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Coral
March 19th, 2006, 11:09 AM
I have a full day in Victoria. Instead of using the ship's tour, I plan on using Grayline buses. From what I understand, I should take ship's shuttle to downtown Victoria and from there I can buy Grayline bus transfers to Butchart Gardens.

I looked on Grayline's website for Victoria and only came up with tours.

Can someone tell me the following:

1. Where do I pick up the Grayline buses. Near the Empress?
2. How much are their transfers and do they include admission to Butchart Gardens or do I pay for admission once I am there?
3. What times do they run and how often do they run (2x an hour?). I would like to get out there as soon as possible in the morning to see some of the gardens before the crowds show up.
4. Should I bring Canadian money or is Visa/MC good enough?
5. How long is realistic time spending at the gardens? I am trying to figure out how much time I have to walk around Victoria.

I will be there May 19th - I assume the buses will be running then and the gardens will look great then? Safe assumptions?

Thank you for all of your assistance!

c-to-sea
March 19th, 2006, 08:18 PM
As far as I know, Gray Line operates as a tour and includes admission in their
prices. Have a look at http://www.grayline.com/franchise.cfm/action/details/id/66
(Note: this link may not be active right now, they may be updating)

The basic tour takes about 4 hours, which is plenty of time to walk the
gardens and then visit Butterfly World. I have seen the Gray Line double deckers picking up right at the pier but not sure if this is just for the
ship's excursion or not. Other wise, they leave from in front of the Empress
which is easy to get to from the ship. US dollars are accepted everywhere, as are major credit cards. Everything here will be in full swing
on May 19th. and the gardens will be beautiful.

StanH1000
April 11th, 2006, 12:08 PM
Are there any private drivers or public transportation to the gardens?

c-to-sea
April 11th, 2006, 06:56 PM
When you get off the ship, there is a huge parking lot off the pier. There
are usually dozens of limos, taxis, private tour guides, horse-drawn
caraiges, etc., all waiting to take your money. As far as I know, they are all pretty
reliable and I haven't seen any posts about missing the ship, overcharges,
etc. The only caveat for visiting Butchart Gardens is for the short, evening
arrivals with only 6 hours or so in port. In these cases, the ship's tours are
recommended as they cover you in the event of a delayed return. The Gardens
get pretty busy in the summer months and there can be some traffic delays.