A SELECTION OF OUR AWARDS
OUR NEWS & A round-up of places we’ve appeared
THE GLOBE AND MAIL – ECOTOURISM NOURISHING COMMUNITIES AND INSPIRING ACTION | June 2022
“In addition to providing guests with chances to reconnect with each other and with nature, the ultimate goal is to inspire this aha moment, where they realize how everything is connected – and how all of our actions matter.” Owner / operator Breanne Quesnel shares the potential of sustainable or regenerative tourism with The Globe and Mail for World Ocean Day.
MARINE DEBRIS RECOGNITION – MULTIPLE SOURCES | Dec 2021-Jan 2022
In the fall of 2021, Spirit of the West coordinated a marine debris clean up among the Discovery Islands, adjacent to our base of operations. Over 6 weeks we collected more than 50 tons of mostly plastic and styrofoam material that had washed up on the local beaches. Click on the link above to view a full report, and scroll to the bottom for links to the many media mentions from the CBC, the Times Colonist, The Star, the Campbell River Mirror, the National Observer and more.
TORONTO STAR – THESE FIVE TRENDS WILL SHAPE THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL | Dec 2021
“Nature will be irresistible”, writes author Sinead Mulhern of the top trend in her article on the future of travel. Mulhern lists Spirit of the West as the example for this type of travel, and we’re honoured to do our best to exemplify the best that responsible, sustainable and restorative nature-based travel operators have to offer.
Written by GreenStep CEO Angela Nagy, Spirit of the West is proud to have been included in a list of businesses which “live and breathe” sustainable business practices.
CORTES CURRENTS – 2021 WAS GREAT FOR KAYAKING | Oct 2021
Cortes Currents interviews owner Breanne Quesnel about our 2021 kayaking season. “We saw unprecedented demand for our particular outdoor experience.” Listen to the full interview here.
CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR – CR ORGS GETS CASH FOR COASTAL CLEAN UP | August 2021
“The Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative has shown what can be accomplished when First Nations, local communities and businesses work together,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Creating jobs to remove marine debris and waste from our shoreline is a win-win situation that protects our environment and builds a cleaner, more circular economy for all British Columbians.”
FORBES – WEST OF THE WEST COAST: KAYAKING WITH SEA OTTERS by Cassidy Randall | July 2021
Acclaimed Adventure Travel writer Cassidy Randall joined us on an early season Nuchatlitz expedition and wrote about the experience for Forbes.
WHY ADVENTURE TRAVEL WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN by Jessica Wynne Lockhart | May 2021
Veteran industry journalist Jessica Wynne Lockhart explores the impacts of the pandemic on paddling and outdoor businesses, both challenging and positive. Owner Rick Snowdon adds some perspective from Spirit of the West Adventures, including the importance of our guides and staff on the experience we offer.
Spirit of the West wins SMALL BUSINESS AWARD | Oct 2020
Voted as the ‘Best Sea Kayaking Tour Company in British Columbia’ by the Corporate Vision Magazine UK. Awards Coordinator Steve Simpson took a moment to comment on the success of those recognised: “It has been an extraordinarily tough year for small businesses all over the world. As such, it has been important to double down on our efforts to acknowledge the successes and achievements of those who are continuing to thrive and grow in an environment that seems particularly challenging.”
PADDLING IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 | By three time guest & Travel Writer Caroline Helbig | Sept 2020
Guest reviews – Don’t take our word for it, hear what our past guest Caroline had to say about her private bubble trip in the midst of the corona season 2020. A successful private custom kayak expedition around the Discovery Island, BC.
Spirit of the West Adventures wins 2020 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award | August 2020
Recognized Among Best in British Columbia, Canada, Based on Outstanding 2019 Traveler Reviews
We are delighted to announced we have been recognized as a 2020 Travelers’ Choice award-winner. Based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, prior to any changes caused by the pandemic, award winners are known for consistently receiving great traveler/diner feedback, placing them in the top 10% of hospitality businesses around the globe.
THE NEW RULES OF WILDLIFE ECOTOURISM by Jessica Wynne Lockhart | May 2020
Owner Rick Snowdon contributes his thoughts to this piece that explores wildlife viewing etiquette around the world, and discusses ways that paddlers can behave in the presence of animals to reduce our impact on their well-being. As ethical wildlife watchers, conservation and education are our goals at Spirit of the West.
6 KAYAK TOURS FOR ADVENTUROUS TRAVELERS by Ezvid Wiki | March 2020
Spirit of the West Adventures has been included in the recently published video wiki “Kayak Tours For Adventurous Travelers. We are proud to be selected by the world’s first video wiki, which is now among the top 3,000 websites in the United States. Check out the video and get inspired by our itinerary- Kayak The Realm Of The Orcas. Sustainably.
LAUNCHING OUR NEWEST VIDEO – WHALES & WILDERNESS GLAMPING | February 2020
A star is born! Relax, enjoy, dream. Watch our new video of our beautiful sea kayaking eco-retreat on Swanson Island. Thank you to David Hartman from Hayfire Media for working with us and completing another wonderful and successful production. WATCH HERE!
VIDEO: BRITISH COLUMBIA’S COAST BY KAYAK | PADDLING MAGAZINE | August 2019 online
Thank you to Paddling Magazine for announcing our latest production ‘Dear Liza – a postcard from the west coast’ directed by the talented David Hartman from Hayfire Media. Read about David’s inspiration behind his new film of Spirit of the West Adventures.
WORLD TOUR PADDLING FILM FESTIVAL | 2019 Selection
Our video ‘Dear Liza – a postcard from the west coast’ is travelling far!
Our director David Hartman from Hayfire Media submitted our latest production to the World Tour Paddling Film Festival by Paddling Magazine and we are thrilled that we got accepted with ‘Dear Liza’! We love to connect with the paddling community worldwide. Thank you, David and Paddling Magazine!
4th CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE – PROUDLY ANNOUNCING OUR HALL OF FAME STATUS | May 2019
The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of great reviews submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor. Today we can announce that we have received the TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence 4 years in a row which leads us to the 2019 honour of being added to the HALL of FAME. The Certificate of Excellence recognizes recipients that have consistently delivered high-quality customer service and experience.
BOULEVARD MAGAZINE, VICTORIA, BC | April 2019 in print & online
The current issue of the Boulevard Magazine, our province’s capital Victoria and a popular lifestyle publication, is featuring our Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour.
COUNTY MARKET NEWS | April 2019 online
In cooperation with Destination British Columbia, County Market News published Wishlist-worthy B.C. vacations you can make happen for 2019 and our Desolation Sound Expedition is included. We agree, absolutely worthwhile!
OCEAN PADDLER MAGAZINE, UK | March 2019 in print
A sea kayaking magazine from the UK which we are a partner of. A beautifully illustrated story about Spirit of the West Adventures’ green initiatives in the kayaking industry. Our planet is changing and we try to be on top of things when it comes down to protect the environment we are operating in. We encourage our guests, friends and all other paddlers to have a peek at our environmental stewardship page.
Patagon Journal | March 2019 in print
Distant Waves In Taitao is a story featured in Patagonia’s magazine for nature, culture, travel and outdoors. The Chilean mothership Noctiluca which hosts us and our guest each year for our Ultimate Patagonia tours took part in this story about an incredible surfers’ expedition on the remote Chilean coast. Absolutely worth to subscribe and read!
HECKTIC TRAVELS | Jan 2019
“At times, our silence was only broken by the noisy breathing of the whales.” Dalene Heck, from Hecktic Travels, a professional travel blogger and one of National Geographic’s “Travellers Of The Year”, joined our Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour. She relived the journey in the best possible way- Darlene wrote an absolutely beautiful and inspiring story about her trip. Not much more to say here than, than inviting you to read it and to view her stunning photos. Thank you for sharing and publishing, Darlene. We hope to have you back one day.
BACKPACKER MAGAZINE – GET OUT MORE | Jan 2019 in print & online
Thanks to Ted Alvarez from Backpacker magazine who joined our Great Bear Rainforest Expedition this past summer. A beautiful and detailed trip post ‘On Canada’s west coast, countless animals—and the occasional kayaker—thrive‘ about our 8-day adventure on the Central Coast of BC. Thank you, Ted!
FLIGHT CENTER’S TRAVEL IDEAS 2019: VIEW WILD ORCAS IN BC | Jan 2019
Thanks to Suzanne Morphet for writing and the Australian Flight Center for publishing an article about our Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour in the Wow List 2019 magazine. “Look, look, look,” yells Jake, as a large orca beaches the choppy water of Blackfish Sound… Read the whole story here
CULTIVATING A SENSE OF INCLUSION ON THE WATER | Dec 2018
MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) does more than provide the gear for awesome adventures!
Karen Lai, past guest and friend shares her story of what inclusion means in the outdoor world. The adventure world doesn’t always provide experiences for folks of all abilities. Read Karen’s story about how working together with Spirit of the West Adventures, the support from outdoor retailer MEC and our awesome guides and fellow trip participants came together for an inclusive and unique experience in the Nuchatliz Provincial Park. Thanks, Karen for your willingness to share, teach and experience with us!
OUR NEW MEMBERSHIP WITH RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL | Dec 2018
We’ve done the hard work in meeting the criteria to become a part of the Responsible Travel community. The work was worthwhile as it is important to us to separate ourselves from tourism businesses who do not do as much (or anything) to minimize environmental impacts or contribute to the local community. Please visit responsibletravel.com and learn about their exceptional effort to promote unique, (really) environment-friendly and ethically justifiable adventures all around the planet earth. Thanks to the Responsible Travel team for accepting our application and putting us up on a higher level of awareness to support the good things. We believe this is the right way to go! Will you join us?
CORPORATE TRAVEL AWARDS 2018 WINNER | Nov 2018
After another 12 months of travel and 12 months of experiencing some of the world’s best destinations and travel services, the Corporate Travel Awards celebrate innovation and luxury in the travel industry. The Corporate Travel Awards recognize excellence in the travel industry as well as the outstanding service delivered by hotels and travel companies who cater for the discerning corporate traveller.
FEATURING OUR EXOTIC TRIP: THE BAHAMAS SOUTHERN EXUMA CAYS EXPEDITION | Summer 2018
MEN’S JOURNAL presents the 5 Greatest Sea Kayaking Camping Trips In North America. We are more than proud to be among them with our nomadic expedition-style tour through the islands of the Bahamian Southern Exuma Cays. Yeah!
2018 TRAVEL AWARDS: 44 BEST TRAVEL DESTINATIONS & GEAR OF THE YEAR | Summer 2018
Sunset Travel’s list of the best landmarks, restaurants, gear, and more to help adventurers plan their next great western adventure. Spirit of the West Adventures won this award with the ‘Whales & Wilderness Glamping tour!
2018’s Best for Wildlife Tours – British Columbia | Oct 2018
LUX Life Magazine has selected us within the 2018 Global Travel & Tourism Awards as their 2018’s Best for Wildlife Tours – British Columbia. The award has been designed to recognize the companies, brands and individuals who are excelling in the ever-growing industry of travel and tourism – those who go above and beyond to exemplify experiences clients are seeking when looking for their latest adventure. Award researchers- ranging from the very best specialist tour operators to leading independent travel agents and experts in tailor-made holidays. This proven approach ensures that we award on merit, and not popularity, and recognize the very best in the business. Thank you LUX!
TOURISM VANCOUVER ISLAND REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE AWARD | Summer 2018
The Remarkable Experience of the Year award by Tourism Vancouver Island recognizes tourism businesses that have enhanced or transformed a customer’s experience in the Vancouver Island region.
REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE AWARD OF BC TOURISM INDUSTRY CONFERENCE | Spring 2018
This award recognizes a British Columbia tourism business that has developed, delivered, promoted and sold a new and improved tourism product or experience that reflects the essence of BC and contributes to a remarkable visitor experience. Festivals/events, adventure/outdoor, food and beverage, cultural/ heritage, urban/rural and accommodation experiences may all be considered within this category.
SMALL, COASTAL KAYAKING COMPANY IS MAKING BIG WAVES IN THE BC TOURISM INDUSTRY | Aug 2018
An article from Adventure Travel News about Spirit of the West Adventure and the incredible popularity of our tour which is indicative of larger trends occurring in the BC Tourism Industry.
30 MOST AMAZING WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS IN NORTH AMERICA | April 2018
Top Value Reviews elected Johnstone Strait, one of the destinations in which we are operating a few of our tours, for one of the 30 best wildlife areas in North America.
SPIRIT OF THE WEST TAKES COUPLES ON KAYAKING TOURS ALONG THE COAST OF BC | May 2018
We’ve had plenty of couples on our trips (even our fair share of marriage proposals!), but this is the first time someone has written an article about it! DatingAdvice.com takes you through the ways that a kayak trip together makes for a romantic getaway and some of the ways we can make it special for you (think: private dinners at your tent, flowers on your beds, champagne and strawberries to celebrate anniversaries and more).
ABSOLUTE BEST ECO-ADVENTURE TOURS OF 2017 | Oct 2017
After only its first season, our Whales & Wilderness Glamping trip is already getting noticed! Hand-picked from a select group, we’re proud to be named among the “absolute best”, and in good company with the others on this list. The Huffington Post and the Flight Network did a write-up about the winners too.
MOST POPULAR KIDS ACTIVITY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 2016 | Feb 2017
Our Orca Family Tour was listed by Canadian Kids Activities as their most popular activity in BC. A fantastic way to step away from the everyday and spend quality time with your kids in the BC coastal wilderness.
THE REAL BEST BEACHES OF BC | Fall 2017
Wildcoast Magazine’s list surveys all the gems that you can find on the coast, including those that have no road access and require a boat to get to. The Goose Group, one of the highlights on our Great Bear Rainforest trips, makes the cut (with nearby McMullins Group as a special mention).
ADVENTURE TOUR OPERATOR AWARD | 2016
2016 Holiday and Tour Specialist Awards by Luxury Travel Guide.
THE TOP 50 TOURS IN CANADA | Jan 2016
All our BC trips were honoured by being included in this Top 50 in Canada list of Shereen Mohammed – Flight Network.
TOP WHALE WATCHING TRIPS | Feb 2016
Making lists again in the Canoe & Kayak Magazine! This time as one of the top trips for watching whales.
TOP WHALE WATCHING TRIPS
Making lists again! This time as one of the top trips for watching whales.
Conor Mihell – Canoe & Kayak Magazine (February 2016)
BEST OF THE BEST 2016
Our Johnstone Strait Expedition selected as the “Best Kayaking in the Realm of the Whales”. (p. 32)
John Kimantis – Wild Coast Magazine (December 2016)
KAYAKING WITH THE WHALES: BROUGHTON ARCHIPELAGO
A humpback and orca watching journey on the Johnstone Strait Expedition, including some amazing photos.
Caroline Helbig – Writes of Passage Blog (August 2015)
KAYAK THE REALM OF THE ORCA
(“Kajak im Reich der Orcas”) Viewing killer whales by kayak in the Johnstone Strait region. (German)
Andrea Hartlein – My Spotlight Kanada (January 2015)
SEARCHING FOR SEA OTTERS BY KAYAK
Nuchatlitz Inlet near Vancouver Island offers great opportunities to view sea otters in the wild.
Suzanne Morphet – Globe and Mail (July 2013)
NEW WAR IN THE WOODS
Protecting high use tourism areas from the effects of clear-cut logging.
Kylie Stanton – Global TV (Spring 2013)
GOURMET KAYAK TOURS
A focus on the culinary experience at our Johnstone Strait Ultimate base camp tour.
Andrew Findley – Savour Magazine (Fall 2012)
BEST KAYAK TOUR COMPANY IN WESTERN CANADA
Winner of 2012-2015 “Best Kayak Tour Company in Western Canada”. Unfortunately, this long-running sea kayaking magazine ceased publication in 2014, after 30 years of advising paddlers from around the world.
Sea Kayaker Magazine (2012)
A regular column on travel experiences in this Australian newspaper, highlighting our Johnstone Strait Ultimate.
Kerry Lorimer – The Weekend Australian (May 2012)
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ULTIMATE ADVENTURE BUCKET LIST 2012
We (and our trips to Johnstone Strait) were named on their 2012 Ultimate Adventure Bucket List!
National Geographic Adventure (October 2011)
A detailed exposition on our Johnstone Strait Ultimate.
Kerry Lorimer – Australian Geographic (December 2010)
FLOATING IN THE WILD, TRAILING ORCAS AND OTHER BEASTS
Long-form article describing the author’s experience on one of our Johnstone Strait Ultimate tours.
Kari Bodnarchuk – Boston Globe (July 2010)