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Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by BSeabob, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    The start of Profiling the Pac Nor West.

    an hour on the road/two hours on a ferry (plus lineups if you don't get reservations) from Vancouver.

    Jump off for whales in Season off the West Coast
    any time on the Inside for Orca's if you get the right tour guy.

    Butchart Gardens ... bus trip and do the gardens your ship will have a tour or get a bus downtown. Well worth it.

    Pier is a 30 min stroll to down town trhough an ok area. Taxi much easier.

    anyone else add some good stuff please.
  2. hct

    hct Guest

    We'll be there in Sept on the Mercury. We signed up for a ship's excursion to the gardens, also a winery & a chocolate place.. It's in the afternoon & will return shortly before the ship sails....so we hope to walk around & get some nice photos of the city before our tour--the Empress hotel looks very interesting How far is that from the pier--by foot or cab?
  3. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    From the Pier to Downtown is about 1.5 K's.
  4. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Well we made it all the way from Naniamo to Victoria over night on our Infintiy Cruise. Aug 30 2005. It's about 44 nat. miles so we went r e a l l y S L O W.
    You dock in the outer harbour at Victoria and can walk downtown in abut 20-30 mins. Flat and easy. Taxi's and our Ship had a shuttle service lined up (5 mins and $5.00 Ca. return)
    We "Did" the Legislature buildings and with their summer program was really quiet interesting. Meet locals dressed as the architect etc.
    You can walk the downtown city area easily and that includes the harbour/Empress hotel and all shops. A tourist Info building is right on the inner harbour and you can get your tickets there to anywhere and anything. Butchard garden tickets are available and the bus leaves from just across the road behind the Empress hotel on a regular basis.

    For more Information and an overall view of the area and a pac nor-west cruise go to the Website of one of our fellow cruisers. They did a bang up job:
    Click on the Pacific NorthWest link- the Infinity Aug 2005 Vancouver to San Francisco

  5. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    I love Victoria. There are so many things to see and do. If you have a full day there consider renting a car and doing some exploring on your own. Get a good city map though or you will find yourself driving around in circles :) ! These are just a few of my favourites.

    Shop on Government Street! You will breathe in enough calories for a year just by entering Rogers Chocolates!

    Drive Marine Drive stopping for at Beacon Hill Park and for a "quick one" at the Snug in the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Beautiful views everywhere you look!

    If you have time after your tour of Butchart Gardens drive a little further and visit Sidney by the Sea!

    Visit the Royal British Columbia Museum.

    Have tea at "The Blethering Place" in Oak Bay.

    Drive to the top of Mount Douglas or Mount Tolmie.

    My husband went to Royal Roads in his youth. It is no longer a Military College but is still a University. We still think it's worth a visit for the beautiful gardens (not quite so neatly manicured as in the past but still nice) and Hatley Castle. http://www.hatleycastle.com/

    Check out the doorbell at Hatley Castle (wink wink) !
  6. red stripe

    red stripe Guest

    great board you have going here Bob :lol the last time I saw a photo of Butchart Gardens there was a red stripe in it :grin
  7. When in Victoria, a visit to the Empress Hotel for tea is recommended if you like to re-create the English atmosphere. Victoria is known to be more English than England. The Provincial Museum has a great showcase of First Nations, nature and history displays. There is even a bug zoo right downtown if you are traveling with kids, this is a must! You can go into the parliament buildings or walk through Chinatown. There is alot of shopping here too.

    For something unique, take in a cemetery walk hosted by the old cemetery society www.oldcem.bc.ca to learn about early and later residents of the city such as Emily Carr, Robert Dunsmuir, early architects, Hudson Bay Company staff, etc. Or if you are staying overnight, take guided ghost walk downtown. John Adams, a local historian, published author, is a great storyteller!

    There are several whale watching companies www.5starwhales.com that will take you out for a 3 hour tour (I have trained several of their staff) and nature companies who will share nature with you.
  8. Jeana

    Jeana Guest

    Is it more economical to see Butchart Gardens on your own or with the cruise line? How long should you allow to fully see the gardens? Do the cruise tours allow sufficient time or rush you on?
  9. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    I don't have specifics on that.
    But the one thing I would mention is be careful of what time your ship comes and goes. If it does not spend a full day arriving late or departing early to make the next port or for what ever reason you would want to stick with a Ships tour for sure.
  10. Jeana

    Jeana Guest

    As a follow up on my post above, we are back from our trip and we did get to Victoria and Butchart Gardens. I HIGHLY recommend Buthchart Gardens to anyone. It is a fantastic place. Not having been there before, I did want to go on my own so I would have more time than the ship might allow, so I did some research on how to do it. I would like to pass that along to anyone here who wants to know. The ship shuttle will take you down to the area of the Empress Hotel. Right behind the Empress there is a Grayline Bus station. Go inside and there is a separate desk for Express Shuttle to Butchart Gardens. They go DIRECTLY to the Gardens and back at regular intervals. You should not have a problem getting back when you want to and they will give you a schedule of departure and return times. It probably takes about 35 - 45 min to get there from the station. The price of the bus ticket includes entrance fee into the Gardens. I would say to reserve at least 2 hrs. to see the gardens and more if you want to eat there or take a more liesurely pace. We were able to see it all in 2 hrs but did not eat there. I wanted to have some time in Victoria, which we were able to do all in the same day. We ate in Victoria and shopped, toured the Empress and had plenty of time.

    Any questions, please feel free to ask.
  11. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    OCT 2006
    spent a few dasy in Victoria.
    Actually stayed at the Empress. Just walked a drove the area's around the city and updated my thought process for a cruise visit. So if anyones has questions .....

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