Vancouver / Victoria

Old Sep 18th, 2021, 12:32 PM
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Vancouver / Victoria

We will hopefully be getting off a cruise on a Saturday in Vancouver in June of 2022. Will be staying in downtown Vancouver until Tuesday. Would like to do a day trip to Victoria - just wondering if this is feasible ? and suggestions on getting to the ferry from Downtown in both cities. Do you suggest booking a van service or just taxi.

Additionally, what would be the not to miss spots in Victoria if you only had a day ??

Thanks
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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:23 PM
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Are you planning on joining a day tour? Otherwise how do you plan on getting around once on Vancouver Island?

We rented a car near our hotel and drove to the ferry terminal, an easy drive from downtown. The ferry was a bit under two hours each way. We left early morning, visited Butchart Gardens, had lunch in Victoria, walked around a bit and drove back to the terminal. That was pretty much the whole day.
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Old Sep 19th, 2021, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by curiousgeo View Post
Are you planning on joining a day tour? Otherwise how do you plan on getting around once on Vancouver Island?

We rented a car near our hotel and drove to the ferry terminal, an easy drive from downtown. The ferry was a bit under two hours each way. We left early morning, visited Butchart Gardens, had lunch in Victoria, walked around a bit and drove back to the terminal. That was pretty much the whole day.
I was thinking cab to and from ferry in both cities to downtown...there will be 6 of us so we would need a large car if we rented one...i will look into that..
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Old Sep 19th, 2021, 08:25 AM
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I think you will have trouble finding a minivan downtown near the cruise terminal. However it is pretty easy to use rapid transit out to the airport. So one of you may want to do that and then return with the car and pick up the others for the day.

I would try to arrange a private van tour. I think that would be easier.

Last edited by mlgb; Sep 19th, 2021 at 08:31 AM.
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Old Sep 19th, 2021, 12:29 PM
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The ferry terminal was about a 30 minute drive to Victoria. Wasn’t looking for taxis when we landed since we had our own car, so don’t know how available they were. I would also look into a private tour for your group since there are six of you.
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Old Sep 20th, 2021, 07:12 AM
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Hi

Although doable, I do not recommend people do day trips to Victoria from downtown Vancouver. Count on 4 hours essentially between the two (assuming one doesnít use a seaplane), considering traffic and ferry terminal waiting. Both ways thatís 8 hours of travel, which would make me feel like I was rushing my activities in Victoria & vicinity. The ride across the Georgia Straight with the coastal islands is really stunning if you get a nice day. If youíre able to overnight in Victoria, that I could get behind. Otherwise, there are so many lovely day trips from downtown Van that have much less wear and tearóLynn Valley Suspension Bridge, Bowen Island if you wanted to get out on the water, and many more; that is what Iíd suggest.

Hope you enjoy Vancouver & surroundings, a truly lovely slice of North America!

Daniel
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Old Sep 20th, 2021, 01:15 PM
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I think you might be picturing Victoria as being closer than it really is.

If you only have one day, and you have the budget, fly via Helijet or Harbour Air to make the most of that day. Harbour Air is the local seaplane fleet, and their docks are next to the cruise ship terminal, and the flight is 35 minutes in length and it drops you right in the heart of Victoria's Inner Harbour, which is ground zero for exploring it on foot. This is the most convenient and most efficient way to get between Vancouver and Victoria if you only have one day and you're starting and ending from the cruise ship terminal.

A few weeks ago somebody else on this forum had a similar question. I'll copy and paste my response, as it applies here too :

Having worked at the Vancouver tourist visitor centre as a student over a decade ago, what I remember most from a lot of first-time visitors is that they severely underestimate how much time they need in Vancouver. Many of them, especially those who came to Vancouver before or after an Alaska cruise, always wished they had set aside more time than the day or two they had booked. They also typically underestimated the distance and time it takes to get to Victoria as a day trip. Visiting Victoria from Vancouver isn't like visiting Brooklyn from Manhattan, it's more like visiting Boston from Manhattan. It takes at the minimum 3-4 hours to get there one way, and there's enough there to keep your occupied for several days. But Victoria's a much smaller city than Vancouver, more of a smaller, historic, charming, walkable city with beautiful buildings. Vancouver's larger, more modern, and more visually dramatic, with a small walkable downtown, but Vancouver has many more neighbourhoods immediately outside of downtown, and then all the beaches, rainforests, mountains and islands immediately nearby - you could easily spend a week just exploring Vancouver and not see it all. But Victoria's definitely a nice change of pace from Vancouver and worth seeing, but I wouldn't do it as a day trip - I'd ideally spend the night or even two.
Saying that, if you only have one day, depending on your interests, I'd fly into Victoria via Harbour Air. I'd meander the city on foot to get your bearings. Generally this means wandering past the Empress Hotel and the BC Parliament Buildings then down Government Street to the historic buildings full of shops on the side streets, like Fan Tan Alley (a quaint alley of shops in Chinatown) and Johnson Street. Then I'd consider lunch or a craft beer crawl (Victoria has a fantatic craft brewery scene). If you're into learning about natural, Indigenous, and colonial history, or if you want to escape a rainy day, the Royal BC Museum is worth a 2-3 hour visit. If you're wanting to visit them most famous botanical garden in all of Canada, Butchart Gardens is a half hour drive north of the city and is worthy of two hours.

I'd suggest reading up the Tourism Victoria website and getting a sense of what's actually there, and just prioritize what interests you.

Last edited by BC_Robyn; Sep 20th, 2021 at 02:04 PM.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2021, 10:08 AM
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Honestly for only having a day in Victoria I wouldn't recommend spending the time on the ferry and the drive. There are seaplanes and heli-tours that would not only add to the overall experience but it would give you a lot more time in Victoria because they drop you off right downtown.
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Old Jan 21st, 2022, 01:42 PM
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Unless you use a seaplane, I do not recommend that day trip, the traffic alone from Downtown to Tsawwassen (where the ferries are in the south) is a major pain.
I do recommend to spend the day in the beaches of the city, Stanley Park, Kitsilano beach, Queen Elizabeth park and the Bloedel conservatory.



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