Explore Vancouver Island and Surrounding Areas on your vessel this Summer 

Whether you’re wanting to disappear for a day, overnight, a week, or all summer, this guide to some sweet spots will be sure to peak your interest and get you out planning and exploring this summer.



With abundant moorage it will always be a breeze to pull up, jump out, and enjoy the many attractions this city has to offer. From kayak adventures to fresh seafood at one of the many local restaurants and pubs. Or throw on some hiking shoes and explore one of the beautiful waterfalls, trails, or mountains that surround the city’s bustling lifestyle.


The Northern Fjords Powell River on the sunshine coast is an amazing place to go for a week long, or even longer, exploration. There are endless possibilities for fishing, kayaking, diving, whale watching, beachcombing, and hiking, or just laying on the boat or beach listening to waves and staring at the ink black sky counting stars.

Campbell River on Vancouver Island and Powell River on he Sunshine Coast are both full service starting points. Many people load up on supplies here, then head out for a week of adventurous exploring. But be prepared, as the steep sided inlets and channels can create barriers for both VHF and cellular coverage.



Quadra Island, with a population of approximately 2500 is known for its thriving art community and rich First Nations cultural experience. Cortes Island, with a population of just over 1000 is roughly halfway between Powell River and Campbell River. This island is more geared towards the outdoors lovers. With its white sand beaches, endless lagoons, and numerous lakes, you’ll be sure to need at least a week to explore it all.

The waterways around southern Quadra and Cortes Island, known as Discovery Passage however, can be one of the most dangerous waters in the world. When the winds and tides conflict, the Pacific Ocean flows in powerfully from both the North and South ends of Vancouver Island. This generates flood tides and challenging cruising conditions for short periods of time daily.


From Cape Caution to Hartley Bay, stretches one of the planets last great wild places. While boating and exploring here you will constantly be feeling as if you are the only person around. That is, until you stumble upon one of the few settlements.

For landscapes, you will be over whelmed with protected channels, dozens of fjords, hundreds of uninhabited islands, and the occasional coastal community. Keep your eyes peeled on shore for the healthy wild populations of grizzly bears, coastal wolves, black bears, and the rare white spirit bear.

Out on the water don’t be surprised to see both baleen and toothed whales, along with porpoises, sea lions, and millions of birds feeding on the abundant fish and krill in the cold, green coastal sea.



If you happen to still have some time left on your holidays, don’t forget about Burke Channel, North Bentnick arm, Bella Bella, Bella Coola, The Redondas, Toba Inlet, Stuart Island, Bute Inlet, and many many more. Do some research, find some hidden gems, and always be sure you are prepared for all conditions before heading out.

Photos: Courtesy of Metta Photography.