Premier Listings for Princess Margaret Marine Park

Princess Margaret is located on Portland Island, east of Satellite Channel and north of Sidney on Vancouver Island. Portland Island was presented to Princess Margaret in 1958 to commemorate her visit to British Columbia. In 1967 the princess returned it to the province for preservation as a marine park.

There are several middens in the park that indicate native use of the land dating back over 3,000 years. Middens are refuse heaps of castaway shells left by centuries of harvesting the island’s waters. Classified as archaeological sites, the middens are protected under British Columbia law and may not be disturbed.

Portland Island was named after the H.M.S Portland, the flagship of Rear-Admiral Moresby, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Station from 1850 to 1853. The island was named in 1859 by Captain G.H Richards of the H.M.S Plumper.

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Like all of the Canadian Gulf Islands, Portland Island lies in the rain shadow of the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island. Little rain falls during the summer months and many of the plants growing on shallow soils must contend with long dry periods. Arbutus, Garry Oak and Brittle Cactus are found on the island.

Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks are often seen overhead, and Oystercatchers and the Great Blue Heron frequent the island’s shoreline. Black-tailed Deer, Mink and River Otters are amongst the animals sighted on the island. Raccoons are numerous on Portland Island, so be sure to secure all food supplies in containers – a tent is not a secure container! There are several trails for an energetic hike, or you can simply explore the beautiful beaches and bays. Swimming, diving, kayaking and fishing are other recreational options.

BC’s first artificial reef, the sunken freighter G.B. Church, lies off the northeast shore of Portland Island. The scuttled ship now serves as a haven for marine organisms and is an attraction for scuba divers.

The picturesque 194-hectare park has three wilderness campsites for overnight use: Arbutus Point, Shell Beach opposite Brackman Island, and Princess Bay campground and day-use area. Fresh water is available, and toilet facilities are located at all campgrounds and the day-use area.

Anchorages include Royal Cove on the north side of the island, and Princess Bay and Pellow Islets to the south. A ferry runs twice daily from the pier in Sidney to Portland Island.

Princess Margaret is a part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, one of Canada’s newest national parks. The park protects a portion of British Columbia’s beautiful southern Gulf Islands – a landscape of rocky headlands, forested hills and shorelines studded with colourful tidepools. The park resembles a patchwork quilt of protected lands scattered over 15 larger islands, and many smaller islets and reefs.

Nearby Regions & Towns

Park Notices

More Information
Parks Canada – British Columbia
Box 129, 23433 Mavis Avenue
Fort Langley, BC, V1M 2R5
Phone: 604-513-4777

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
2220 Harbour Road
Sidney, BC, V8L 2P6
Phone: 250-654-4000

Premier Listings

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Orca Spirit Adventures
Trip Departures: Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel – Marina Level 146 Kingston Street Victoria BC V8V 1V4 Phone: 250-383-8411Fax: 250-383-4666Toll Free: 1-888-672-6722Visit Website

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Orca Spirit Adventures is Victoria’s premier whale watching company, offering carbon-neutral covered vessel and zodiac tours led by certified marine naturalists whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry.

Tours are three hours in length, with April through October being the ideal whale watching months. In this peak season, Orca Spirit Adventures boasts a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including humpback whales, Bigg’s and resident orcas (killer whales), and gray whales!

Other wildlife you may encounter include harbour seals and elephant seals, sea lions, Dall’s and harbour porpoises, otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles.

Unlucky tour? Join us again using our WHALE GUARANTEE for a complimentary whale watching tour!

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Eagle Wing Tours Whale Watching
1 Dallas Road Fisherman’s Wharf Near Pier #2 Next to Barb’s Fish And Chips Victoria BC V8V 0B2 Phone: 250-384-8008Toll Free: 1-800-708-9488Visit Website

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EXPLORE. INSPIRE. CONSERVE. Rated Victoria’s #1 whale watching company on Trip Advisor since 2007, Eagle Wing Tours guarantees adventure and the most transformative marine experiences on the Salish Sea. With four vessels, multiple daily departures, and our knowledgeable and passionate staff we consistently provide our guests with the marine wildlife experience of a lifetime!

Environmental stewardship and sustainability are core values of our family-owned, award-winning company. We are Canada’s first 100% carbon-neutral whale-watching company. We are certified Platinum with Green Tourism Canada. And we are proud to support 1% for the Planet and many other conservation initiatives that directly benefit the Salish Sea and its inhabitants.

You will come as a tourist but return with a deeper understanding and passion for this incredible ecosystem.

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Classic Yacht Charters
101 – 5170 Dunster Road Nanaimo BC V9T 6M4 Phone: 250-668-2220Visit Website

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Craving a change from the ‘everyday’? Dreaming of running away to sea? Welcome aboard our historical ‘Mission Ship’. Design your private voyage into BC’s coastal playground. Indulge your interests: fishing, clamming, rowing, kayaking, whale watching… Cruise in comfort and safety with our Coast Guard licensed Captain and crew. Discover how your chef turns meal times into taste extravaganzas.

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Five Star Whale Watching Adventures
651 Humboldt Street Victoria BC V8W 1A6 Phone: 250-388-7223Fax: 250-388-5474Toll Free: 1-800-634-9617Visit Website

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Five Star Whale Watching helps you discover the picturesque southern Vancouver Island, Victoria, and the Gulf Islands, home to the largest population of Killer Whales (Orcas) in the world. Come aboard one of our two 40-passenger Expedition Catamarans, each of which combines comfort, speed, safety, and your choice of 3 viewing platforms. With 20 years experience watching whales we offer more that just a “point and photograph” tour.

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Genoa Bay Marina
Unit #1 5100 Genoa Bay Road Genoa Bay Duncan BC V9L 5Y8 Phone: 250-746-7621Fax: 250-746-7621Toll Free: 1-800-572-6481Visit Website

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Genoa Bay Marina offers lush tree-lined shores, towering vistas, and sheltered moorage. Our prices are affordable, and our services include Transient and Permanent Moorage, a General and Marine Store, Car and Video/DVD rental, Laundry, Showers and Washrooms, Fax service, Postal services, Internet and email access, and the Genoa Bay Cafe. Shipwright and Mechanical services are also available.

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