We are sailing in early September on Princess and will be in Victoria from
approx. 5pm until midnight. We understand that there is a Lighted Butchart Gardens
tour that lasts approx. 3 1/2 hours. My questions is there enough time to disembark, travel to the Gardens and see the Lighted Gardens that begins at dusk, and still have time to get back to the ship by 11pm. Has anyone done this tour? Can we do it without feeling rushed? Any help would be much appreciated.
We went to Butchart Gardens at night and even had time to eat in their marvelous restaurant. It was a number of years ago, but I don't think we got back to Victoria that late. We are early risers, and anything after 10:00 would have been late for us. It is lovely with the lights, and if I ever get there again, I would do the night tour. We also saw it during the day, both ways are great.
Depending on when you are there-here are the hours. Butchart Gardens is at least 30 min. from Victoria and your ship docks at Odgen Point- 15-20 min. walk from the Inner Harbor. If you really want to see the gardens- perhaps a ship tour is the best option? Or perhaps arrange car service. I go to Butchart every trip and you can spend hours there but less if needed.
You can purchase tickets for shuttles to the gardens at the back of the Empress Hotel. I think it is about $28 Canadian & that includes the admission price into the gardens. I do not know what the cost is of the ship tour...$40 something (American) as I recall..some of our table mates did the ship tour..but as we were in Victoria on a Saturday..it was very crowded and they said you could hardly move on the paths in the gardens..I was kind of bummed that I didn't go, but then heard them talk & know I would have hated so many people in my way.
It is a long walk into Victoria..I would take the shuttle service ($5 each way I think) next time, A: It takes a lot of time to just walk into town..B: I am in good shape & work out at the gym & still thought it was a long walk...
Hi Llawna - if u take a ships tour u are guaranteed to arrive back in time for the ships departure and if not they wld wait for u - it is the advantage of taking the ships tours! The gardens can be crowded but also sometimes they aren't, that said, don't miss this 'wonder' it is gorgeous and u will be talking about it long after your cruise. Victoria is sort of a small English town, quaint, clean, friendly and there are flowers hanging everywhere. I think u will love it - hope u have a super cruise..:0)
The shuttle is $7.00 CDN or $5.00 US and is unlimited trips - you can go back an forth from the Ship to town - it leaves from the side of the Empress hotel - runs about every 20 or so minutes - some are double deckers
It is only mile or two from the pier to the inner harbour area - take a left as you leave the ship and just follow the roads closest to the water and before you know it you have reach the start of the inner harbour. The harbour bike route from downtown to the port goes this way so just follow those signs.