Salish Sea

Large urban centres give way to island wonderlands

Near Egmont, credit Destination BC/TomRyan

Warm and Welcoming

The Salish Sea (also known as Georgia Strait) is framed by Vancouver Island, the British Columbia coastline and Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Its protected waters offer a world of sailing experiences from urban waterways to mile-deep fjords and mazes of islands and passageways. The Salish Sea is studded with hospitable marinas, which means you can plan a voyage where hospitality and provisions are always nearby, even as you enjoy mountainous coastlines, waters full of marine life and that cozy cove all by yourself.

Tour the many worlds of the Salish Sea

The Salish Sea offers protected boating, warm weather and water, natural wonders and a host of communities, each with its own personality. Voyage across open waters or explore archipelagos where the only sounds are the cries of eagles and the thwoop of a humpback whale’s tail. The region is rich in First Nations culture and much of the land is still in its natural state when only the Aboriginal Peoples inhabited it. Explore nature, and find yourself.

Fresh BC-style cuisine, hospitality, berths and services are plentiful, but diminish as you go north. Sojourn into surreal and quiet places, find that secret cove and then return for your reward. We recommend you try our award winning British Columbia wines and ales at every stop. Sport fishing, crab trapping and clam hunting are good nearly everywhere, but improve as you journey north. Wildlife viewing follows a similar pattern. Adventure tour charters will take you to the best places and teach you about the natural history.

The Salish Sea offers a natural circle tour. Vancouver/Howe Sound, the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island East can each be visited with trip lengths of less than a week. But plan on staying longer. There is so much to see, so much to taste and so much quiet to enjoy.

We encourage you to explore the regions of the Salish Sea using the map tool and the links to marinas, communities and nautical aides.

  • Vancouver / Howe Sound

    Vancouver / Howe Sound

    Vancouver is ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world. You can explore much of the cityscape by water and moor at several marinas.

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  • Sunshine Coast / Princess Louisa Inlet

    Sunshine Coast / Princess Louisa Inlet

    The Sunshine Coast is a popular destination and a route to Princess Louisa Inlet, Desolation Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest.

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  • Gulf Islands

    Gulf Islands

    The Gulf Islands are the most visited region on the BC coast. Close knit, over 200 islands with fascinating shorelines, warm waters and a sub-Mediterranean climate.

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  • Vancouver Island East

    Vancouver Island East

    A voyage up Vancouver Island’s east coast offers a variety of natural splendour, open waters and intricate passage ways and plenty of amenities for the hungry and thirsty boater.

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  • Desolation Sound

    Desolation Sound

    Desolation Sound is a tiny region but we highlight it because it offers an experience beyond civilization, within the sheltered, warm waters of the Salish Sea.

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Main image at top of page: Near Egmont, credit Destination BC/TomRyan