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Nanaimo & Campbell River

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We're thinking about the Sep 24, 2005 5-night cruise on Mercury which stops at Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River, all on Vancouver Island. Has anyone been to Nanaimo and Campbell River? If so, what did you think of these ports and what there is to see there?

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thanks. We're not likely to go fishing but I suppose we can just relax, get out, walk around a little in both ports, and go back and enjoy the Mercury some more. Word has it that there might be some interesting nature to explore and art galleries and the like to visit.


Besides fishing, what else have you done there?

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Uhh, some drinking? :eek:


Actually, I usually pass right through Nanaimo (the BC Ferry from the Mainland docks there) on the way to other destinations on the Island.


Campbell River info can be found here - http://www.campbellrivertourism.com/index.php

Nanaimo here - http://www.tourismnanaimo.com/


Enjoy your trip.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We're already booked for this cruise--there's a roll call (of 3) going on this site--if you book, pls join us-- I got some tourim brochure from each port & it looks like some nice stops! Lete us know if you sign up for the trip!

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  • 5 months later...

Hello Everyone,


Some background info about Nanaimo. Population: 80,000 in the city limits. Average house price is now about $230,000 and lots are $130,000 or more. Main employer is the service industry (40%) made up from school district, college, government offices and regional hospital. In past years (50's to 80's) it was a pulp mill town but now very clean air. Prior to that lumber, fishing and 100 years as a coal mining town makes for some interesting history. Lots of original brick buidings downtown.

We have lived here almost 5 years and love it. it has all the resources of a regional city but with the feel of a small town.


What to do while you are here? You land in the downtown core, where everything is in walking distance. A guided walk is a must to answer all your questions and provide an overview. I recommend http://www.naturepark.com/heritage as they are homeowners, have lived in different provinces of Canada and are career tourism guides, not just university students. You can pre-book by e-mail or look once you land and book then.


Just for the cruisers, a farmers market is hosted, there will be music in the streets and information people in yellow on every corner. You MUST visit the 1853 Hudson Bay Company Bastion (the only original one standing in North America) has FREE entry, and take a stroll on the waterfront promenade. There are 3 shopping districts: waterfront, Commercial St (the original downtown), and the old City Quarter (the second downtown). There are many restaurants and coffee shops of all enthnicities to choose from.


The historic church is open to poke your nose into and check out the cannon firing near the Bastion at noon. There is a great little museum to visit. It covers the basics of the town's history and has relica petroglyphs,a steam engine and a miners cottage outside. A whopping $2 to get into. About a mile hike via the waterfront walkway is a huge treed park called Bowen Park complete with creek and waterfalls.


If you want travel to some of the small islands, there are several to choose from that you can do in a half day, just check your ferry return times and allow time for walking before you go.

Newcastle island is a provincial park http://www.newcadtleislandferry.ca/ferry.htm for either hardcore hikers (7mi perimeter) or gentle strollers. There is a 1930's Dance pavillion, a sandstone quarry and a good example of local coastal Douglas fir forests there that you can explore to your comfort level.


For those who just want a ferry ride, take the Protection Island Ferry to the Dinghy Dock pub http://www.dighydockpub.com. Great food, great fun!


For a longer ferry trip, try visiting the Gabriola Island. Its about 25 min one way, they run hourly, and you can walk to the museum (check to see if its open first) http://www.island.net/~gm_chin or to the Malaspina sandstone galleries carved by wave and wind and "discovered" 200 years ago by the early Spanish explorer that bears his name. Pack a lunch but there is a outdoor mall there for a coffee stop if you need one. You can rent scooters there to speed your trip.


Overall, I recommend stopping at the tourist info tent as you get off the ship to get a map. If you don't see what you are looking for, ask! They have many activities but forget to tell people.

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