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Victoria, BC, Canada - Questions

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by pj103, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. pj103

    pj103 Guest

    Our 1st cruise is in May, 2009. I have been checking out and deciding which excursions to take at each port, however, I am not clear and cannot decide when we arrive at our last port, Victoria. It is a late afternoon arrival, and I know everyone talks about Buchart Gardens. How far is it from the ship and how do you get there? What else is recommended as a must see in Victoria? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    First of all I think that the Gardens are a great place to visit if you are in the area. But the whole area is beautiful and the inner harbour are is just a start. Normally all cruise lines have a bus laid on that will take you downtown/inner harbour for a small fee. You can walk in about 20 mins though if you wanted. All flat through residential area.

    You ship's time in port sometimes has a lot to do with where you are coming from and/or going to because of US law in relation to starting and ending ports of your specific cruise. YOu should be able to figure out the proposed hours of your stay by checking your itinerary on line or with your TA.
    If you are arriving in the evening I would suggest for sure that you arrange to do the tour via the Ship. An evening stop usual means limited time and sometimes a hurried/late arrival from the North although this is not always the case, A ships tour will get you there and back to the beat of your ships schedule.

    If you have a longer stay you can easily get tours from the All attraction Ticket booth in the Tourist Centre across from the Empress hotel in the Inner harbour. Usually not far from where your bus will drop you.

    Hope that helps to start. Let us know if you have any other details you might want clarified.

    The gardens are actually about 23 Kms.(12.5 miles) North East of the City of Victoria via good roads. Too far for a taxi in Canada to be ressonable. :)
  3. pj103

    pj103 Guest

    Thanks for the info. We are on the Princess Star. She is scheduled to arrive in Victoria at 5PM and leave at 11:59PM. As with your suggestion, we will make the tour arrangements through Princess.
  4. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Glad I could help.. enjoy your planning !!
  5. Brian B

    Brian B Guest

    I am a frequent cruiser and live in Victoria. There is so much to see in such a short period of time. I guess it all depends on what you are interested in as Victoria has it all. If you want to send me an email then I can offer more information (babelcher@shaw.ca) and I can give you my phone number. As one of the respondents indicated the Gardens are about 23km from the cruise ship terminal so taxi would cost you easily $50 each way. There are all sorts of tour operators at the terminal if you decide not to go via Princess. If you feel like strolling around rather than taking a tour in the 5 hours the following are in close proximity to each other and about a 20 min walk from the cruise terminal:

    - the Royal BC Museum plus Imax (one of the few museums in te worl that have the "Royal"designation from the Queen;
    - The Legislature Buildings (provincial capital government building which houses the government)
    - The Empress Hotel (same arcitect as the Legislature both built in the early 1900's). Don't get suckered into high tea there too pricey for what you get. There are other places offering tea at a fraction of the price.
    - The Undersea Gardens
    - The Wax Museum
    All of the above are located within close proximity of each other and located on the inner harbour and causeway which is a beautiful spot on a spring evening but wear a sweater and jacket as May can be on the coolish side if breezy.
    After all of that if you have time and feel like shopping take a stroll up Government Street which is on the causeway and runs North from the Empress hotel. Here you will fine some nice retaraunts, e.g. Milestones, Ric's Grill, Sam's deli and a couple of new pubs decored in the old Irish/English traditions. On Government street there are the usual tourist shops but also smoke shops, fine linen, Rogers chocolate (a must), Murchie's Tea, icream etc. Government Street shopping extends about 1 kilometer with the Bay center being the primary shopping center and The Maritime Museum just off Government St. at bastion square. If you like reasonable Italian Food then I recommend Pagliaccci's restaurant on Broad Street just off from Government. Google it for a map to the location. You may have to stand in line but it is worth it!
  6. pj103

    pj103 Guest

    Thanks Brian! A lot of additional information. I will go on line or Google Earth and look some of this up and the locations. This way if we decided not to book an excursion with Princess, we will have some other options. My problem is I want to take it all in but don't have the time.

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