Premier Listings: Boating, Sailing & Cruising: Cariboo, Chilcotin, Coast

The area defined as the Coast in the Cariboo, Chilcotin, Coast region of British Columbia extends from Hakai Pass near Namu in Queen Charlotte Sound in the south northward to include the Great Bear Rainforest and the southern portion of the Inside Passage that extends into Northern BC and Alaska. This is a vast and isolated landscape of old growth coastal forests, ancient glaciers, ice fields and massive watersheds.

Comprising isolated inlets and islands of Canada’s forgotten coast, this central section of the coastline of British Columbia, known as the Discovery Coast, offers an abundance of recreational activities, including boating, sailing, and world-class cruising. First Nations history and culture dates back thousands of years, with many ancient First Nation villages waiting to be explored. Set amongst the islands are the First Nations communities of Bella Bella, Klemtu, Namu, Denny Island and Ocean Falls, all accessed from the mainland town of Bella Coola.

The area is blanketed with coastal temperate rainforest, which constitutes one of the most endangered forest types on the planet. Rare to begin with, they originally covered less than 1/5 of 1 percent of the earth’s land surface. The central coast of BC is home to some of the last remaining untouched coastal temperate rainforest in the world. BC’s coastal temperate rainforests are characterized by some of the oldest and largest trees on Earth, the most common of which are Sitka spruce, red cedar, western hemlock, amabilis and Douglas fir.

The ancient Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest tracts of temperate rainforest left in the world (2 million hectares), and is home to thousands of species of plants, birds and animals. In this lush rainforest, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountain Range, stand 1,000-year-old cedar trees and 90-metre tall Sitka spruce trees. Rich salmon streams weave through valley bottoms that provide food for magnificent creatures such as orcas (killer whales), eagles, wolves, black bears, grizzlies, and the rare and mysterious white Kermode (Spirit) bear.

Princess Royal Island is located in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, and is best known as being home to the legendary white Kermode Bear, Spirit Bear of the North Coast of British Columbia. These magnificent bears are not found anywhere else in the entire world.

This spectacular wilderness region offers an amazing diversity of coastal wildlife. Wild salmon are the most important keystone species of coastal rainforest ecosystems, and grizzly bears and wolves depend on healthy salmon runs for their survival. Humpback whales, killer whales and other marine mammals and birds are in abundance. Ashore, there are pristine creeks, lush estuaries and cascading waterfalls to explore, trails to walk, and stunning fjords and towering mountain peaks to view and photograph.

Access to the coast is limited, with only two options by road: From Bella Coola on the western end of Highway 20 from Williams Lake, and from the town of Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver island.

Major conservation areas include British Columbia’s largest marine park, Hakai Luxvbalis Conservancy Area in Queen Charlotte Sound, and the Fiordland Conservancy on the northern end of the region, a magical world of inlets, bays, islands, and fjords. Both areas are popular Canoeing & Kayaking destinations on the Discovery Coast. The largest inlet is Rivers Inlet, carved deep into the rugged Coast Mountains and one of the more productive sport fishing destinations in BC.

The endless outdoor adventures on the Discovery Coast are best enjoyed by boat, and numerous eco adventure companies operate vessels that explore this awesome adventure playland. Make your selection from motor vessel, sailboat, or mothership carrying kayaks for coastal exploration.

Premier Listings

Photo of Bluewater Adventures
Bluewater Adventures
# 3 – 252 East First Street Vancouver BC V7L 1B3 Home Phone: 604-980-3800Work Fax: 604-980-1800Work Phone: 1-888-877-1770Visit Website

Biographical Info

Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70′ yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You’ll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.

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Photo of Ocean Light II Adventures
Ocean Light II Adventures
#363 – 1917 West 4th Avenue Vancouver BC V6J 1M7 Home Phone: 604-328-5339Home Fax: 604-731-7066Visit Website

Biographical Info

Ocean Light II is a beautiful and spacious 71ft sailboat offering comfort, a classic natural wood interior, 5 guest cabins, fishing gear, 7 seakayaks, and a 19ft hard-bottom inflatable. Her crew has 34 years of experience offering natural history and photography tours on the BC Coast, including Haida Gwaii, and specializing in grizzly viewing tours in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, and spirit bear and grizzly tours in the Great Bear Rainforest. We also offer whale watching and eco tours, from totems to intertidal treasures, rocky shores to sandy beaches, and spawning salmon to towering trees. We offer five spectacular adventure trips between May and October, each to a different region and each highlighting the awe-inspiring beauty of the beautiful BC coast.

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Photo of Mothership Adventures
Mothership Adventures
P.O. Box 30 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 Home Phone: 250-202-3229Home Phone: 604-677-5692Work Phone: 1-888-833-8887Visit Website

Biographical Info

Explore our remote coastal wilderness aboard the heritage vessel Columbia III! Join us for exhilarating and unforgettable BC adventure tours that include sea kayaking, eco adventure, natural history, First Nations culture, extraordinary wildlife viewing, photography and painting. Experience sand beaches, stunning fjords, lush estuaries, and exceptional wildlife viewing of whales and bears. Travel in luxury with a certified hospitable crew, qualified guides, gourmet food and comfortable accommodation aboard the luxury Mothership.

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Photo of Ecosummer Expeditions
Ecosummer Expeditions
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 156 Clearwater BC V0E 1N0 Ecosummer Orca Camp Warden Beach Vancouver Island BC Home Phone: 250-674-0102Home Fax: 250-674-2197Work Phone: 1-800-465-8884Visit Website

Biographical Info

Awaken to the song of the Humpback whale. Fall asleep beneath the hushed canopy of a temperate rainforest. Fill your days whale-watching, kayaking with Orcas, observing sea lions romp through an underwater forest of kelp, and eagles fishing along the shore. Linger over lunch on a deserted island, scanning the horizon for signs of Orca activity.

Sign up for Ecosummer’s guided Orca Camps to kayak in the realm of Killer Whales. Explore the rainforest, hiking to waterfalls, or along ancient First Nation trails. Marvel when dolphins swim so close you wish you could reach out and touch them. Tune in to the rhythm of the tides. Escape the hubbub of your everyday world and restore life’s equilibrium on the shores of BC’s Johnstone Strait, one of the best places to whale-watch in all of British Columbia. Paddle the same waters as these gentle giants on three, four, or six-day kayaking adventures with Ecosummer Expeditions for a family vacation you’ll always remember.

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