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4 minutes ago, chrysalis said:

There will be lots of info on the ports of call board  here.

 

Many people like to visit Bouchart Gardens.

 

Some people go searching for Meghan and Harry.....

I second the suggestion to visit Butchart Gardens. It’s quite spectacular.

 

Butchart Gardens are 14 miles (23 kilometers) north of Victoria's Inner Harbour on Vancouver Island, about 30 minutes away by road. Buses run to the gardens from downtown Victoria and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. You can also take a shuttle bus, taxi, or limo from the Fairmont Empress in Victoria to Butchart Gardens.

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33 minutes ago, chrysalis said:

There will be lots of info on the ports of call board  here.

 

Many people like to visit Bouchart Gardens.

 

Some people go searching for Meghan and Harry.....

thanks

 

25 minutes ago, Crystabel said:

I second the suggestion to visit Butchart Gardens. It’s quite spectacular.

 

Butchart Gardens are 14 miles (23 kilometers) north of Victoria's Inner Harbour on Vancouver Island, about 30 minutes away by road. Buses run to the gardens from downtown Victoria and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. You can also take a shuttle bus, taxi, or limo from the Fairmont Empress in Victoria to Butchart Gardens.

thanks

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Agree with CYYC that knowing how long you have is less crucial than what time of day! 6pm to midnight, basically the entire city has already closed all ticketed attractions before you can get off - if it's Summer, Butchart stays open much later (fireworks on summer Saturday evenings are good) and the Royal BC Museum also keep late Fri/Sat hours in summer, and otherwise you're looking at walking around looking at things... or shopping and boozing! Victoria is a very low-key port in the evenings. Daytime, you have a bunch of museums, art galleries, bus tours, historic homes, other gardens - so comes down to 'what do YOU like to do?' more than anything else.

 

Given how little time many cruisers spend here, and how huge a proportion of them end up missing almost all ticketed sites except Butchart, CC is actually a pretty terrible resource for what to do... I'd strongly advise heading over to TripAdvisor instead.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/9/2020 at 2:02 PM, martincath said:

Agree with CYYC that knowing how long you have is less crucial than what time of day! 6pm to midnight, basically the entire city has already closed all ticketed attractions before you can get off - if it's Summer, Butchart stays open much later (fireworks on summer Saturday evenings are good) and the Royal BC Museum also keep late Fri/Sat hours in summer, and otherwise you're looking at walking around looking at things... or shopping and boozing! Victoria is a very low-key port in the evenings. Daytime, you have a bunch of museums, art galleries, bus tours, historic homes, other gardens - so comes down to 'what do YOU like to do?' more than anything else.

 

Given how little time many cruisers spend here, and how huge a proportion of them end up missing almost all ticketed sites except Butchart, CC is actually a pretty terrible resource for what to do... I'd strongly advise heading over to TripAdvisor instead.

 

our group of 19  (7 kids) is planning a day in Victoria, We want to go to Butchart Garden, Fisherman wharf and just enjoy a day in Canada.  Any suggestions? Group discounts?  Maybe a small bus private tour.  In 2014 my dd  and I took a cruise excursion just because we had 5 hours in port. This June we have all day. 

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49 minutes ago, oldplayer532 said:

our group of 19  (7 kids) is planning a day in Victoria, We want to go to Butchart Garden, Fisherman wharf and just enjoy a day in Canada.  Any suggestions? Group discounts?  Maybe a small bus private tour.  In 2014 my dd  and I took a cruise excursion just because we had 5 hours in port. This June we have all day. 

Fishermans Wharf doesn't need any transportation beyond Shanks' Mare. Plenty of other stuff in Victoria likewise - and if you want to look at things specifically aimed at kids, downtown Victoria is probably your best bet for the bulk of your day. The Royal BC Museum is a great all-ages attraction, even teens too cool to hang with the fogeys could go watch an IMAX movie or two. There's the Bug Zoo - which might be too squicky for some sensitive souls, but is usually thronged with happy kids; Miniature World (which has the world's largest doll house); a childrens zoo in Beacon Hill park, as well as a huge totem pole and for a real piece of 'Canadiana' you can see 'Mile Marker Zero' for the Trans-Canada Highway just outside the park.

 

To be blunt, I doubt that most of the kids will get much out of Butchart - depends on age and interests, but unless just walking around pretty flowers for 3 hours or riding a Ye Olde Carousel would entertain them, as Butchart management are frankly a bunch of surly old codgers so kids daring to run around will be Extremely Frowned Upon anywhere except maybe down at the fireworks viewing area, which during the day has nothing to see .

 

Pretty sure Butchart won't give a discount - they're used to full coachloads rolling in, so 2 dozen is their minimum group soize for discounts - so since there's no change to the price whether one or nineteen of you go, you may want to consider splitting your group.

 

Whether you did want to keep your whole group together and see Butchart or you split yourselves up, arranging your own separate transportation is a financially very wise move. Simply dividing yourselves up among taxis or rental cars would probably be a lot less than booking a bus for the day (as you'd be paying for that bus & driver to sit around for 2-4 hours while you explored Butchart).  CVS Shuttles charge over $30pp for the actual shuttling back & forth part - their tickets include Butchart entry - whereas renting a few cars would cost significantly less. Even cabbing - as long as you put 4 or more people in each vehicle you'll save money by doing that and paying for entry yourselves (about $35pp at the gate in June), and these days with ridesharing companies now operating you may find rates cheaper than with cabs.

 

Odds seem pretty high that among 12 adults you can find 3 or 4 willing to avoid boozing during the day and drive the group to & fro... if you can find some minivans you may need even fewer drivers. If you do have your own cars, I'd suggest adding in some of the 'annoying to get to by bus from the pier or inner harbour, but too far to walk' spots like Fort Rodd/Fisguard Lighthouse, Hatley Castle (kids might get excited about this one - especially if your day is one with tours available of the interior not just the self-guided garden tour - whereas Craigdarroch is focused on fogeys, it's not remotely castle-y despite the name and cool old furniture that nobody lets you touch does nothing for kids in my experience!)

 

Oh, you will need to comply with local car seat laws for kids - but if you're visiting in June I assume this is either a Cali Coastal or an Alaskan tour, so you'll already have car seats sorted for US port touring.

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