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Pirates and Nature Talks – BC Ferries Extras!

Family entertainment with fun educational marine program on BC Ferries

Enjoy Coastal Naturalists marine presentations during BC Ferry sailing

Most families know that a ride on BC Ferries is more than just a trip across the ocean. Kids under five ride free, there are indoor play areas, and the cafeteria has many White Spot favourites. Can you say Pirate Pack? We sure can!

On a recent sailing to Victoria (Swartz Bay) the W Family discovered an extra perk that makes sailing with the little ones even more fun: Parks Canada has teamed up with BC Ferries to provide special nature talks through their Coast Naturalist Program, available on select sailings  between Vancouver and Vancouver Island during the summer.

Parks Canada Coastal Naturalist gives marine presentation on BC Ferry

Parks Canada teams up to teach BC Ferry passengers about marine and coast life

The presentation is 20 minutes long (they make an announcement to remind you). Weather permitting they set up on the aft (rear) deck, which is sheltered from the wind but provides great views and fresh air. The naturalist has a microphone so everyone can hear, and kids are encouraged to get up close so they can see the props.

Our naturalist Claire explained that “each presentation has a story – these are like the puzzle pieces that help you discover BC’s ecosystems.”

Claire’s presentation was all about eelgrass. We learned that eelgrass makes up about 30% of BC’s wild areas and is home to over 70 species of fish, as well as BC’s southern resident orcas. Eelgrass is NOT seaweed, it’s a plant much like the ones that grow in your garden.

Claire was more than a talking head. She was very interactive with the crowd, used props like stuffed animals, and invited kids from the audience to participate.

Coastal Naturalist teaches ferry passengers about BC marine and coast life

Coastal Naturalist uses props to interact with BC Ferry passengers

With tasty food, a giant boat to explore, and a little learning thrown in, we were happy to make BC Ferries part of our vacation journey.

Published: August 30th, 2013

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Morgan was raised on camping by her father and maternal grandparents. A life-long Vancouverite, she is a tourism instructor at BCIT and Royal Roads University and a customer service trainer. Morgan lives in East Vancouver with her family and puts a heavy emphasis on family travel as a way to learn, grow, and reconnect.

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