Victoria and Butchart Gardens Canada – Sightseeing Tour by Air, Land and/or Sea
“No city is further away from Britain – yet no city is more British” Sarah Morgan, author
Western Canada’s oldest city, Victoria BC has a lot of old fashioned British charm. With a moderate climate and scenic setting, Victoria has retained a very vital but comfortable quality of life.
Victoria residents have a passion for gardens, golfing, and greenery and for civility. British influence is reflected in the shops along Government Street where you can hunt for linens, china, antiques, and woolens. Dozens of tearooms offer afternoon tea with cream puffs and dainty sandwiches.
Victoria is located on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island. As the crow flies, Victoria is about equidistant (100 m/60 km) from Vancouver or Seattle. However, getting there is a 4-hour one-way overland trip by car/motor coach and by ferry.
We offer a variety of one-day Victoria sightseeing tours from Vancouver for every taste and pocket book. Best of all – you won’t need a car. All our tours include pick-up from your hotel in Vancouver and include the transportation between sites.
Option 1 – Victoria & Butchart Gardens by bus & ferry
The least expensive Victoria day trip is going by bus and ferry both ways. Taking about 13.5 hours, it is also the longest day trip and the one that allows the least amount of time exploring Victoria – a mere 2 hours. Guests spend about 1.5 hours admiring the Butchart Gardens and the driver will explain the sites along the way.
$189 per person, minimum 1 person. Price includes hotel pick-up and all taxes. For a full trip description click on the Details button.
Option 2 – Victoria & Butchart Gardens by float plane, bus and ferry
Fly one way by sea plane and add an exiting air adventure to the trip as well as an extra 4 hours to the Victoria visit. In the afternoon a bus takes guests from downtown Victoria to the Gardens and from there directly to the ferry for the return trip to Vancouver.
$349 per person, minimum 1 person. Price includes hotel pick-up and all taxes. For a full trip description click on the Details button.
Option 3 – Victoria & Butchart Gardens by Sea Plane and Speed Boat
The flight to Victoria remains unchanged. However, instead of taking the bus and ferry back to Vancouver, guests return to downtown Vancouver in a comfortable covered speed boat that leaves directly from the private dock of the Butchart Gardens. The “Ocean Magic” is a modern 62-foot aluminum express cruiser capable of cruising with stability and comfort at 30 knots an hour and can carry up to 74 passengers. The vessel features outdoor viewing areas, heated passenger seating areas, onboard washrooms and a small snack selection.
This reduces the return voyage to about 2 hours. Guests travel by bus from Victoria to the Gardens. Choose from 3 different bus departure times to spend more then 1.5 hours at the Gardens. We have found that for most visitors 1.5 hours is sufficient time to thoroughly enjoy all aspects of the Butchart Gardens.
Can$399/person, minimum 2 persons. Price includes hotel pick-up and all taxes. For a full trip description click on the Details button.
The waters that separate Vancouver Island from the mainland are teeming with all kinds of sea mammals including some 100 Orcas or killer whales that have visited the area for millennia Sighting chances are about 95 %. Visitors with an interest in wildlife, combining a Victoria visit with a whale watching excursion is a cost and time efficient opportunity. The whale watching boat arrives downtown Victoria at about 1:00 pm. From there visitors again have several option to return to Vancouver.
Option 4 – Whale Watching to Victoria – Return by Bus and Ferry
The same bus as in options 1 and 2 will take you to the Butchart Gardens and onward from there directly to the ferry and back to Vancouver.
Can$375/person, minimum 1 person. Price includes hotel pick-up and all taxes. For a full trip description click on the Details button.
Option 5 – Whale Watching to Victoria – Return by Speed Boat
As in option 3, guests return to downtown Vancouver on the same speed boat that leaves directly from the private dock of the Butchart Gardens.
The “Ocean Magic” is a modern 62-foot aluminum express cruiser capable of cruising with stability and comfort at 30 knots an hour and can carry up to 74 passengers. The vessel features outdoor viewing areas, heated passenger seating areas, onboard washrooms and a small snack selection.
Can$375/person, minimum 2 persons. Price includes hotel pick-up and all taxes. For a full trip description click on the Details button.
Option 6 – Victoria & Butchart Gardens by Sea Plane and Speed Boat
Return to Vancouver from Victoria by sea plane. Guests who chose this option and who also wish to visit the Butchart Gardens, will have to return to Victoria from the Gardens because the sea planes leave only from downtown Victoria.
$479/person, minimum 2 persons. Price includes hotel pick-up and all taxes. For a full trip description click on the Details button.
Things to do in Victoria
Victoria is very walkable and the best way to experience the horticulture and architecture of Victoria is on foot. Here are a few suggestions for things to do in Victoria.
This is easily the most visited place of Victoria, the “Garden City”. Started in 1904 in abandoned limestone workings by Jenny Butchart, wife of a wealthy quarry owner, Butchart Gardens have have been developed into a 20 ha (50-acre) horticultural tour de force without rival in Canada. The Italian garden, rose garden, Japanese garden and sunken garden are among the loveliest. Open spaces among the pools, fountains and the many exotic plants are used for artistic and musical performances.
Allow at least about 1.5 hours for the visit. From Victoria the Butchart Gardens are located 11 miles northwards on the Saanich Peninsula, near Brentwood Bay. If you are returning to Victoria, allow an hour travel time for the round trip. All of our Victoria Trips except for Options 6 return to Vancouver directly from the Butchart Gardens. For more information on the Gardens visit www.butchartgardens.com.
House of Parliament – Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and rules with British parliamentary traditions. Most of the legislature sittings are open to the public. Share one of few Canadian tax benefits and take a free tour of the House of Parliament. Tours are offered daily.
For tour information visit www.leg.bc.ca/info/2-2.htm
Shopping – Victoria is a great place to shop for British wools and textiles. Douglas Street is the center of shopping in Victoria. Browse for English silver and Victorian treasures in the antique shops along Fort Street.
Royal British Columbia Museum – Outstanding contemporary exhibits and a large screen Imax cinema with exiting programs make this one of the most visited museums in the country. Discover British Columbias natural history and the unique cultures of British Columbia’s First Nations.
For information on current exhibits visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.
Victoria Bug Zoo – Right downtown Victoria is the home of some of the worlds most incredible insects, arachnids and other creepy-crawlies. There are a variety of live creatures for your viewing enjoyment – scorpions, tarantulas, mantis, centipedes, giant stick insects, colorful beetles, huge grasshoppers and more! Friendly tour guides will let you hold some of our multi-legged creatures.
Why not take home a pet Tarantula? For information visit www.bugzoo.bc.ca.
Victoria Harbor Ferry – For a unique water view of the city take a tour with Victoria’s Harbor Ferries. Stop at Fisherman’s Wharf for a look at Victoria’s unique houseboat community.
Visit www.victoriaharbourferry.com for more details.
High Tea – the British tradition to serve tea and sandwiches is popular in Victoria. You can, of course, go to the the Empress Hotel together with everybody else. For A more intimate experience of this English custom visit the Gatsby Mansion, a restored turn-of-the-century Victorian patrician home with a superb view Victoria’s inner harbour.
For Information visit www.gatsbymansion.com.
Marine Wild Life Tours – Race Rocks on the most Southern Tip of Vancouver Island experiences extraordinary tidal flows; among the strongest on the North West Pacific coast. Race Rocks is also a protected wildlife reserve for a myriad of Stellar and California sea lions, Elephant seals, Dalls & Harbour Porpoises, bald eagles, cormorants, auklets, murellettes, and a large number of other shore birds.
Discover the marine wild life habitats of the West Coast on a 2 hour Zodiak tour with a trained naturalist. Weather permitting trips are offered throughout the winter. Dress warm – you travel in all-weather survival suits. For more information visit www.racerocks.com.
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours
While Victoria’s is a very walkable city, those of us who have difficulties walking might consider savoring Victoria in true 19th century style – by horse &
carriage. Escape the noise and traffic of downtown in famous Be
acon Hill Park; enjoy the lush greenery of the city and it’s many gardens; take in the breathtaking waterfront views and of Washington’s snow-capped Olympic Mountain Range. A romantic way to experience
Contact www.tallyhotours.com for more information.
Victoria Sailing cruise - Spend half a day sailing the protected waters o the Gulf Islands off Victoria on a 35 ft luxory sailing yacht.
Visit http://www.blackfishal.com/dayS.htm for more information.