Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ-Howe-Sound-Adventures

Here’s all the answers to your FAQs!

 

Before your trip:

Do I need experience to snorkel or dive?

No experience necessary for cruising, snorkeling and kayaking. Our certified staff will guide you from start to finish including in-water if you need a little extra assistance. Scuba diving is for certified divers only and divers must show evidence of certification upon booking.

I don't want to go in the water, can I still join?

We have a ‘ride along’ option available. The very young, seniors, and those who do not wish to get in the water can choose to remain onboard and sightsee for a reduced cost. We also have a reduced fare for non-divers. Stay dry and enjoy a hot cup of soup instead!

Can I bring my children or family?

Yes! We welcome all ages and abilities, however if the child is very young we suggest bringing their own life jackets/wetsuit, which will fit the child correctly. Children under 8 must have a parent or guardian in-water with them while snorkeling. Children 19 and under must have a waiver signed by parent or guardian before boarding

Is your boat wheelchair accessible?

Please call directly for more information.

How long are the excursions?

Our trips average 5 hours roundtrip from Horseshoe Bay. Occasionally, depending on ocean conditions they may be a bit longer than 5 hours. Please plan accordingly.

Do I need a reservation?

Reservations are recommended. Please try and book 24 hours in advance. Same day bookings can not be guaranteed. For larger groups, please book as far in advance as possible.

How many people can go on your trips?

Our boat can accommodate up to 20 passengers. Please call for more information regarding group bookings as sizes and times may be adjusted to better suit the group. Also see our group booking tab.

Can I reserve the whole boat for a special occasion?

Yes! We have group discounts and customized charters for larger groups. You can also rent the entire boat for a private event. Please visit our group tour page or call us directly for more information.

When do we need to arrive and check-in?
Please arrive 30 minutes before your charter is scheduled to depart and check in at Sea Dragon’s Expedition Centre - 6373 Bruce Street, West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay).
Divers, please arrive 30 minutes before your charter is scheduled to depart and check in at the Expedition Centre to fill out a waiver. You can then head to unload your gear at either the winter or summer dock in Sewell's Marina (you will be notified at time of booking). Unload gear into carts and await a staff member to open the gate.

On your trip:

What is included in the Snorkel and Kayak Adventure?

Our snorkel and kayak trip includes a full snorkel kit, wetsuit (to keep you warm and buoyant), life jacket, kayak equipment, drinks, hot soup, and light snacks. Please note we do not provide towels. 

What is included in the Scuba Diving trip?

Our diving trips include hot soup and drinks. Dive gear is not included but is available to rent at an additional fee. Contact us for special requirements. Please visit ‘Diving’ tab for more detailed information.

What will we see?

In Howe Sound we visit a permanent seal colony called Pam Rocks just 30 minutes from the dock. Here the seals live year-round so there is a high chance to see them, however we cannot ‘guarantee’ sightings, as they are wild animals. Guests are invited to kayak and snorkel around Pam Rocks where often the seals will be curious and come check out divers and snorkelers. In addition to seals, you will have the opportunity to see up to 12 species of sea birds from the nearby bird sanctuary, bald eagles, crabs, tidal creatures, and the stunning ocean and mountain scenery of Howe Sound. A few times a year we also spot whales and porpoises if we’re lucky!

On our dive trips you will have the opportunity to explore walls, pinnacles, canyons, drifts, unique sponge bio herms, and the artificial reef Annapolis. At these sites you can commonly see giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels, nudibrachs, and beautifully bizarre fish such as the decorated warbonnet and grunt sculpin (among many other creatures of the Pacific Northwest). Occasionally seals and sea lions looking to play will even approach divers! Dive sites cannot be guaranteed and are at the discretion of the Captain.

How close can we get to the seals?

There are guidelines in place when it comes to marine life interactions in Canada. The seals are also wild animals and we want to respect their home environments, therefore our boat does not go closer than 100m to marine wildlife.

Harbour seals can grow up to six feet and are docile, curious creatures, each with their own unique personality. They may bob along the surface beside the snorkelers and kayakers, curious of the humans, or playfully skirt under the snorkelers fins playing hard to get! Once snorkelers are in the water, its up to the seals!

What should we bring?

For snorkeling we recommend bringing a swimsuit, towel, camera, and a warm change of clothes (or sunscreen) for after your in-water activities. We provide hot drinks and snacks, however you may wish to bring along something additional to drink or eat.

Divers are required to bring their own full kit, unless renting from Sea Dragon. This includes appropriate clothing for before and after your dive, as well as warm clothing for under your dry suit (or wetsuit). Hot beverages will be provided, but please bring your own snacks and drinks as preferred. If special equipment is required for the dive trip please inform us at time of booking.

Will I get seasick?

Our 40’ft Topline is a stable vessel, however if you are prone to motion sickness it is best to take the necessary precautions before boarding. Seasickness is something you can avoid in advance by over the counter medications, motion sickness patches, and natural remedies like ginger. Please be prepared so that you can enjoy your afternoon out at sea! No refunds for seasickness.

Are there washrooms onboard?

The Topline is a 40’ft customized vessel for divers and snorkelers. Onboard you will find a marine head (toilet), heated cabin, viewing deck, small galley, and many other amenities for guests needs.

Other common questions:

Do you operate year round?

Snorkeling is offered during May to October, and scuba diving is year round!

Are trips cancelled due to rain?

Seals love water and so do we! Our trips depart rain or shine. Please dress appropriately and bring a warm dry change of clothing for after your dive or snorkel.

In the case of inclement weather and/or sea conditions beyond our control, Sea Charters retains the right to cancel a trip right up to the scheduled departure time. Please see our cancellation policy.

What is your cancellation policy?

48-hour notice is required for a full refund of trip fees. Cancellations made in less than 48 hours will be subject to a $50 cancellation fee. ‘No shows’ will be charged a full amount of trip fee. Charters that are cancelled by Sea Dragon due to inclement weather and/or sea conditions beyond our control will be refunded in full. Trips are not cancelled due to rain. The decision to cancel a trip due to bad weather cannot usually be made until departure time. Only those present at scheduled departure will receive refunds. No partial refunds will be made for unused dives. No refunds will be made for sea sickness.

How do I get to Horseshoe Bay?

Our address is 6373 Bruce Street, West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay). You can find easy driving directions to Sea Dragon Charters on Google Maps.

If you do not have a car, we are easily reached by bus. Express Bus 257 goes directly to and from Horseshoe Bay stopping right near our Expedition Centre and dock! Catch it downtown at Granville Street or anywhere else along its route, hopping off at the ferry terminal. These buses run frequently, both early am and late pm. We suggest arriving early so not to miss your trip; there is a lot to do in Horseshoe Bay while you wait.

* Please be advised that we are docked at different locations during our summer and winter seasons, so it is best to download our PDF for details on parking, and directions to the correct dock.

Where do I park?

There is ample day parking available in Horseshoe Bay - please use one of the large day lots located in the village. The street parking has a two-hour limit. We do advise carpooling as in the peak summer month Horseshoe Bay can get quite busy. Please download our PDF for more parking details.

* Please do not park in the Sea Dragon Expedition Centre lot if you are going on a Snorkel or Dive trip, this parking is reserved for short term customers only. In addition, please do not park in Sewell’s Marina lot. Their spots are for Sewell's staff and they do tow (this is the lot next to the water). Thank you for keeping this in mind!

Can I leave a review?

Yes please! Customer feedback is very important to us.

Sea dragon is committed to providing a personalized and high quality level of service, next to none. Surpassing guests' expectations everytime, Sea Dragon is dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable experience from the minute you're welcomed onboard. Please

If you had a good experience, then please share with others on TripAdvisor, we love to hear about your adventures! We also love reviews on Google and Facebook!

 

Have we answered your question?

If not, please contact us at 1-604-329-3486 or email.