DIVING AND SNORKELING, NANAIMO, VANCOUVER ISLAND
Welcome! Nanaimo is synonymous with diving. World class diving! Diving good enough to win recognition from Jacques Cousteau who claimed it was one of the best spots in the world he'd ever dove. The Cousteau Society even helped us with the sinking of the former HMCS Saskatchewan, now British Columbia's most popular wreck dive!
NANAIMO, ONE OF THE WORLD'S TOP DIVE DESTINATIONS
Scuba Diving Magazine with it's yearly Top 100: Readers' Choice Awards consistently ranks British Columbia and Nanaimo as one the best dive destinations and values in North America. And in 2003 BC topped their charts with a perfect score of 100!
Here's what Scuba Diving Magazine had to say: "While we're used to seeing this beautiful Canadian province pop up time and time again in the "top" lists for North America, even we were surprised to find it got perfect scores for top overall destination. Then again, maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Sure, the water is cold and green, the currents strong and visibility moderate, but the reward is an array of underwater experiences unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Where else can you find pods of orcas, white-sided dolphins, sea lions, wolf eels, giant Pacific octopus, and a sea floor covered with brilliantly colored anemones?
With 17,000 miles of coastline, Canada's westernmost province boasts a range of dive habitats, including kelp forests, shallow reefs, deep walls and an armada of intact wrecks that includes four 366-foot Canadian destroyer escorts. The topside scenery is stunning and a favorable exchange rate makes travel to B.C. one of the best bargains in diving. So get a dry suit and a spine, and see what you've been missing. Or as one reader put it, "Enough of the tropics--this is real diving!"
In the March 2004 issue of Sport Diver Magazine, Ty Sawyer writes that Nanaimo is "...one of the most hardcore and enthusiastic dive communities in the world!" Marilyn Griffiths in the 2004 Fall Issue of Scuba Press writes ... " Wolf eels, giant Pacific octopus, anemones, nudibranchs and sponges, harbour seals and Stellar sea lions are just part of a regular dive day off Nanaimo ... that is unless you add to the wildlife experience by choosing to explore one of Nanaimo's famed artificial reefs that are being colonized by marine life." Real accolades from divers in the know!
Nanaimo's small urban environment, proximity to great diving and it's shore side attractions makes it the logical scuba diving getaway destination in British Columbia! Getaway from it all but still have all the conveniences of major Vancouver Island destination! Spend your day diving the plethora of cool dive spots and then the night in one of our great pubs, restaurants or nightspots!
And talk about access. We have 4 ferry terminals in our town. Two seaplane bases and one land based airport. Getting here's not the problem, it's the leaving part. We have a myriad of things to see and do! Enough to keep you busy for a while!
MAKE NANAIMO YOUR VANCOUVER ISLAND ADVENTURE BASE
Why not come for an extended holiday? Spend a few days diving and then head to some of Vancouver Island's other great attractions! Nanaimo is well positioned to offer the perfect base for all of your Vancouver Island explorations. In fact in our central area we have the vast majority of the island's greatest attributes: golf courses; beaches; Gulf Islands; murals; forest groves, skiing and fishing. And everything else is within easy day tripping distance. Victoria is 1.5 hours away. Oceanside is 25 minutes away. Cowichan Valley is 40 minutes away. Comox and the Cowichan Valley is 1.25 hours away. Nanaimo is the perfect Vancouver Island base.
Don't know where we are? Nanaimo is centrally located on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. You can find us at latitude 49° 11’ north, longitude 123° 58’ west or visually at Google Maps.
BUCCANEER INN, NANAIMO
And if you're looking for the perfect spot to stay try The Buccaneer Inn, Vancouver Island's most popular dive accommodation. Dave, Marlene and Christopher will gladly welcome you to their diver oriented suites, rinse station, two dry rooms, after checkout shower room. The Buccaneer is located across from dive shops, boat ramp, pubs and restaurants. Convenient, friendly and diver friendly!
We look forward to seeing you here. And yes you can walk freely in our town with your dive gear on. You're a welcome part of our community! See you soon!