The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

2020 Gwaii Haanas Urban Orientations

Jennifer Handley

February 15th, 2020

Anna Maria Husband, Visitor Services Team Leader, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site recently advised BCA that Parks Canada has again scheduled orientation sessions in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.

This 90 minute orientation session is required for all visitors who are not travelling with a tour operator. Parks Canada recognizes that the travel plans of most boaters involve crossing the South Hecate and entering Gwaii Haanas from the southern tip, which makes attending an information session in Skidegate awkward and/or problematic. Attending an orientation session in southern BC will allow you to enter the area by boat, directly from the Mainland Coast after you have made your reservations, thus making passage to the area far more convenient.

The presentation reviews current safety information and traveler protocols, and discusses appropriate conduct while visiting Gwaii Haanas to ensure that the area, as well as the experience of other visitors, is protected. It is also an opportunity for visitors to ask questions about their upcoming trip and ensure that they have the information that they need. Signage is intentionally minimized in Gwaii Haanas to protect the wilderness experience, which is another reason why a pre-trip orientation is necessary.

Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island orientation dates in 2020 are:

  • Tuesday, March 3 at 7:00 PM – Library Square Conference Centre, 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
  • Sunday, March 8 at 5:30 PM – Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, 9811 Seaport Place, Sidney

The Orientation is FREE of charge, so even if you are just thinking about going to Gwaii Haanas this year or would like to learn more, please attend to find out what’s involved in visiting this part of the world. Regardless, you will be glad you did. No reservations are required to attend the orientation. However, cruisers who have made a reservation to visit Gwaii Haanas prior to these orientations will be able to pick up their trip permits at the end of the session.

If you have any questions and/or would like to make a reservation to visit Gwaii Haanas this year, please feel free to contact Anna Maria directly; she will be pleased to assist.

Sgan Gwaay Village (© Parks Canada/Maggie Stronge); Tufted Puffin (© Parks Canada/Carey Bergman); Mount Yatza (© Parks Canada/Charlotte Houston); Humpback (© Parks Canada/Daniel McNeill)


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