Victoria and Butchart Gardens
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.
Tour started with a bus picking us up at our hotel in Vancouver. Traveled by ferry boat to Vancouver Island. Drove into town of Victoria. The plan was to go to one end of the main street that runs through the town and drop us off. We then had about 2 hours and 45 mins. to walk about 1 mile to the other end of the street and get picked up in front of the Empress Hotel by our bus. This gave everyone plenty of time for a nice lunch and shopping. Empress hotel is fantastic to walk through. We had time for an afternoon cocktail in their lounge. Next was Butchart Gardens. We drove to it we were given about 3 hours to tour. This seemed like just the right amount of time to see the entire gardens while taking time for photos and sitting and enjoying the gardens in several locations. Plenty of time for shopping in the gift shop. Back on the bus for the return trip back to Vancouver. This was a 11 hour long day but it did not seem like it as the whole day was so enjoyable. Highly recommended.
We had plenty of time to explore both Victoria and the Gardens. Guide was great.
If you are in Vancouver without transportation, we recommend taking this ferry ride and self guided tour of the Butchart Gardens. The ferry to Victoria is a wonderful way to travel and to see the scenery. Victoria was so beautiful and fun. The Gardens were a delight.
Reviewer: Christine Yu
David Su our tour guide is excellent. He is knowledgeable about locals and kept us all participated in conversations. The time spent in Vancouver is well planned and executed. It's worth the money.
Reviewer: Richard Seidenstricker
Just a wonderful must see when visiting Victoria Island. The beauty of the gardens is really beyond words, just go see it you will not be disappointed. I recommend using Shore Excursions Group for your trip took any hassle out of the journey with there pickup and delivery, and the guides knowledge and enthusiasm.