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Top Tours

 
Beacon Hill Park Carriage Tour
"At your chosen tour time meet at the corner of Belleville Street and Menzies Street where you'll hop into your horse-drawn carriage and begin your relaxing tour through Beacon Hill Park the oldest park in Victoria.Your experienced carriage driver will lead you past recently restored St Anne's Academy and deep into the 200-acre (74-hectare) park established in 1882. Hear stories of Victoria's past present and future as you wind down quaint paths and enjoy views of tranquil ponds dotted with stone bridges and engulfed in lush greenery and vibrant flowers. You may even spot some herons!Ride by the famous Empress hotel and Church Of Our Lo established in 1874. Wind your way back through the historical James Bay neighborhood before returning to the carriage stand to conclude your ride. "
From CAD24.00
 
The Royal Carriage Tour
"This popular tour begins with a breathtaking view of the majestic Empress Hotel overlooking the Inner Harbor with its classic tall ships and sleek sailing vessels. Feel like royalty as you journey past landmark buildings and historic homes. As you enter Beacon Hill Park you will be dazzled with the array of fragrant flowers and delightful duck ponds. You will continue on out to the Dallas Road waterfront passing Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway. Here you'll gaze at the splendor of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The rest of your tour will be through the oldest neighborhood in Victoria with an impressive variety of well-mai"""Travel by horse-drawn carriage through many parts of Victoria including Beacon Hill Park and the Dallas Road waterfront. Visit the Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway where you will experience the splendor of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca."
From CAD31.00
 
Victoria Carriage Tour Including James Bay
"At your selected tour time meet at the corner of Belleville Street and Menzies Street across from the Parliament buildings where you'll hop into your horse-drawn carriage and begin your leisurely ride. Sit back relax and enjoy the views as your experienced driver navigates through historic James Bay one of the oldest residential neighborhoods on the West coast of North America. Here you'll admire magnificent architecture of some of Victoria's oldest homes. Breathe in the fresh ocean air as you turn onto the Dallas Road waterfront and gaze at the captivating Olympic Mountains. Ride past the former house of Emily Carr
From CAD17.00

BC Ferries Tips (38)

B.C. Ferries

As I mentioned earlier...Victoria is in a sense a kind of isolated community given that its situated on an Island..Arrival to Victoria is only accomplished by personal boat,air,or ferry unless you are already on Vancouver Island..and B.C. Ferries pretty much is the most affordable way to transit from mainland British Columbia..

B.C. Ferries is a Crown Corporation that runs passenger and vehicle ferry services for coastal and island communities throughout most areas of British Columbia and is in fact a sort of "water based extension" of the highway system....you can use BC Ferries to get to Victoria from Metro Vancouver or some of the Gulf Islands.

The two terminals are Schwartz Bay on the Vancouver Island side [Victoria] and Tsawwassen on the mainland side [ Vancouver ]...both terminals offer public transport links [ public bus ] and "walk-on" passengers are quite common.Transiting between both Vancouver and Victoria is still relatively easy if you are not using a car although maybe a little more time consuming..B.C.Transit offers routes throughout the Lower Mainland that will eventually end up at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.The same goes for the Victoria side....B.C. Transit operates at least three routes that end at Schwartz Bay Terminal.

The sailing time between Victoria and Vancouver is about an hour and a half...add to that loading and off loading time and you're looking at a two hour experience excluding waiting times......sailing times can ALWAYS be lengthened when weather is a factor...the ships will not sail when conditions are deemed to be too dangerous.

The two most common ferries that run the route between Victoria and Vancouver are the "Spirit of British Columbia" and the "Spirit of Vancouver Island"...there is a third ferry,the newest on the run "Coastal Celebration"...the three are considered Super Ferries and were added to the fleet of B.C. Ferries in 1993 and 1994 while "Coastal Celebration was added to the fleet most recently in 2008.

The route between Schwartz Bay and Tsawwassen takes you across the Strait of Georgia and between Galiano and Mayne Islands transiting through Active Pass,considered to be the half way point of the journey..Active Pass often presents itself as a point of interest...and often ships sailing from each departure point will meet up here here...if you might be on deck while going through Active Pass...expect the ship to sound long warning blasts with its horn...there is an announcement over the PA system whenever this happens but be prepared...its a long and loud blast that will certainly notice!This is also a pretty scenic point of the journey and you might want to take some pictures...

Don't be surprised if you might see some type of sea life during your journey....seals,eagles,and sometimes whales are sighted during the crossing...

The fee structure is quite varied and is sometimes pretty confusing...Walk on passengers will pay $ 13.50 Canadian for adults...children aged 5-11 will cost you $ 6.75...Children under 5 are FREE...If you're traveling by vehicle expect to pay this fare AND in addition to this don't forget the rate that you will be charged for your vehicle...Vehicle fares are determined by the size ot the vehicle....for example...a passenger vehicle will cost $ 45.00 including a trailer if your vehicle falls within an overall size of 20 feet long and 7 feet high...add $ 2.25 a foot if the vehicle exceeds this "standard"..

Sometimes ferry lines can be long....meaning lots of people are traveling to or from...its possible to make "RESERVATIONS" which ensure your access to a specific crossing...but this also comes with a COST....To make a reservation for a particular sailing will cost you an ADDITIONAL $ 17.50 in addition to all of the other costs involved...

The list goes on and on so if you're traveling with a trailer or maybe a motor home you might want to consult they're website for more details....or use the telephone...Reservation and sailing information can be obtained by either telephone or internet....

Sailings between Victoria and Vancouver are normally every hour on the hour...first sailings from either departure point are at 7:00 AM and the last sailing of the day is at 9:00 PM...

EARLY and LATER departures are planned for the duration of the coming 2010 Olympics....please consult B.C. Ferries Web site for more information...

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Greggor58
Sep 19, 2009

BC Ferries

If you are going from Vancouver Island to the Vancouver area, you will be traveling on BC Ferries. We did this on our return trip and this is a quite scenic trip as well. On a clear day you can see some beautiful peaks in the distance. It cost us C$ 43 and took 1.5 hours. Check their website for current schedules and prices.

This is another route that requires some driving as you leave from Sydney once again and sail to Tsawassen on the British Colombia mainland. It is a 30 kilometer or half hour drive to Vancouver.

There are numerous other routes to get to the mainland of British Colombia if you are traveling around Vancouver Island. Please check their informative website for details.

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richiecdisc
Nov 22, 2009

Take Your Car For A Ride

On our 3rd day in town we went via a BC Car Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria or actually Tsawwassen (near the US/Canadian border) to Swartz Bay (a little north of Victoria). This is the first time we had ever ridden with a car onto a ferry and was an interesting experience.

If you've never done this before, I'll give you a brief description. First, we purchased our tickets ahead of time to make sure we got on the boat we wanted. Although they have several crossings every day they can be filled up and you would have to wait several hours for the next crossing. Next, we waited in line with other vehicles until and ferry arrived and the gates came up to allow us on the boat. It is all done quickly and in a very orderly fashion. You then leave the vehicle part of the ferry and go up into the passenger area which has very comfortable inside seating and a deck which you can walk around during your trip.

Most of the time we spent inside since it was a chilly day, but we were able to get outside for some time to take pictures and an actual whale sighting. A lot of people pay a lot of money for special whale sighting trips and lo and behold we got one (albeit very brief) at no extra charge.

When you arrive at your destination port the same orderly departures occur from the ferry as now the other end of the ferry lowers its gates. As of 2009 current costs for the route we took were $13.50 per person + $45 per car. Canadian Dollars.

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riorich55
May 18, 2009

BC Ferries

To go to Victoria, there is a ferry that departs from Tsawwassen and goes to Swartz Bay which takes approximately 90 minutes. The ferries, at least in the summer, leave every hour from 6 am-9pm (10 pm on weekends and holidays), you can see the schedule here. You can also take a car on the ferry which would cut down on the amount of time the trip takes but of course includes an extra charge and is sometimes fully booked so you may want to make a reservation.

You pay for the fare before boarding and they are only sold as one way fares, credit cards are accepted. Our one way fare was $11.60 CAD.

Once on board, you can sit in one of the lounges, watch the scenery up on deck, have a meal at one of the restaurants on board or take a look through the gift shop. We grabbed breakfast at the Coastal Cafe, or more accurately Rob had breakfast and I ate his Belgian waffle and then headed up to the top deck to watch the scenery go by. We hadn't intended to eat on board on the way back but we lost track of time on Victoria and caught the last ferry back which got us back to Vancouver around midnight so we ate at the Pacific Buffet which had a variety of meat and fish dishes, a salad bar and a dessert bar.

TIP: bring along a jacket if you want to hang out on deck, even in the summer, as it gets cool out on the water

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Dabs
Aug 24, 2006
 
 
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B.C. Ferry

The best way to get to Vancouver Island and Victoria is with the B.C. Ferry.
You can go from Tsawwasen (about 20 km' south of Vancouver) to Shwarts Bay (about 20 km' north of Victoria) or from Horseshoe Bay (just north of Vancouver) to Nanaimo (40 km' north of Victoria).
The sail itself takes about one and a half hour, but the whole trip door to door takes about 3 hours.
In the high season you better be at the departure point more then half an hour before departure, or call them and reservr a place (for your car). It cost a bit more, but you won't remain on shore

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galy
Jun 13, 2003

From Vancouver to Victoria with BC Ferries

The 95-minute ferry ride between Tsawwassen (Vancouver) and Swartz Bay (Victoria) is a very pleasant one - not only are the boats comfortable, with plenty of nice indoor and outdoor seating areas, a restaurant, a cafeteria and a giftshop, but the landscape alone is well worth the price of your ticket! Both on the way to and from Victoria, I spent most of the trip out on the deck with my camera in hand, snapping away as the ferry made its way through dozens of small islands. It's practically an attraction in itself!

Boats depart every hour on the hour from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, with extra departures at 6:00 am on weekdays and at 10:00 pm on Friday and Sunday nights (check the website for more information as schedules might change). Tickets cost $11.15 for adults, and there's a bus stop at the terminal if you want to catch a bus to downtown Victoria.

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Jefie
Jul 12, 2007

BC Ferries

Victoria is situated on the island so it took me some time to realise that I was actually on the island, and the only way to get to the main land to take a Ferry. Of course there is also sea planes or swim :)))
And it's possible only when this transportation is available.
There is a schedule, which you can find on the website below.
Yes, you can go either by foot, being on the bus, in the car or on the bike.
Remember check the schedule first!!!
Inconvinience is that you can't get to main land during the night, so basically if you are stuck! :)
The service works perfect but on limited time!
There are also sea place about them I will tell in my next tip!
Cost ~ 11 CA $ (foot passenger)
~ 40 CA $ for vehicle (not including passengers)
2,50 CA $ for bicycle

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Minka007
Aug 24, 2006

Dining Aboard BC Ferries

The food aboard BC Ferries can, in general, only be described as crap. In the cafeteria I would suggest getting a bowl of soup... apparently the White Spot burgers don't compare to the real thing. Also, if you order a kids meal you get some pudding, which is probably the healthiest part of the meal.

The only exception is the Pacific Buffet breakfast. For only $11 you get unlimited breakfast treats with the nicest view and quietest seating on the boat. You can toast your own waffles (add strawberries and whipped cream) and toast and have some oatmeal, then go back for eggs, sausages, squash, muffins and danishes. There is lots of tea, coffee and juice as well.

For lunch the buffet serves a more expensive salad bar, and for dinner they do a roast. I personally don't like either idea so I haven't tried it, but unless that sounds really appealing to you (and worth $15 or more), consider eating breakfast in the buffet and packing any other meal you might want to eat while aboard.

Jetgirly
Jun 01, 2004

Top 5 Victoria Writers

Jetgirly

"Very Victoria"
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glabah

"Facing the Weather and the Mountains"
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Jefie

"A Canadian city with a British twist!"
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Greggor58

"A Trip Home is ALWAYS GREAT !!"
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richiecdisc

"Quenching the Thirst of a Glorious Past: Victoria"
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Getting to Victoria from Vancouver

Many people get from Vancouver to Victoria using Pacific Coaches but it was much cheaper and really easy just to use public transport.

We travelled on the Canada Line to Bridgeport Station then boarded bus 620 to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. This bus was pretty crowded but then it was a public holiday.

When we arrived at Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, we bought our ticket and boarded a BC Ferry bound for Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. The ferry was very comfortable and the Gulf Island scenery was lovely so the one and a half hour ferry ride passed very quickly.

At Swartz Bay you can take bus 70, 71 or 72 to Downtown Victoria. We had a female driver and she could not have been more helpful. She provided information for everyone about how to reach their hotel, calling out their stops or telling them where and when to transit.

The last stop of this bus was very close to the Provincial Legislature Building.

Buses in Victoria cost$2.50 and its $5 for a day ticket.

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IreneMcKay
Apr 18, 2015

BC Ferries

Victoria is well connected by ferry to both the BC mainland and Washington State. Ferries between Vancouver and Victoria sail several times per day. Bus companies provide services between downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver via ferry.
Prepare your camera because you'll get to see spectacular views.

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cinthya_in_victoria
May 09, 2008

Ferries from Vancouver to Victoria

We took the Spirit of British Columbia from Vancouver to Victoria. This was a super nice, and modern ferrie with flat screen TV's, restaurants, etc. The ride is about 1 1/2 hour, and it cost $70 for four people.

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globetrotter_2006
Feb 24, 2006

Port Angeles Ferry

We arrived at the dock in Port Angeles 40 minutes before the scheduled departure. Be sure to have a valid passport ready, along with your money. IF you don't have it ready, you will be asked to step aside while the clerk waits on someone else. I have ridden the BC ferries several times and never been disappointed. It takes about an hour and a half from P.A. to Victoria. When leaving the ferry, turn right, go up the 30 foot hill to the left, turn left to the main road and continue down until you hit the sign marking Highway 17. The ride is $37.50 for motorcycle and rider and $25.00 for the passenger. Be very careful while driving in Victoria because the drivers there have no sense at all about courtesy or safety.

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hindu1936
Aug 27, 2007

Things to Do Near Victoria

Things to Do

Chinatown

Victoria's Chinatown has the distinction of being the oldest Chinatown in Canada. It is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco. Victoria's Chinatown grew up to house the many Chinese...
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Craigdarroch Castle

As soon as we said we were going to Victoria, everyone who had ever been there told us we had to go to Butchart Gardens, but we did not. The reason for this was that I found so many things I wanted to...
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Things to Do

City Hall

Victoria City Hall is located on Douglas Street and Pandora Avenue. It was completed in 1890 and was designed by architect John Teague. Outside there was a statue and a memorial to Victoria's...
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Harbour ferries

Well known for its charming city center the picturesque harbor, is a manageable on walking and explore the charming harbor and main city streets without paying for needless tours. The harbor area...
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Fisherman's Wharf

FIsherman's Wharf is Victoria's hidden treasure waiting for discovery! It's so close to downtown, and has a vibrant atmosphere with funky floathomes, fishing vessels and marine life! You get a front...
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Things to Do

Market Square

Market Square dates from the late 1800s. This was a time when Victoria was enjoying rapid growth and prosperity due to all the gold prospectors passing through on their way to seek their fortunes in...
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Getting to Victoria

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