Our Victoria & Butchart Gardens Tour is our most beloved day trip. The wild beauty of the Pacific Coast meets historic splendour in British Columbia’s lush oceanfront capital city of Victoria. During this tour, travel aboard BC Ferries, through Active Pass and along rugged island coastlines. Admire the Gulf Islands and take in the sea breeze from the deck, or enjoy the views from your warm seat inside the ferry. Once on Vancouver Island, your guide will drive you straight into the heart of Victoria, while providing commentary about the city’s history and surrounding areas. With your leisure time in Victoria’s Inner Harbour explore everything from artistic totem poles to the Parliament Buildings. Have the freedom to duck into museums, boutique shops and restaurants along cobblestone streets. Your tour guide is happy to suggest activities and lunch options.
A tour to Vancouver Island is not complete without a visit to the flawless Butchart Gardens showing 55 acres of floral displays. During the summer months, ask about our optional ‘Early Butchart Gardens Shuttle’ to spend a little more time at the Gardens, and a little less time in downtown Victoria.
Your tour concludes with a relaxing return sailing aboard BC Ferries.
Advised Clothing: Dress in layers. Comfortable walking shoes are advised. Don’t forget the fixings! Depending on the weather consider bringing sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, gloves and a waterproof outer layer. Any excess items can be stored in the vehicle while you’re exploring.
Accessibility: Minimal mobility is required. You may encounter some inclines, however, pathways are paved. There’s a lot to explore. Be prepared to do plenty of walking.
Our tours are run on comfortable mini-coaches seating up to 30 guests and offering great visibility. They are detailed after every tour and are outfitted with heating & air-conditioning for your comfort. Live tour commentary is conducted in English by our friendly, highly trained and award-winning Tour Guides. Hotel specific pick-up times are provided when reservations are confirmed.
This exciting, fun-filled day begins with you being met by your tour guide in your hotel lobby. Once all guests are on board you will head south out of the city to Tsawwassen, the closest point of land between the mainland and Vancouver Island. Crossing the Fraser River Delta and through the farmland surrounding Metro Vancouver this short half hour drive ends at the BC Ferries Terminal where your mini-coach will drive right onto a ferry belonging to the second largest ferry fleet in the world.
At Sea during your 90 minute crossing, you will have a chance to enjoy the on board amenities such as full restaurant service, gift shops or video games for the kids. Mostly, you’ll be walking around deck, with your eyes on the water searching for orcas, eagles or seals. You will be glancing up at the beautiful scenery as the ship winds its way through the Southern Gulf Islands to dock at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island.
The City awaits as you leave the ocean behind and drive down the Saanich Peninsula to the heart of Victoria. Once a small Fort, the city grew first from the Gold Rush and then as the seat of provincial governmental power. The Inner Harbour is a legacy to one of Canada’s most notable architects, Francis Rattenbury, as the skyline is dominated by two of his most famous works the Parliament Buildings and The Fairmont Empress Hotel. After your guide gives you an orientation tour of downtown, you will enjoy three hours of free time (high season) or two and half hours of free time (shoulder season) depending on ferry schedules to explore this quaint city by the sea, to have some lunch on your own, and to take in one of the various local attractions.
Green thumbs and garden lovers – Those wanting less time in the city and more time in the Gardens are encouraged to take an earlier free shuttle service offered by your guide. Just let them know in the morning and they will cheerfully make arrangements with you.
Time for a Garden Stroll – All of our guests will meet back at a designated time and place in downtown Victoria. From there you will enjoy a 30-minute rural drive through the countryside arriving at a garden that leaves even the most avid horticulturist in awe. Spread across 55 acres, the Butchart Gardens are truly a sight to be seen. You will find great views as you stroll along meandering paths and expansive lawns. From the charming Sunken Garden to the cute Rose Garden, this show garden still maintains the gracious traditions of earlier times and boasts all the modern amenities to make your time there comfortable and enjoyable. Don’t forget your camera.
Return to Vancouver: Guests meet back at the mini-coach for a short, 20-minute ride back to the BC Ferries terminal and the ferry ride back to the mainland. On the return crossing, you can enjoy the restaurant facilities on board the ferry or grab a nap in the lounge before being driven from the ferry terminal back to Vancouver and your hotel.
Complimentary Hotel Pick-up - Pick-up from your downtown Vancouver or Richmond hotel.
BC Ferries - Cruise through the beautiful Gulf Islands to Vancouver Island.
Butchart Gardens - A visit to the world famous gardens, the Sunken Gardens may just take your breath away (admission included).
Downtown Victoria - Free time to explore our beautiful capital city.
Special rate available - Visit Royal BC Museum during your free time in downtown Victoria.
The Fairmont Empress Hotel - This National Historic Site of Canada opened its doors in 1908.
British Columbia Parliament Buildings - This is home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia built in 1898.
Hotel, Airport or Train Station Drop-off - Downtown Vancouver or Richmond hotels, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) or VIA Rail.
Pick-up times are 30 minutes later at Richmond (Airport) hotels.
Please Note: In 2018, due to the BC Ferries Schedule, our 8:00am Victoria Tour will likely depart at 7:00am on June 3, 10, 17 and Sept 9, 16.
If you have any questions, please contact our Guest Services Team at 1-844-776-3722