Explorer OTS-Whale watching and Butchart Gardens possible? 10am-6pm?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to request...do not start a new thread. Thanks!
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 05:00 PM.
#1
Houston,Texas!
477 Posts
Joined May 2000
I will be in Victoria on Sept 28th on the Explorer of the Seas from 10am to 6pm. I was hoping to do both Butchart Gardens and Whale watching .....is this possible? I don't want to miss the ship! Thanks!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Carnival Fantasy '94
Carnival Fascination '95
Enchantment of the seas '97
Rhapsody of the Seas '98 Alaska
Rhapsody of the Seas '00
Enchantment of the Seas '01
Rhapsody of the Seas '01
Carnival Celebration 2-02
Adventure of the Seas 9-02
Carnival Jubilee 1-03
Navigator of the Seas 9-03
Splendour of the Seas 4-17-04
Caribbean Princess 10-30-04
Rhapsody of the Seas 8-28-2005
Grand Princess 11-25-2006
Radiance of the Seas 9-7-2007 Alaska
Voyager of the Seas April 13, 2008
Star Princess April 3, 2010
Carnival Ecstasy Sept 18, 2010
Serenade of the Seas Dec 3, 2011 Southern Carib
Mariner of the Seas April 1, 2012 W Carib
Oasis of the Seas April 20, 2013 E Carib
Carnival Triumph October 3, 2013
Brilliance of the Seas October 12, 2014 New England/Canada
Anthem of the Seas April 30,2016 Bermuda
Harmony of the Seas May 20, 2017 Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas September 22, 2017 Pacific Coastal
#2
YVR & PDX
3,421 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Yes - but it's tight and I personally wouldn't recommend trying.

There are multiple whale-watching companies offering approx 3 hour tours - but by the time you get there from the ship, even if it docks on time, you're realistically looking at an 11am or noon tour. Back on land at 2-3pm with a car rental prearranged or jumping right in a cab will get you to Butchart in <40mins, just about enough time to see most of the gardens and hustle back to the ship (NB: all-aboard time will be 5:30pm for a 6pm departure). You'd have to eat lunch on the boat to make this work, and you'd be hustling through the gardens, and probably worrying about making it back in time = a stressed group of people, not conducive to a nice day out on port.

I'd pick one or t'other - or split your group if there's a difference of opinion what would be best. You can do another whale-watch in at least one additional port on any AK cruise - at least one of Juneau and ISP seem to be included on every cruise - while Butchart is harder to find equivalent 'garden time' for unless you're spending time in Vancouver.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Princess: Emerald, Golden x3, Island, Star x2
NCL: Gem, Pearl
HAL: Veendam
Edumacational kiddie cruises: SS Uganda
#3
Houston,Texas!
477 Posts
Joined May 2000
Thanks for the info.....looks like a leisure day at the Gardens it is! That's the main thing I HAVE to see in Victoria is Butchart Gardens. I haven't seen Orcas on my past 2 Alaska cruises. I was hoping to try to squeeze it in. This is a Pacific Coastal cruise and I don't think wild Orcas can be seen in San Francisco or Astoria, Oregon. I definitely don't want the stress of trying to do both. Thanks again!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Carnival Fantasy '94
Carnival Fascination '95
Enchantment of the seas '97
Rhapsody of the Seas '98 Alaska
Rhapsody of the Seas '00
Enchantment of the Seas '01
Rhapsody of the Seas '01
Carnival Celebration 2-02
Adventure of the Seas 9-02
Carnival Jubilee 1-03
Navigator of the Seas 9-03
Splendour of the Seas 4-17-04
Caribbean Princess 10-30-04
Rhapsody of the Seas 8-28-2005
Grand Princess 11-25-2006
Radiance of the Seas 9-7-2007 Alaska
Voyager of the Seas April 13, 2008
Star Princess April 3, 2010
Carnival Ecstasy Sept 18, 2010
Serenade of the Seas Dec 3, 2011 Southern Carib
Mariner of the Seas April 1, 2012 W Carib
Oasis of the Seas April 20, 2013 E Carib
Carnival Triumph October 3, 2013
Brilliance of the Seas October 12, 2014 New England/Canada
Anthem of the Seas April 30,2016 Bermuda
Harmony of the Seas May 20, 2017 Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas September 22, 2017 Pacific Coastal