Had so much fun on trip # 5. The crew was great, everyone got along, just a great trip!

Bruce Griffiths ~ Whitehorse, YK

COVID-19 Update - Trips 1-8 cancelled.  See home page for more information.

 

FAQs

Cruise With Us

Cruise the Inside Passage of coastal British Columbia and experience the magic of travel aboard the M.V. Aurora Explorer.

View Videos

In the Media

Reservations

are being accepted for the 2020 & 2021 cruising seasons. For our rates please call us at (1) 250-286-3347, or send us an email.

Email Us

Newsletter

Get the latest info with our e-mail newsletters!

Travel Information

Campbell River Tourism: Getting Here page

Kenmore Air Seaplanes

Helijet International

Pacific Coastal Airlines

Central Mountain Air

Westjet

Marine Link Tours is located at Menzies Bay, 7990 North Island Highway, 15 kilometers North of Campbell River, BC Canada.

Click here to see the map

Click here for tips and instructions on how to get there 

What will the weather be like during the different seasons?

  • Annual Weather and Conditions and Best Times to Go
  • March, April and May - cooler weather but the waterfalls and snow-caps are spectacular. Less fog and few bugs.
  • June - usually warmer; can be wet and foggy. Better weather for exploring and getting out and about with the longer days of sunlight.
  • July and August - lounge out on deck and soak up the sunshine, however there may be fog at times. Best months for spotting whales and porpoises.
  • September - usually reasonably warm, may be some fog; harvest moons at the head of inlets may be spectacular. Best month for viewing bears.
  • October - cooler; waterfalls and snow-caps return, mists and colours of autumn provide contrasting west coast vistas.

Will we have opportunities to disembark?

As our itinerary is determined by the freight delivery and tidal schedule, shore excursions are not guaranteed.  Our crew will do their best to get you onshore to stretch your legs as much as possible.  Stops usually range from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Please consider your physical abilities and medical history when determining whether some of the walks are appropriate.  Speak with your crew if you are unsure.

What do passengers do all day?

If you are looking for casinos and dancing girls, a freighter is not the place for you - but for most people, that is the whole point.The Aurora Explorer is a working ship and passengers enjoy watching the delivery of freight and goods to camps, fish farms, logging camps, lodges, and remote sites along the coast. Passengers like to spend their time relaxing, reading books, playing cards or simply sitting on deck watching the ocean go by.

When is wildlife viewing at it's best ?

Black bear, deer, bald eagles, osprey, hawks, trumpeter swans, canada geese, grizzly bear, seals, otters, mink, porpoise, are just some of the commonly viewed animals throuout the year.

In the spring (April,May and June) there are many birds returning from their winter migration as well as black bears foraging on and near the beaches. This is a good opportunity to see whales and porpoises as they follow the herring spawn up the mainland inlets.

July and August is when the salmon are abundant in the local waters before heading up their native rivers. Killer whales frequently are seen as they hunt for salmon during these months.

In the fall (September, October, November) the salmon have returned to the rivers. The river mouths of the mainland inlets and estuaries congregate numerous species to feed on the live and decaying salmon. Grizzly bears rule this domain but thousands of eagles, gulls, black bear, wolf, and cougar take this opportunity to feed before winter.

What type of clothing and foot wear should we bring?

The M.V. Aurora Explorer is a working freight vessel and the atmosphere on board is casual so “layering” your clothing is ideal for our coastal climate. You do not need to dress formally for dinner. Jeans or khakis, shorts, t-shirts, sweaters or fleece jackets are the most common form of dress. We recommend a warm jacket, as even during the summer months, breezes can be cool.  It’s a good idea to bring wet weather gear for shore excursions, particularly in the spring and fall. Gumboots / wellies are not necessary as they do not provide as much grip on slippery rocks as hiking boots or good running shoes. Indoors we recommend soft-soled shoes or perhaps a pair of slippers.  As passenger washrooms are shared, please ensure you have appropriate apparel for nighttime visits.  Robes are available in limited quantity and upon request. Please attempt to bring a minimum amount luggage as storage is limited.

What is included in the fare?

We try to make your trip as all-inclusive as possible.  Breakfast will begin with a continental offering followed by a full hot breakfast.  Lunch is served “buffet style” usually including homemade soup. Dinner is a three-course meal served “family-style”.  There are usually homemade cookies and pastries available in the dinning lounge throughout the day for snacking on. A full range of teas, soft drinks, juices and snacks are provided and available 24 hours as well. Dinner will be served on the day of departure and breakfast and lunch are served on your final day. 

A small assortment of keepsake apparel is available for purchase on board.  Your fare does not include tips for the crew.

A variety of BC Wines are served with the evening meal as well as a small selection of beer and cider served for “happy hour” and available at dinner as well.  You are welcome to bring additional spirits and beverages as there is no bar service available on board. 

What ammenities will I find in my Stateroom?

The M.V. Aurora Explorer’s staterooms are equipped with 110-volt electrical outlets, opening windows, mirror, nightstand, small hanger rail and binoculars.  Towels and linen are provided fresh at intervals in your trip.  Soap, shampoo, conditioner and shared hairdryers are also provided.

Will I have Internet or Cell Phone Access?

Yes and no.  The Aurora does have free wireless internet; however, it is based upon the cellular reception available.  It is intermittent at best depending upon your location.  When in the larger channels and straights, service is fairly decent and when further up some of the remote inlets, service is non-existent. The Aurora does have a satellite phone that works in all locations and we are able to stay in touch if necessary.

Is there somewhere safe to leave our car?

There is designated parking for Aurora Passengers.  Please follow signage and park in one of those spots. Our parking area is secure and at no charge.  We have limited space available for RVs, so please call ahead to ensure we can accommodate you.

Is smoking allowed onboard?

The entire interior of the vessel is non-smoking, and a designated smoking area is located outside, on the dinning level.  Please check with your crew to confirm where you can smoke.

Do we need to bring our own towels etc?

Towels and linen are provided fresh at intervals in your trip.

Can we fish onboard the Aurora?

We cannot guarantee fishing on each trip.  Please let your crew know that you are interested in fishing and they will do their best to find a spot and time to fish; however, this will all be dependent upon freight deliveries and tides. Trolling is not an option; fishing can only take place when the Aurora is stationary. All passengers interested in fishing should have their own provincially issued fishing license. We do have fishing gear on board; however, you are welcome to bring your own rod and reel if you are so inclined. If you have any more questions, please go online to http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/.

How are gratuities handled?

Tipping is appreciated as an expression of satisfaction with the crew that has taken care of you during your travels. Recognizing excellent service is a personal choice. Guests that choose to show their appreciation through a gratuity may want to consider preparing for this before arrival. If you feel your crew have provided you with excellent service a remarkable experience or individual assistance, gratuities are welcomed at the end of the trip.  There is a gratuities box located on the accommodation deck.  Ideally any tips are provided in cash (CAN or USD) as they are shared amongst the crew with the hospitality crew receiving a larger share.