This 2 1/2 hour tour is specifically designed for cruise ship guests. It includes easy and convenient pick up directly at the cruise ship terminal in Victoria and guaranteed on time return to the terminal. Early morning and evening arrivals tour start times are also available. Please note, disembarkation from the ship typically takes 30 to 60 minutes after the cruise ship ties into pier. We receive all ships arriving in Victoria including evening arrivals. Your reserved tour operator will be waiting to greet your party when you exit the terminal doors. We want your visit to be stress free, relaxing and enjoyable! Please note that if your cruise cannot dock due to poor weather or other reasons a full refund is provided on your reservation.
The Cruise Ship Visitor's Tour will show off Victoria's gorgeous inner harbour and buildings. Time is spent exploring the city, gardens and a beautiful character neighbourhood. Guests will have an option to visit shops in town, take pictures (or have their guide take pictures) of beautiful landmarks. Depending on your length of stay, guests will have the option to finish the tour in town with a guide map and instructions for getting back to town.
We want to help you fall in love with our city by showing off its beauty, charm and friendly character!
- Tour Area
The tour starts at the Cruise Ship Terminal. There are two piers for ships to dock at (we know which you will arrive at) and we are licensed and permitted to be at both. As you exit the terminal building you will see your pedicab and your tour guide—we are front and center. Your guide will be holding a sign with the last name of the lead traveler.
Your guide will make introductions with your group, offer blankets for your comfort (please bring extra sweaters of jackets—Victoria can be cool even in the summer—50 F to 70 F or 10C to 20C) and, of course, teach you the royal wave as we pass envious on lookers on our way off the terminal.
We begin with a short track along the gorgeous coastline and will point some of the natural features and what lies underneath the ocean surface. Then we enter Victoria’s oldest and friendliest neighbourhood—James Bay. You will see some of loveliest homes and gardens in town. Many of the homes were hand built, conform to the city’s heritage status bylaws by keeping the original character and colours of the 19th century. As we roll through the community a stop can be made at the oldest local grocer in town and supplier of arguably the best coffee and tea in town.
We will travel on bicycle paths and quiet lanes as we meander through Beacon Hill Park—the city’s green jewel. It features many gardens and flowering shrubs and trees including the Sun Dial Garden where more wedding photos are shot in town than anywhere else. The peacocks will respond to the Pavlovian ring of the bicycle bell and will greet us in exchange for some organic barley seeds. Ask your guide to point out the Bald Eagle’s nest and take advantage of a photo op when you cross the medieval stone bridge.
We will leave the bliss of the park and now enter into the spectacular inner harbour which includes the Legislative Buildings and the famous Empress Hotel. Then, onwards to the historic downtown core. The city comes alive when ships are in town and very often there will be street performers at every block. We will pass by many shops that are preserved in their original Victorian character and very wide sidewalks allow us opportunities to stop, take pictures or even venture in for a closer look. In a few blocks, the crowds will thin and you will experience the heart of Olde Town and China Town. This is some of downtown Victoria’s best locations and yet most visitors do not venture this far to experience it.
The tour eventually returns to the inner harbour. As part of our service, we guarantee an on time return to your ship. We will return to the ship, however, if you choose to stay in town for awhile we can easily explain how to find a taxi to return or make the 30-35 minute walk to the pier with an included map and drawn directions. For those who opt to return to the ship with us, we will pass through the harbour and, if time allows, a visit to funky Fisherman’s Wharf. You also have the opportunity to extend your tour and enjoy the city’s hospitality awhile longer.
The return to the ship takes you steps from the re-entry gate and one of Victoria’s best gift shops for a last minute souvenir.