Here are just a few reasons to paddle with the COLUMBIA III:
We had such a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing yourselves, your country and this wonderful ship with us. There were so
many highlights: from the First Nations People, the amazing scenery and seeing so many animals in the wild! Two standouts were
the orca fest feeding on the salmon and the raft of otters. We have had a great sense of family with you and the fellow
travellers. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to come back to the COLUMBIA III after a day's kayaking, to a dry deck,
a drink, great food and a comfortable bed gently rocked to sleep by the motion of the waves. Good luck for the future! We hope to see you again."
- Alex and Sue, Australia 2015
You can always recognize the elegant COLUMBIA III at the dock or at anchor by the bright yellow kayaks covering the roof! As you get closer, you'll see the rows of spray skirts and bright red life jackets hanging neatly under cover on the back deck. Racks of paddles hang below. The COLUMBIA III is perfectly set up to load and unload kayaks smoothly and quickly with its efficient roof top crane system. There's plenty of room up there to carry kayaks for ten guests and two guides. The water level platform at the rear of the boat makes getting in and out of the kayaks simple and easy. And if you are a beginner paddler, not a problem! Attentive instruction is provided by our certified guides. So welcome aboard and let us provide you the kayaking trip of a lifetime! British Columbia's coast is a sea kayaking paradise. From Desolation Sound to the Great Bear Rainforest, glacial fed rivers spill into lush salmon spawning estuaries at the heads of magnificent steep sided fjords. Hundreds of islets and islands provide sheltered travel from the open ocean and habitat for a vast array of marine life. Orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, dolphins, sea otters, black bears, spirit bears, grizzly bears, wolves, eagles and seabirds all inhabit this temperate coastal rainforest and the waters of its rugged Pacific shores.
A typical day on one of our kayaking tours starts with the guests gathering on the back deck after breakfast. Water bottles are filled, dry bags are packed with cameras, sunscreen and a spare sweater, and spray skirts are pulled on. A guide assists each person into their kayak and soon everyone is on the water!! The mothership sounds its whistle goodbye and heads off to the afternoon meeting place while the paddlers settle into their rhythms, anticipating the day's journey ahead.
With the kayak's minimal draft, we'll float over shallows profuse with inter-tidal creatures. We'll glide along cliffs just inches away from clusters of starfish and anemones. From the intimate vantage of your kayak perhaps you'll surprise a seal dozing in the sun, or pause as an eagle swoops for a salmon. After the morning's paddle we'll land on a shell beach or rocky islet for a leisurely picnic lunch before continuing on in the afternoon. We'll watch in awe as orcas pass by, or perhaps glimpse a bear on the beach.
COLUMBIA III awaits your return each evening in a new location. No backtracking is necessary! By taking a kayaking tour with the mothership you will explore and paddle in new landscapes every day. We are not limited to areas with natural campsites; we simply drop the anchor! This means we can paddle in the more remote, steep and rugged parts of the coast, where other kayakers rarely venture. The COLUMBIA III is always within radio range of the guides and available in the unlikely event of an emergency. Safety is always our first consideration. Our goal is to provide you with attentive service, a spotless ship, a warm family atmosphere and a fantastic kayaking experience during your mothership adventure.
"Thank you so much for your welcoming and generous hospitality! And for your caring thoughtfulness in looking after us so well - especially on the water. I was able to meet challenges I wasn't sure I could achieve. Great personal growth in my kayaking skills. A wonderful adventure!
I wish you all the very best,"
- Claudia, Ottawa, Ontario 2018
"Coming back after 7 years was a really great experience. This was a fabulous
trip again. Thanks to Ross and the whole crew!"
- Bernd, Jon, Sven and Sabine, Germany 2007, 2014
"You are the perfect crew. I was told that the Mothership experience was to be
lived. I am so glad I did and fortunate that I have been part of this journey. I
came out of this trip far more knowledgeable and appreciative of our country and
culture. You have such warmth and attention to detail that the trip was so
seamless. You are a great and dedicated team. Thank you so much for your
generous sharing and flexibility. The food , wildlife and kayaking are and will
be fond memories along with the opportunity of meeting great people."
- Nicole, Ontario, Canada. 2012
"This has been a magical trip, we have enjoyed everything! Thank you for your wonderful hospitality on this comfortable ship."
- Dan & Lynne, British Columbia. Broughton Archipelago 2010, Great Bear Rainforest 2012
After the day's paddling, guests come back aboard, kayaks are settled and secured into their places on the roof, and we're off to our next anchorage. It's very luxurious to enjoy a hot shower, great food and a warm bed after a day exploring the wilderness! There are no tents to set up, and if the weather turns foul we have a cozy environment - dry and heated. Our fully equipped galley turns out dishes with a west coast flavour and our guest book raves about the vessel and the hospitality shown by her crew.
"First time in this part of BC. First time kayaking tourer. Got upgraded from absolute
newbie to novice during the trip! Not bad for an old desert rat! The food was
absolutely fabulous! You are a great crew . . you were almost like friends I
hadn't met before, rather than a 'company crew'. Hope to see you next fall for
the 'Great Bear Rainforest' paddling trip."
- Howard, 2008
BC kayaking tours are normally 3 - 10 days long. Your trip on the Columbia III is all inclusive. The price includes meals, wine/beer, kayaks, equipment and paddling instruction.