We will be arriving in Vancouver on Friday afternoon and leaving on Sunday July 18th to board the Infinity. Do we have anough time to do this and also see Vancouver. What would be the best way to get from Vancouver to Butchart Gardens. Should we take a tour and if so where do we find one? Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.
Hi , so by my calculations you have Friday night and all day Saturday to see sights in two cities. So, my answer is no. You can definately do Butchard Gardens as a day trip, but it will encompass most of Saturday. Then you said you wanted to see Vancouver, uhmm, not enough time to see such a large and interesting city.
You will basically have two evenings to see Vancouver, so that's a dinner and perhaps a stroll through Stanley Park or through Granville Island( which I thought closes up in the evenings, but I may be wrong) .
The trip to Victoria to see Butchard Gardens will take about an hour to the ferry, the ferry is 1 1/12 hours then 20 to 30 minutes to the Gardens. The Gardens are worth at least 4 hours. That is basically a day. It is well worth it though, even non garden person would enjoy them. Hopefully you could find a tour that would work in dodwntown Victoria as well.
Grayline has tours to Butchard Gardens.
Victoria is never a day trip for me. I would make your plans to tour Vancouver this trip and return for at least 1-2 overnights in Victoria. For clairfication- it is 30 mins to the ferry from downtown Vancouver, 1 3/4 hour on the ferry. Then perhaps 20 min to Butchart- can be up to a day- but at least a 1/2 to tour the garden, then 30 mins. to downtown Victoria- repeat for the return. Ferry from Vancouver leaves from Swartz Bay- not Victoria. I always take a car over and would not consider the bus myself. It allows much more freedom to see many sights in the area. Orca whale watching can be great. If a must do, the bus tours make the most of your time and would be a good choice, but a day trip is all day and very long.
Take the Gray line tour on Saturday. It goes to Butchart Gardens and Victoria. Be sure to have tea at the Empress Hotel. THis was the most stress-free way to go since the ferries could be full and the motor coach does all the driving. Also try to see Stanley Park - it's beautiful.
We thoroughly enjoyed Vancouver. Stayed at the Sheraton Wall Center. Very nice!!
Cruise was on the Royal Carribean Serenade of the Seas! Beautiful ship!
Just to clarify , I live in Victoria, have taken the ferry thousands of times( yes it is 1 hour and 35 minutes) and it would be as close to impossilbe to make it from downtown Vancouver to the ferry in 30 minutes. Especially in your own car, the bus can make it in just over 45 minutes because they get to use the " buses only lane" on the highway.
Also , to get through Butchard gardens in 30 minutes you hd better RUN, and run fast. It really needs at LEAST two hours.
I think the bus trip is a good idea, then you will be assured getting on the ferries, ( there can be " waits" on the weekends.
I too agree that you will have to choose between Victoria and Vancouver, there is a lot to see in both places, too much for one day and two nights.
P.S. I f you are lucky you might see whales while on the ferry, I have! ( only twice in many years though!)
I definitely agree that trying to do both cities in the time alloted is practically impossible. Also, for clarification, Victoria is on Vancouver Island and Vancouver is on the mainland. My suggestion would be to focus on Vancouver this time since you will be flying into that city and sailing from there. Vancouver is a very beautiful city. One of the best ways to get a taste for it is to do one of the city tours. A particularly nice one is the "Grand City Tour" offered by Gray Lines. That will take you around downtown to see things like Gastown and Chinatown as well as the beautiful modern architecture there. It also usually includes a short drive through Stanley Park. It will also take you to some of the beautiful neighborhoods and Queen Elizabeth Park. Queen Elizabeth park has a sculpture garden as well as beautiful sunken gardens.
Save Victoria and Butchart Gardens for another vacation trip. I spent a week there last spring and it was wonderful. Butchart Gardens is really a full day in itself. Actually, I have been to Butchart in the spring and in the fall and my favorite time was in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. The flowers are still beautiful as well.
We are flying into Seattle early before our cruise departs on 7-18-04. We would like to see Vancouver and take the Grand City Tour as suggested. What would be the best way to get to Vancouver from Seattle? We will not have a car. Thanks!
You have two options, independent then without a car. shuttle bus with Quick Shuttle, or Amtrak train or bus- add about $30+++ for cabs. There is also cruise transportation via bus but only available during cruise day.