Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours offers inclusive naturalist lead small ship cruises to the unspoiled wilderness of the coast of British Columbia. Cruising only during the daylight hours, with the intimacy of only 16 people, there is ample opportunity for wildlife viewing for such locals as humpbacks, orcas, and seals. Our cruise guests are accommodated in rustic, comfortable oceanside lodges such as our exclusive Homfray Lodge and First Nations owned Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge. The intimate ‘Little Blue Boat’ also known as the Pacific Bear rapidly engulfs you with its rugged charm. Our partnership with the Klahoose First Nations allows our guests to enjoy grizzly bear viewing in their natural habitat of Toba Inlet. Homfray Lodge and Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours operate in traditional territories of the Klahoose, Tla’amin, and Hamalco First Nations. We strive to work with our local communities to support their cultures, economies, and people.
Pacific Coastal Cruises was pioneered by our owner, George Bartel. George, began his career in tourism in the early 1960’s where he learned to do whatever it took to serve the customer. George’s commitment to both the customer and the destination is legendary. Long inspired by the coast, George purchased The Pacific Bear, or our ‘Little Blue Boat’. With the pure charm of the pacific and an enthusiastic crew, George knew that this intimate 16 passenger boat could be the boat that makes exploring Desolation Sound feasible. As he explored the area by seaplane in search of any structures for guest accommodations, he noticed few but one really caught his eye. This place was Homfray Lodge. It was perfect. It is in a protected bay, has true character, and has wildlife at its doorstep. Homfray Lodge is a stunning lodge with suites and cabins tucked away in this beautiful isolation. The lodge and boat crews were organized, and two other partnerships were formed - with Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge and Klahoose First Nations. Today, the transformative trips George had always imagined for people are now a reality.
Known by most as "Captain Lance", Captain of the M/V Pacific Bear and our Director of Marine Operations, Lance Holroyd, has been with Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours for three years. Lance joined us after two decades of operating a multitude of vessels from as South as Mexico and up into Haida Gwaii. His passion for the areas we cruise, the wildlife we encounter, and our guests’ experience, is at the heart of our coastal cruising experience. Lance and his crew strive to ensure each guest takes away a rich and memorable experience off and onboard. This passion for detail, and unsurpassed customer satisfaction are qualities instilled from the company's beginning and still today by its owner George Bartel. It is not uncommon for many of our reviews to often recognize Lance and his crews’ exceptional efforts and extraordinary experiences.
Chris was born in Quebec City and grew up in Montreal and then Yellowknife. His tourism career started in on the shores of Great Slave Lake working at the floatplane bases with fishermen, bush pilots, and prospectors during the Canadian Diamond Rush. He grew up working alongside his father, in Yellowknife, where they developed and managed the first business in Canada to bring Japanese travellers to experience the Aurora Borealis. Chris has worked in a jungle resort in Belize, a diving lodge in Honduras, and guided and managed at adventure tour operator in Haida Gwaii. Over the last 20 plus years Chris has worked in Vancouver with tour operators serving international travel trade, luxury travel agents, and direct travellers connecting them to authentic experiences across Canada & Alaska. He is a graduate of the Tourism Management program at Capilano University and is on the Board of Directors with Sunshine Coast Tourism. Chris strives to develop experiences that are genuine and allow guests to re-connect on a deeper and more meaningful level. Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours opens up coastal BC for guests to venture into places that are very different from home and allowing for personal reflection and a meaningful way to travel the always super, natural British Columbia Coast.
Sunshine Coast Tourism, Board Member
Born and raised in the frosty land of Quebec, Sabrina has developed a love for the outdoors at an early age. After graduating college, she travelled intensely for a few years, backpacking around Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South-East Asia. Working and travelling overseas confirmed Sabrina’s desire to work in the tourism industry. As she finished her Tourism Management Degree at Capilano University, she has worked in various tourism sector, including accommodation, food & beverage, and attractions. Wanting to operate her own business on the BC coast one day, she was thrilled at the opportunity to join Pacific Coastal Cruises. Now as the Reservations Coordinator, Sabrina is responsible for customer service and ensures all components of the cruises are running smoothly, including transfers, accommodations, and coordinating any special requirements. She also works on planning tours, advertising, and promotion with the rest of the team. When Sabrina is not in the office, she can be found skiing or hiking on the North Shore Mountains or cruising through the Indian Arm on her sailboat, so make sure to wave if you see her!
Mollie is an outdoor enthusiast born and raised in the concrete jungle of Toronto. She landed at UBC Okanagan for her studies and was able to pursue her outdoor recreation in snowboarding, hiking, camping, and so on. In 2015 when Mollie graduated she moved to North Vancouver where she worked at Lululemon and put her management skills to use. She decided to take her work outdoors and started working as a tour guide for Landsea Tours leading groups around Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, and Victoria on Vancouver Island. Opening a small bed and breakfast has always been a dream of hers so when Homfray Lodge was hiring she jumped on the opportunity. Her role has transformed from housekeeping, serving, and yoga instructing, to now Director of Guest Services. In the off season you can find Mollie working in the Pacific Coastal Cruises office helping Sabrina and Chris with marketing and planning for next seasons operations.