Inside Passage Alaska Victoria excursion

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#1
186 Posts
Joined May 2005
Interested in this voyage but ship gets into Victoria at 7 pm. Everything on Government St is closed, is it worth walking around town? No Empress Tea or browsing shops?
Thanks for your reply in advance.
#2
Phoenix, Arizona
2,538 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
The Victoria stop is needed to fulfill the “foreign port” requirement. We’ve been there twice on Alaskan cruises. Nice little wharf area, with outdoor restaurants, very walkable from ship. Water taxis from that area can take you to other city locations. Nicely illuminated government building a good evening photo op. We enjoyed wandering about for a few hours.
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#3
Victoria, BC
5,408 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
walk to fisherman's wharf to see the seals. from there get a harbour ferry to the inner harbour.
take a walk, a taxi, shuttle or carriage ride to the inner harbour. the buskers will still be there and they're usually really entertaining.
there are lot of funky pubs and restaurants, some with live music.
do take a walk up government, there will be some shops open. Rogers chocolates is open until 10. a quick google search showed some tourist shops open until 11pm.
if you're here on a friday or saturday the provincial museum is open until 10pm.
the empress may not be serving tea but you can still walk through it.
what are the princess tours doing? those places will all be open.
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#4
Cincinnati. OH-Go Reds
6,174 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
look at taking the horse drawn carriage ride. It is nice and peaceful and goes to all the places in Victoria
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#5
Northern California
985 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
I haven't done it myself, but Butchart Gardens is supposed to be illuminated at night, and i hear it's pretty cool all lit up, so maybe that would be worth looking into as an alternate excursion.
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#6
Riverside, CA
3,054 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by gdisney
I haven't done it myself, but Butchart Gardens is supposed to be illuminated at night, and i hear it's pretty cool all lit up, so maybe that would be worth looking into as an alternate excursion.
If you are doing this cruise later in the year, you will get to see the gardens lit up. On June 22nd when we stopped there the sun light was just about gone as we pulled out.
They also offer this with a butterfly garden stop, but I think Butchart by itself can't be seen in under 4 to 5 hours if you are looking at and reading plant info and looking a rose varieties.
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#7
186 Posts
Joined May 2005
Really appreciate all the suggestions for Victoria. We will be there late May in 2019 so still some sunlight.
Does anyone know which terminal Ruby will be docking at? Have read the walk into town is 15-45 minutes depending on how fast we can walk in the dark back to the ship.
Would love to get some chocolate creams at Rogers, had given up hope they would be closed by 7pm. That would give this visit an extra bonus.
#8
Victoria, BC
5,408 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by dott
Really appreciate all the suggestions for Victoria. We will be there late May in 2019 so still some sunlight.
Does anyone know which terminal Ruby will be docking at? Have read the walk into town is 15-45 minutes depending on how fast we can walk in the dark back to the ship.
Would love to get some chocolate creams at Rogers, had given up hope they would be closed by 7pm. That would give this visit an extra bonus.
you will dock at ogden point which is off dallas road next to the breakwater.
princess does have a shuttle to government street if you wanted to do that either coming, going or both. there are also taxis. no uber or lyft allowed here yet.
butchart gardens is only open until 5pm in May. for any other time, its one excursion i'd take with the cruise line because of your short time in port.
late May it will be light until 9:15-9:30 or so.
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#9
186 Posts
Joined May 2005
cdngrl - thanks for all the info, really helpful.
we were originally booked on voyage of glaciers but when ez air came available the logistics of flying back to the west coast was not feasible.
schedules for air and no nonstops forced us to take inside passage, at least we get to see glacier national park and a little bit of bc.
#10
Chicago
2,014 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
The Butchart Gardens shore excursion is fantastic! I have done it several times during the evening stop in Victoria. If you are at all interested in flowers or gardens, this is great. A life highlight.
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#11
Victoria, BC
5,408 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
its funny, i'm not at all interested in flowers or gardens yet i love butchart! its a beautiful place for a stroll, watch the fountains, have a picnic, get some gelato, ride the rose carousel (adults too-it goes FAST! in the summer there are free concerts every day with fireworks every saturday along with the night illumination. its a special place.

you are most welcome dott. i love the inside passage route; you will have a great time.
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#12
Somewhere On Earth
2,281 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I was born, grew up and spent 49 years living in Victoria. I've never been to Butchart Gardens or had tea at the Empress. After I moved away, I've been kicking myself for not having taken advantage of the once-yearly, Tourism Victoria 'Be a Tourist in Your Hometown' promo.

I would like to see 'the gardens' (on a summer Saturday when they have fireworks)... but never had any interest in paying an exorbitant price for 'tea'.

P.S. Just strolling a circuit from the ship to 'Downtown': Inner Harbour/Empress/Royal BC Museum, south to Beacon Hill Park, then along Dallas Rd. back to Ogden Point is beautiful (assuming the weather co-operates)... and free!
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#13
South Florida & Shenandoah Valley, VA
6,359 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Cruisin'Rabbit
The Butchart Gardens shore excursion is fantastic! I have done it several times during the evening stop in Victoria. If you are at all interested in flowers or gardens, this is great. A life highlight.
Our two adult kids and spouses did the Butchart Gardens Princess shore excursion last Friday night. They loved all of it - the drive through Victoria with a very knowledgeable and interesting guide, the gardens themselves (they even took notes of plants and flowers they liked to research suitability for their home gardens), the jazz (if I remember correctly) band that was playing in one of the larger gardens, and the beautiful illuminations turned on as night fell.
#14
Chicago
2,014 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by capriccio
Our two adult kids and spouses did the Butchart Gardens Princess shore excursion last Friday night. They loved all of it - the drive through Victoria with a very knowledgeable and interesting guide, the gardens themselves (they even took notes of plants and flowers they liked to research suitability for their home gardens), the jazz (if I remember correctly) band that was playing in one of the larger gardens, and the beautiful illuminations turned on as night fell.
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this😊 I love the Butchart Gardens shore excursion.
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#16
1,092 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by gdisney
I haven't done it myself, but Butchart Gardens is supposed to be illuminated at night, and i hear it's pretty cool all lit up, so maybe that would be worth looking into as an alternate excursion.
This is what I thought until I did it. Don’t waste your time. Lights illuminate 3 foot circles. There’s not even enough light to read the map.
#17
Chico, California
11,391 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by rockdoctor
This is what I thought until I did it. Don’t waste your time. Lights illuminate 3 foot circles. There’s not even enough light to read the map.
GAH! After visiting the gardens during the day it sounded like it would be great to see them at night. I'm quite disappointed to hear your report but grateful to know in advance that my previous plan may well not be a good plan at all.
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#18
Virgina
4,894 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by gdisney
I haven't done it myself, but Butchart Gardens is supposed to be illuminated at night, and i hear it's pretty cool all lit up, so maybe that would be worth looking into as an alternate excursion.
We have, and had out 8 and 14 year old sons with us and even they loved it. It is truly one of the most beautiful man-made places I have ever seen. My pictures are phenomenal.

I clearly disagree with RockDoctor. We were there in late May/early June and so the days were quite long. The sun really didn't set until 9/930 and it was just getting dark as it was time to exit and return to the ship. If I was at home, I could post photos...
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#19
Victoria, BC
5,408 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by Thrak
GAH! After visiting the gardens during the day it sounded like it would be great to see them at night. I'm quite disappointed to hear your report but grateful to know in advance that my previous plan may well not be a good plan at all.
i disagree with rockdoctor too, but its all about what your expectations are.
the night illumination is more about the lights than the flowers. there are no giant halogen lights illuminating your way, but the coloured lights on the leaves and the pathways are pretty.
if you've seen the gardens in the daytime already, i wouldn't make a special trip to see them at night unless you are there on a saturday to see the fireworks. in which case you are most likely at the gardens in the evening from before dark to late night.
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#20
Riverside, CA
3,054 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by A&Jfamily
I clearly disagree with RockDoctor. We were there in late May/early June and so the days were quite long. The sun really didn't set until 9/930 and it was just getting dark as it was time to exit and return to the ship. If I was at home, I could post photos...
OP indicated late May so they will get the late sunset as you indicated.
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