Victoria, British Columbia, is a frequent stop for cruises to Alaska that depart from Seattle or farther south. On the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is a lovely city known for parks and green spaces. Victoria is strongly influenced by its past as part of the British Empire, and there’s a European flair to the grand Parliament Buildings that dominate the city’s Inner Harbor.
Most cruise ships dock at Ogden Point Cruise Terminal, though small ships sometimes dock right in the Inner Harbor. From Ogden Point, it’s a quick shuttle or taxi ride to the Inner Harbor and downtown. But, if the weather is fine (and it almost always is), you may enjoy the 20-minute walk along the shore of the Juan de Fuca Strait, then up Government Street. Be sure to pause now and then to look in the shops that offer treasures like English china, Irish lace and the work of First Nations artisans.
At the Inner Harbor, you’ll see the beautiful Parliament Buildings and the historic Empress Hotel. There’s also a variety of non-stop entertainment by street performers. Just beyond the Inner Harbor, you can visit Victoria’s Chinatown neighborhood – don’t miss the artist studios along Fan Tan Alley. If you love antiques, stroll along Fort Street, also known as Antique Row. On the north end of Fort Street, things turn modern with a collection of fun, trendy boutiques.
To learn more about British Columbia, visit the Royal British Columbia Museum, full of amazing exhibits about First Nations people, European settlers, and the natural history of the land and ocean. For another look at the area’s history, visit Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum, housed in the Victorian castle of a wealthy family that once owned a large part of Vancouver Island.
To find out why Victoria is called the Garden City, take an excursion to nearby Butchart Gardens, a beautiful formal garden planted in an old quarry. Or, stretch your legs by riding a bike along the Galloping Goose Trail; strolling through a vineyard on the Saanich Peninsula; or taking a whale watching trip.
To find a cruise that will take you to beautiful Victoria and beyond, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.