Learn more about our news and special events, both here at the marina or out and about on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

‘Christmas Spirit’, or spirits? Festive cocktails for the Holiday Season

The stockings have been hung with care, the presents are wrapped and it is officially time to sit back, relax and treat yourself! While we recommend enjoying yourself with moderation, who says that you have to stick to the normal eggnog and rum? To spruce things up a little, we have prepared our five favourite holiday drinks for you to try!

Santa Clausmopolitan


  • Lime Wedge, for rim
  • White Sanding Sugar, for rim
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 ½ cup cranberry juice
  • ¼ cup triple sec
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries


  1. Run a lime wedge around each glass then dip in sanding sugar.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec and lime juice. Shake in cocktail shaker until cold.

Driver’s Sparkling Pear Punch


  • 2 cups pear juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 liters ginger ale
  • Sliced fresh pear


  1. Pour pear juice into a large punch bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice.
  3. Stir in sugar.
  4. Mix in ginger ale and top with fresh sliced pear.

Cranberry Mule


  • 2 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 3 oz. Ginger Beer
  • 1 ½ oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. simple syrup


  1. Place handful of ice in a copper mug.
  2. Combine the cranberry juice, ginger beer, rum, and simple syrup in a shaker.
  3. Shake until combined, and serve with a garnish of cranberries.

Pomegranate Margaritas












  • 1 can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 3 ½ cup tequila
  • 2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 c. triple sec
  • 5 limes
  • Ice
  • 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds


  1. In a large pitcher, combine limeade and water until well blended. Stir in tequila, 2 cup water pomegranate juice, and triple sec.
  2. Cut the limes in ¼ inch thick wheels, and place on rim. Place ice cubes and pomegranate seeds in each glass. Pour liquid mixture into glass and enjoy!

Van Isle Martinis

Maybe this isn’t especially Christmassy… but who doesn’t want a drink that reminds them of their home away from home? The Van Isle Martini is sweet and refreshing (just like our staff!). It can be easily enjoyed at home, or on deck watching the boats pass by in our beautiful Tsehum Harbour.


  • 1 ounce of grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 ounce blue curacao
  • 1/4 ounce dry vermouth
  • A dash of blood orange bitters – Try the “Twisted & Bitter Orange” from Victoria Distillers
  • 1 ounce of “Empress Gin” from Victoria Distillers
  • 1/2 cup of crushed ice


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add all the ingredients. Shake in cocktail shaker until cold.

We wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.  Alcohol is a leading factor is recreational boating accidents, and vehicle accidents. Please consume in moderation, and please do not drink and drive.

What are your favourite holiday beverages? Share them in the comments below!


Holiday Must-Haves for your Favourite Boaters and Sailors

As you may have noticed whilst walking through the Marina, the holiday season is upon us! The Marina Office, Sea Glass Restaurant, and our property trees are radiant with new seasonal white lights and the inside of the office is full of Christmas cheer.


Lower Vancouver Island is in full celebration mode as well, as Butchart Gardens and the BC Legislature Building are showing off their famous light displays, gently reminding Christmas shoppers that the 25th is sneaking up faster than you think. No need for panic, however! We have compiled a list of quick and easy “must-haves” for your favourite sailor or boating enthusiast.

Van Isle Marina Gift Card

We might be a little bit bias, but we think that this is the perfect gift! The cards can be loaded with any denomination, and can be spent on moorage, fuel, storage, or any of the items available in our retail shop at the Fuel Dock. A great gift for the person who “has everything”! Available at the Marina Office and Fuel Dock.

Oakley Prizm “Deep Water” Sunglasses

New from Oakley, Prizm Deep Water Sunglasses are specialty made glasses for the sea. The state-of-the-art lenses filter out certain shades of blue to make your view crisper and clearer. They are available in several different models, ranging from sporty to casual.

Available online, or at your local sporting goods store. $183.00 – 223.00

Garelick Boat Bailer Sponge

While this gift isn’t necessarily the flashiest, it is certainly useful! The Boat Bailer Sponge is an ultra-absorbent sponge, primarily used for the fast-removal of water. It’s uses do not stop there! It can be used for a wide variety of cleaning jobs as well. This would make a great stocking stuffer!

It is currently on sale at our Fuel Dock, for $8.75 with an additional 25% with our limited-time sale. Get them while they’re hot!

Davis Self-Inflating Key Buoy

We all have someone on our shopping list who comes to mind when the words “clumsy” or “butterfingers” are used. The Davis Self-Inflating Key Buoy is a handy and discrete key chain that when submerged in water will eject a long, inflated orange tube. The tube carries the key to the surface of the water, and is highly visible for retrieval.

The key chain currently retails for $6.80 at our Fuel Dock and is on sale for 25% off!

Yeti Hard Cooler

Yeti is well known for its durable and functional travel mugs and thermos’, however did you know they have an extensive line of coolers as well? They are rugged, stylish and incredibly functional. They are available in sizes ranging that hold anything from 16 cans, to 259 cans (that’s with a 2:1 ice to can ratio!). Perfect for those day trips to Sidney spit, or longer trips to Ketchikan.

Prices vary. Available online or at your local outdoors store.

Crab Candy Crab/Prawn Bait

This pellet-style bait is well-known and in high demand during crabbing season! It comes in a resealable and reusable bucket. This bait does not require refrigeration, so it can be placed decoratively under the tree alongside the other parkages, boxes and bags! Available year-round at the Fuel Dock.



What are your favourite go-to nautical gifts? Let us know in the comments!

New Spill Response Base Planned in Sidney – Vessel Moorage at Van Isle Marina

Van Isle Marina is proud to have been chosen by Western Canada Marina Response Corporation (WCMRC) as their home base. See below for some information regarding what to expect in the coming months.

6476A Norcross Road, Duncan, B.C. V9L 5T3

T 250-746-9443 | www.wcmrc.com

Dear Neighbour:

New Spill Response Base Planned in Sidney – Vessel Moorage at Van Isle Marina

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) is planning to construct a new spill response base in Sidney on the Saanich Peninsula. The base is part of a larger expansion planned to meet enhanced response requirements associated with the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. This larger expansion will double WCMRC’s capacity to respond to spills and cut mandated response times in half in South Coast waters.

As a part of the larger expansion, a number of new bases will be constructed, the majority of which will be located on Vancouver Island. WCMRC is planning to construct a new 24-hour response base in Sidney. The base will consist of moorage for eight vessels at the Van Isle Marina and an office/warehouse at the Victoria International Airport. The base is expected to employ approximately 23 people.

What kind of vessels will be moored at Van Isle Marina?

We secured moorage at Van Isle Marina over a year ago to prepare for the future response base in Sidney. We plan to moor eight vessels at the marina:

  • a 65’ skimming vessel,
  • a 50’ landing craft,
  • a 36’ landing craft,
  • a small workboat,
  • two mini-barges, and
  • two boom skiffs (water trailers).

Where are your vessels now?

As you may have noticed, for the past year we have been using the moorage at Van Isle Marina for some of our existing fleet. We currently have a base in Duncan and different types of vessels moored around Vancouver Island, including in Victoria, Sidney, Nanaimo and Port Alberni. We also have bases in Burnaby and Prince Rupert and vessels moored in the Vancouver Harbour.

When will the new vessels arrive?

We expect the new vessels to begin arriving at Van Isle Marina in late 2018.

If you have any feedback, questions or would like more information, please send them to comments@wcmrc.com. We’ll continue to keep you informed as this project moves forward.


Michael Lowry

Communications Manager

Spooky Halloween Activities in Victoria

Did you know that our hometown of Victoria is the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest? Victoria has a ghostly history that comes to life in the month of October. Here are some spooky, fun or downright awesome things to do in Victoria and the surrounding area this Halloween season!

Fear on the Pier: Haunted House This terrifying maze has over 5000 sq. ft. of spooky terror, and is located right at the Ogden Point pier. Highly recommended that any small children get left at home for this event, as this has been voted Victoria’s scariest attraction!

Galey Farms’ Festival of Fear This terrifying farm has something for everyone of all ages!
You can take an innocent train-ride through the farm fields to experience the sights and smells of fall, or if you are looking for a more heart-pounding event, risk a trip through Carnevil Haunted House… if you dare!

Ghostly Walks of Victoria These very informative tours take place throughout the year, rain or shine. During the Halloween season, they have an especially spooky side to them. Bring your comfortable walking shoes, as these tours will take you across downtown Victoria.

Pumpkin Express at Heritage Acres
This is an all ages, family fun event, that takes place just minutes from the Marina! Head down to Heritage Acres, and hop on the Pumpkin Express train through Halloween Forest. This is an event that is sure to put a smile on everyone’s faces.


Are you brave enough to face any of these attractions? Let us know in the comments!

Riviera Sports Motor Yacht: Long Range and Luxurious

Here is what Riviera has to say about their new 68 & 72 Sports Motor Yachts

Australia’s favorite and most awarded luxury motor yacht builder Riviera is extremely proud of the high level of enthusiasm ahead of the World Premiere of the new, luxurious and long-range Sports Motor Yacht collection in 2017.

This refreshingly distinct style of yachting luxury has been developed in-house by the very talented Riviera design team after extensive consultation with members of the global family of Riviera owners who are seeking to cruise further afield and for extended periods. This process provides a unique insight and understanding of their aspirations for their dream yacht.

What we’ve heard is that our experienced luxury motor yacht owners are wanting to take their boating further afield with true long-range cruising, whilst still being able to fish effectively and enjoy myriad water sports pursuits, including diving, snorkeling and kayaking.

The Sports Motor Yacht collection – comprising two individual models: the 68 and 72 designs – will help luxury motor yacht owners fulfill these dreams, offering the exhilaration of supreme sports performance as well as ingenious interior flexibility with an array of luxury lifestyle features to enhance precious time aboard.

Whilst the specification varies considerably between the 68 and 72 models, the significant design difference is the additional space in the cockpit and mezzanine of the 72 Sports Motor Yacht.

The enthusiasm as we showcase her design confirms that this inspiring new design reflects the extensive ‘wish lists’ of many serious yacht owners.

For more details, click here to visit the Riviera website.

Celebrating Fall at Van Isle Marina

The staff at Van Isle Marina would like to thank all of our guests and visitors for an incredible summer. We will look back on the last few months fondly as we recall all the wonderful new, and returning guests and all the great memories. We are already counting down the days until the summer boating season  begins again.

Here at the Marina the telltale signs of Fall have arrived in full force; crisp mornings, trees fading into red, and quieter weekends.
While some of our wonderful guests have already headed home for the season, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy your boat and the beautiful fall weather! Pack a few extra sweaters and perhaps a raincoat and you will be ready to go.

Throughout the Gulf Islands and lower Vancouver Island, there are many fall events to look forward to, so we have complied a list of our favourite events.

Harvest Grape Stomp at Saltspring Vineyards
In the heart of Saltspring Island is located Saltspring Vineyards; a vibrant establishment with a wonderful annual tradition… grape stomping! The public is invited to join in on an afternoon of grape-related competitions, live music, food, and of course wine! Admission is free.
The farm is located at 151 Lee Road, Saltspring Island, BC

Vancouver Island Corn Maze at Pendray Farms
Located in North Saanich, just minutes away from the Marina, is one of Canada’s largest corn mazes! This maze contains over 10 km of trails, on 14 acres of corn. This maze is family friendly, and is available during the day or night! It is highly recommended that you wear a pair of waterproof boots and your foul-weather gear! Click here to visit their website.

Galiano Saturday Market
Running through until October 7th, Galiano Island is running their Saturday Market on Lion’s Field form 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. These markets showcase local arts and crafts, food, drink, and produce.


Pumpkin Picking on Salt Spring Island
Nothing says “fall” quite liking wandering down the rows of pumpkins, trying to find the perfect one for carving! Bon Acre Farms on Saltspring Island provides the perfect fall experience for you and your crew.

We wish you a happy, healthy and fulfilling Fall!

Moorage Available at Van Isle Marina

Van Isle Marina in Sidney, BC has moorage available! Call us at 250.656.1138, send an email to info@vanislemarina.com or stop by in person from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Saturday.

Among Van Isle Marina’s many services, the helpful fuel dock crew provides full service including assistance with dock lines.  We have ample complimentary parking with the option to reserve a specific parking space on an annual basis.  Additionally, the marina has complimentary wireless internet, bicycles, water, garbage & recycling.

The marina is located minutes from the Victoria International Airport, BC Ferries – Swartz Bay Terminal, and the Anacortes Ferry. For your convenience, Van Isle Marina is a Canada Customs port of entry.

We are passionate about providing excellence and value in every aspect of your marina experience. Our services are designed to enhance the relaxation and fun of your boating lifestyle and to leave you free to enjoy cruising the coast. Click here to view our videos of the Van Isle Marina experience.

Contact us today to secure moorage!

Seal Pup Born at Van Isle Marina

Each summer, Van Isle Marina is proud to welcome hundreds of nightly moorage guests to our docks, with this summer being no exception!

On Friday, July 28, both Marina staff and guests were pleasantly surprised to find a couple of visitors at the marina, who certainly did not call ahead to reserve a berth…a new-born harbour seal, and its mother on D dock!

The pup spent multiple hours on the dock building up courage to jump in the water, while it’s mother patiently swam circles whilst keeping a watchful eye on the ever-growing group of spectators.

Due to fears of dehydration or malnutrition, Marina staff made a call to the Marine Mammal Rescue Center in Vancouver to get some advice and assistance. The Rescue Center advised that the pup needed to be placed in the water immediately, by all humane means necessary. This included: loud clapping, yelling, and slowly approaching of the seal, with no prevail. Eventually with the help of a nearby hose (and our complimentary water!) the pup was gently coaxed into the water and received much needed nutrition, shelter from the beating sun, and swimming lessons from mom by our Yacht Sales Dock.

Van Isle Marina appreciates the assistance of guests who maintained a respectful distance, and would like to thank the Marine Mammal Rescue Center for their advice during this time.

For additional information about the Marine Mammal Rescue Center, or if there is a marine mammal in distress, the Rescue Center can be reached through their website: https://www.vanaqua.org/act/direct-action/marine-mammal-rescue/contact

Riviera Experience & Rendezvous at Roche Harbor

In honour of the ever important, throwback Thursday, we have put together a few photos from the 2017 Riviera Experience & Rendezvous held in Roche Harbor on San Juan Island from June 9-11. There was delicious food, games, laughing, dancing, fantastic drinks and even the weather turned out beautiful.

Friday night began at picturesque Shipwreck Beach with a potluck dinner complete with King crab legs and beverages. Dinner was followed by live music at sunset around the fire pit and smores to top off an already perfect evening.

The smell of fresh, warm doughnuts, coffee and mimosas set the tone on Saturday morning. The afternoon was filled with games, boat hopping and exploring the shops of beautiful Roche Harbor. Saturday evening was the costume contest, the theme was Superheroes and Villains and the costumes did not disappoint. We saw Cruella de Vil and her puppies, Mr. & Mrs. Incredible and too many awesome Batmans to count.

All in all it was a fabulous three days at Roche Harbor with a turnout of 40 Rivieras of all shapes and sizes!

A Handful of the Riviera Yachts on Display

The Historic Hotel de Haro

Our Big and Beautiful Riviera Flag

Looking Back at the Docks from Shipwreck Beach

Great Drinks and Great Company

Live Music at Sunset

Good Times Around the Fire Pit

Some Amazing Dishes from the Catered Dinner

Canine Costume Contest Competitors

Mr. Incredible Hyping Up the Crowd

The Unbelievable Magician

A Flabbergasted Crowd

Mrs. Incredible, Cruella and her Main Puppy

A Stunning Sunset to End an Unforgettable Weekend

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