Victoria Cruise Hints and Tips:

Empress Garden FlowersIf you're stopping in Victoria, it is likely the last stop of your cruise and likely later in the day.  Even if time is short, you should make what you can of this stop and get out and enjoy just a taste of all the beauty that Victoria has to offer.  

Once you exit the cruise ship, you will find that bus transportation is readily available for a reasonable fee into and out of town.  Although possible to walk, to make the most of your time go ahead and hop on the bus.  There are plenty of fine walking opportunities once you are in town!  The bus will deposit you at the corner of the Empress Hotel.  Take some time to walk the beautiful garden and take the public entrance to visit this grand old hotel.  If you find yourself here in the afternoon, you may wish to stay for their elegant tea.

Legislative Buildings -  Victoria, BCJust across the way, you can take a stroll and enjoy the local color of the waterfront, which is constantly sporting some sort of entertainment.  From here there is a very nice view of the Legislative Buildings, which glow nightly with their magnificent display of lights. 

Should you find yourself lucky enough to have a bit of time in Victoria, by all means go and visit Butchart Gardens.   The garden is 21 km north of the city, and during peak hours, public transportation to the garden is possible.  I can easily spend the whole day walking around admiring and photographing this beautiful place, but must admit that on our cruise stop we decided not to go due to the late hour of arrival, shortening days, and short amount of time in port.

If you're not the type to stop and smell the flowers, I can also highly recommend the Royal British Columbia Museum just across the street a short way from the Empress Hotel. 

Once you get a taste of Victoria, you'll want to visit again for a longer period of time.  Victoria offers both a lively city and many opportunities for side trips, including ones into the Vancouver Island's fiercely rugged mountain wildernesses.  This is a large island with many different faces.

 Happy cruising!  

-Therese & Reid

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