Alert Bay – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, formerly a thriving fishing village on the BC coast, is the oldest community on northern Vancouver Island. 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.

Alert Bay is 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.

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.


Alert Bay Accommodations

Choose On the Beach or Above the Bay (suite or house) accommodations in Alert Bay. After a day of whale watching, fishing, exploring the island’s ... Read More

Alert Bay Lodge

Located on the south shore of Cormorant Island, Alert Bay Lodge looks over Johnstone and the Vancouver Island Mountain Range. We include a hot breakfa ... Read More


Alert Bay Cabins

Welcome to Alert Bay Cabins, located off the north east coast of Vancouver Island. All 14 cabins are built for privacy, include a kitchen and provi ... Read More


Sea Glass Suite

Sea Glass Suite is a private ocean view bachelor suite located in the lower level of a home, with a private exterior entrance. Located in a quiet, res ... Read More

Janet’s Guest House

Enjoy your stay in a lovely waterfront heritage home on a wooded acreage. Meander the gardens and the private trails that connect with the airstrip ... Read More

Alert Bay Campground

Set up your camp just a short walk from town. Located next to the Alert Bay Ecological Park and its series of boardwalk and forest trails. Trailer, RV ... Read More

Stay in the Bay

Conveniently located minutes from downtown, with the Ecological Park and Nature Trails close at hand, 'Stay in the Bay' accommodations offers comfort, ... Read More

Boat Inn
Seine Boat Inn

Perched out over the beach and the ocean, this picturesque Inn has been lovingly restored and converted from a mid-1940’s dry goods store, to a cozy ... Read More


Sea Glass Cabin

Sea Glass Cabin is a private ocean view bachelor cabin located. Located in a quiet, residential area, the cabin offers the potential for ocean, mounta ... Read More

Pass N’Thyme

Our Inn overlooks beautiful Broughton Strait where Orca (Killer Whales) can often be seen from your private deck. Stunning views of the beautiful moun ... Read More


The Cook Shack

The Cook Shack is a family owned take-out restaurant in Alert Bay BC. We named our business after our family in Alert Bay. Our Cook family believes ... Read More

BC Ferries

BC Ferries provides regular vehicle and passenger ferry service to and from Vancouver Island. For more details visit http://www.vancouverislandnorth. ... Read More

Culture Shock Gallery

Culture Shock Interactive Gallery is 100% aboriginal, owned and operated by Andrea Cranmer, Barb Cranmer and Donna Cranmer. Our roots are in the ri ... Read More

Bayside Grill

Enjoy delicious Vancouver Island North cuisine at Bayside Grill. Stop by and treat yourself to fantastic home-style cooking! Look for the internation ... Read More

Alert Bay Boat Harbour

The marina Alert Bay Boat Harbour is located in Alert Bay (Canada). Its users may take advantage of its varied basic range of services. This moderate- ... Read More

Seasmoke Whale Watching

Since 1986 we have operated ecologically friendly tours in the pristine waterways of Queen Charlotte Strait, Johnstone Strait (Robson Bight), and Blac ... Read More

Alert Bay 360 Eco Paddle

Join us for our annual kayaking tour on July 31st, 2016! Known for the hospitality and rich culture of our locals, this annual paddling event is alway ... Read More

Alert Bay Cabins

Welcome to Alert Bay Cabins, located off the north east coast of Vancouver Island. All 14 cabins are built for privacy, include a kitchen and provi ... Read More


U’mista Cultural Centre

The U'mista Cultural Centre has worked towards fulfilling the mandate to ensure the survival of all aspects of cultural heritage of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼ ... Read More

Midnight Sun Adventure Travel

We offer two trips of northern Vancouver Island. One is our "Orcas & Grizzlies Wildlife Tour," a five day trip with air and ground transportation from ... Read More

Alert Bay ArtLoft Gallery

The ArtLoft Gallery showcases talented North Vancouver Island artists with a new show happening every month. Come by and be inspired! ... Read More

Getting Here

Drive BC – Provincial Highway Information
Toll-Free: 1-800-550-4997

BC Ferries
Toll-Free: 1-888-223-3779


Map of Cormorant Island

Cormorant Island - Alert Bay, BC