Small Ship Tour Operators Association (SSTOA) Initiative – The members of this group have informally collaborated for decades, as the model of these operators’ experiences requires sharing places and resources with one another, working together to protect the coastal areas they operate, developing best practices based on ecotourism principles, and collaborating on maritime regulations, events and environments that are unique to overnight small ship tours. The SSTOA was created to provide a more structured and consistent way for these busy owner-operators to get their work done, and address the many questions that arise as the adventure travel industry becomes more well-known.
The Small Ship Tour Operators Association of British Columbia is comprised of seven 100% Canadian owned and operated, small-ship based travel companies that specialize in providing niche wilderness travel experiences for small groups of 6-24 passengers, along the British Columbia and Alaska coastline. In particular, they operate in the Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, and Great Bear Rainforest regions.
Although the companies and vessels comprising the SSTOA are diverse in nature, they share the following qualities and characteristics:
Together, these companies have envisioned and created the safari-like expeditions on the BC coast that are now renowned around the world as exceptional holidays among wildlife, nature and indigenous cultural experiences. Trips are frequently featured in international magazines, award ceremonies and on the offerings of high-quality international tour operators.