Our Alaska cruise is coming to a close and we’ve officially left Alaska. This particular Oceania cruise embarks and debarks in Vancouver so I’m seeing some of the Western coast of Canada too. Victoria is a popular cruise port on Alaskan cruises as well and has been high on my travel to-do list for a while.
The cruise port terminal in Victoria is very near to the main downtown port area:
and the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
The most talked about attraction in Victoria are the Butchart Gardens, a 20 minute drive outside the city center. For over 100 years, tourists and locals flock to the gardens for beautiful botanical views.
The gardens themselves were once a limestone quarry which Jennie Butchart wanted turned into gardens aplenty. The Sunken Garden section was the quarry itself.
A zillion times prettier than a limestone quarry these days.
Can you see the big cat bush sculpture? I totally did a double take because I was not expecting it.
A trash can in Butchart Gardens: so lovely and probably less stinky with the flowers blooming on top!
In 1939, Butchart Gardens began hosting the symphony, Christmas festivals and more. Today there are many outdoor events, concerts, and fireworks displays.
Mom and I loved the Monkey Puzzle Tree– a good name as the seed pods look like bananas.
Dragon Fountain selfie near the Japanese Garden section:
The Rose Garden was amazing and definitely one of my favorite sections. But it was the most crowded section by far.
It was impossible to get a photo without people in it. Oh well. I still loved seeing all the different rose varieties (there are 280 in total) and their names. Celebrity rose variety names were sometimes strange.
The Italian Garden was the other garden with the most color.
I loved meandering along the paths with my mom. There were tons of benches for resting, taking in the botanical delights, and people watching (which is always fun).
Most hilarious fountain! It is a warthog that is drooling!
Mom and I took a taxi out to Butchart Gardens and he waited for us for 90 minutes (which is the perfect amount of time if you don’t eat lunch). Overall it was $110 Canadian dollars for the taxi and another $30 per person for the Butchart Gardens entry fee. The cruise line was trying to charge us $229 per person for the sidetrip here. We felt good about doing it on our own and saved a bunch of money.
With our saved money we stopped at Fisherman’s Wharf Park where houseboats and food vendors come together. And we saw some otters!
Mom ordered some amazing garlic fries with aioli and I had a local beer. These fries were amazing!!!
Look for Fisherman’s Wharf Park on your way back to the cruise port. It is touristy but awesome.
Mom and I loved Victoria and would definitely come back here to spend more time exploring. Make sure your Alaskan cruise includes a stop in Victoria!