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WorldNorthern AmericaCanada

An online cruising guide for yachts sailing around Canada.

lat=60 | lon=-95 | zoom=2 | y
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
Capital Ottawa
Language English, French
Currency Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Time zone (UTC−3.5 to −8) , DST: (UTC−2.5 to −7)
Calling code +1

An overview of sailing and cruising on Canada's coasts and waterways is of course a daunting task. After all, Canada is the second largest country on earth with extensive coastlines on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans, all but one (Michigan) of the Great Lakes and innumerable smaller lakes and waterways. No single description of cruising conditions, weather patterns, or other classifications can be applied except perhaps for one: no tropical climate here (even so, the weather on the Great Lakes is generally warm and humid during the summer months...) Coastal navigation on all coasts can be challenging because of topography which often contributes to strong tidal currents. Careful planning and navigation are required. The Great Lakes, of course, are huge fresh water reservoirs and are not subject to tidal influences.


The Canadian Hydrographic Service produces charts in both paper and digital formats.


  • Environment Canada issues official marine forecasts several times a day for most major settlements and waterways on the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific coasts and the major inland lakes. Marine forecasts are also broadcast continuously, in English and French, on the VHF WX channels near major waterways and shipping routes


Canada Gulf Islands



Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Any navigation notes here.



First arrival MUST be made at a port of entry. Contact Customs on 1-888-CANPASS. CANPASS is a program to streamline customs and immigration clearance. Customs will require:

  • Vessel's name
  • Registration number
  • Last port of call
  • List of ports intending to visit
  • Each crewmembers' full name, date of birth, nationality, purpose of visit and length of stay in Canada or, in the case of returning residents, length of absence.
  • All personal goods being imported, including firearms and ammunition as well as alcohol and tobacco products, must be declared. Wine in excess of a handful of bottles is taxed. 1-888-CANPASS accepts duty payment via credit card.

You will then either be cleared to leave the area and enter Canada, or notified to wait for a customs or immigration officer to complete documents or conduct an examination. At the conclusion of the customs process, you will receive a "report number". This number should be displayed in a suitable place where it is visable to inspectors.



Customs and Immigration


  • Firearms and ammunition MUST be declared on arrival
  • PETS:- Dogs and cats require a rabies vaccination certificate or certificate stating rabies-free status. Those from the United States require the certificate to be signed and dated by a veterinarian indicating that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years. This certificate must provide sufficient description and detail to enable adequate identification. The Rabies Certificate must be valid for 12 months and dated at least 30 days prior to entry into Canada


Visas: Full current information on the Official Webpage. A six month stay is normally granted.

NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States (Canadian and American crews). Full current details on the Official NEXUS Webpage.

Health and Security

Submit any health warnings/information and any security details here.


Atlantic Region

(The coasts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, including the Bay of Fundy), Newfoundland and Labrador, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Laurence River to and beyond Montreal)

Pacific Region

(The coast of British Columbia including the Inside Passage to Alaska)

Great Lakes

(St. Lawrence River west of Montreal's locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway),Lake Ontario, the Welland Canal that by-passes Niagara Falls, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay (including the North Channel), Lake Superior)

Northwest Passage and Hudson Bay

(For the truly intrepid...)


This Wiki will attempt to cover only those ports that would be of particular interest to cruising yachts.

Also see Great Lakes.

Island icon.png = Island Poe.jpg = Port of entry, Marina icon.png = Marina, Harbour icon.png = Harbor, Anchor Icon.png = Anchorage, Question icon.png = Needs data.

Nova Scotia New Brunswick Prince Edward
Halifax Poe.jpg
LaHave Poe.jpg
Lunenburg Poe.jpg
Parrsboro Poe.jpg
Pictou Poe.jpg
Port Medway Poe.jpg
Pugwash Poe.jpg
Sheet Harbour Poe.jpg
Sherburne Poe.jpg)
Yarmouth Poe.jpg
Caraquet Poe.jpg
Chatham Poe.jpg
Dalhousie Poe.jpg
Newcastle Poe.jpg
Saint John Poe.jpg
St Andrews Poe.jpg
Charlottetown Poe.jpg
Summerside Poe.jpg)
Argentia Poe.jpg
Corner Brook Poe.jpg
Fortune Poe.jpg)
Harbour Grace Poe.jpg
St John's Poe.jpg)
Also see:
Saint Pierre and
Miquelon islands
Island icon.png (France)
Quebec Ontario Gulf Islands North West
Gaspe Poe.jpg
Port Alfred Poe.jpg
Rimouski Poe.jpg
Riviere du Loup Poe.jpg
Brockville Poe.jpg
Cornwall Poe.jpg
Goderich Poe.jpg
Kingston Poe.jpg
Portsmouth Olympia Harbour Harbour icon.png
Toronto Poe.jpg
Welland Poe.jpg
Sarnia Poe.jpg
Lake Huron)
Gabriola Island Island icon.png
Galiano Island Island icon.png
Pender Island Poe.jpg
Saltspring Island Island icon.png
Thetis Island Island icon.png
Frobisher Poe.jpg
Grand Manan British Columbia Vancouver Island
North Head Harbour Poe.jpg
Kitimat Poe.jpg
Prince Rupert Harbour Poe.jpg
Vancouver Poe.jpg
Campbell River
Comox Poe.jpg
Nanaimo Poe.jpg
Port Alberni Poe.jpg
Port HardyPoe.jpg
Sidney Poe.jpg
Victoria Poe.jpg


List transportation (local and/or international.)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

The Dreamspeaker Guides by Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones cover the area around Vancouver Island in great depth in six volumes. Their focus is on lovely anchorages as much as on Marinas and services. The individual volumes are:

  • Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones, Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide Series: The Gulf Islands & Vancouver Island: Victoria & Sooke to Nanaimo, Volume 1, Harbour (March 10, 2006), ISBN 978-1550174021
  • Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones, Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide Series: Desolation Sound & the Discovery Islands: Volume 2, Harbour 2nd edition (March 10, 2006), ISBN 978-1550174045
  • Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones, Vancouver, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast: A Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide, Volume 3, Harbour (January 1, 2003), ISBN 978-1551924670
  • Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones, A Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide: Vol. 4 - The San Juan Islands, Fine Edge Productions; 1st edition (April 11, 2005), ISBN 978-1932310160
  • Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones, Dreamspeaker Cruising Guide Series: The Broughtons: Vancouver Island, Kelsey Bay to Port Hardy, Volume 5, Harbour (September 12, 2006), ISBN 978-1550174069
  • Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones, A Dreamspeaker Crusing Guide, Vol. 6: The West Coast of Vancouver Island, Fine Edge Productions; 1st edition (January 1, 2009), ISBN 978-1932310382

More information can be found at Dreamspeaker Guides Website.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Mousle1, Rolf Oetter, Flandria

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