View of Desolation Sound from Cortes Island

(Richard Trueman photo)

Cortes Island

Transportation & Maps

Cortes Island is accessible via Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

The most popular route is via BC Ferries: a short ferry ride first embarks at Quadra Island, and a quick drive across island connects to another ferry terminal. From here, a scenic 45-minute crossing brings you to Cortes Island.

Floatplane and water taxi service is also available from multiple locations.

Getting to Cortes Island by Car

To get to Campbell River, drive north from Victoria or Nanaimo on Hwy 19. For a more scenic drive, take Hwy 19A north from Parksville. From the ferry terminal in downtown Campbell River, a 10-minute ferry across current-swept Discovery Pass will take you to Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island. It is a short, well-marked drive to Heriot Bay, where a ferry departs 6 times daily for the 45-minute sailing to Whaletown on Cortes Island.

No car? No problem. Passengers can access the island via the Cortes Connection, a scheduled shuttle bus service that departs from Campbell River. Seating is limited, so reservations are recommended.

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Cortes Island