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Pacific Northwest

"dramatic natural beauty..."

Sailing in the Pacific Northwest you will be surrounded by a stunning dramatic coastline, picturesque sheltered coves, beautiful sandy waterfronts and a spectacular amount of wildlife and marine life.

 

 

 

TRAVEL INFORMATION

Getting to the Pacific Northwest Coast

With three cruising areas you will have the option of where you would like to start from, Bellingham – Washington State in the U.S,   Comox or Sidney , both located on – Vancouver Island, B.C. in Canada.

Bellingham:  Bellingham International Airport is a fully commercial airport located south of the U.S. – Canada border. Airlines that service the airport are: AeroMexico, AirOne, Alaska/Horizon, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Continental airlines, Horizon Air, KLM, Northwest Airlines, SkyValue and Sky West airlines.

The charter base is located only 10 minutes drive from the airport, only 5 minutes drive from I-5, ninety minutes from Seattle and sixty minutes from Vancouver, B.C.

Comox:  Numerous direct flights from the Vancouver International Airport, Calgary International Airport and the Edmonton International Airport land daily at the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) in Comox. The airlines that service Comox Valley airport are: Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, Pacific Coastla, Sunwing Vacations, Transat Holidays and Westjet.

Ferries services are also available to get from the mainland to the Vancouver Island.

Sidney: Victoria's International airport is located on the Saanich Peninsula, 22 km north of Victoria, the Capital of British Columbia, on Vancouver Island and has over 50 flights a day connect Victoria with Vancouver International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma Airport and several other major cities throughout Canada and the USA. Airlines that service the airport are: Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz, Airspeed Aviation, Horizon Air, Pacific Coastal, Skywest Airlines and Westjet.

The charter base is located only 7 minutes from the airport.

Vancouver Island is well connected by ferry and high-speed catamaran service with Washington State and mainland B.C. Arrival points include Victoria's Inner harbour, the Washington State ferry terminal and the Swartz Bay ferry terminal.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Bellingham, U.S.A. - The Visa Waiver Program entitles citizens of 27 countries in the program to enter the United States of America for up to 90 days without a visa. All travellers must have a passport and it must be valid for at least 90 days from date of entry (except for nationals of Andorra, Brunei and San Marino, who must hold passports valid for at least six months beyond the intended date of departure from the USA). Travel must be for holidays, transit or business purposes only and for a stay not exceeding 90 days.

Visa Waiver Program Countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Nationals of Bermuda and Canada will need to provide a valid passport for entry.
Nationals of Mexico will need to provide a valid passport and a US Border Crossing Card.

All other countries will need a Visa to enter the U.S.A. and should seek advice from their Embassy before travelling.

Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada – Valid Passports are required by all passengers entering Canada except if you are a U.S. citizen, you only need a document such as your birth certificate and government-issued photo identification (e.g., driver's licence) to enter Canada. By June 1, 2009, or earlier, a new American law, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), will require anyone, including U.S. citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by land and sea to have a passport.

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Canada: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Republic of Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and Western Samoa.

Language

The official language of the Pacific Northwest – U.S. and Canada is English.

Health

Always check with your doctor before travelling which vaccinations you will need.
Tap water in both U.S.A. and Canada is drinkable. If in any doubt always drink bottled water.
Sunscreen is always advisable as the sun is strong.
Medical facilities are excellent but expensive in both U.S.A. and Canada. Only emergencies are treated without prior payment and treatment can be refused without evidence of insurance or proof of funds.
Good medical insurance is essential.

Safety

The US Department of Homeland Security has designated the terror alert status to high, for all international and domestic flights in the USA. 
You should be aware of the global threat of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could take place in public areas, including those frequented by foreigners in Canada.
Petty theft does occur in America and Canada as it does in most countries.
Visitors should take common-sense precautions against petty crime.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and use safety deposit facilities if available. 
Avoid wearing expensive jewellery and carrying valuable items in run down areas.
Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach or in cars. 
Always lock up boats when going ashore. 

Taxes and Service Charges

Canadian Departure tax - Cdn $10 for domestic flights and Cdn $15 for international flights
U.S.A. Departure tax - None
Hotel Tax in Canada -  8 – 10%
Hotel Tax in U.S.A. - Usually included in the price quoted.
Canadan Goods and Service Tax - 7% that applies to most purchases.    
Canadan Provincial Sales Tax - 7% that applies to retail merchandise and services. The PST and GST  are calculated separately on the base price of an item.           Service Charge both countries   - 15%, often added to the bill so check before you leave further gratuity.                  Gratuity is discretional, usually 15 – 20% depending on the level of service.                                        

Time Zone

The sailing grounds of the Pacific Northwest come under the Pacific Standard Time (PST) which is GMT – 8 hours.  This time zone observes daylight saving time that starts from the first Sunday in April and finishes on the last Sunday of October. This will make the time one hour closer to GMT, therefore Pacific Daylight Time will be GMT – 7 hours.

Electricity

The Pacific Northwest cruising area overlaps from the U.S.A. and Canada. Both countries electrical systems are 110 volt at 60 hertz. You will need a voltage transformer/ converter for your electrical appliances if they operate on a different voltage. The plug socket will take a two parallel flat blade plug.

Communication

International dialing code:  For both U.S.A. and Canada is 1 + area code + local number
Pre-paid plastic calling cards are available from convenience stores and most petrol stations.
Internet access is widely available in both countries.

VHF radios are used as means of communications for yachts.

Canada & USA Flags

 

FOR FURTHER DETAILS, TO CONFIRM AVAILABILITY OR TO DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS WITH ONE OF OUR STAFF
PLEASE CONTACT US AT info@oceanmarinegroup.co.uk OR CALL US ON 01212888212.

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