Visiting Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C., is without question THE most popular shore excursion for this destination. Themed gardens, fountains, pools, quaint bridges, and bursts of colors from the many flowering plants await you. Most excursions to the Butchart Gardens last from 3.5 to 4 hours.
Price: Adults expect to pay from $70 to $167, depending upon the other highlights and activities included in various tours.
Booking Advice: If you just want to see Butchart Gardens, you're looking at about $70 per adult. However, your other options include tea, picnics, visiting Craigdarroch Castle, seeing the Butterfly Garden, and various city tours. The majority of these tours are considered to be easy in terms of physical exertion. Cruise line prices are competitive, but you'll also find some good prices for private tours for small groups via third party vendors. In early May and mid September, tours of Butchart Gardens may not be an option due to limited daylight.
Often combined with city tours, this 4 story castle of a home was built by Robert Dunsmuir, but completed a year after his death in 1890 by his two sons. Your tour of Craigdarroch Castle will guide you through 39 rooms appointed in late 1890's decor, where you'll see an impressive array of stained glass windows, and beautiful woodwork. Most tours last from 2.5 to 3 hours.
Price: Adults expect to pay around $49.
Booking Advice: This tour includes an option to climb the 87 stairs to the tower lookout. Regardless of this trek, you'll be touring a 4 story house built before modern conveniences such as elevators. Consequently, these tours are rated as moderate in terms of physical activity. Cruise line tour prices appear to be very competitive.
Victoria City Tours by Horse Drawn Trolley
Taking an hour tour of Victoria on a horse drawn trolley just adds to that yesteryear ambience. You'll see Beacon Hill Park, the scenic Victoria waterfront with the backdrop of Olympic Mountains, and view the lovely houses in historic Saint James Bay.
Price: Adults expect to pay from $40 to $50.
Booking Advice: This tour is typically considered to be easy, bit is also at times rated as moderate on activity level scales. If you just want a city tour, you can save from $10 to $15 by taking bus tours, including the hop on/off tours that the cruise lines offer. Third party vendors offer some very competitive rates for city tours.
Empress High Tea
This 2.5 to 4 hour excursion includes a tour before tea. Butchart Gardens and the Empress Hotel in historic Saint James District are the two primary locations for afternoon tea, served with a traditional assortment of pastries.
Price: Adults expect to pay from $99 to $190.
Booking Advice: This excursion is rated as easy in terms of physical activity. A dress code is also often stipulated for participants.
Orcas, humpbacks, and gray whales are often sighted near Victoria on these 3 to 3.5 hour excursions by catamaran!
Price: Adults expect to pay from $103 to $129 through the cruise lines.
Booking Advice: This excursion is regarded as easy in terms of physical exertion. To avoid being overly disappointed, it's worth remembering that whales may or may not make an appearance. Third party vendors offer some highly competitive prices for this activity.