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Victoria, British Columbia

Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Victoria, British Columbia Nature & Adventure

Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

1. Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

After being collected from your downtown accommodation in a comfortable shuttle bus, you will venture down to the harbor where you will meet with your boat. After meeting your guides for the day, you will then depart from Victoria, setting off on your 3-hour whale-watching tour. Between April and October, you will have a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, and otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. The zodiac vessels used on your tour are definitely recommended for the more wild-at-heart. You can let the wind blow in your hair and be exposed to the true west-coast elements in an open style, 12-passenger vessel. At the conclusion of your exhilarating tour, you will be returned back to the harbor, at which point you will be driven back to your accommodation in downtown Victoria.

From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

2. From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

After meeting at the pier or being collected from your Victoria hotel or accommodation, you will begin your carbon-neutral tour led by certified marine naturalists whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry. Come aboard to experience the wild! All tours are three hours in length and peak whale watching season is April through October. In this peak season, there is a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpbacks, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. Whilst onboard the boat you will also be offered complimentary coffee and tea, onboard bathrooms, certified marine naturalists, and indoor and outdoor viewing areas. In the event of an unlucky tour, you will be invited to join again for a complimentary second whale watching tour to bring your dreams of seeing these magnificent animals to life.

Victoria: Half-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

3. Victoria: Half-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Experience Victoria in a unique way on board an open-top double-decker bus. Depart from right outside the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel then set off on a hop-on-hop-off tour to explore this charming city. From China Town to Oak Bay there is something for everyone.  As you ride the bus, listen to the fully narrated tour and gain an in-depth understanding of Victoria's local history and best attractions. Feel free to hop-off the bus at 15 different stop destinations - giving you an array of options to explore the city further.  Stops include Empress Hotel, Chinatown (Old Town), Bastion Square, Steamship Terminal, Fisherman's Wharf, Ogdeon Point (Breakwater), Beacon Hill Park, Mile 0 / Terry Fox, Christ Church Cathedral, Craigdarroch Castle, Oak Bay Municipal Hall, Oak Bay Marina, Oak Bay Hotel, Cook Street Village, and Chateau Victoria / Marriot / Dbl Tree.

Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

4. Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

The waters off Victoria, British Columbia are known as the Salish Sea. Discover its wonders and rich marine environment with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour. Board a brand new high-speed coastal explorer boat and set sail to look for orcas (also known as killer whales), humpbacks, harbor seals, California sea lions, and over 127 species of marine birds!  Take a tour of the west coast aboard a luxurious coastal explorer, with two outside viewing areas and a fully heated cabin. Enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate as you set off on an adventure to learn all about the local marine wildlife and important landmarks. From playful orcas to giant humpbacks, your experience is sure to be memorable. Discover the marine wildlife in the waters off Victoria with the help of marine biologists and learn about efforts to establish Victoria as a world-renowned whale watching destination. 

Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

5. Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

View the spectacular British Columbia coastline by land and ship, followed by a stop at Butchart Gardens en route to the British-inspired city of Victoria. Board a BC Ferries vessel at Tsawwassen terminal for a 90-minute sail through the serene beauty of the Gulf Islands. Marine wildlife sightings from the outdoor ship decks are common, especially eagles, sea lions, and whales. Arrive at Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island and continue to the enchanting botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens. Wander through a series of themed gardens, highlighted by the massive Sunken Garden complete with dancing fountain. The city of Victoria boasts many impressive architectural wonders, including the iconic Parliament Buildings and the waterfront Fairmont Empress Hotel. Visit the unique shops and cafes of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour for prime ocean views, and enjoy some free time to take in this culturally significant city. Return on the bus to Vancouver by ferry to conclude this diverse tour. Packed with ever-changing experiences of the Pacific Coast and Vancouver Island, this tour is a must-do for those who have not yet visited Victoria.

Victoria Panoramic Seaplane Tour

6. Victoria Panoramic Seaplane Tour

Fly high above scenic Victoria BC and explore its beautiful scenery by seaplane. This thrill-a-minute tour will reveal a spectacular landscape and unforgettable aerial views. The Panoramic Seaplane Tour of Victoria will glide over the Olympic Mountains and along the Victoria waterfront to the white sand beaches of James and Sydney Islands. From here the tour heads north to the Saanich Peninsular and over the famous Butchart Gardens before returning back to Victoria Harbor. It is an experience not to be missed, especially if time is limited in Victoria and the photo opportunities just cannot be bettered. A fantastic day out for aviation lovers.

From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

7. From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

Discover Victoria, the capital of British Columbia on a guided tour from Vancouver. See the Empress Hotel, the Parliament buildings and beautiful Butchart Gardens. Upon leaving Vancouver, take a scenic ferry ride from the mainland through the Gulf Islands to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. From here, you will embark on a driving tour to Victoria. Discover Victoria’s downtown area featuring the Fisherman’s Wharf, the Inner Harbour, The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Mile 0 and the historic Chinatown. Enjoy some free time to explore downtown Victoria at your own pace. Next, visit the internationally renowned Butchart Gardens. This National Historic Site began with an exhausted limestone quarry that was transformed into the now picturesque Sunken Garden. Explore 55 acres of themed garden displays, including a Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and Rose Garden. Wind down your day with the scenic return sailing trip aboard BC Ferries, and then back to where your tour began.

Victoria: Whale and Wildlife Semi-Covered Boating Tour

8. Victoria: Whale and Wildlife Semi-Covered Boating Tour

After gathering at the pier you will meet with your guides before boarding your boat. The vessel for this tour will be a semi-covered catamaran with both indoor and outdoor seating. This vessel offers both an indoor viewing area as well as multiple outdoor viewing decks, and includes on-board restrooms. Once hitting the water, you'll begin your over 4-hour experience which includes a 98% sighting success rate. Your team members will be excited to share everything that this natural treasure chest has to offer, as you make multiple wildlife stops throughout your journey. At each stop your guides will provide world-class interpretation and personalized service to help you best understand this unique ecosystem. Throughout the experience you will have the chance to encounter whales, seals, and eagles, among other residents of the region. At the conclusion of your tour, you'll make your way back to the tour starting point.

Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

9. Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

Depart in the evening from Victoria's beautiful inner harbor and head out into the Salish Sea in search of whales and other wonderful marine life. During the 3-hour tour, search for orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, and gray whales, that visit the Salish Sea in search of food. Encounter other marine life such as seals, sea lions, porpoises, otters and various marine birds. Listen to an inspiring and educational talk from the Marine Naturalists as they describe and interpret the spectacular environment, extensive history, and stunning scenery of the Salish Sea. If the weather cooperates, enjoy the stunning sunset views.

Victoria Day Trip by Seaplane from Vancouver

10. Victoria Day Trip by Seaplane from Vancouver

On this full-day excursion you’ll depart Vancouver Harbor by seaplane for an exciting flight over the Gulf Islands to beautiful Victoria. After you arrive in Victoria you’ll enjoy a coach tour that take you to the famous Butchart Gardens. In Victoria the shops, a museum, and several other attractions are just steps away. You’ll return to Vancouver by seaplane on a scheduled afternoon flight of your choice. With more than 50 aircraft, Harbour Air and Westcoast Air operate the largest all-seaplane fleet in the world. DeHavilland DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters and Twin Otters service regularly scheduled flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. DHC-2 Beavers service the Gulf Islands. Cessna 185 aircraft are available for charter.

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What people are saying about Victoria, British Columbia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 434 reviews

It was a long day trip from Vancouver but was really worth it. We had lovely weather & the scenery during the ferry ride over was beautiful. Rene was an extremely entertaining guide & we had plenty of free time to explore on our own.

Fabulous day, extremely well organised. Our driver/guide - Alex was very knowledgeable, and very helpful. The gardens at Butchart were just spectacular. Victoria was charming and well worth visiting.

Fantastic tour, lucky enough to see two killer whales in resting so got to observe them for an extended period. The captain of the boat is very knowledgable and the tour was also very educational.

We saw 5 or so whales, and other wildlife like seals and many birds. Naturalists on board we’re friendly and informative on many subjects such as identifying birds. Highly recommend this tour.

Very informative tour about the city of Victoria. Beautiful city and this is the best way to see it!