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Shore excursion recommendation Victoria British Columbia


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Hi Folks!!  Sorry if this has been asked "probably numerous times now".  I have searched but got nothing I was looking for.  Most likely user error.

 

We are sailing RCCL Ovation of the Seas in two weeks.  We have nothing planned for shore excursions for Victoria, BC and most of the cruise stuff is sold out.  Does anyone have any recommendations on tour groups you have done and had success with?    We are open to anything fun and any budget.   

 

Thank you!!

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So in 2 weeks time you'll still have sunset around 8:30pm, so you do have some daylight to play with. Get off promptly and you could manage one circuit on the HOHO - which does somewhat defeat the purpose, as you won't have another bus to hop back on if you hop off anywhere!

 

Unfortunately most of Victoria rolls up the sidewalks between 5 and 6pm - things like art galleries and museums you likely won't be able to get into by the time you get off the ship (even the excellent Royal BC Museum has abandoned their late opening Fri/Sat in cruise season). Some money-making Touristy things as always will try to stay open - you'll be able to shop, be entertained by buskers, and Butchart Gardens might be on the cards depending which day of the week... staffing issues mean earlier closing and no firework shows at all this year (but on Fri or Sat there are live concerts!) and getting there that late in the day realistically means taking a cab (~CAD$60 each way)

 

You might find a 'sunset whale watch' on offer - a 6pm departure for a full 3 hour tour would give you plenty time to get back to the ship, but realistically that would be your entire port stop taken up. We've used Prince of Whales ourselves, but there are several companies and all share info so the only real difference in sighting % is how fast the boat is - a zodiac or jetboat can get out to more distant waters and back in the same three hours compared to a slower boat.

 

Personally all our cruise stops in Vic are basically 'go drink good beer' stops! There are 2 brewpubs which not only make good beer, but have proper-temperature cellars to serve it from (8-10C, like white wine, rather than regular fridge 4C) - Swans and Spinnakers. The former is more easily walkable, the latter is a great stop if you are pootling around on the harbour ferries linked above.

 

There are also a bunch of other pubs that have various good reasons to visit - Scottish, Irish and English style places, some with live music, varyingly extravagant numbers of beers on tap etc. If you're not a 'Real Ale' enthusiast so prefer your beer fizzy and cold, any of these will probably work better than the first two! Try Bard & Banker, Garrick's Head or Sticky Wicket all conveniently downtown.

 

Lastly, while it's not a huge risk at least a few stops in Vic each year don't happen due to weather - so don't prebook anything that doesn't let you cancel if the ship can't dock or is much delayed.

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18 hours ago, Lou_70 said:

Hi Folks!!  Sorry if this has been asked "probably numerous times now".  I have searched but got nothing I was looking for.  Most likely user error.

 

We are sailing RCCL Ovation of the Seas in two weeks.  We have nothing planned for shore excursions for Victoria, BC and most of the cruise stuff is sold out.  Does anyone have any recommendations on tour groups you have done and had success with?    We are open to anything fun and any budget.   

 

Thank you!!

 

What do you like?  

 

The mainstream tour in Victoria is a visit to the Butchart Gardens.  It is a bit of a drive out into suburban Victoria to get there.  Good visit if you like gardens.

 

Ogdon Point (where the cruise ship docks) is a pleasant 20 minute walk into downtown Victoria.  By that time of day many museums etc will be closed.   Lots of restraints will still be open.  There is fairly impressive architecture around the inner harbor. 

 

In google maps if you type Odgen Point to Legislate Building it will give you a good fell for what the walk is like.  

 

 

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We will be arriving in Victoria on Norwegian Bliss from 8 pm until midnight on Sept. 8. I'm assuming it will be dark either when or shortly after we arrive. Is there anywhere near the port that we can safely walk to, and anything to see or do, after dark?  Most of the ship tours are sightseeing by bus--but what can we see in the dark?  We would appreciate any suggestions.

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17 hours ago, 40yearcruiser said:

Oops! We will be there on Friday, Sept. 9. By the time I realized my mistake I was too late to edit.

 

Sunset in Victoria for Sept 9 is around 7:30, so yes it will be dark. 

 

The area near the cruise ship terminal is mostly residential and it is a short 20 minute walk into the inner harbor.  It is safe to be out at night and the street are well lit.  The parliament building and inner harbor are all lit up at night. 

 

Other than restraints and bars there is just not going to be a lot going on at that time of night.

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