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About
The MV Uchuck III, a 136-foot passenger and freight vessel providing service through Vancouver Island's historic Nootka Sound, Esperanza Inlet and Kyuquot Sound. Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Wild West Coast as you tour its inlets, witness the MV Uchuck III deliver freight to remote fish farms, logging camps and remote resorts. Our schedule provides day cruises through some of Vancouver Island's most spectacular scenery, perfect for a short adventure or family vacation. Explore the shores and waterways of isolated inlets, and see a variety of wildlife - black bears, eagles, sea otters, Pacific dolphins, gray and killer whales. Like to get adventurous? Take advantage of the Uchuck's route to wet launch your kayak or be dropped off at the Nootka trailhead for a four to five day hiking trip along Vancouver Island's most remote and pristine coastal trail - without the long wait list of the famed West Coast Trail.
Gold River, British Columbia, Canada

Awards
Travellers' Choice
2022

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(41 reviews)
(78 reviews)
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
322 reviews
Excellent
276
Very good
37
Average
3
Poor
5
Terrible
1

Jacqueline L
Vancouver, Canada33 contributions
Aug. 2022 • Family
We usually take the friendly Cove day trip to Yuquot every year as a family and we’ve been missing it the last couple years due to Covid. We are so glad to be back! The cruise is a wonderful relaxing trip which allows us as a family to be together with no Wi-Fi, just us and the ocean and the beautiful views. The crew are wonderful and the boat is a very interesting piece of history. We always enjoy the beach at friendly Cove and the trail that meanders along the ocean side. There are beautiful carvings in the church and there is a Carver who is often on site. Three hours seems like a long time but it really isn’t. We always feel like we could stay longer. Thanks for having us and I’m sure will be back next year! Thank you especially to the Nuu-chah-nulth people for welcoming us to their territory.
Written August 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

EvianaJones
Evian-les-Bains, France81 contributions
Aug. 2022
Traveling the extra distance to Kyuquot is a real leap beyond the everyday, and a fascinating insight into remote coastal living.

The stunning scenery, the wildlife, and the immense scale of the forests, mountains and inlets made it a spectacular trip. Whales, bears, otters, eagles and birds were abundant and we loved the adventurous stretches of ocean as we traversed the outer islands.

The professional crew were all friendly and approachable, all the way up to the engaging and confidence-inspiring Captain Spencer.

Our fellow voyagers were a terrific and assorted bunch which made for interesting conversation and enthusiastic spotting of wildlife along the way.

Over dinner at the Inn, we were given a brief rundown of life and facts about Kyuquot, the effort required to get there in the first place, and how to furnish and supply the residents as well as seasonal visitors, fishermen, kayakers, etc. All very convivial. Everyone raved about our menu including fresh halibut, french fries, salads, and home baked desserts.

Julie, our main contact during booking our trip, was patient and helpful while she juggled to match visitors to hosts. In particular she was always open about the range of limited accommodations that would be available on a given sailing date so we knew well ahead of time what to expect.

In our case our group of 3 had a house and shared a bathroom with plenty of hot water. The owner is in the process of renovating and the bedrooms have new carpets, furniture and beds. Other parts of the house are a work in progress. We found the house to be comfortable, with essential mosquito screens on the windows, and absolutely fine for a one night stay.

Others travelers were variously put up in the Inn, at fishing lodges, a tiny house, and (I think) a bed and breakfast. Some were escorted by boat to their lodgings. Everyone survived! and had tales to tell about the Kyuquot day to day reality of obtaining eg. electricity, supplies and groceries involving long boat journeys, as well as the beauty of the bay, its hidden beach and the generous vibe of the community.

All in all, we are so glad we managed to get one of the few places on the very popular overnight trip on the MV Uchuck III, and we consider it to be a highlight among a lifetime of traveling to far flung places.

Highly recommended!

Tips: we stayed at the Gold River Chalet (well maintained and impeccably clean), and we enjoyed the Sea&Field Bistro (good quality fresh food) the night before we embarked.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

J7954OHwilliams
9 contributions
Aug. 2022
The cruise trip was great. The land accommodations much below par (see last section ). Weather held so no rain which might have put a “damper” on things. Lots of room on the ship, both below deck and in the covered upper deck. The captain was gracious allowing guests to get a view from the control station and answered all questions. Food was prepped in time and was amazing from such a small kitchen. Chef made great muffins beside the usual sandwiches, bacon, eggs,, etc.

We had a smooth ride which I guess is not always the case. Also the ship going up was almost solely ours - a group of 14. Although it can accommodate many more only a couple of other kayakers were let off on the way up. Thirty much younger hikers joined us on the way down. But we got together for a 60’s sing along so no problems there.

Animals were few, but we saw a bear foraging on the shore and maybe one whale back. But many smiles were seen as a “raft” of sea otters floated by and much laughter when one or two glided by on their backs with their “panda” bear smiles and black noses without a care in the world.

So the cruise is highly recommended, and Kyuquot region is as beautiful as the wild region seen from the ship. Seals bobbing, sea otters playing and eagles crying overhead. True wilderness experience. But I guess wilderness means no five star resorts, but we hoped for more. The company cannot control what isn’t there, but do not expect anything but 2 star or less sleeping. And despite the fact that we had reserved for 14 originally in the lodge, we were outbid by a longer stay fishing group so our group was housed all over in “tiny” homes, bedrooms in private house, etc. Some of our group enjoyed the experience of living with locals, but others were looking forward to a cleaner , refreshing experience in keeping with the solitude of the outdoor environment. Buts it’s a short stay so only slightly diminished the experience leading to my 4 star and not 5 star
Written August 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karysa B
1 contribution
Jul. 2022
Great experience! We were coming off the Nootka Island Trail and used this as transportation back to Gold River. Everyone was super friendly and we sat up front on a beautiful day.
Written July 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mike
1 contribution
Jun. 2022
Our trip went from 5 (Day) to 0 (Night). The crew were great, the sleeping arrangements were, to put it bluntly, atrocious. It was like sleeping in1/4 of a caboose. The only place to sit and read was a couple of deck chairs outside where the mosquitos were hungerly waiting. I did bring this to the crew's attention the next day and was told, "We'll have to look into this". They credited me with my food bill, a whole $50. The bed was close to double size and sank to a 'V' in the middle. The crew told us that they should have mentioned , small, tiny or cozy or something to that effect when we made our reservation. Nothing was mentioned to us until they showed us where we were going to sleep. It could be they always use this excuse. The only chairs inside were a couple of wooden stools for a 12 inch deep table. For excitement we killed 4 carpenter ants inside and hoped we didn't bring any home with us.
Written July 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

beachblu
25 contributions
Jul. 2022 • Couples
Such a unique fun trip this was. We came 5 years ago and had this overnight cruise to Kyuquot as a major bucket list item since that Nootka Sound Tuesday day trip. Fun. Scenery. Crew. Wildlife. Vessel. All 5/5. The 4man crew were like a well choreographed dance troop entertaining us with unloading the ship as we visited a variety of outlier camps. Laura in Galley kept us well fed from the on-board menu. Whales breeched. Wolves and bears searched the nearby shoreline. Kyuquot was the far-distant fishing village for overnight ashore where we were boarded by local villagers with tasty dinner at the hotel with local color narration by owner. Educational. You must do this...
Written July 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Janet L
1 contribution
Jun. 2022
Had an absolutely fabulous time! The scenery was spectacular and I was very impressed with the crew and how hard and efficiently they worked as a team. I was amazed with how Captain Spencer not only did an outstanding job navigating, but how he jumped in to helping the crew that attended to the delivery of the goods to the various stops during the voyage. The interaction between the crew and passengers made the trip worthwhile. I really liked it when at the end of the adventure we were thanked by Captain Spencer, Jesse and Dave as we left the gangway.
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

duchaine514
Ottawa, Canada139 contributions
Jun. 2022 • Couples
My wife and I went in a full day cruise to Happy cove. It was excellent. The description of the tour was exact. The boat was confortable, food was available and we could move around to take pictures.
At the cove we could discover at our time. Nice scenery, amazing pebbled beach, nice light house etc.
Strongly recommended.
The captain also pointed out historical sites, wildlife etc. We also withness a delivery at a fishing camp. Bonus!
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Valerie L
7 contributions
Jun. 2022
Just back from a SPECTACULAR day trip to Yuquot (Friendly Cove) on the Uchuck III ... Where to begin?!! Well, it was a day of firsts - starting with the fact that it was the first trip out in 3 years thanks to Covid cancellations. Julie, the friendly sales rep, sent us off with an appropriate round of bubbly ... blown soap bubbles, that is (see pic)!

Another first was the amazing warm, sunny weather - the first weekend where it actually felt like summer this year! We were blessed with ideal conditions the entire day, making it not only possible but pleasant to stay outside all day and soak in the warmth and the scenery.

The travellers on board were both varied and congenial, and the many interesting conversations made time fly by. Of particular interest was the on-board demonstration of a traditional First Nations craft: weaving small objects such as headbands and ornaments with softened yellow cedar strips. Hearing the stories of Gold River inhabitant John was a highlight, particularly his efforts at keeping indigenous culture alive with the younger generation through the development of an annual youth camp at Yuquot.

Once we got off the boat at Friendly Cove, we were able to visit many different points of interest such as the lighthouse and the former church, now filled with historical exhibits and totem poles. After a picnic on the beach we were also able to see original carvings and speak with the renowned master carver Sanford Williams in his workshop.

What a privilege it was to spend the day traveling to and visiting Friendly Cove. I would not hesitate to recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in experiencing the off-the-track beauty and history of Vancouver Island - it is truly a world-class outing!
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ger T
Nanaimo, Canada12 contributions
Jun. 2022
We have just returned from the overnight trip to Kyuquot and it was a great 2 days. We lucked out with the weather but even with a bit of soft intermittent rain the scenery was spectacular. We also were lucky to see whales, sea otters and even a bear roaming the shore. It is so interesting to see the delivery of groceries, fuel and propane to the outlying logging camps, fish farms and fishing lodges. The crew was so professional and efficient to watch as they went about their jobs. Everyone from Spencer, our captain to the lady in the kitchen making our breakfast and lunches were so friendly and helpful, answering all questions no matter how many times they've done it before. The dinner at the Kyuquot Lodge was absolutely delicious so kudos to them as well. Anyone taking this trip is very lucky.
Written June 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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GET WEST DAY ADVENTURE CRUISES (Gold River) - 2022 What to Know BEFORE You Go