Outer Shores’ Pacific Rim National Park expeditions take our guests on an intimate journey through the marine wilderness and rich Nuu-chah-nulth cultural heritage of British Columbia’s Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands. The Broken Group Islands archipelago is comprised of over 300 islands that form a unique collection of protected beaches, bays, inlets and anchorages on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Outer Shores’ guests enjoy the uniquely integrated experience of visiting the traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Tseshaht, Toquaht, and Ucluelet Nations. Guests will have the rare privilege of touring ancient village sites with permission from, and accompanied by, First Nations representatives. In addition, the region is rife with evidence of the thousands of indigenous people that thrived here for millennia, in the form of stone fish traps, clam gardens, shell middens, and culturally modified trees.
With a focus on exploring the local wilderness, we will encounter a multitude of wildlife unique to the area. Pacific herring returning to spawn in the spring attract a wealth of predatory species including black bears, coastal wolves, sea lions, salmon, bald eagles, and an abundance of other marine birds and fish. Each year more than 20,000 gray whales travel along the west coast of Vancouver Island, between early March and late May. Gray whales have the longest known migration of any mammal, more than 16,000 km round trip, between their winter mating and calving lagoons in Baja, Mexico, to their summer feeding grounds of the Bering Sea. We’ll also be keeping a keen lookout for the sea otter populations that are currently returning to Barkley Sound and actively transforming nearshore ecosystems.
There is an ancient Nuu-chah-nulth saying that goes: “Hishuk ish Tsawalk,” which translates to “everything is interconnected.” As we sail through and explore this extraordinary region, we gain a greater respect for the deeply-rooted symbiotic relationships between the ocean and land and all of its inhabitants, both ancient and present-day.