Need To Know
Our Victoria & Butchart Gardens Tour is our most beloved day trip, voted the “Best Day Trip in the World in 2018” by TripAdvisor Users. Experience the wild beauty of the Pacific Coast with the splendour of British Columbia’s capital city.
Your adventure highlights some of this region’s best features. Sail aboard a local ferry along the rugged coastline and past the Southern Gulf Islands before arriving on Vancouver Island. Continue your journey into Victoria’s downtown where you can stroll through the cobblestone streets and the Inner Harbour. Visit the many boutique shops, museums and restaurants surrounded by picturesque architecture. Ask your guide for their favourite spots to grab lunch. Or take the early free shuttle service for those with a green thumb and photographers who want less time in the city and more time at the Gardens. Simply let your guide know in the morning and they can make arrangements for you
Your next stop is the famous Butchart Gardens. This national historic site showcases 55 acres of garden displays. During the summer month, ask about our ‘Early Butchart Gardens Shuttle.’ Perfect for those wishing to gain extra time in the gardens, and less downtown. Then return home with a relaxing evening sailing back to Vancouver’s mainland and on to your hotel.
Complimentary Hotel Pick Up – Pick up from your downtown Vancouver or Richmond hotel and meet your tour guide.
Harbour Air Seaplane Terminal – Watch as the bus drives onto the ferry and we cruise through the beautiful Gulf Islands to Vancouver Island. Try the dining and shopping amenities on board, or head out onto the passenger decks and breathe in the fresh ocean air, while watching out for marine life.
Victoria’s Inner Harbour – As your seaplane comes into land, enjoy seeing the spectacular sights of downtown Victoria from above. See the buskers along the Inner Harbour as they entertain the audience around them, explore the Fairmont Empress Hotel the Parliament Buildings. Take a harbour ferry across to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch and maybe a sighting or two of marine wildlife. Wander through streets lined with Victorian architecture and take a stroll through Bastion Square, an area recognized as haunted by spirits of the past.
An early shuttle is available for those seeking extra time in the gardens, in exchange for less time in downtown Victoria. Ask your tour guide for details.
The Butchart Gardens – These gardens are a National Historic Site known around the world for the stunning year-round gardens that now fill what was once a cement limestone quarry with over 55 acres of and 900 species of plants. As you walk into the gardens, the Sunken Gardens are sure to surprise you with since pictures don’t do this beautiful location justice.
The Fairmont Empress Hotel – Across from the harbour lies another National Historic Site of Canada. This one, designed by the famous Francis Rattenbury, opened its doors in 1908.
British Columbia Parliament Buildings – The same architect of the Empress, Francis Rattenbury, also designed the stunning The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
Hotel Drop off – Downtown Vancouver or Richmond hotels, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) or VIA Rail.
1. What Should I Wear?
Dress in layers for the day, including a warm shirt or outer layer. We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes. We store all excess items on the vehicle while you’re exploring.
2. Is This Tour Accessible?
The seaplane is, unfortunately, not accessible. We recommend looking at our Victoria & Butchart Gardens Tour as the streets of downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour are all paved, with ramps and accessibility features. The Butchart Gardens is mostly paved, however, the Sunken Garden and wharf walk do not allow for wheelchairs. Guests can rent a wheelchair from the Butchart Gardens with a $10 deposit.
3. Is This Pre-Cruise Tour?
Unfortunately, our Victoria & Butchart Gardens Tour is not compatible with cruise ship arrivals or departures.
4. How Do BC Ferries Work With the Tour?
Vancouver Island a one hour and 35-minute ferry ride from the mainland. Our bus will drive directly onto the ferry, so all your belongings will be locked and kept safe. Food, gift shops, outdoor patios and quiet lounges are all available on the ship. Downtown Vancouver is about a 40-minute drive from the ferry terminal.
5. Can I Buy Food On This Tour?
Yes! BC Ferries features a buffet on select sailings, food court and cafes.
6. How Does the Early Butchart Gardens Shuttle Work?
If you want to spend extra time at the Butchart Gardens, you can take the complimentary shuttle from downtown Victoria provided by one of our tour guides. When we arrive to transfer you to the Harbour Air Seaplane Terminal, let you guide know that you would like to take advantage of this option and s/he will provide the pick-up time and location. You will then meet your guide in the Butchart Gardens parking lot when it is time to get back to the ferry.
7. Can I do Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel?
Yes! We recommend allowing for one hour to enjoy the experience so, make a reservation for 1:00 pm, 1:15 pm or 1:30 pm.
8. How Do I Get More Time to Explore?
If you want more free time at the Butchart Gardens, we recommend taking advantage of the Early Butchart Gardens Shuttle.
WHAT OUR GUESTS ARE SAYING
“We have been to Butchart Gardens before but, this trip was extra special. Our driver/guide was Steven and he was just excellent, pointing out local sites as well as “story telling”, etc- if you want an exceptional tour take the Landsea tour to the Gardens and Victoria.”
“A must do tour!. Loved Vancouver, Victoria was special, but the best part of the whole tour was visiting Butchart Gardens. A once in a lifetime, must see to be believed event!”
“Our trip to Victoria hosted by Tim with Landsea was terrific. He was extremely knowledgeable and personable, and kept us informed without being intrusive. Butchart Gardens is incredible, and well worth a trip. Highly recommend both the location and the tour company.”