Find Your Flotation Device
There are many ways to get on the water, view sea life, find beaches and explore British Columbia’s rugged ocean shorelines.
Use our map search tools to find marinas with kayak, paddle board and boat rentals.
Adventure Tour Charters
Adventure Tour Charters are extended explorations of nature and culture aboard a vessel that is crewed, has a naturalist and sets an itinerary.
Ocean Boat Charters
Charters are of two types: Bareboat for experienced skippers, and Captained for those who prefer to leave the driving to someone else. Sail and power boats are available in a range of sizes. Large boats are normally captained. You will find charter companies in most regions.
Directories of ocean boat charters:
Boat Rentals and Tours
Boat rentals are available in most regions. Rental boats are usually smaller craft, rented for hours or days. Boat tours are scheduled or unscheduled explorations of harbours, local waters and natural wonders. Most include marine wildlife viewing. This is one of the best ways to see the best of the best up close.
Directories of boat rentals and tours:
Kayaks and Paddle Boards
There is no more intimate way to experience ocean waters than hugging the shore and exploring groups of islands in a kayak or atop a paddleboard. The coastland surrounding the Salish Sea, the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and deep fjords (Indian Arm, Howe Sound, Jervis Inlet, Desolation Sound) offer relatively protected paddling. So too do the Broken Group Islands, Tofino/Ucluelet area and the many deep fjords of Vancouver Island West. Keep in mind that sea conditions can change rapidly; plan your trip based on your experience and the advice of guides and outfitters.
Kayak and paddleboard rentals are widely available. So are guide/outfitters who will take you to special places with the safety of experienced leaders. The complete resource for ocean kayaking is BC Marine Trails — plan trips; find rentals, guides and lessons; and join the Marine Trails Network.
Main image at top of page: Near Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, credit Parks Canada