Arriving in Victoria by ship is a fantastic introduction to the British Columbian capital city. The cruise ship terminal is at Ogden Point, not far from downtown and Inner Harbour attractions. With growing passenger traffic in recent years, the Victoria Cruise Port is now the busiest cruise ship port-of-call in all of Canada.
Victoria’s mild climate and concentration of top attractions along the Inner Harbour and downtown make the city a great spot to explore on foot or by bike. To maximize your time in port, join a tour that hits the points you want to see, be it the Edwardian architecture of the provincial Parliament Buildings or the Fairmont Empress hotel, the lavish gardens of the perpetually green city, or the city’s top foodie haunts via bicycle. Alternatively, temporarily swap your cruise ship with a smaller vessel and head out on a whale-watching expedition.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tours generally depart from downtown Victoria, not the cruise port.
- Dockside you will find gift shops, a currency exchange, and pay phones.
- The climate in Victoria is mild but tends to be rainy. Bring an umbrella or rain jacket.
- Butchart Gardens, a Victoria highlight, requires a tour or taxi to get there, as it is about a 20-minute drive.
How to Get to Victoria from the Victoria Cruise Port
It is simple to get to downtown Victoria from the terminal, as taxis, buses, shuttles, and even pedicabs and horse-drawn carriages are readily available dockside. To stretch your legs and enjoy more of the seaside city, walk about 20 minutes on wide paved sidewalks to the center of town.
The currency is the Canadian dollar, although some stores accept US dollars (change will be given in Canadian dollars.) Major credit cards and bank debit cards are generally accepted. Sales tax is added at the register. Canada’s official languages are French and English, but in Victoria signage and communication are typically only in English.