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  Category   BC Ferries: Port Hardy to Bella Coola & Discovery Coast
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The Discovery Coast extends from Port Hardy to Bella Coola on the Central Coast, and includes the communities of McLoughlin Bay, Bella Bella, Denny Island (Shearwater), Klemtu, Ocean Falls, and the Hakai Pass area.

Vehicles and Passengers

Sailing Time: June to September

Information on Port Hardy
View map of Port Hardy

Information on Namu, Bella Bella, Denny Island (Shearwater), Klemtu, Ocean Falls, and Hakai Pass .
View map of the route

Click on the map to view a large scale map of Vancouver Island and Coastal British Columbia Ferry Routes.
Check current schedules, fares, vehicle reservations and additional information directly with BC Ferries. Reservations are required for passenger and vehicle travel along our Discovery Coast Passage between Port Hardy and Bella Coola.

Until BC Ferries launched its Discovery Coast Passage run in the summer of 1996, the Central Coast was also largely inaccessible by water. Now, to the delight of adventurers and locals alike, from June to September the Queen of Chilliwack connects the community of Port Hardy, at the northeastern end of Vancouver Island, with Bella Coola. Sail direct, or enjoy optional stops at McLoughlin Bay, Denny Island (Shearwater), Klemtu, Ocean Falls and Bella Coola.

The Queen of Chilliwack
The Queen of Chilliwack is a working freight boat, serving the needs of the local communities. It's just as well that luxuries aboard this refurbished Norwegian vessel don't distract from the scenery, which is spectacular, with long fjords and narrow channels forming the backdrop to the Inside Passage. The roughest portion of the trip is just out of Port Hardy, as the ferry navigates the unprotected waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. This is a good time for a nap. The most stunning scenery is between Bella Bella and Bella Coola.

With the setting sun behind you, the monolithic rock formations looming over the narrow Burke Channel give the cruise a European flavour. You'll get an even better look at the scenic Dean Channel during daylight hours if you board the ferry in Bella Coola for the southbound sailing. Weather permitting, the ship's two upper decks are an excellent vantage point from which to watch for the logging camps, barge houses, and abandoned settlements that indicate a human presence on this rugged coastline. Although Natives have inhabited the area for thousands of years, the inhospitable terrain has limited development and exploration by European settlers until comparatively recently. Wildlife viewing - the ferry slows for orcas - is another bonus of this trip. Don't forget your binoculars.

Facilities aboard the Queen of Chilliwack include reclining sleeper seats, a cafeteria, and small licenced lounge, a gift shop and - a boon for kayakers - pay showers. Service is friendly, the food is better-than-average for BC Ferries, and there is a staff member dedicated to customer service who can assist you with your onboard needs or travel plans.

If you are travelling with a vehicle, reservations are a must. For more details and reservations, contact BC Ferries in Canada at (888) 223-3779 or (250) 386-3431.

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