Having visited Vancouver Island and extra particularly Victoria many occasions we undoubtedly have some good recommendation for planning a trip to Victoria BC. With 4 totally different choices for getting there, the Victoria Clipper is our prime decide. Right here’s everything you need to know about taking the Victoria Clipper, including customs info, Victoria Clipper tickets, and an itinerary for a great weekend up on the island.
Word: Clipper Holidays did sponsor our journey to visit the Royal BC Museum to expertise the rotating exhibit, Maya: the good jaguar rises, but we’ve written this information to taking the Victoria Clipper on our own. We’re an affiliate of the Clipper, so if you do choose to ebook, we might obtain a commission (for free of charge to you).
- 1 Taking the Victoria Clipper from Seattle
- 2 Tickets for the Victoria Clipper
- 3 Lodge Suggestions in Victoria
- 4 10 enjoyable things to do in Victoria BC
- 4.1 Strolling downtown Victoria BC
- 4.2 Visiting the Royal BC Museum
- 4.3 Tour Parliament
- 4.4 Go to Beacon Hill Park
- 4.5 Have lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf
- 4.6 Go whale watching: Orca Spirit Adventures
- 4.7 Go to Victoria’s Chinatown
- 4.8 Lease bikes and journey the Island
- 4.9 Photographer on the unfastened
- 4.10 Go to the Butchart Gardens
Taking the Victoria Clipper from Seattle
As we stated, taking the Victoria Clipper is the simplest means to get to Vancouver Island from Seattle. The experience on the Clipper is about 2 hours and 45 minutes, give or take a few due to climate or stopping for whales. The seas on Puget Sound and the Salish Sea are sometimes pretty calm and from downtown Seattle to Victoria’s Internal Harbour, there are many sights to see.
While it’s true that some individuals are extra vulnerable to motion illness than others, normally the boat’s movement once you’re underway isn’t dangerous in any respect. The Victoria Clipper is a catamaran and actually could be very steady and secure in the open water. Having stated that, the Clipper crew does present meclizine, an anti-nausea medicine / motion illness oral pill, that is quite useful. Due to our sailing time, we have been in the dock when a Washington State Ferry came in so the wake had us rocking a bit earlier than we departed.
Additionally essential to observe: THERE IS NO WIFI ON THE VICTORIA CLIPPER as soon as you’ve set sail. If you have been planning on utilizing WiFi aboard the Victoria Clipper, you’ll be out of luck. If you travel with your personal scorching spot, you should have a robust enough signal for a majority of the sailing to have the ability to utilizing your personal system for WiFi, but the ship’s WiFi turns off as soon as it leaves port.
Sailing on the Victoria Clipper with youngsters
There’s no cause to not deliver the youngsters on the Victoria Clipper. There are a variety of areas on the boat so if youngsters get antsy, they will move around very freely. We advocate bringing a choice of easy-to-transport video games or a pill to hold the youngsters’ attention on the journey. While it’s a a lot simpler and more enjoyable trip than flying someplace, being on a boat with youngsters might be a bit obnoxious after the first half hour. Simply be prepared as a courtesy to different passengers and to make your personal sailing better.
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Dining on board the Victoria Clipper
On board, there’s wait service or a walk-up cafe/bar counter. You’ll find regionally sourced snack platters, pastries, cookies and extra. There’s additionally a extensive choice of adult drinks to make the journey a bit extra fulfilling.
Observe: we’re Bloody Mary aficionados and tried the Clipper Bloody Mary on the best way to and from Victoria and it was prime notch both occasions, and from totally different bartenders. I feel they know their stuff.
Also one thing to observe, there are Obligation Free providers onboard the Victoria Clipper. If you are a type of travelers that loves to get their obligation free goods (tax free treats like Toblerone or vodka) you can do this onboard the Clipper.
Parking for the Clipper
While our prime suggestion is to not have to fear about a automotive at all, Clipper Vacations has organized a discounted overnight parking fee with the Bell Road Pier Garage. Situated at Elliott and Wall, it’s about a block away from Pier 69, the Victoria Clipper terminal. The day by day fee with Victoria Clipper validation is $10 USD (as of July 2019). *YOU MUST GET YOUR PARKING TICKET VALIDATED!
There isn’t any straightforward road parking for overnight Clipper journey, so the Bell Road Pier Garage actually is the best choice.
Despite the fact that the southern finish of Vancouver Island protrudes past the mainland international boundary between the USA and Canada, you still need a valid government ID to cross the border.
A Passport, Passport Card, Enhanced Driver License, Enhanced ID Card (EDL/ID) or NEXUS Card is REQUIRED to cross the U.S./Canadian border by land and sea.
If you’ve lived in Washington or Oregon most of your life but haven’t visited Canada just lately, you might imagine that things are like they have been once we have been youngsters: present up, state your corporation and cross the border. No, now it’s absolutely handled as some other worldwide border and you do need a Federal ID to cross over.
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Tickets for the Victoria Clipper
Like with anything, we all the time need to encourage vacationers to guide their tickets IN ADVANCE. Positive, you can wing it and e-book 2 days out and even similar day if you’re tremendous lucky, however sailings do refill fairly shortly. If you plan on taking the Victoria Clipper from Seattle on a weekend, you need to ebook that ASAP!
BOOK VICTORIA CLIPPER TICKETS HERE
There are a variety of ticket prices, and booking further out will get you a higher deal than a final minute ticket, so to hold it inside a certain price range guide no less than 7 days before you want to sail. Additionally know that there are three totally different options for Victoria Clipper tickets: Financial system, Vista, and Comfort courses. Vista is the perfect class, IMHO, but select the one that is proper for you!
Which Victoria Clipper fare is true for me?
Financial system Class is strictly because it sounds: it’s a normal passage between Seattle and Victoria. There are not any frills and you’ll be seated on the lower degree of the Victoria Clipper. The view is just above water degree and if you want to get outdoors, you’ll need to go upstairs.
Vista Class, which is our favorite, is situated on the highest degree of the boat. That is $10 USD per ticket extra and consists of nicer seats with more legroom and a deeper recline, greater windows for potential whale watching, wait service to your seat, and a brighter cabin due to the skylights. Also, Vista Class has several eating tables in the middle of the highest deck, so that could be helpful to some visitors.
Tip: in Vista Class, the seats nearest the again of the boat have the most important home windows, which make for probably the most lovely views on your journey.
Consolation class is the last fare choice, and it’s $25 USD more per ticket than Financial system. With consolation class, you have a cabin separated from the opposite courses, more elevated finishes inside the seats/cabin, wait service to your seat, in addition to espresso, tea and lightweight snacks offered. Additionally, you are granted precedence boarding, so if that’s essential to you, that is your choice.
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Lodge Suggestions in Victoria
Victoria, BC isn’t brief on lodge options, and of all the cities we go to steadily, Victoria persistently has the perfect lodge offers, notably in spring and fall. We’ve stayed at each of our recommendations, so know that we’re referring you as a result of we genuinely like every lodge for various reasons. View Clipper Vacations packages here.
Inn at Laurel Point
This can perpetually be our favourite lodge in Victoria, BC. We’ve stayed here twice and in addition booked it for family that we’ve sent up to Victoria. The Inn at Laurel Level has a number of the most spacious lodge rooms we’ve ever stayed in. Each room has a view, most immediately of the Internal Harbour, and lots of have giant patios or decks.
The Inn at Laurel Point could be very household pleasant, together with providing kid-sized bathrobes for visitors. We loved the pool area between our exploring, and the artwork assortment inside the lodge makes for a enjoyable and fascinating stroll in itself. Guide the Inn at Laurel Point right here!
Situated very near the Victoria Clipper dock, the Inn at Laurel Point is a simple walk to the boat, many eating places (you have to take a look at our Victoria Journey Journal for our prime picks!), the Royal BC Museum and more. Additionally, the Inn supplies a shuttle service that may take you almost anyplace you may need to go in Victoria correct.
Delta Ocean Pointe Resort
Instantly throughout the Inside Harbour from the Inn at Laurel Point, the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort is a totally different choice with a totally different really feel. The Delta Ocean Pointe is nearer to a lot of the action of downtown Victoria, as it’s situated very close to Chinatown and some fantastic breweries. Additionally they provide a shuttle to get you almost anyplace, and as a normal, are present to fetch arriving friends instantly from the Victoria Clipper.
The property of the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort could be very nice too. There’s a fantastic promenade that leads visitors alongside the Inside Harbour, several totem pole installations in the public area, and even a Victoria Harbour Ferry dock. An entire exercise facility and pool (and ping pong desk) make downtime enjoyable and fit! Guide the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort here!
Lodge Zed: completely mod and awesome
All I can say is that Lodge Zed was the first lodge we stayed at anyplace that had taken an previous house complicated and created something superb. They’re development setters. The Lodge Zed is sort of a methods from the Internal Harbour, but that’s okay. Situated to the north of downtown, this completely mod lodge is fun, spacious, has great facilities (including kitchenettes) and is completely Instagram-worthy. Guide the Lodge Zed here!
Um, I forgot to mention: additionally they have a waterslide. That’s proper! The pool is roofed (cuz it’s the Pacific Northwest) and has a huge pink waterslide splashing into it. Also, the lobby has games to take a look at, data to spin, typewriters to break your writer’s block, and a few great mod lounge area.
Bonus: on the Lodge Zed you’ll also discover The Ruby. We LOVE this restaurant and we will safely tell you that they offer the BEST BREAKFAST in Victoria. Go there. Additionally good Bloody Marys.
Relating to transportation, since you can’t convey a automotive onto the Victoria Clipper, the Lodge Zed has the good VW Bus shuttle service to decide you up. Name as soon as you’re by way of customs they usually’ll get you. You’ll be able to borrow bikes from the lodge once checked in too, so that makes getting around the island additional fun.
10 enjoyable things to do in Victoria BC
There are, in fact, more than 10 fun things to do in Victoria, but these are our prime picks. Grab a few of those ideas and have a great Clipper Trip!
Strolling downtown Victoria BC
We all the time love to explore downtown Victoria on foot as a result of it’s enjoyable, free and festive. Visiting Victoria at Christmas is all the time a favorite, as the town decks itself out in lights and boughs. Benefit from the architecture and marina, and of course, eat all of the meals!!! Look ahead to native wines when eating in Victoria, as they actually have their own wine area, the Cowichan Valley, simply north of the town. Guide a Cowichan Valley Wine Tour here!
Tip for Excessive Tea: while it’s not the excessive tea of the Empress Lodge, Murchie’s on Authorities St does a actually great tea service at a fraction of the worth. And you can get your Orange Pekoe tea to take residence too!
Visiting the Royal BC Museum
We will’t skip the Royal BC Museum. Ever. We go to many museums in our travels and the Royal BC Museum has persistently been the youngsters’ favourite, and us dads too. The concentrate on First Nations tradition and historical past, in addition to exceptional rotating particular reveals makes the Royal BC Museum a MUST VISIT on any trip to Victoria. Take a look at our full article on the Royal BC Museum here!
When you’re taking the Victoria Clipper from Seattle, one of many first sights you see upon arrival is the Parliament building. Constructed in the early 1900s, it’s a lovely piece of architecture, and it’s very grand, seen from in all places. You possibly can tour the building (about 40 minutes or so) they usually hold it open late sufficient that it’s straightforward to work into a busy weekend.
Tip: if you need to tour Parliament, ensure to get your tour token prematurely. While it’s a free tour, it is also area limited, so don’t miss your probability!
Go to Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is a really particular place. From being residence to the tallest free-standing totem pole on the planet to peacocks operating free, Beacon Hill Park is a gem amongst city parks. There are walking trails, playgrounds, a petting zoo, a turn of the century imperial type garden, and more. It’s a great place to spend the afternoon and watch the solar set on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Our pal Allison at Ideas for Family Journeys loves this park too!
Have lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf
The houseboats and water taxis make a lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf a picture good experience, even within the rain. Fish and Chips, Mexican, native Canadian salmon: you can discover it all in the Wharf. There’s very limited indoor seating at any of the eating places, but if you’re there for lunch, you can have a tremendous enjoyable, casual stand-up meal in one of the outside eating areas. Google Maps link here.
Go whale watching: Orca Spirit Adventures
Whale watching is likely one of the most particular activities anyplace on the Salish Sea and Puget Sound. Grey and humpback whales steadily go to the waters round Victoria, however the resident and transient orca whales are what most visitors are right here to see. Focusing on eco-tourism, animal consciousness and preservation, we can’t advocate Orca Spirit Adventures sufficient for a Victoria whale watching experience, particularly with youngsters. Guide THIS EXACT TOUR here!
Tip: if you’re whale watching with youngsters, convey one thing to occupy them throughout journey time between port and the place the whales are. Typically there’s greater than a half hour getting out to sea earlier than there’s wildlife, so be prepared.
Go to Victoria’s Chinatown
If you’re taking the Victoria Clipper from Seattle, you might have already checked out the Worldwide District just south of downtown Seattle. You still need to go to the small Chinatown of Victoria. It’s truly the oldest in Canada and is house to the narrowest road in Canada: Fan-tan Alley. There are lots of fantastic local outlets and good food, so visit when you’re hungry and you’ll depart joyful.
Lease bikes and journey the Island
Many resorts now provide their friends with bikes and helmets. Victoria is a very bikeable city, from the downtown area all the best way out to Brentwood Bay and the Butchart Gardens. We’ve biked the Galloping Goose path a few occasions and actually benefit from the mixture of urban biking, farm country, seaside communities and breathtaking views. Victoria is meant to be biked.
Tip: in case your lodge doesn’t present bikes, you’ll discover a number of rental outlets, together with one immediately within the Internal Harbour just off the marina.
A superb thing to know about taking the Victoria Clipper from Seattle is that you can truly deliver your bike onto the boat. You do need to register it and it’s a further baggage payment, but you can completely do it!
This is my favorite activity anyplace: photographer on the unfastened. I really like to shoot photographs in older cities, but in addition in colourful locations which are very totally different from house. Victoria is a perfect blend of vibrant Victorian facades and gritty pink brick buildings. Even outdoors of the touristy areas, Victoria is a fascinating town to photograph. The road artwork scene is growing and the late afternoon mild paints its own colors to photograph.
We save the Butchart Gardens for last because it’s the crown jewel of Victoria. Situated about twenty minute north of the primary metropolis core, the Butchart Gardens is a sprawling property separated into a number of themed backyard areas: the sunken backyard, the rose garden, Japanese backyard, Italianate and more. We’ve been in spring, summer time and fall and it’s all the time beautiful. Summer time is peak season with probably the most flowers, so plan to be one in every of hundreds wandering the property if you visit June by way of August. E-book your Victoria Clipper tickets WITH a Butchart Gardens tour right here!
We’ve been to Victoria BC in scorching climate with infinite sunshine and in the freezing chilly rain. Each journey we find new, fun things to do, with or with out the youngsters. We advocate adding a few additional days for a Victoria weekend getaway to your subsequent Seattle journey so you can head north and luxuriate in taking the Victoria Clipper. You’ll be so glad you did!!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to attain out or depart us a comment. And need to pin this on your own vacation planning? Go for it!!!