Our offers for shore excursions in Victoria (British Columbia)
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Useful information for excursions in Victoria (British Columbia)
In the following paragraphs, you will find information about the cruise port, the most beautiful sights and a lot of useful information for shore excursions in Victoria (British Columbia).
The most beautiful sights in Victoria (British Columbia)
Victoria is the charming capital of the province of British Columbia. It is not located on the Canadian mainland, but on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The city is not only named after the British Queen Victoria, but is still very British today. Enjoy the European flair with narrow streets surrounded by beautiful stone buildings from the 19th century.
In the city of Victoria and the metropolitan region with its approx. 360,000 inhabitants, there are many exciting sights to discover. Let yourself be inspired by the spectacular natural surroundings and the lively cultural scene during your cruise. Admire numerous historical sights and enjoy a part of Europe in Canada.
Queen Elizabeth II, John Wayne and Harrison Ford have stayed at the historic and famous Fairmont Empress Castle Hotel. The rooms and suites with a royal atmosphere invite you to an extended stay before and after your cruise. But also day tourists get their money’s worth. Especially popular is the afternoon tea in the luxurious lobby with a view over the harbour. The menu is served according to British tradition and includes excellent tea and a selection of sweet delicacies. The Fairmont Empress also boasts the tasteful Q Bar, which is open daily from 11:00 am until midnight. The cozy ambience of the bar is further enhanced daily by live music from local musicians. The well stocked bar offers a varied selection of cocktails, craft beers, wine and gin. The 1908 Empress Gin is particularly famous: this purple-blue gin is produced especially for the Fairmont Empress.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a unique destination in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. From the end of the Second World War until the beginning of the 1990s, this historic place served as a fishing hotspot. Salmon and tuna fishermen, but also fur seal hunters were at home in Fisherman’s Wharf. Today small boats can still be found at the docks. The Fisherman’s Wharf invites you to stay. There are a variety of shops to browse and you can start whale watching tours and fishing trips from the docks.
British Columbia Parliament Buildings
The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is located in Victoria. There are also the neo-baroque buildings of the Parliament, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. The buildings are owned by the legislative officers of the province. From the buildings you have a wonderful view of the Inner Harbour and the castle-like Fairmont Empress Hotel. In front of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings is a park-like garden, a statue of Queen Victoria and the British Columbia Legislature Cenotaph, which commemorates the two World Wars, the Korean War and the Afghanistan War. On the imposing dome of the building stands a gilded statue of Captain George Vancouver. The mighty building can be visited and viewed all year round.
Royal British Columbia Museum
The Royal British Columbia Museum is a history and ethnology museum and is one of the most important cultural and research institutions in Canada. A five-minute taxi ride from the harbour will take you to the walk-in settings that bring to life the natural and human history of British Columbia’s past. Immerse yourself in the past and discover prehistoric animals, a rainforest, a replica of the ship’s cabin of the discoverer James Cook, a gold mine and much more. The Royal British Columbia Museum is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00.
The oldest Chinatown in Canada and the second oldest in North America can be found in Victoria. Due to the discovery of gold in 1858, many Chinese miners from California settled in Victoria. Over time, it developed into a dynamic neighborhood with shops, restaurants, theaters, schools and temples. The quarter is especially popular with tourists and art scene lovers. Many historical elements and buildings such as Fan Tan Alley and the Old Chinese School delight visitors. In 1995, Chinatown was named the National Historic Site of Canada by Victoria.
The Butchart Gardens also belong to the National Historic Sites of Canada. The 22 hectare park and gardens are located in Brentwood Bay, about 30 minutes by car from the cruise port in Victoria. In 1904 the garden was laid out and has been continuously expanded since then. Depending on the season, you can admire an impressive variety of nature and plants in various shapes and colours. The spacious grounds invite you to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy pure relaxation in nature for young and old.
Map of the cruise port in Victoria (British Columbia)
Up to four cruise ships can dock at the cruise port Ogden Point Terminal in Victoria (British Columbia). Odgen Point is Canada’s busiest port of call with over 240 cruise ships a year. The modern cruise port invites you to the picturesque capital of British Columbia. At the berth there are small tourist information offices with maps, exchange offices, restaurants and taxis.
The cruise terminal is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) outside of downtown Victoria, and those who wish can easily walk this distance. Thus, many sightseeings are right within walking distance of the berth. Alternatively, the port usually offers a shuttle bus (for a fee) that will take you directly to the city centre.
If you book a shore excursion through us, you will of course be picked up in the immediate vicinity of the harbour.
Things to know before your trip to Victoria (British Columbia)
Cruise lines and routes
The international cruise lines Cunard Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line call at the port regularly on a North America and USA West Coast cruise. Other destinations on these routes are often ports such as Ketchikan, Glacier Bay or Seattle.
Entry and visa
On your cruise to Halifax you do not need a visa, but a passport that is valid at least as long as your cruise lasts. A temporary passport is also sufficient. However, if you enter Canada by plane, an electronic entry permit (eTA) is required, which you can apply for online and receive within a few days. An identity card or even a temporary identity card is not sufficient for travel to Canada.
To be on the safe side, we generally recommend that you obtain information about all valid entry requirements directly from your cruise line and from the Federal Foreign Office in good time before your cruise.
In Halifax, Canada, payment is made in Canadian dollars (CAD). 1 pound currently corresponds to around 1.75 CAD. Since Victoria is a small city, it is worthwhile to exchange a few pounds into Canadian dollars in the UK. If you want to exchange money locally, you can do this in banks or exchange offices. Hotels or restaurants, however, are not recommended, as they usually charge much higher fees for the exchange. In addition, there is the option to pay by credit card.
Taxi and public transport
The cruise port of Ogden Point is approximately 1.6 miles (2.5 km) from the city centre of Victoria. From there you can walk to the city centre in a variety of ways if you decide to explore Victoria on your own. You can even see the first sights.
A shuttle bus is usually available at the cruise port, which is organised by the local port authorities. The shuttle bus takes you from the cruise terminal to the city centre (downtown) with a stop at ‘Government Street’. The shuttle service runs every twenty minutes and the last departure is approximately one hour before the departure of your cruise ship. A one-way ticket costs approximately 3.5 GBP.
Alternatively you can also use the so-called Marine Shuttle. This boat service takes you from the Victoria Cruise Terminal to the Steamship Terminal in downtown Victoria. It runs regularly every hour. Again, a ticket costs 3.5 GBP for a one-way trip or 7 GBP for a round trip. You can pay by credit card, Canadian dollar and US dollar. See map above for the drop-off point.
Outside the port terminal you also have the possibility to use a pedicab or taxi for your mobility. A pedicab is a bicycle on three wheels with which you can be comfortably driven through the city by a local. You will receive information about the individual sights and can ask individual questions.
Victoria in British Columbia has a continental climate. In summer it is warm and in winter it is cold. The best time to visit Victoria is from June to September. During these months you can expect mild temperatures and low rainfall. The average temperature during this time is 21.6°C.
The main season for cruise ships is from mid April to mid October.
Website port operator and tourism organisation
Video: Impressions of Victoria (British Columbia)
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