, perfect for two guests.

Homfray Lodge original structures were erected in 2008. Substantial further improvements were added after 2011 including a new duplicate chlorine water filtration system; environmentally friendly septic system; hydroelectric system, thanks to a river that runs through the property, with 24/7 power and back up generator; a massive dock for 250 of moorage.

You have to see it for yourself to truly experience the beauty and natural wonder of the area. They absolutely love it at Homfray Lodge and they look forward to sharing it with you!

Lodge suites

The lodge suites are located in or just off the main lodge and are perfect for couples. They sleep up to two guests and feature a queen or double bed each with a private three-piece bathroom, Wi-Fi, ocean views, and some offer private balconies overlooking Homfray Channel and Foster Point.

One lodge suite is available with a separate small room with single bunk beds suitable for two small children. One lodge suite also includes a bathtub. You may request a balcony, lower floor room, bathtub or room with bunk beds, subject to availability.

One-bedroom chalet

The one-bedroom chalet sleeps four guests and offers ocean views of Homfray Channel. The one-bedroom chalet features one queen bed, located in the bedroom on the main floor and two queen beds in the loft plus a private waterfront balcony with seating for two, a three-piece bathroom, and a living area with a couch and table to seat four guests. The chalet has a sink and counter area but does not have any kitchen facilities.

Two-bedroom chalets

Two-bedroom chalets sleep up to six guests and offer ocean views of Homfray Channel. The two-bedroom chalets feature two rooms, each with a queen bed on the main floor, plus a loft with two queen beds, a private waterfront balcony with seating for four, a private three-piece bathroom, living area with a couch and table for six. There are two, two-bedroom chalets available. The two-bedroom chalet has a sink area but does not have any kitchen.

Tsa-Kwa Luten Lodge (one night)

Tsa Kwa Luten Lodge is situated on beautiful Quadra Island. In an area that is replete with amazing wildlife, with aboriginal history, and with a strong spiritual presence, it is fitting that the We Wai Kai Nation created this spectacular accommodation at the edge of the forest overlooking the Strait of Georgia. This property is a one-minute walk from the beach. This oceanfront lodge is 15 minutes’ walk from Cape Mudge Lighthouse. A restaurant and sauna are located on site.

Program

Day 1: Monday

Arrive on your own into Lund, British Columbia, the gateway to Desolation Sound. Scheduled airport transfers are offered complimentary from Powell River Airport (YPW) for guests flying (35 minutes) from Vancouver Airport (YVR)

Embarkation in Lund, British Columbia. Welcome reception and meet the crew as you set off from the quaint village of Lund. Cruising north into Desolation Sound, you will pass Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park, a haven for boaters and kayakers with its calm waters and sheltered anchorages.

As you leave the boaters behind, you cruise into Homfray Channel, one of the deepest in North America and flanked by towering peaks including the majestic Mount Denman (1920 meters, 6299 feet straight up from the sea). In the evening, you reach Homfray Lodge nestled in the remote wilderness of Desolation Sound, where you meet the staff and enjoy your meals prepared by the lodge's chef.

  • Dinner and overnight at Homfray Lodge

Day 2: Tuesday

Cruise today as you travel north into remote Toba Inlet, a deep fjord with steep peaks, glacier green water, and spectacular waterfalls. Return to Homfray Lodge this afternoon with time to relax on the lodge's expansive dock as the chef prepares your dinner.

  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight Homfray Lodge

Day 3: Wednesday

Today, you may enjoy the rustic charm and authentic warmth of Homfray Lodge. Warm summer temperatures and the meeting of the tides cause the Desolation Sound to have the mildest climate, abundant sea life, and warmest water on the British Columbia coast, with ocean temperatures reaching up to 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit).

This peaceful setting allows you to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, vibrant marine life, and the lodge's activities such as kayaks, stand up paddle boards, or join an eco-boat tour to explore the nearby waters. With the warm waters, you can even enjoy a swim off the lodge's dock!

  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overnight at Homfray Lodge

Day 4: Thursday

Depart to Homfray Channel and cruise from Desolation Sound to Quadra Island and Heriot Bay. Keep your cameras ready as this is the day you will spot most of the humpback whales!

  • Breakfast at the lodge, lunch onboard
  • Farewell dinner and overnight at Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge

Day 5: Friday

Depart after breakfast aboard our vessel. Cruise from Quadra Island to Lund Harbor. Return to Lund Harbor. The estimated arrival is 12:00 p.m.

The vessels

Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours operates several vessels including the Pacific Bear and the Pride of Victoria. Both vessels have been rebuilt and refurbished, perfect for exploring the many island and secluded inlets of the Salish Sea and Desolation Sound. Both are covered cruising vessels with a galley, hospitality bar, washrooms and both inside and outside viewing areas offering 360-degree panoramic views.

Activities

A naturalist cruise director is your guide, ensuring your experience is both enjoyable and enriching. Daily talks examine both local wildlife and the region’s rich Indigenous history. As you will follow the route first navigated by Captain George Vancouver, the captain demonstrates navigating techniques, charting, and seamanship safety. Onboard, guests are encouraged to listen, learn, and participate.

You will also be able to enjoy the company of special guests on some dates. From June 15-19, 2020, John Horton will be on the cruise. Grant Lawrence will join you on two cruises in 2020, July 27-31 & August 17-21.

Included excursions

An eco-boating tour at Homfray Lodge is included in the price.

Location

Desolation Sound

Desolation Sound is a deep water sound that begins at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, north of Lund, British Columbia. Flanked by Cortes Island and West Redonda Island, its spectacular fjords, mountains, and wildlife make it a global boating and sea kayaking destination.

Homfray Channel

Homfray Channel is one of the most beautiful spots in Desolation Sound, with tower peaks and very little tides on account of its great depth. The channel is the second deepest in North America, which means very few anchorages and thus little boat traffic.

Homfray Channel begins north after Desolation Sound Marine Park and Pryce Channel near Toba Inlet. Nestled in a small bay at Foster Point, is Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours' own Homfray Lodge.

Toba Inlet

Toba Inlet is one of the principal inlets of the British Columbia Coast and on the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest. Toba Inlet is relatively short in comparison to the other coastal inlets, being only about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) in average width and 35 kilometers from the mouth of the powerful Toba River. The inlet is a deep fjord and is flanked by towering mountains and several major cascading waterfalls.

Quadra Island

Quadra Island is separated from Vancouver Island by Discovery Passage and Cortes Island and is linked to that island by a ferry from Heriot Bay on its eastern shore. The Southern Kwakiutl (part of the larger Kwakwaka'wakw ethnic grouping) migrated into the northern Georgia Strait from Queen Charlotte Strait over two centuries ago, displacing and absorbing the Comox and Pentlatch peoples who formerly lived there.

Food

All meals are included, both on board and/or on shore. The varied menus reflect the local seasons. This holds true for the beverages. Beer and home-grown wine are included complimentary with meals during your stay at Homfray Lodge. The meals will vary from cruise to cruise, ensuring that all guests savor foods at the height of their flavor. To inspire companionship, meals are generally served in “family style.”

If you have any dietary requirements, please let Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours know at the time of booking.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 3 nights at Homfray Lodge and 1 night at Tsa-Kwa Luten Lodge
  • 4 days cruising with seasoned West Coast Captain and naturalist
  • All meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 5
  • Eco boat tour from Homfray Lodge
  • House beverages at Homfray Lodge
  • Luggage transport and handling plus scheduled airport transfer between Lund and Powell River Airport (YPW) if required

What's not included

  • Transportation from your home and the embarkation location in Lund, British Columbia
  • Alcoholic beverages during dinner at Tsa-Kwa Luten Lodge
  • Parking in Lund
  • 5% tax and service fee of 35 CAD per person per day

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Vancouver or Vancouver Island

  • If driving from Vancouver, you will take BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (40 minutes) on the Sunshine Coast.
  • Then proceed north for one and a half hours on Highway 101 to Earls Cove where you'll the second BC Ferry between Earls Cove and Saltery Bay (50 minutes) which is located on the north end of the Sunshine Coast.
  • From there, continue to travel north on Highway 101 through Powell River (30 minutes) and on to Lund.
  • From Vancouver Island, you can also take BC Ferries between Comox (Vancouver Island) to Powell River (one hour 50 minutes), then drive from Powell River to Lund.
  • There is parking available in Lund at The Lund Resort at Klah ah men (Rates currently at 10 USD per day - subject to change). The cruise departs Lund Harbor marina which is located directly across from the parking area.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Powell River Airport (YPW). On the day of embarkation, guests should meet with Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours' representative at the airport at 11:30 a.m. for a scheduled once per day complimentary land transfer. For guest driving to Lund, meet the staff at The Lund Resort at Klah ah men lobby area at 1:30 p.m.

Disembarkation time in Lund, BC, is about 12:00 noon. The land transfer will return to the Powell River Airport at about 1:30 p.m.

Please note that schedules are subject to change without notice and may vary on holidays. Please contact Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours for travel details for other departure locations including Cowichan Bay.

if you're flying to Vancouver International Airport (YVR), you need to take a domestic flight to Powell River Airport (YPW). Pacific Coastal Airlines offers daily non-stop (35 minutes) flights from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Powell River Airport (YPW) with Pacific Coastal Airlines.

On embarkation day: Vancouver South Terminal (YVR) to Powell River (YPW)

  • Flight 8P203
  • Daily
  • Departure 10:40
  • Arrival 11:15
  • non-stop

On disembarkation day: Powell River (YPW) to Vancouver South Terminal (YVR)

  • Flight 8P210
  • Daily
  • Departure 15:00
  • Arrival 15:35
  • Non-stop

Note: Schedules are subject to change without notice and may vary on holidays. Please leave a minimum of three hours between international arrival and departure flight connections. Pacific Coastal Airlines offers a complimentary shuttle between the Vancouver South Terminal and the Vancouver Main Terminal.

There is also an option to travel by seaplane charters. For a convenient private charter, you may fly from Vancouver, Seattle, Tofino, Campbell River, Whistler or any other nearby destination direct to Powell River. From Vancouver, this flight time is about 45 minutes. Contact Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours for details on private seaplane charters.

Airport: Powell River Airport Airport transfer included: Powell River Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
5 days / 4 nights
from --
Pricing information

Extra adult staying in the same room is possible at 1,595 CAD per person.

 
Availability

Your reservation should be made early. The number of participants on each cruise is limited between 12 and 16 guests. To book your cruise or have any questions, don't hesitate to send an inquiry to the Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours team who would love to hear from you! 

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