Vancouver, British Columbia is your gateway to the Salish Sea. Scheduled flights from every major airline arrive daily at Vancouver International and four lane highways lead into this city of one million people from the south and east. Flying time from Chicago is 3 hours 30 minutes. The drive from Seattle is 45 minutes less.
With its international culture, superb resturants and night life, Vancouver makes a great waypoint on your dive vacation.
You can connect via regional airlines to most of the dive travel designations listed here. However for many it is more convenient and fun to travel by car and ferry to one of these destinations.
|Destination||By Air||By Car /Ferry||Dive Charters||Hotels /Motels||Dive Resorts||Notes|
|Bamfield||-||4:10/6:37||1||+||1||This is a one-resort option that is different from the others listed here because it is on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The folks at Rondezvous Adventures report that during the winter months, visibility can be as much as 100 feet. If they pick you up in Port Alberni, you will shave more than two hours off your travel time.|
|Campbell River||Regional||4:30||1||++++||-||At the beginning of the north end of Vancouver Island, Campbell River is a town of 30 thousand. It offers lots of hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities beyond scuba diving... and it's just two hours drive north from the Nanaimo ferry.|
|Comox||Regional||6:37||1||++++||1||Comox is a popular tourist destination. There is only one dive charter but its located directly across the Straight of Georgia from Powell River. Travelers who want to survey multiple dive location may want to plan a circuit up the Sunshine Coast to Egmont or Powell River, followed by a stay in Comox and finally in Nanaimo or Victory.|
|Egmont||Float plane||3:29||1||++||2||This village offers two dive resorts. Being a little closer, it's a popular weekend destination for local divers from Vancouver.|
|Hornby Island||-||5:09||1||++||1||Visitors need to take three ferries to get from Vancouver to Hornby Island, a community of fewer than 1000 residents. There are many great dive sites that are home to creatures found throughout the Salish Sea. However the big attraction of this destination is the opportunity to dive with Stellar Sea Lions.|
|Horseshoe Bay||-||0:20||1||+||-||Less than 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, this town has a large marina and a motel offering discounts to divers. If you go on to Nanaimo on the Sunshine coast, you will catch the ferry here. It's the perfect destination for divers who only have limited time. Sea Dragon Charters, the local dive charter operator, now offers equipment rental as well, making simple add a diving experience to your visit.|
|Nanaimo||Regional||3:01||3+||+++++||-||You can fly to Nanaimo from any US city, check into a hotel and be ready to board a dive charger the next morning. Easier to get to than some locations, having lots of accommodation options, and a wide array of dive sites, it's also a popular destination visitors arriving by car.|
|Port Hardy||Regional||7:31||3||+++||2||Providing access to God's Pocket Marine Park and Browning Wall, Part Hardy is perhaps the ultimate destination in the Salish Sea, particularly for those divers who want to see rare and colorful creatures. However the remoteness of this location is a challenge for many. That being said, dive resorts in this area book out 6-24 months in advance.|
|Powell River||Regional||4:51||3+||++++||2||Powell River offers a large number of accommodation and dive options. Those visiting on a limited budget, can find economical accommodations and access to several excellent shore dives.|
|Victoria / Sydney||International||3:12||3+||+++++||1||Victoria is a city of about 80 thousand and the Provincial capital. In addition to having many diving options, there is lots to see and do in the city.|