We'll be on our third Alaskan cruise this September and will be going to Victoria for the first time. What I've found in my research leads me to want to see both Craigdarroch Castle and Burchart gardens. Regal Princess will only be in port about 4 hours. Is this do-able? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I live 30 minutes north of Victoria. If you are in port for only 4 hours, you won't get to do both. Butchard Gardens is a 20 minute drive from the ship, and you could spend all day there if you had the time.I've never been to the Castle (only lived on Vancouver Island for 45 years) but I really think the Gardens is a must do, and you won't be sorry, unless it is raining. Don't waste your money on high tea at the Empress what ever you do, it's not worth the price.
Good luck, and happy cruising.
Thanks for the info. My husband was stressing out because I was thinking of renting a car and trying to do it all. I imagine that the time it would take to get the paperwork done for the rental car could eat about 1/8 of our time. I've had high tea at the Sydney Opera House and doubt if I could beat that anywhere :o).
Your assignment is to get over to the castle and let me know if it's worth a visit (if it's raining). Thanks again!!
Due to the limited time, I suggest if you choose Buchard Gardens that you take a tour booked aboard the ship rather than on your own. I concur with the previous answer based on many visits to Victoria, some of which were simply too short.
In my opinion downtown Victoria is the "biggest gift shop in the world."
Unless you are a healthy, fast walk it is quite a distance and time consuming to walk. They run old English double decker buses to the Empress Hotel. At one time these were free but I recollect they now charge $1 or 2 US dollars. There are also cabs. Don't both with the high tea in the Empress. Too expensive.
The only reason the vessels dock at Victoria is to get around the Passenger Vessel Passenger Act that requires a foreign flagged cruise ship to dock at a foreign port before disembarking passengers at a US port,.
We have been to Victoria many times. The Gardens is the choice. The Castle is very historic, but the enjoyment of the gardens is astonishing. Bring an umbrella just in case. You can spend 2 to 3 hours at the gardens depending on time. Load the camera for some terriffic photos.
It is a shame that the port will be only 4 hours. The shopping as another said is wonderous, the wife always walks away with several bags of items.
Nevertheless, Victoria is a wonderful stop. I was on a Princess cruise, many years ago that overnighted there. What a fun little city it was. Wish the ships today stayed longer. They have a dandy museum there too, but given only a short time, go to the gardens. So beautiful and so much to see.
The vote is unanimous. We will do the Gardens!
Thanks everyone for your responses. Last September, we fell in love with Vancouver and had hoped to see a little more of the island. We will be back, probably sans cruise :o( - but you have to make these little sacrifices in order to appreciate the cruises (I guess?!)
Shar, we went to the castle instead of the gardens. It was a healthy walk (about 45 minutes).But the city is so gorgeous it was no problem. I think given the choice, I would do the gardens next. I do have to say that we just loved Victoria and all its flowers, etc, so even a walk about town would be wonderful.
Thanks for the info. I would really like to see the castle, hmmm - I'm sure glad I've got 6 months to think about it :o)..
PS - You wouldn't by any chance be THE Harry Martin (Sacramento), would you?