By CHLOË LAI
If city life doesn’t float your boat, sail away from it all with Pacific Ferries’ day tours through Howe Sound. Your trip to tranquillity begins at 9 a.m., when the sleek foot-passenger ferry launches from Coal Harbour’s public dock. Settle into the open-air viewing area for panoramic views of Stanley Park, Lighthouse Park and Horseshoe Bay, as well as several Gulf Islands. To get the tour guide’s scoop on the scenery, have a seat inside the vessel—windows along both sides mean you won’t miss a thing.
Cruise into Gibsons Landing on the Sunshine Coast and wander off on your own to navigate charming galleries and boutiques in search of locally made treasures. Discover memorabilia left over from the days when the beloved Canadian TV show The Beachcombers filmed here—a drink at Molly’s Reach is the best place to start. Then it’s all aboard once more as the ferry sets sail for Bowen Island.
As you pass between Gambier and Keats islands on the way to Bowen, the guide entertains with local gossip about island life and the stunning houses tucked away along the waterfront. Once ashore, explore Snug Cove, stock up on sea-themed souvenirs, or have lunch on a scenic patio. Seeking solitude? Amble up the road to the fragrant woods of Crippen Regional Park to find hidden viewpoints and a heritage garden.
If getting back to Coal Harbour at 3 p.m. seems too rushed, rest easy: advance requests to stay overnight and return on the next day’s ferry won’t rock the boat.