Our most recommended things to do in Victoria, British Columbia

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

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

Join certified marine naturalists on a cruise from Victoria to spot whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpbacks, minke, and gray whales. Benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off and relax with guaranteed whale sightings and a conservation fee included in the tour price. After meeting at the pier, begin your carbon-neutral tour led by certified marine naturalists who will share their knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife with you. Whilst on the boat, enjoy complimentary coffee and tea, onboard bathrooms, and indoor and outdoor viewing areas.  You may also encounter Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, otters, and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles.  Make the best of peak whale watching season in Victoria which runs from April through October. 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: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

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

Experience the awe and inspiration of seeing whales in their natural environment on this unique whale-watching excursion from Victoria. Cruise along in an open zodiac boat on the Salish Sea, and get the chance to spot orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales, as well as porpoises and seals. 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 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.

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, Delta Hotel/Songhees Point, Chinatown (Old Town), Bastion Square, Steamship Terminal, Coast Hotel/David Foster Walkway, Fisherman's Wharf, Ogden Point (Breakwater), Beacon Hill Park, Christ Church Cathedral, Craigdarroch Castle, Oak Bay Village, Oak Bay Marina, Oak Bay Beach Hotel, and Cook Street Village.

Victoria: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour

4. Victoria: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour

The thrill of being on the open water is no match for the excitement of spotting or hearing a whale in its natural habitat. Our amenity-laden Ocean Cruiser will bring you out to sea for an unforgettable whale watching tour. Led by expert marine biologists, you will learn about the Salish Sea, whales, marine mammals and birds, as well as about the exciting history of British Columbia’s rocky coast. While you keep watch for orcas and humpback whales, you may also spot seals, porpoises and a wide variety of marine birds. The Marauder IV Ocean Cruiser is one of British Columbia’s best loved whale-watching vessels and offers both open and closed viewing decks with 360-degree views.

Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

5. Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

Visit Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city, on this full-day guided tour from Vancouver city. Try to spot marine life on the ferry to Vancouver island, walk among the flowers in the Butchart Gardens, and admire the Victorian architecture in Victoria.  Start from downtown Vancouver and travel south through the city aboard a climate-controlled bus. Hop aboard a BC Ferry for a 90-minute voyage across the Georgia Strait through the scenic Southern Gulf Islands. Keep an eye out for orcas along the way. Once docked on Vancouver Island, the tour continues to the world-famous Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada. See millions of bedding plants in over 900 varieties. Enjoy 2 leisurely hours to fully explore the 50 acres of stunning gardens. Head to downtown Victoria and pass through Canada’s oldest China Town and the scenic Victoria Harbor, including the Inner Harbor. Once downtown, you will have free time to explore the local area. Spend your time going for a stroll the Inner Harbor, taking in the thriving arts and cultural scene, or visiting the historic Empress Hotel or the Royal BC Museum. Take the ferry and bus to return to your meeting point in Vancouver. 

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.

Victoria: Whale Watching Cruise by Covered Boat

7. Victoria: Whale Watching Cruise by Covered Boat

Experience the majesty of the Salish Sea and its wildlife, from whales surfacing in unison to bald eagles soaring overhead. Cut through the Strait of Juan de Fuca’s currents in search of orcas and humpback whales, and listen to our marine mammal experts bring the animals’ stories to life. Climb aboard the new Salish Sea catamaran-style boat, custom-designed for whale watching. Push through the waves with ease as you search for whales and other marine species. Stop at different points of interest within the protected waters of the Haro Strait and Strait of Juan de Fuca, where your captain will position the boat parallel to the animals for great photo opportunities. Learn more about the wildlife from up to 3 top marine naturalists. Enjoy the heated indoor cabin and 2 open air sundecks that are ideal for photography, or immerse yourself in this experience while we take free high-resolution photos of the wildlife, the landscape. and your loved ones.

Victoria: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour in a Zodiac Boat

8. Victoria: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour in a Zodiac Boat

This 3-hour whale-watching tour boasts sighting just about everything there is to see, including groups of predatory transient orcas and breaching humpback calves. Recently, a guest proposed to his girlfriend as a pod of killer whales cavorted in the background! Get suited up in a cozy cruiser suit, ensuring your comfort and safety for the duration of the trip. The tour departs from Victoria’s beautiful inner harbor. Your ride on one of the zipping Zodiac-style boats will be nearly as exciting as seeing the whales. Each of the boats seats 12, and there are great views from every seat. On the way out of the harbor, the boat passes the historic Victoria coastline. Once out of the harbor you’ll see a variety of different species of sea life, including orcas, humpback whales, grey whales, minke whales, porpoises, dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals, otters, and bald eagles. Every tour is guided by a Transport Canada-approved skipper, who will provide information and commentary on all of the wildlife you see.

Victoria: Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle

9. Victoria: Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle

The famous Butchart Gardens exist on the site of an exhausted limestone quarry. The first garden, the Sunken Garden, was built when the Butcharts hired a Japanese landscape architect to transform the quarry space into something beautiful. On the 35-minute bus ride from Victoria, your experienced driver will provide an overview of Victoria’s historical past, present, and future. Once the bus gets you to Butchart Gardens, you will have the opportunity to explore the enchanting grounds for yourself. The gardens span 55 acres and provide a total sensory experience. The flowers and scents transform with the seasons, and you will have a spectacular experience no matter what the time of year. As you wander the gardens, we encourage you to enjoy the view while sipping from a cup of coffee at one of the restaurants or seasonal cafés scattered across the grounds. The gardens have become a major attraction on Vancouver Island, and have been honored as a National Historic Site of Canada because of their international popularity.

Victoria to Vancouver Ferry with Bus Transfer

10. Victoria to Vancouver Ferry with Bus Transfer

Enjoy the ease of a convenient transfer between the city of Victoria (on Vancouver Island) and the city of Vancouver as you board a comfortable motor coach at one of several accessible locations. Sit back, relax, and take in the beautiful vistas along the way. Select from one of several location options and spring onboard your motor coach. Be transported effortlessly to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on Vancouver Island where you will embark upon a Ferry vessel to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in the city of Vancouver. Your 95-minute ferry trip will lead you across the Strait of Georgia on a scenic journey through the Gulf Islands. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for various wildlife and admire the beautiful panoramas on route! Arrive at Tsawwassen terminal in Vancouver city, re-board the familiar motor coach, and be transported to your destination of choice. Select from the Vancouver bus depot or train station (Pacific Central Station), the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, or a few select hotels in downtown Vancouver.

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Things to do in
Victoria, British Columbia
Marvel at historical buildings, relax in green spaces, or even meet some whales in British Columbia’s capital.

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What people are saying about Victoria, British Columbia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,756 reviews

The tour was so interesting and informative. It was a really great way to experience many different types of food while seeing so many hidden gems in Victoria. I was traveling alone and this was a great way to see some sites, eat some amazing local food (which I went back to later!) and meet really cool travellers at the same time!

Our guide was really friendly and attentive, and we saw four pods of whales! Which is apparently very rare. An amazing day.

We had an amazing time on whale watching tour, seen many hump backs, a pod of orcas and a ton of sea lions. A great time!

Well organised day. Just sit back and enjoy. The guide/driver was very informative and helpful

Great experience! Knowledgeable staff. Very enjoyable.