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traic73

Victoria Cruise Ship terminal to Butchart Gardens

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Does anyone have any recommendations for transport to Butchart Gardens from the cruise terminal in Victoria? I am not really interested in cruise ship hosted bus tours, as I like to go at my own pace. 

Thanks! 

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If you're a solo traveler, or a couple, then the shuttle buses usually make the most sense - CVS run from just outside the Fairmont Empress (walk for <30mins even at very leisurely touring pace taking photos en route, or take a cab from the pier for ~$10) and will take you to the gardens with various possible return times, all for a hefty discount compared to ship tours with the benefit of letting you stay at the garden longer too.

 

A 4 person group can take a cab both ways, pay for entry on site, and likely save a few bucks over the shuttle price with even more flexibility, and it's hands-down the fastest option as you have no delays getting to a bus or rental car office and no paperwork, plus local drivers familiar with the roads. Traffic varies - assume $60 per cab each way.

 

Anyone willing to drive can rent a car for the day - how many people before this breaks even vs. other options depends on rental price that day. If there's 3 or 4 of you, this is almost certainly the cheapest option except for...

 

Public transit - $5 gets you a day pass on the buses, and the 75 goes to pretty much right outside Butchart's gates. Heading to the garden you can either transfer buses (a few routes go right along Dallas Road outside the pier) or just walk downtown to board the 75 - on the way back it's more convenient as the bus changes number en route and then continues along Dallas Road for almost door-to-door service. This is however the slowest method - you should allow for at least an hour each way - and you need Canadian currency (exact fare, no change given) to buy a day pass. Plenty of Canadian cruisers though, who would likely be very happy to swap $5 notes with you at par!

 

Which of these are viable for you depends on your port times of course - if it's a typical crappy evening PVSA-compliance stop on a Seattle RT cruise, the shuttles and rental car offices may well be done for the day before you can even get off the ship and transit will take far too long to let you experience the gardens and get back to town. Cabs are always available though, so if you can find a couple of other folks to share with you can still spend more time at the gardens for less money than a ship tour. Depending how much your line is padding the prices, you may break even or actually save money with just 2 in a cab if a ship tour is the only other choice.

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I am looking at options as well. we will be there early Oct arriving 1pm.  martincath, are taxis readily available at the port? any update on uber becoming  available in Victoria...at one time I read possibly September.  Thanks. 

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Not martincath but can answer your question Buckeye.  

 

Yes there will be plenty of taxis waiting at the port, not necessarily waiting at the Butcharts for the return trip.  You might need to order one, speak to your driver on the way out and see what he/she suggests.

 

We have Uber in Calgary and quite frankly I don't see why everyone is so excited about them.  Have used them a couple of times but found the pricing to be almost on a par with a regular taxi.

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Agree with all the above - if you are cabbing to Butchart, play it safe and ask the same cabbie to come back for you if you have a good idea of when you want that to be; if not, then take note of the cab contact number and call one when you are just about done. If it's a really tight timeframe for getting back to the ship, you could even consider paying the cabbie to wait outside for you - that works out to a hair over $30 an hour (waiting rates, like transportation rates, are set by law so everyone charges the same) so with a cabful of folks ends up still being potentially as cheap as the CVS shuttles and almost certainly still cheaper than a ship tour.

 

As to Uber etc., even if the legislation does go through in September that means it will be in the current proposed form - which means nobody who isn't already a licensed cab or limo driver can possibly work for Uber etc. This will make for a very slow launch compared to other jurisdictions where almost anyone with a license is a possible driver. Additional wrangling as to who can drive means additional debate on the law means further delays... and it's something that was already supposed to happen a couple of years ago but hasn't so I'll be surprised if it happens in Sep.

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Hi traic73,

You did not indicate which month you’ll be in Victoria.  October or September?

 

I checked the CVS web-site.  The last shuttle bus leaving the Empress Hotel is 14:00 hours (2:00pm) for the month of October.  The last shuttle leaving the gardens is 17:00 hours. That leaves you 3 hours at the gardens.  With the ship arriving around 1:00pm this gives you about one hour to get to the hotel.  If the ship arrives late you have less than an hour. In September, the CVS shuttle leaves the hotel at 15:00 hours.

 

I would suggest checking out the Ogden Point Cruise Shuttle or a taxi to get downtown.

The shuttle service is provided from the Ogden Point Cruise Terminal (cruise pier) to and from downtown. The shuttle runs a minimum of every 20 minutes. The last shuttle service is one hour prior to the ship's sailing time. The shuttle stops in downtown, at the 1000 block of

Government Street
. The shuttle costs C$11 for a round trip ticket; a one way ticket is C$6.

 

The downtown area is where you'll find most of Victoria's attractions, including the Empress Hotel, the provincial Legislative building complex, museums, shops, restaurants and pubs. These sites are an easy walk from one another once downtown.

John

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Thanks for the info on cabs.  We wont be rushed to get back to port as we are there until 10pm.  But I will note to be sure we have a contact to get a cab back to port.  Hoping we may be able to find someone to share a cab and split the cost. 

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16 hours ago, Buckeye10640 said:

But I will note to be sure we have a contact to get a cab back to port.  Hoping we may be able to find someone to share a cab and split the cost. 

 

Excellent idea. Looks like you'll be the only ship in port that day but you should have no problem sharing a cab to and from the Gardens. You could check on your roll call. 😊

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