You board your superyacht at the Coal Harbour Marina in Vancouver. As you head to your first destination on the Sunshine Coast, you’ll already feel like you’re in a peaceful island getaway even though it’s actually still on the mainland. Accessible only by ferry or air, this strip of quiet beaches, cedar forests, hiking trails, summer cottages, and artist colonies — there is the highest population of artists in Canada here — is just two hours from Vancouver. Enjoy the quiet beauty and explore onshore.
Heading from Gibsons to Silva Bay on Gabriola Island, the coast is a bouquet of greens and blues as the multitude of islands come in and out of view. Silva Bay is a very popular destination for yachts; there are friendly people running superb restaurants and pubs. Gabriola is known for its laid-back lifestyle: you are truly on island time now.
From Silva Bay, it is a beautiful and breathtaking cruise along Trincomali Channel to Galiano Island’s unique Montague Harbour. With its sheltered waters and abundant salmon and shellfish, it is heir to a rich history. Montague is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers in any season, but particularly during the long hot days of summer. On the northwest edge of Gray Peninsula is a spectacular rock ledge, carved into rippling patterns by glaciers thousands of years ago.
Nanaimo is an urban oasis that sits comfortably between the Strait of Georgia to the east and a surrounding Vancouver Island landscape of peaks, valleys and forested wilderness. The result is the best of both worlds as cosmopolitan pursuits are balanced by a vast range of recreational opportunities. All the urbane pleasures of a modestly big city – dining, shopping, museums, festivals, and art galleries included – can be enjoyed here. Dine ashore before retiring to your comfortable yacht in the evening.
Salt Spring Island is a unique place, famed for its pastoral beauty, markets, organic farming, artists, and artisans – and, most recently, healers and wellness professionals. The landscape blends forests, meadows, beaches, mountains, lakes, the ocean, and rolling countryside. This is a great place to hike and see nature and wildlife, including many endangered species. There are endless adventures on Salt Spring Island, or just take in the scenery from your yacht’s aft deck.
About 40 nautical miles west of Vancouver, across the Strait of Georgia, begins the beautiful passage through the Gulf Islands to Vancouver Island. This journey is gorgeously rich in coastal forest and beautiful ocean vistas. At the southern tip of Vancouver Island sits Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, with an inner harbor that is the heart of the city. Well known for its museums, shops, and excellent restaurants, enjoy the culturally rich small city before saying goodbye to your yacht.
If you have been inspired by this itinerary don't miss our guide to five activities that make Vancouver the perfect family superyacht destination.