Victoria Cruise Ship Port

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria cruise ship port

Emerald Princess in Victoria taken from the deck of the Oosterdam

Canada’s southernmost city and British Columbia’s capital, Victoria, sits at the south end of Vancouver Island on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Cruise ships sailing out of Seattle pass through the straight on their way in and out of port. Since Alaska is part of the USA and ships without USA registry and crew – which is nearly all cruise ships – can’t do a completely domestic cruise, Victoria is pretty much a mandatory port stop for Seattle to Alaska cruises. Most ships make late evening stops there, arriving around dinner time and leaving near midnight.

Empress Hotel

Empress Hotel

As one of the oldest cities in the pacific northwest, Victoria has lots of historic buildings and the second oldest Chinatown in north America. Both of Victoria’s most famous buildings, the Empress Hotel and the parliament buildings, sit near the inner harbor. If you arrive by seaplane, Victoria Clipper, or the Coho Ferry from Port Angeles you disembark in the inner harbor, but the cruise ship docks are out at Ogden Point, not in town. It is within walking distance if you don’t mind a bit of a hike, or passengers can take shuttle busses or taxies from the port. Fisherman’s Wharf is a closer walk than the inner harbor, or it can be a stop along the way when taking the seaside path. It’s also a stop for the Harbour Ferries which can take people to town when the ferries are running.

Victoria from the outer harbour

view from the Oosterdam of Victoria and the seawall walk along the breakwater at Victoria Harbour

There’s not a lot right at the cruise ship dock, but there is a seawall walk with a lighthouse at the end.

Lighthouse in Victoria

lighthouse at the end of the seawall

Victoria has a mild climate with average winter lows in the high 30’s and average summer highs in the high 60’s (Fahrenheit). It has the least rain of anywhere on British Columbia’s coast due to the rain shadow effect of Washington State’s Olympic Mountains.

map of Victoria BC

map of Victoria with walking routes from the cruise terminal

Victoria has a lot more to do than can be done in the average cruise ship visit. Since the ships usually come in fairly late some things are closed or too far to get to by public transportation in the available time. Booking an excursion through the ship is often the way to go if there is something specific you want to see or do there, particularly if it is far from town like Butchart Gardens or only open at that time for booked excursions as is often the case for tea at the Empress Hotel. You do not need to book an excursion to see the Empress from the outside, or to walk around inside and visit the shops. Some other shops around town stay open at least through the earlier evening hours and it’s easy enough to get to town for people who just want to look around on their own with the shuttles and taxis at the port for anyone who doesn’t want to walk into town.

castle on Vancouver Island

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC, Canada

Cruise Ship Excursions in Victoria

Excursions offered by cruise ships visiting Victoria include a walking tour, Butchart & Butterfly gardens, city highlights, museums, lighthouse, whale watching, parliament buildings, high tea, horse-drawn carriage tour, Craigdarroch Castle & brewery tours.

Victoria Parliament Building

Parliament Building in Victoria

More Blogs About Victoria

Craigdarroch CastleVictoria Harbour FerriesPort Stop in VictoriaPrincess in Victoria

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2019


About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
This entry was posted in Canada, Holland America, Oosterdam, Port Cities, Ports of Call and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Victoria Cruise Ship Port

  1. Ruth Roberts says:

    Victoria is an interesting place to visit. Your article does give a good summary of some fun things to do.

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