Maple Leaf Adventures acquired and renamed the 138-foot-long catamaran Cascadia just in time for the 2019 cruise season on Canada's west coast. Fully refitted during the winter of 2018–2019, Cascadia makes its home on the coast of British Columbia, operating small-ship explorations to Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and the Great Bear Rainforest.
The Maple Leaf Adventures fleet is wholly unique, and Cascadia's catamaran design complements its running-mates Swell (a converted 1912 tugboat) and Maple Leaf, a tall-masted schooner.
Cascadia offers plenty of open deck space, cozy accommodations and all the necessary tools for adventurous explorations ashore. Two aluminum craft run passengers ashore and operate sightseeing excursions, while six double and two single kayaks can be enjoyed by cruisers when conditions allow.
These are complemented by a daily program of active excursions that can include hikes through the backcountry or journeys to small towns and villages that highlight modern west coast lifestyle or touch on the ancient ways of Canada's indigenous Haida and Coast Salish peoples.
Propelled by two diesel engines, Cascadia can make up to 10 knots across the water.
Meals tend to reflect west coast and Canadian fare, with an abundance of local wines and beers on tap.
Most meals are taken in the ship's small but cozy main dining room, while alfresco dining is an option when conditions allow.
Like most small ships, choices are limited but extremely flavorful. Dietary restrictions can be catered to with advance notice. Room service is not available.
Cabins aboard Cascadia are small but comfortable. Split across three categories, they range in size from 160 square feet to 235 square feet, and all feature ocean views.
Each cabin boasts its own distinct name (Moresby, Vancouver, etc.), and offers plenty of storage space, ensuite bathrooms and beds that can be separated into two twins or arranged as a queen.
Being a small ship, Cascadia doesn't have TVs or other in-room diversions; the real fun happens elsewhere aboard the ship, or during Maple Leaf's stellar guided activities on shore.
Category 1 and 2 cabins are accessed through an internal corridor, while the ship's two Category 3 suites -- named Princess Royal and Prince of Wales -- have access from an outdoor sheltered deck area on Bridge Deck.
A covered walkway keeps passengers sheltered from the elements on Bridge Deck, and Main Deck features an attractive wraparound promenade area with an aft-facing alfresco dining space. Although there are no pools or hot tubs aboard Cascadia, the ship does feature an open-bridge policy that allows passengers to visit the ship's navigation bridge when conditions permit.
Entertainment onboard is of the low-key variety. Expect most of the fun to happen on shore, while evenings onboard are spent conversing with fellow passengers over games, conversationand drinks.
Cascadia makes its home offering cruises through the heart of British Columbia, including jaunts to Desolation Sound, Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rainforestand around Vancouver Island.