This full day tour is one of the most popular excursions, as it visits the provincial capital and the world-renowned gardens in just one day. With plenty of free time in downtown Victoria and at Butchart Gardens, this will be a day you will never forget.
Setting out from the city, your award winning guide will give you a rundown on what your day holds in store. Your mini coach will be driven to the ferry landing (approximately 50 minutes from downtown Vancouver), where it will drive right onto the ferry for the 90 minute cruise over to Vancouver Island. During your time on board, enjoy amenities such as full restaurant service, gift shops or video games for the kids. Mostly, you'll be walking around deck, eyes on the water searching for orcas, eagles, or seals, and glancing up at the beautiful scenery as the ship winds its way through the Southern Gulf Islands to dock at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island.
Victoria, once a small fort, grew from the Gold Rush and then as the seat of provincial governmental power. The Inner Harbour is a legacy to one of Canada's most notable architects, Francis Rattenbury, as the skyline is dominated by two of his most famous works: the Parliament Buildings and The Empress Hotel. After your guide gives you an orientation tour of the downtown, enjoy 3 hours of free time to explore this quaint city by the sea, have some lunch on your own, and take in one of the varied local attractions.
After meeting back at a designated time and place in downtown Victoria, you will enjoy a 30-minute pastoral drive through the countryside. Arrive at a garden which leaves even the most avid horticulturalist in awe. Spread across 55 acres, the Butchart Gardens are truly a sight to be seen. You will find spectacular views as you stroll along meandering paths and expansive lawns. From the exquisite Sunken Garden to the charming Rose Garden, this show garden still maintains the gracious traditions of earlier times and boasts all the modern amenities to make your time there comfortable and enjoyable. Don't forget your camera. Time at the gardens is approximately two hours.
From the gardens, it is a short, twenty-minute, ride back to the BC Ferries terminal and a one hour 30 minutes ferry ride back to the mainland. On the return crossing you can enjoy the restaurant facilities on board the ferry or grab a nap in the lounge before being driven from the ferry terminal back to Vancouver and your hotel.
Please Note: Luggage can be accommodated on this tour if prior notice is provided. Please indicate if you will have luggage with you by checking the appropriate box above.
Reviewer: Jim Busko
Our guide provided us with safe driving, entertaining commentary, astute sightseeing tips, and a great restaurant recommendation. This tour was a great way to start our 20th Anniversary vacation.
Very well organized, on time and wonderful tour guide. All day everything was very pleasant. Highly recommend this tour. Don't try the ferry and connecting shuttles on your own.
This is a great excursion if you want to see Victoria/Butchart Gardens. It packs a lot into one day and it is a great value.
Reviewer: Azure of the gardens
The tour to Victoria and Butchart Gardens was one of the very best experiences we had on our entire trip. The gardens were beautiful and absolutely outstanding. The only complaint I can offer is that the day we were there both Victoria and the gardens were VERY crowded. The mini bus and ferry transfers were also scenic and were a relaxing method of transportation. Our guide (Downey) was very informative about the areas we traveled through and entertained us with stories and music about the area.