Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Embarking on Shore Excursions in Victoria, Canada

Embarking on Shore Excursions in Victoria, Canada

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Of the mere 14 excursions offered by Disney Cruise Line at press time, here are our recommended port adventures for visitors to Victoria:

Low Budget: With many excursions priced under $100, Victoria can be easy on the wallet. For best value, Butchart & Butterfly Gardens (VT15, $95/$49 ages 3–9, 4 hours) gives you both attractions for just $10 more than a Butchart-only tour. Worst? Bargain-basement Waterfront Walking Tour (VT16, $40/$32 ages 3–9, 1.5 hours). $40 to walk from the cruise pier into town, plus a shuttle ride back? Puhleeze! Victoria Double Decker Tour (VT03, $39/$17 ages 3-9, under 3 free, 1-1.5 hours) costs a dollar less for adults and $15 less for kids! You’ll see more, and have happier feet! Or, for $4 less, take the Big Bus (page 415), and use it all day long.

Big Budget: There’s only one candidate in this category, Private Carriage Tour (VT04, $375 per vehicle for up to 6 passengers, 1.5-2 hours). It may not seem expensive per-person, but you can book a 90-minute tour on your own for $225 CDN (currently around $170 USD). http://www.tallyhotours.com or http://www.victoriacarriage.com.

Nature: It’s all about Butchart Gardens. This isn’t nature in the raw, but if you appreciate human “improvements” on Mother Nature, you’ll be impressed, especially in the Sunken Garden. Choose the excursion that suits your fancy. Afternoon Tea at Butchart Gardens (VT15, $135/$109 ages 8-9, 4 hours) is a delightful idea, though you pay $5 over the menu price.

Active: Victoria isn’t a port for heavy exertion, it seems. Sea kayaking might have been offered, but it doesn't make Disney’s list. Take a food and beverage excursion (below), then walk off the calories on the promenade deck!

Food and Beverage: Whether it’s tea, or something a good bit stronger, Victoria offers an unusual number of edible/potable excursions, such as Grand City Tour & Empress Tea (VT12, $116/$59 ages 3–9, 3 hours). Afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel is the stuff of legend, and the cost of this tour is roughly the price of a city tour plus the retail value of the tea. It’s worth it just to have a guaranteed place at the table. Wine, Cider & Spirits on the Island (VT10, $129 ages 21 and up, 4.5-5 hours) may have you staggering off the bus by tour's end (and mind your U.S. Customs allowances in the gift shops).

Armchair: There’s little exertion in this port, but even the gardens require some walking. Grand City Tour & Empress Tea (perhaps the adults-only departure) (VT12, $116/$59 ages 3–9, 3 hours) gets our vote in this category, too!

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Top Photo Slice: Butchart Gardens in Victoria (℗ 52089) Photo contributed by © chezp



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