Boat Tours

Join us on the water to explore the region’s history!

The Museum at Campbell River offers summer historic boat tours in partnership with Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours. Each trip explores the history of the region from the comfort of one of their boats that include both indoor and outdoor seating areas, and an on-board washroom. As well as an experienced Captain, there is an on-board naturalist who is constantly on the lookout for wildlife to point out, and a Museum Guide to share the fascinating stories of people who have lived in the Discovery Islands region.   

Trip Destinations

Ripple Rock & Discovery Passage

Take a deep dive into the history of Discovery Passage with a special focus on the monumental undertaking to blast the top off Ripple Rock, the infamous marine hazard in the middle of Seymour Narrows. Explore the bays of Granite, Duncan and Menzies and hear the stories from Indigenous history to early logging, commercial fishing, and life on the coast. This trip includes a delicious meal at Brown’s Bay Resort.

Please note, the meal with tea/coffee and a gratuity are included in the tour fee. Any additional cocktails or specialty drinks can be purchased by the individual traveler.

Date: May 19

Redonda Islands & Waddington Channel

East and West Redonda Island are known for their topography with towering peaks and the deepest waters of Desolation Sound. Travel to the places first charted by Captain Vancouver when he sailed in 1792 and learn how people once occupied this part of the coast. As you cruise around the southern tip of Quadra Island, past Mitlenatch, Twin, and Hernando Islands to enter Desolation Sound you will hear heart thumping stories of the challenges of establishing a home, building a community and making a living in this very rugged terrain. You will wind your way through Waddington Channel with a stop to see the stunning Cassel Falls located within Teakerne Arm Provincial Park.

Dates: For the May 26 trip, passengers will be asked to pack a lunch while Aug 4 trip includes a catered lunch box on board.

Thurlow Islands

These islands are a hidden treasure among some of the most breathtaking scenery. Although sparsely inhabited today, the Thurlow Islands have a rich history from Indigenous villages to logging camps, forestry stations, commercial fishing, and gold mines. On the way up, travel through Seymour Narrows and over the historic Ripple Rock site. Stretch your legs as you enjoy a delicious meal at Blind Channel Resort and hear a brief chat with a member of the Richter family, who have been living on West Thurlow Island for several generations. A special Museum menu has been developed for these tours. click here to see menu.

Please note, the meal with tea/coffee and a gratuity are included in the tour fee. Any additional cocktails or specialty drinks can be purchased by the individual traveler.

Dates: June 2, June 16 (Father’s Day), June 19, July 3, July 7, Aug 11, Aug 14

Desolation Sound

Experience the myriad bays and inter-connected coves nestled among the small islands of Desolation Sound. Retrace areas explored by Captain Vancouver of England and Captains Galiano and Valdez of Spain in 1792. The tour views the rugged beauty of the coastal mountains as we imagine daily life for people of the Sound. Special trips to Desolation Sound include a “Romance on the Rapids” themed sunset tour on June 30 with stories of love, lust, and heartbreak on the coast. Two trips will also include a visit into Malaspina Inlet to see the area made famous by broadcaster Grant Lawrence and his podcasts about growing up in Desolation Sound.

Dates: June 9, June 30, July 21 includes catered lunch
July 28 & Aug 25, Sept 1 please bring your own lunch

*June 30 – Special Romantic themed sunset tour
*July 28 & Aug 25 include visit to Malaspina Peninsula

Sonora Island

Cruising past Quadra, Read, Maurelle, and Stuart Islands to reach Sonora Island, you will experience the area’s notorious tidal rapids, and hear tales of the hardy characters that struggled to make a living and a home in the area. Hear tales of their hardship, perseverance, innovation, and sometimes, economic ruin as you cruise past the many landmarks along the way. Stretch your legs at Dent Island Lodge and indulge in a delicious meal at the remote marina.

Please note, the meal with tea/coffee and a gratuity are included in the tour fee. Any additional cocktails or specialty drinks can be purchased by the individual traveler.

Dates: June 23 summer solstice dinner, July 14, July 24

Discovery Islands

The Discovery Islands are alive with history! Travel to the islands first charted by Captain Vancouver when he sailed through in 1792, see where First Nations and early settlers occupied this part of the coast and learn about life in remote logging camps and float houses, where the only news from the outside world arrived with the Union Steamships. You’ll hear about the characters who lived and worked on the Discovery Islands including Quadra, Read, Maurelle, and Stewart, to mention only a few in the complex chain of islands that make up this region. A catered box picnic will be enjoyed at Big Bay. Please note, the lunch location includes a walk up a steep dock ramp.

Dates: July 17, July 31

Cortes Island

Explore the nooks and crannies of the bays, inlets and coastline of Cortes with a full circumnavigation of the island. Stop for a catered box meal on board in one of the beautiful bays and hear stories of the intriguing history of logging, forest management, float home communities, settler farms, and the devastating whaling industry of 1860’s. You’ll weave through Lewis Channel, cruise past Twin Islands and its royal connections, past Hernando with its sandy beaches and Marina Island.

Dates: Aug 18

Partner

We are grateful to be partnering with Campbell River Whale Watching to present these Historical boat tours. This innovative company plays a leadership role in environmental stewardship to protect our wildlife so we can continue to enjoy and marvel at the stunning place we live in.
> Read more

Member Benefits

Members of the Museum at Campbell River are eligible for an 8% discount on prices. This discount will be given to members in good standing in the form of an 8% refund issued after the trip.

2024 Schedule

Members of the Museum at Campbell River are eligible for an 8% discount on prices. This discount will be given to members in good standing in the form of an 8% refund issued after the trip.

Date Time available Tour name Cost
May-19 10:30 am - 2:30 pm (4 hours) Ripple Rock & Discovery Passage with lunch stop at Browns Bay Resort $245
May-26 1:30 pm - 6:30 pm (5 hours) Redonda Islands & Waddington Channel with a visit to Cassel Falls. Bring your own lunch to eat on board. $255
Jun-2 10:30 am - 3:30 pm (5 hours) Thurlow Islands with a lunch stop at Blind Channel Resort $285
Jun-9 1:30 pm - 6:30 pm (5 hours) Desolation Sound with stop at Refuge Cove to eat a catered lunch on the dock. $250
Jun-16 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm (5 hours) Thurlow Islands with a dinner stop at Blind Channel Resort $315
June 19 (Wed) 10:30 am - 3:30 pm (5 hours) Thurlow Islands with a lunch stop at Blind Channel Resort $285
Jun-23 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm (6 hours) Sonora Island with a dinner stop at Dent Island Lodge to mark the summer Solstice. $465
Jun-30 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm (5 hours) Desolation Sound with a catered dinner on board. Special romantic themed sunset tour. $270
July 3 (Wed) 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm (5 hours) Thurlow Islands with a dinner stop at Blind Channel Resort $315
Jul-7 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm (5 hours) Thurlow Islands with a dinner stop at Blind Channel Resort $315
Jul-14 10:30 am - 3:30 pm (5 hours) Sonora Island with a lunch stop at Dent Island Lodge $295
July 17 (Wed) 10:00 am - 3:00 pm (5 hours) Discovery Islands Tour (Stuart, Read, Maurelle) with a catered lunch on the dock at Big Bay. $250
Jul-21 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (5 hours) Desolation Sound with a catered lunch to enjoy on board the boat. $270
July 24 (Wed) 10:00 am - 3:00 pm (5 hours) Sonora Island with a lunch stop at Dent Island Lodge $295
Jul-28 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (4 hours) Desolation Sound with a special focus on Malaspina Peninsula. Bring your own lunch to enjoy on board the boat. $220
July 31 (Wed) 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm (5 hours) Discovery Islands Tour (Stuart, Read, Maurelle) with a catered lunch on the dock at Big Bay. $250
Aug-4 7:30 am - 12:30 pm (5 hours) Redonda Islands & Waddington Channel with a visit to Cassel Falls. A catered lunch on board will be offered. $275
Aug-11 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm (5 hours) Thurlow Islands with a dinner stop at Blind Channel Resort $315
Aug. 14 (Wed) 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm (5 hours) Thurlow Islands with a dinner stop at Blind Channel Resort $315
Aug-18 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (5 hours) Exploring Cortes Island Coast with a catered lunch on board at one of the beautiful bays. $270
Aug-25 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (4 hours) Desolation Sound with a special focus on Malaspina Peninsula. Bring your own lunch to enjoy on board the boat. $220
Sep-1 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (4 hours) Desolation Sound Exploration. Bring your own lunch to enjoy on board the boat. $220

*Prices are per person plus GST. If purchasing online, a 6% online processing fee will be added. All passengers will meet 30 minutes before the scheduled departure. Customers will receive a full refund on cancelations up to 48 hours of tour date. No refunds will be issued within 48 hours of trip. For more information about registration, please contact Lorna or Edna at Visitor Services at the Museum at 250-287-3103. They will be happy to assist.

If the trip you want is full, please call us at 250-287-3103 to be added to the wait list. More spaces are sometimes added on short notice dependent on weather conditions.

Museum at Campbell River respectfully acknowledges the Liǧʷiɫdax̌ʷ First Nation, on whose traditional lands we work to preserve, interpret and share the collective human history of North Vancouver Island. The Liǧʷiɫdax̌ʷ First Nation is comprised of the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations. Our closest neighbors are the Coast Salish Xwemalhkwu, Klahoose and K’ómoks First Nations.

These nations have close connections to the land where Campbell River is located today.

Scroll to Top