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When it comes to getting around the BC coast, most people naturally think BC Ferries. But when it comes to getting around Howe Sound, BC Ferries does not offer car ferry service to many destinations in Howe Sound. You can take a car ferry to Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast, but there are currently no plans for a Gambier/Keats,but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

If you don’t own your own boat (a subject that merits a whole other post for another day), you’ll be relying on the local water taxi and barging services to travel to your property and transport any materials you might need for construction.

Once you get the hang of it, using a water taxi service is a casual affair. You pack up the car, drive down to the dock, unload, park, and then swap stories and tips with your fellow islanders for the 20-60 minute ride to wherever it is you happen to be going. The boat drops you off on the dock of your choice along their milk-run that departs from typically Horseshoe Bay, and drops people off at points along Gambier and Keats Island.

The water taxi services currently operating in Howe Sound are:
Mercury Launch

What it offers: Water taxi, charter, barge and propane delivery service
Where it operates from: Horseshoe Bay
Where it goes: Operates a regular milk run covering the southern half of Gambier Island and Keats Island, which runs Wednesday evening and all throughout the weekend. Charters are also available covering Gambier communities such as Brigade Bay and Douglas Bay.
Schedule and rates: Check out their schedule and current rates here.

 

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Cormorant Marine

What it offers: Water taxi, charter, and barge service
Where it operates from: Horseshoe Bay and Snug Cove
Where it goes: Scheduled weekend runs covering the southern half of Gambier and Keats. Charters are also available to Gambier communities such as Brigade Bay and Douglas Bay.
Schedule and rates: Check out their schedule and current rates here.
BC Ferries

What it offers: Foot passenger-only service (no vehicles), via Kona Winds Yacht Charters.
Where it operates from: Langdale (on the Sunshine Coast)
Where it goes: Gambier Island (only to New Brighton, on the west side of the island) and Keats Island (Eastbourne and Keats Landing)
Schedule and rates: Boats run regularly throughout the week. The BC Ferries subsidy means that, at the time of publishing this post, passengers pay less than $7 per one-way trip.
Get the latest schedule and info here.
Coastal Launch

Offers: Charter service
Operates from Horseshoe Bay
Scheduled and Rates: Call Jeremy 1.604.740.2000

(Note that schedules, routes and fares are all subject to change. For the most up to date information, contact these companies directly.)