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Heriot Bay, BC
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Traveling to Your Desolation Sound Kayaking Tour

Note: You can also download a PDF version of this page, more suitable for printing. Desolation Sound map

Important points:

Our May 26th to 30th Desolation Sound Kayaking Tour begins in the town of Campbell River (map), located 160 miles north of Victoria on the east side of Vancouver Island. Here the Columbia III will await your arrival at the Discovery Harbour Marina.


There are a number of ways of getting to Campbell River. The simplest is to fly directly from either Vancouver or Seattle to Campbell River's regional airport (CYBL). Flying time from Vancouver to Campbell River is approx 45 minutes. Other ways include the combination of either car and ferry or bus and ferry. Ferry crossing time from Vancouver to Vancouver Island is approx. 2 hours. Driving time from Nanaimo to Campbell River is 1.5 hours, or from Victoria to Campbell River is 3.5 hours.


From Vancouver

-Pacific Coastal Airlines runs numerous daily flights to Campbell River 1-800-663-2872 or 604-273-8666 (in Vancouver).
-Central Mountain Air has daily flights to Campbell River 1-888-865-8585 or 250-847-5000.
-Air Canada acts as a booking agent for Pacific Coastal Airlines and Central Mountain Air if an Air Canada ticket has been purchased to a connecting airport (ie. Vancouver) 1-800-247-2262 (in Canada) or 1-800-776-3000 (in USA).

From Seattle
-Kenmore Air Seaplanes runs direct flights to Campbell River 1-800-543-9595 or 425-486-1257.

From Calgary, Alberta
-West Jet runs daily flights to Comox (a town 45 minutes south of Campbell River by road) 1-888-937-8538.

Ferry services to Vancouver Island

From Vancouver

-B.C. Ferries has year round vehicle and passenger service - Routes include: North Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) to Nanaimo (Departure Bay), South Vancouver (Tsawwassen) to South Nanaimo (Duke Point) and South Vancouver (Tsawwassen) to Swartz Bay (near Victoria) 1-888 223-3779 or outside B.C. 250-386-3431.

From Washington State

-M.V. Coho has vehicle and passenger service from Port Angeles WA to downtown Victoria B.C.
-Washington State Ferries runs vehicle and passenger service from Anacortes WA to Sidney B.C. (near Victoria) 1-888-808-7977 or 206-464-4600 (Seattle).
-Victoria Clipper has passenger-only ferry service from downtown Seattle to downtown Victoria B.C. 1-800-888-2535.

In Campbell River

-Campbell River Airporter 250-914-1010
-Campbell River Taxi 250-287-8294
-Bee Line Taxi -250-287-8383

Car Rental Services

-Budget Car Rental 1-800-299-3199 or 250-923-4283 (in Campbell River)
-National Car Rental 1-800-227-7368 or 250-923-1234 (in Campbell River)

Guest Information

Visiting Vancouver Island

Many of our guests like to explore Vancouver Island before or after their adventure on the Columbia III. Please contact Tourism Vancouver Island (250)754- 3500 or for ideas and information. Accommodation through out B.C. can be arranged through 1-800-435-5622 or

Campbell River

For those guests who wish to arrive prior to our departure, or stay later after our trip, many hotels and bed & breakfasts are available in Campbell River. Further information is also available from: Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce: (250) 287-4636 or


There is a variety of parking available. Please ask for directions at the boat when you arrive.

Meeting Columbia III

The Columbia III will be moored at the Discovery Harbour Marina, behind the Rip Tide Pub. You are expected to have eaten dinner prior to boarding, although hot drinks and a variety of snacks will be served once we are underway. On the last day of your trip, we return to Campbell River between 1:00 and 3:00 weather permitting.

Contacting Columbia III

The Columbia III can be contacted at these cellular numbers:1-888-833-8887 and 250-202-4745. In the case of an extreme emergency, the boat can be contacted directly by calling the Canadian Coast Guard in Victoria 250-480-2600 or in Prince Rupert 250-627-3081. Ask them to send a message to MV Columbia III (quote this number: MMSI# 316-003-614). We are often off the boat so expect a response to take 12 hours. The ship's phone is not for guest use.


We are happy to accommodate any personal dietary needs including vegetarian and vegan. Wine will be served with the evening meal. If you would like an alternative to alcohol please let us know. Please notify us of any food allergies or needs on the medical form well in advance of your departure date.

Medical, Allergies, and Other Concerns

Mail us your completed Medical Form ASAP. Your tetanus vaccination must be up to date (less than 10 years old) before you leave. Be sure to bring enough of your required medications as you will be far from any drug stores. We may encounter minor ocean swells so if seasickness is a concern, please bring anti nausea medication. But rest assured, we travel in very sheltered areas and overnight in calm, protected bays. We do our best to avoid swells and waves!

Weather , Clothing, and Packing

Our skipper and certified guides will not take you in any weather conditions that are dangerous to you or the group. We will likely encounter some wind and waves (the ocean is not always flat!), but nothing that would compromise the safety of a kayaker.

For maximum comfort, a layering system of lighter "quick-dry" and warmer fleece clothing works best. Merino wool is excellent as well. Avoid cotton which stays wet for a very long time. Waterproof raingear is essential. A dry suit is highly recommended. A wet suit is second best.

When getting in and out of your kayak on shore your feet WILL get wet. We suggest a pair of sturdy water sandals/ shoes. Sports gloves for paddling may add to your comfort and help prevent blisters. Proper protection from the sun is essential so bring sun glasses, a sun hat, sun block and lip screen. Bring a water bottle. Staying hydrated in the outdoors is very important. When aboard the mothership, comfortable casual clothing is nice to change into after paddling.

Consider bringing the items listed on the packing list we provide.

We have waterproof bags (dry bags) onboard that you can use for your cameras or other small items in your kayak if you like. Large Ziploc bags work as well. Hard suitcases are difficult to fit into the small storage compartments on the Columbia III, so if possible, bring your things in soft duffel type bags.

Packing List