My husband and I are booked on the NCL SUN departing Seattle July 27th. The last port of call is Victoria from 7 PM - Midnight on Saturday.
I understand that on Saturdays during the summer, Butchart Gardens has a beautiful fireworks display. Although expensive, we are considering booking this tour through the cruise line as I hear buses get priority over cars and it gets "extremely crowded".
Is it a worthwhile visit? Would appreciate any feedback.
We drove through Victoria and stopped at Butchart Gardens. Very beautiful and worth the stop. We went there in Oct and no fireworks but I highly recommend it. By all means take the bus. The roads were narrow and lots of buses even in the off season. The busses seemed to have there own parking arrangements.
If you get a chance, try Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress at Victoria Harbor.
We just returned from the June 15th Inside Passage trip on the Sun. We tried to book most of our own shore excursions rather than going through NCL, but the one that we did book with them was the Butchart Gardens trip. You only have from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 in port, and the gardens are quite a distance from the docks. You probably would pay more for transportation plus garden admission than you will through the NCL package. (FYI: The Saturday portion of the cruise is the one that can cause delays. We didn't get in port until after 7:00.)
Try to get the British driver named Chris if you can. He gave a lot of commentary and drove us around Victoria after the garden visit, even stopping for pictures - which we didn't expect. We were only at the gardens from about 8:00 until 10:00. Although that's not a long time, we were able to walk around for an hour in the light, then an hour in the dusk/dark with the gardens illuminated. We were disappointed that the fireworks don't begin until next Saturday. I checked the schedule and on August 2, the fireworks will begin at 9:30 (the times vary throughout the summer), so you should be able to see at least a portion of them. I envy you. It looked like a beautiful setting for fireworks.