Enjoy two nights in delightful Victoria—the lush capital of British Columbia. Savor the island's relaxing pace as you explore vibrant gardens, admire historical architecture, and take in the city's friendly ambience. Visit one of Victoria's landmark castles or churches, stroll along the quaint inner harbor, or peruse the colorful shops that line bustling Government Street.
Day +1: Arrive in Victoria, British Columbia
Get settled into your hotel and enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Explore some of Victoria's most beautiful downtown sites, including Christ Church Cathedral—with its gothic stone architecture, magnificent stained glass windows and Helmuth Wolff organ; Craigdarroch Castle—a stunning Victorian mansion; Bastion Square—site of the original Fort Victoria with stunning views of the local harbor; or the renowned Royal British Columbia and other museums that can be found in the area.
Overnight: Fairmont Empress
Day +2: Victoria
This morning, join a local guide for a walking tour exploring downtown Victoria's highlights and tasting some of its wonderful food. As your guide reveals the history and quirks of beautiful Victoria, enjoy stops to sample local specialties such as craft beer, chocolate, cheese, tea, and other treats. The remainder of the day is at leisure to further explore this charming city. Whether you prefer a relaxing day of sightseeing, carriage-riding, and English-style high tea, or a visit to Beacon Hill Park and a stroll through some of its 200 acres—Victoria has it all. You may even choose to end the day with a locally renowned haunted Victoria tour or a visit to one of the many craft breweries in town. The hotel concierge can help plan a day perfect for you.
Overnight: Fairmont Empress (B,L)
Day +3: Depart Victoria / Vancouver / Main Program Begins
After breakfast, join your guide for a panoramic tour of Victoria through Chinatown and past the Parliament Buildings. Continue to a must-see national historic site of Canada—lovely Butchart Gardens. Enter and be enveloped by lush greens and colorful blooms. Blossoming for more than 100 years, 55 acres of gardens with 900 bedding plant varieties, 26 greenhouses, and 50 full-time gardeners create a wonderland of beauty everywhere you look.
Afterward, take a short 20-minute ride to the ferry terminal to cruise over to mainland Vancouver—a passage providing unlimited scenery with a likelihood of spotting various marine wildlife.
After arriving in Vancouver for the main program, join fellow travelers at the hotel for a lovely welcome dinner. (B)
B = Breakfast
This pre-tour is not escorted by an Orbridge Travel Director. Included sightseeing is accompanied by a local guide. Space is limited, so it's recommended to reserve early for best availability.
It is our expectation that guests on this program are able to walk a mile at a moderate pace, get in and out of a motor coach, and walk up a flight of stairs without assistance.
Located on Victoria's Inner Harbour, this luxury hotel offers unparalleled hospitality and comfort. The Fairmont Empress has been named a Condé Nast Readers' Choice and Gold List hotel and honored by Travel+Leisure as a top Canadian hotel. Guests can enjoy the various on-site amenities, including a full spa, fully equipped gym, and indoor heated pool. Or perhaps experience Tea at the Empress—a daily tradition since 1908.
Room Amenities: Individual climate control, luxurious linens and down-filled duvets, cable TV, high-speed internet and Wi-Fi (additional fee), coffee and tea maker, bathrobes, safe, and en suite bathroom with hair dryer.
Pre-tour rate is per person based on double occupancy in U.S. dollars. Airfare not included.
- A 1.5 hour ferry cruise from Victoria to Vancouver across the Strait of Georgia
- 2 nights accommodations at the Fairmont Empress (or similar) with breakfast each morning
- A guided walking tour and panoramic city tour
- Admission to Butchart Gardens
- Gratuities to local guide
- Private group airport transfer for guests arriving at the suggested times