Harbour Air boosts wingless beings with first-class flights on carbon-neutral aircrafts, boutique stratosphere accessories, and picturesque seaplane tours. Eco-friendly seaplanes furnished with first-class amenities such as leather interiors and hands-free cloud parallel parking launch daily and link Lower Mainland and the Islands through panoramic flights that last 20 to 50 minutes ($156.53–$563.38 round trip). The airline's auspicious boutique furnishes cloud gazers with flight-centric merchandise for gifts and seagull bribes. A small Beaver model plane ($41.99) carves its niche among collectibles with locally handcrafted western maple wood, and a Dax Wilkinson T-shirt ($34.99) celebrates Canadian aviation.
Captain Lenard M. Pearson and his crew greet passing ships in a strange way—they fire a cannon at them. Among the many details of tall ship Thane—a 55-foot gaff-rigged fetch constructed of salvaged building materials—are its working cannons. With a flash of fire, a plume of smoke, and a very loud noise, the captain says hello to neighbouring vessels and makes sure no one on board has fallen asleep.
In addition to the cannon fire, Captain Pearson and his crew find other theatrical ways to engage guests, encouraging them to help out by hauling the sails or riding the bowsprit. Groups may also drag a fishing a line or trap crabs, depending on season. The crew encourages passengers to relax with their picnics and drinks while they take in sights that may range from pods of killer whales to the snow-dusted peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Along with bringing parties up to close to such sights, the captain also shares stories about the area's marine history, geology, and wildlife. Crew members happily provide guests with coolers, ice, glasses, and bottle openers for their drinks, and encourage responsible and respectful imbibing.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and whimsical characters—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln workers help glaze, fire, and de-genie it for them, and they may retrieve the finished piece 4-6 days later.
Onboard each Orca Spirit Adventures whale-watching tour sits a certified marine naturalist, spouting facts about the marine life located within the waters around Vancouver Island. As whale watchers seek out glimpses of orcas, dolphins, seals, and bald eagles, they listen to a symphony of underwater sounds. Each whale-watching vessel is equipped with an underwater hydrophone, which translates whale songs into directions to the closest underwater Tim Horton's. The company also provides charter tours, floating offshore weddings, fishing trips, and dinner cruises.
Fired Up! Paint Your Own Ceramics Studio invites kids, teens, and adults to come in and create their own personalized art pieces. They can pick out unfinished ceramic pieces, choosing from bowls, cups, pots, figurines, and ornaments. Customers then paint and decorate their pieces before they apply a clear glaze that renders ceramics food-safe and nontoxic for home use and cleaning. The studio also goes beyond ceramics with glass fusion. To create a unique and translucent serving dish, candle holder, pendant, or other masterpiece, customers simply layer pieces of colored glass over a base and hand their work to a staff member to be fused in a kiln.
To the knowledgeable and licensed staff at No Limit Charters, “Cool Change” means more than just the result of storing toonies in the freezer. This is, in fact, also the name of their 28-foot vessel, which departs Victoria Harbour daily for four- and eight-hour fishing charters. During these trips, anglers seek salmon and take advantage of regional bottom fishing with the help of two GPS sonar chart plotters, Shimano rods and reels, and Scotty down riggers. If nothing’s biting, crews still enjoy their cruises with tunes that stream from XM satellite radio.