When it comes to traveling to and from Sointula and Malcolm Island, visitors have several options.
Many people choose to fly to Vancouver, British Columbia, or Seattle, Washington. From there, you can hop on a ferry from Pacific Coastal and travel to Port McNeil, on Vancouver Island. Our island is just a 15-minute boat ride from the port.
But if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting, as well as more direct, you’re in luck. The best way to get to Sointula is via a floatplane.
Both scheduled floatplane rides and chartered flights are available to and from Sointula. Besides being one of the fastest ways to get to the area from Seattle or Vancouver, this is also a great chance to see Malcolm Island and the surrounding islands, inlets, oceans, and more from above before your trip.
Planning to travel to Sointula via a floatplane? Keep reading to learn what to expect, where to book your flight and more.
How to Book a Float Plane Ride to Sointula
If you’ve decided to travel to Sointula via a floatplane, you have two options; a chartered flight or a scheduled flight.
Scheduled Flights from Northwest Seaplanes
The easiest floatplane ride to book for your visit to British Columbia is a scheduled flight from Northwest Seaplanes. This company operates out of Renton, Washington, a short distance from the Seattle area. They offer floatplane flights to Hakai Lodge in British Columbia, with 100s of other destinations available along the way as individual flag stops, including Sointula.
While only available out of Seattle, these flights are a more affordable alternative to chartered floatplanes. Dates and flights are widely available, making it easy to plan a connection that fits your schedule.
Chartered Float Planes
If you’re planning to travel to Sointula from somewhere other than Seattle, or want a more private experience, you can also book a chartered floatplane flight.
There are a variety of companies in the region that offer direct chartered flights. In addition to scheduled flights, Northwest Seaplanes also offers chartered flights. Tofino and Victoria are two other popular spots to catch chartered flights. While a more expensive option than a scheduled flight, these will provide more flexibility to your travel.
Keep in mind that if you’re planning a trip to one of British Columbia’s luxury fishing lodges, you’ll need to check with the lodge to find out what time you’ll need to arrive and depart, and book your flights accordingly.
What to Know About Traveling By Float Plane
If this is your first time enjoying a floatplane ride to British Columbia, there are a few things you should know.
If you’re traveling to Sointula from outside of Canada, you’ll need to make sure that you have your passport ready, just as you would for a regular commercial flight. While you can use a passport card to travel by car or bus over the border, valid passports are required for all air passengers traveling between Canada and the U.S.
Traveling with Pets
For those traveling with pets, Northwest Seaplanes does allow dogs or cats, as long as they meet certain size requirements and their spot on the flight is reserved prior to your flight. Dogs over 25 pounds will incur a fee based on their size. If you plan to travel with your pet, check with any other charter companies to see whether they allow pets before booking your flight.
Traveling to Canada from the U.S. with pets also requires a certificate from your veterinarian stating that your pet is fully vaccinated against rabies, and which states their breed, size, and age.
Traveling to Sointula via a floatplane does take a little special care when packing your luggage.
On Northwest Seaplane flights, each passenger is allowed two pieces of soft-sided luggage weighing less than 25 pounds total, at no additional cost. If your bag exceeds 25 pounds, it will need to be checked at an additional charge, which is calculated at $2 per pound. However, checked baggage will only be allowed as space permits, so it’s a good idea to pack light.
On your way home, any fish that you’ve caught will not be included in the weight restriction. As long as the total weight of your catch doesn’t exceed 80 pounds per person, it will fly free of charge. This makes it easy to bring home plenty of tasty souvenirs from your trip!
Booking Your Float Plane Flight to Sointula
Traveling by seaplane to Sointula is a great way to get a jumpstart on your adventure. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the water you’ll soon be fishing, as well as of British Columbia’s beautiful coastlines and islands.
You’ll also arrive at your destination faster, and with fewer transfers, so you can start relaxing, exploring, sightseeing, and more right away.
Ready to start planning your next visit to Sointula? Click here to learn more about your other travel options.