Welcome to the oldest community on Vancouver Island

Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, formerly a thriving fishing village on the BC coast. Heritage buildings and old village houses on the waterfront still speak of the early pioneer days, where a fish saltery was in 1870. The waterfront boardwalks, ferry dock and marinas bustle with life, but most vivid today is the living culture of the ‘Namgis First Nation of the Kwakwaka’wakw.

Joint message from the Village of Alert Bay, ‘Namgis First Nation and the Whe-la-la-U Area Council Society

To protect the residents and visitors of Cormorant Island during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village of Alert Bay, ‘Namgis First Nation and the Whe-la-la-U Area Council Society are providing notice of the restrictive protocols taking place on Cormorant Island. We encourage those visiting our island to follow the appropriate health behaviours to stay safe and keep others safe. If you do travel, you are encouraged to be as self-contained as possible with your provisions and accommodations.

Read the full message…

Internationally renowned as a centre for First Nation culture

Alert Bay is home of the Killer Whale. The vibrant blending of First Nation and pioneer cultures is remarkable example of cultures living side by side in harmony set in an unparalleled Northern Pacific wilderness environment.

The village’s elegant and acclaimed U’mista Cultural Centre, incorporated in 1974, is Canada’s longest-running First Nations museum and cultural centre. U’mista showcases the famed Potlatch Collection of ceremonial regalia, taken by Canadian authorities in 1922 during the potlatch ban era and finally returned in 1980.

Walking Tour

A themed walking tour stretches across the island from a roadside stand of memorial poles to the magnificent traditional Big House. Stops along the way will include the Alert Bay Library-Museum (with 6,500 historic photographs dating back to the mid 1800’s), main street gift shops featuring First Nations arts and crafts, and the world’s tallest totem pole. Traditional dance performances by the T’sasala Cultural Group are held in July and August in our authentic Big House.

Play in our Outdoor Playground

Alert Bay has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Cormorant Island is one of the stops and departure points for kayak tours, whale watching and fishing in Knight Inlet, Kingcome Inlet and the Broughton Archipelago. The island is a haven for birds, bird watchers, photo buffs and hikers along the boardwalks and trails throughout the community and ecological park.

To discover Cormorant Island’s rich blend of outdoor beauty, ancient First Nation culture and pioneer heritage you can take a scenic 45-minute BC Ferries ride to Alert Bay from Port McNeill, fly in on the 2,900 foot paved airstrip or moor at our full service boat harbour.

*Please note that proper permission is needed to visit the historical sites of the Kwakwaka’wakw. This can be obtained by calling the local First Nation offices or the U’mista Cultural Centre.

Getting Here

Drive BC – Provincial Highway Information
www.drivebc.com
Toll-Free: 1-800-550-4997

BC Ferries
www.bcferries.com
Toll-Free: 1-888-223-3779

Get Lost in Our Business
 Open for Business
Cabins and Cottages
Janet's Guest House
 Open for Business
Cultural Centres, Education, Galleries & Studios, History & Culture
Culture Shock Gallery
Kayaking
Alert Bay 360 Eco Paddle
 Open for Business
Cabins and Cottages, Resorts & Lodges
Alert Bay Cabins
 Open for Business
Hotels & Motels
Seine Boat Inn
 Open for Business
Hotels & Motels
Stay in the Bay
 Open for Business
Hotels & Motels
The Nimpkish Hotel
Galleries & Studios
Alert Bay ArtLoft Gallery
 Open for Business
Getting Here, Transportation
Waivin' Flags Taxi
 Open for Business
Cultural Centres, Cultural Tours, Education, Events, Galleries & Studios, History & Culture, Our People/First Nations
U'mista Cultural Centre
 Open for Business
Bed and Breakfasts, Resorts & Lodges
Alert Bay Lodge
 Open for Business
Campgrounds & RV Parks
Alert Bay Campground
 Open for Business
Dining & Shopping
Orca Inn Pub
 Open for Business
Boating, Sailing & Marinas
Alert Bay Boat Harbour
 Open for Business
Dining & Shopping
Hotels & Motels
The Bayside Inn & Grill
Cabins and Cottages
Alert Bay Accommodations
 Open for Business
Dining & Shopping
The Cook Shack
 Open for Business
Dining & Shopping
Bed and Breakfasts
Pass N'Thyme
 Open for Business
Adventures, Bear Viewing, Bird Watching, Hiking, Hiking Tours, Kayaking, Marine Tours, Nature Tours, Whale Watching
Midnight Sun Adventure Travel
 Open for Business
Adventures, Bird Watching, Marine Tours, Whale Watching
Seasmoke Whale Watching
 Open for Business
Cabins and Cottages
Sea Glass Cabin
 Open for Business
Cabins and Cottages
Sea Glass Suite
 Open for Business
Getting Here
BC Ferries

Real places shot by real people.

#GoNorthIsland