Into the Mystic Haida Gwaii

Though Haida Gwaii, a spectacular archipelago off British Columbia, is known as the “islands at the edge of the world,” it is well within reach aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird and Sea Lion—the only U.S. vessels permitted to visit these hallowed islands in over twenty years. In large part, we were initially permitted to visit Haida lands because of our commitment to artisans, evidenced by our Artisan Fund and its varied projects, currently financed by a percentage of sales from onboard Global Galleries. The Haida are legendary Pacific coast artists and artisans. And to see their works, most strikingly the totems created by master carvers, and to hear the stories woven into the very fibers of Haida regalia, is indeed a privilege. We will visit the Haida Heritage Center at Kay Llnagaay, see a panoply of Haida art and crafts, even see artists
at work. But we will also experience the rare, spiritually satisfying adventure of exploring the coasts and landing on remote beaches to share the silence with silvered
sentinels—the weathered totems, carved lifetimes ago, that have kept watch on Haida lands since the first days.

When Lindblad Expedtions returns in May, the islands will be awakening from their winter slumber. Humpback whales will gorge on krill and the lush forests will warm, while still snow-clad mountains set the perfect context for this entrée into the life of the Haida.

Our first encounter with Haida Gwaii took place this season, in 2015. Our guests have enjoyed a remarkably warm and rewarding welcome. However, this year promises to provide an even richer experience, since we return as friends—to be welcomed not only into Haida
villages, but into Haida homes and workshops, as well.

See why National Geographic Traveler listed Haida Gwaii as one of the “Top 20 Places
You Should See in 2015.” Over three days, you’ll meet with worldclass Haida artisans and visit their workshops; witness dances passed down through the generations; and hear the stories that span time and space. You’ll walk in the footsteps of chiefs and carvers, warriors and weavers, shamans and singers; people as connected to the land as the very trees from which they once made their homes.

During your exploration you’ll be accompanied by Haida cultural interpreters, experts on their heritage. And we will encounter a wealth of cultural objects. The Haida Heritage Centre alone holds what NG Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis calls, “the finest collection of argillite carvings in the world.”

You’ll visit the iconic and ancient village of SGang Gwaay Llnagaay, where silvered totem poles some 150-200 years old still line the shore. UNESCO listed SGang Gwaay as a World Heritage Site in 1981, the same year they registered the Serengeti, Great Barrier Reef, and
the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls as World Heritage sites.

View details of this itinerary: A Remarkable Journey to Alaska, British Columbia & Haida Gwaii


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