Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii
- BC Ferries operates a scheduled ferry service between Prince Rupert on the mainland across the Hecate Strait to Skidegate in the breathtaking Haida Gwaii islands, formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands but renamed in December 2009.
- Vehicles and Passengers
- Distance: 93 nautical miles
- Sailing Time: 8 hours, but varies depending on sea and weather conditions
- Sailings: 3 to 6 round trip sailings per week, depending on the season.
- Reservations are required for passenger and vehicle travel between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii.
- Service provided by the Queen of Prince Rupert
Skidegate to Alliford Bay
- From the Skidegate terminal on Graham Island, BC Ferries runs from another 20-minute year-round ferry service to Alliford Bay on Moresby Island. Alliford Bay is 15 km (9 miles) south of Sandspit and the airport on Morseby Island.
- Vehicles and Passengers
- Distance: 3.5 nautical miles
- Sailing Time: 25 minutes
- Sailings: 13 daily round-trip sailings between Skidegate and Alliford Bay
- Ticket sales and loading end 3 minutes before the scheduled sailing time for vehicles and 5 minutes before the scheduled sailing time for walk-on passengers.
Click on the map to view a large scale map of the Vancouver Island and BC Coastal Ferry Routes, or view BC Ferries’ map of Ferry Routes in BC (PDF format). Make vehicle reservations and check current ferry schedules, ferry fares, capacity conditions at major ferry terminals, and the departure and arrival status of current sailings directly on the BC Ferries website.
BC Ferries Schedules for these Routes
- Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlottes, Fall-Winter-Spring
- Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlottes, Summer
- Haida Gwaii Skidegate-Alliford Bay
The Queen Charlotte Islands lie on the edge of the province’s collective memory like a dream scarce remembered, mythical and elusive, full of meaning and beauty, yet incomprehensible to the waking mind. Impossible not to marvel at, and revel in, this is Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), arguably one of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world.
Two islands, Graham to the north and Morseby to the south, comprise the majority of the land mass. From the Skidegate terminal on Graham Island, another 20-minute ferry ride takes you to Alliford Bay on Moresby Island, where the spectacular Gwaii Haanas, or “place of wonder,” truly lives up to its ancient name. Alliford Bay is 15 km (9 miles) south of Sandspit and the airport.
There are 1,884 islands in Haida Gwaii, a mixture of snow-top mountains and fiords that plunge into the sea, mist-enshrouded forests and windswept sandy beaches.
Today, Haida Gwaii is less populated at 6,000 people than they were a century ago when Haida communities thrived along the shores. In the 18th and 19th centuries the area was a thriving fur trading centre, as the Europeans arrived in huge sailing ships to trade in the Haida villages.
The ferry lands at Skidegate, dropping visitors at the midpoint of the island. Lush, primordial rainforest and virgin beaches that change with every tide or storm, this is a naturalist’s paradise. All kinds of boating, kayaking, diving, hiking, exploring adventures and excellent fresh and saltwater fishing await the curious.
Haida culture and history are rich here. From the past, visit old villages and sacred sites and, from the present, tour museums and galleries showcasing the works of internationally renowned native artists.
Prince Rupert, British Columbia’s northernmost port, is also the terminus for the Alaska Marine Highway System and VIA Rail. Ferries from Prince Rupert harbour take visitors up the coast to ports on the Alaska panhandle and north. In Prince Rupert, visitors will find many whale watching charters and fishing vessels selling their wares at the busy dock – try the crabs and fresh halibut! Head down to quaint old Cow Bay for a cappuccino, or out to the rugged beauty of the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. Take a tour of the historical North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward, the oldest surviving cannery on the coast – well worth a visit.