Port Hardy Info – Side Route
Port Hardy, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, sits at the very edge of rugged, coastal wilderness. Situated on the traditional territory of the Kwakiutl First Nation, the area is deeply-rooted in history, tradition, and culture. Totems and big houses stand tall and weathered throughout Port Hardy and the neighbouring community of Fort Rupert, telling of the indigenous history that began over 8,000 years ago.
Ride to the Prince Rupert Terminal at the west end of Route 16, 10 minutes south of the city of Prince Rupert and board the M.V. Northern Expedition, BC Ferry’s newest vessel – reservations are a must, so be sure to plan ahead. Cabins are available but limited on board and can be added at time of booking. Settle in for the spectacular 15-22 hour voyage through the Inside Passage along the northern BC coast.
The ferry is equipped with a restaurant, cafe, and lounge, so you can take in the incredible views as you relax and dine. You can book a reclining chair in the Lounge at the prow of the ship for the trip as well, which are set up theatre style looking out of the vessel’s windows.
The trip will take you along a series of forested fjords, waterfalls from hanging valleys formed during the last ice age, sea life, and historic points of interest. The ship stops in Bella Bella harbour before continuing south through open waters. This route operates from mid-May to the end of September.
Once you arrive, the pristine environment serves as a gateway to many outdoor activities including sport fishing, world class scuba diving, caving, kayaking, recreational boating, hiking, and nature viewing.
Explore the Hardy Bay Seawall, docks, and marinas; follow the winding trails through the kilometres of wild forest and shoreline; discover Port Hardy’s rich First Nations history and colourful past; tour the local shops and artisan boutiques; enjoy unparalleled views as you relax with a great meal; or head out to the rugged and wild West Coast on a guided day trip.