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Victoria May 27, 2020

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Hello!  Thanks in advance for any help in getting to see Victoria. We will be here from 9-5 which makes for a pretty good day. Can't seem to find too much info as I look on this forum.   We are not great walkers - DH will be recovering from broken ankle and I have MS and use a Rollator walker.  But - we do want to see this beautiful area and all help is appreciated. 

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There are tons of mentions of Victoria here, on West Coast Departures, and on Alaska boards. And don't forget trip reports and Roll Calls - virtually every Seattle, SF, and LA RT cruise to Alaska stop there so there are many reports about what people did or planned to do.


However if you try searching for Victoria it does tend to get a bit messy between Victoria Station in London and the ship Queen V being frequently mentioned - but you can make use of some 'search logic' terms to help, and also use an external search engine that works better than the still-a-bit-crappy one here on CC. For example, try copying and pasting this phrase into a Google search:


site:boards.cruisecritic.com +victoria -queen -station


This should bring up only posts from the forum with the word Victoria that also lack both the words Queen and Station - so the only inappropriate results should be people called Victoria introducing themselves or folks from Victoria, Oz.


Without knowing the kind of things you're interested in it's hard to make any specific recommendations as there are more than enough options to fill even a relatively full port day - but with your mentioned mobility restrictions I would suggest that the biggest hit in the area, Butchart Gardens, is best avoided unless you both ensure that you have appropriate mobility aids to walk a long distance on gravel paths, including some moderately-steep ramps or stairs (wheelchair access into the sunken quarry garden certainly exists, but unless you have a healthy helper to aid you it would be a challenge, e.g. if hubby is using a knee scooter or chair for his ankle).


In fact unless you are being accompanied by someone to help, I'd actually seriously consider renting a powered scooter for both of you - a lot of AK ports have gravel trails, dirt and grass, poor quality sidewalks to navigate, and can be quite spread out without enough cabs to rely on so walking a fair bit may be needed. If you are going along with some younger family members or friends who could be pushers then a simple folding travel chair should be enough to get you around all the towns though.


Back to Victoria - if you stick to rollators or other smaller/foldable aids, a taxi would be your best bet to get around site to site - the port is a pleasant walk, but it's at least a mile to the inner harbour where Parliament, the Empress Hotel, the Royal BC Museum are and even further up to Chinatown or going via Fishermans Wharf. Taxis will be lined up at the pier, and for two people they are much better value than the cruiseline buses (which usually only have two stops, and charge per person basically the same as the meter rate into town for an entire cab).


The little 'pickleboat' water taxis are another low-effort way to see Victoria, but they are awkward to use with any mobility aids as you have a handful of steep steps and a narrow doorway to navigate - and the ramps at the docks get pretty steep at low tide. A HOHO bus tour may work for you to get a general overview and also see some of the sites in-town with minimal walking required - two companies I know of, here and here, and both have a stop at Ogden Point where cruise ships dock - but the frequency is once per hour in May, so if you get off be aware that unless your time on-site is just under one hour (or another whole integer) you'll have a long wait for the next bus.


If you can't find enough info after a Search, you'll need to give us more info about what you like and what you're willing to spend for anyone to be able to target recommendations well for you. e.g. if you don't mind dropping a few hundred bucks, a custom private tour seems like a no-brainer as you'd have a professional guide and your own vehicle to take you wherever you wanted! Whether that's on the cards or not, TripAdvisor is a good place to start for Joe Q Publics opinion about what to prioritise - the popular sites have enough reviews that you can safely assume they are ranked appropriately from best to worst, so just running down the 'top ten' sites may give you all the ideas you need.

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Well, thank you very much. You have given me a lot of assistance and I will avail myself of what I can find.  We are not worried about Alaskan ports as we are mostly on Princess Excursions(big bus!!) so will not have far to walk. DH will be walking by end of May per his MD but he won't be able to help me and with your suggestions we have a lot to think about!

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