Cortes Museum Cruises

These cruises are in partnership with the Cortes Island Museum and Archives Society. They feature a local naturalist/historian, and have a social and natural history focus. For more local history, as well as visitor info and more, please visit the CIMAS website:


Mitlenatch Island

May 30, 2024

10am-5pm, departing from the Cortes Bay government dock



Natural Aspects of Western Cortes

July 4, 2020

9am-4pm, departing from the Gorge Harbour Marina Resort


Join us for this rich, varied, and rare view of Cortes Island!

 George Sirk will guide your natural history experience through the legendary Gorge Harbour – an unusual island sea, whose entrance, “THE GORGE pumps in and out millions of gallons of fresh tidal seawater daily. Journey past shellfish farms, the mouth of the Anvil Lake Creek, round Ring and Tan Islands, to the 300-foot sheer cliffs that plunge a further 60 feet into the water. Timed with ‘slack water’ this is your chance to drift slowly past rock walls encrusted with anemones, gumboot chitons, crabs, coral, and the rare Giant Barnacle! The harbour, narrows and cliffs have been home to the First Nations peoples for millennia, and pictographs can still be seen to this day painted in ochre.

 Beyond the Gorge we will skirt the Heather Islets making landfall (by Zodiac) on sandy Shark Spit, Marina Island. Bring out your picnic lunch, stretch your legs, beachcomb, and enjoy this wild expanse. The adventure continues after lunch into Carrington Bay for a stop at the “reversing rapids” with an overview of the cultural history of the float house community of the 70’s & 80’s.

 The journey back includes tiny Centre Islet- a rich seabird colony of Pigeon Guillemots, Glacous-winged Gulls, Black Oystercatchers; with luck we will see the glorious and raucous, Caspian Terns, who have recently colonized the Salish Sea. Be on the lookout for Humpback whales, sealions, dolphins and maybe an orca or two!

 This trip is your chance to experience the diversity of marine and animal life of Western Cortes up close and personal—and have some plain old fun!


Laughing Oyster Restaurant

Departs from the Cortes Bay government dock


$175 (not including dinner)

Join Misty Isles on August 5th for an evening cruise deep into Okeover Inlet where a table awaits us at the The Laughing Oyster! Beautifully nestled on the east side of the Malaspina Peninsula, The Laughing Oyster has been showcasing fresh, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients from both land and sea since 1998. Known for it’s unique searing and spice cooking techniques, The Laughing Oyster offers a diverse menu including vegetarian and vegan meals, as well as a broad spectrum cocktail bar. As always, swim stops will most definitely be a part of this culinary pilgrimage to “The End of The Road”.


Háthayim (Von Donop) Marine Provincial Park

Aug 28

9am-4pm, departing from the Gorge Harbour Marina Resort 


On the northwestern reaches of Cortes Island, a slender saltwater inlet projects itself from Sutil Channel into a biodiverse wilderness known as Háthayim. For centuries, human beings have sought shelter and sustenance alongside the steep sided fjords, old growth forests, and tidal estuaries. An army of high functioning ecosystems within Háthayim have led to its designation as a 1,277-hectare marine park.

Join Misty Isles for a pilgrimage by sea to engage in one of the most revered marine parks of the inside passage. Local guides and historians will lend narrative and interpretation while we parallel the Discovery Islands for a look at a wilderness where no road exists.


Come sailing with us!

Desolation Sound Tours | Cruising Charters | Mitlenatch Tours