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Wonderful experience, worth every penny. If you are staying in Vancouver this is the way to go...whale watching and then Butchart Gardens. Unbelievable day
Great experience. Captain made sure we saw whales and we did! Only issue was- wish we had more time in Victoria. Recommend doing this over 2 days.
We took this amazing tour on July 1, 2017, unknowingly booking the trip on Canada Day 150! What an amazing experience! The check-in process was really very easy. Our captain was Captain Chris and our naturalists were Tom, Cody and Ben. All four were just awesome. They were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We did not need to go to them with questions. They came and sat with us and showed us maps, charts, etc. They showed us and shared pictures. They got blankets for us when we were chilly. They couldn't have been nicer. We saw whales going out and coming back. We also saw bald eagles, seals, etc. Victoria was packed with people because of Canada Day. It was a giant party. So much fun. We did cut our time a bit short at Buchart Gardens. They were simply gorgeous. Hopefully we'll be back some day. We will highly recommend this experience to all of our friends and family thinking of taking the trip to Vancouver.
Great naturalist guides. Saw lots of wildlife. Can't describe how great it was to have all transportation for the day taken care of.
Lovely day. We didn't get to see whales, but they give you a lifetime guarantee to take their tour again to whale watch. The staff was wonderful. Next time we're in Vancouver we'll take them up on the guarantee and hope the whale will appear. Guess they were on vacation too. :-
This was an fantastic tour. We were on the last tour of the season and the weather was not co-operating but our captain and crew did an outstanding job. We did see multiple whales and got some great pictures. We would definitely do this tour again.
Excellent trip. I would give it 6 stars if I could.
Pros: Abundant wildlife bald eagles, killer whales, humpback whales, whale watching tour guides were experts, Victoria is an excellent destination, bus tour operator to Butchart was friendly and informative, the Butchart Gardens are gorgeous.
Cons: Difficult to balance time between Victoria and Butchart Gardens an additional half-hour in each would have been great the morning check-in process could be a little more efficient
Outstanding tour experience from scheduling to actual trip. Professionally done all the way through the hole experience. Will highly recommend to friends and family members.
JOHN S USA
Let me tell you, just getting to go on this tour was an adventure in itself. Knowing what I know now I would not book this through Viator but would instead go directly to Prince of Whales to book this tour. We arrived on Friday morning and planned to take this on Saturday morning, not being familiar with the area we decided to walk to the hotel mentioned in the brochure to see how long it would take us to get there from where we stayed. Glad we did. We had booked through Viator a good 4 months prior because we really wanted to do this tour, we even received daily reminders as the trip got closer that we need to remember our voucher. Yet we got to the place only to discover that Viator never made the reservations and the tour that day was full. This could've totally destroyed the Vancouver part of the trip as we were looking forward to the whale watching and seeing the gardens which was why we booked so far in advance. The staff of Prince of Whales was very apologetic and helpful and at least fortunately were able to get us on a boat the following day which still worked out okay for us. We saw a lot of Orcas and got some great pictures, the gardens were beautiful, my recommendation would be that as soon as you are done with the whales go directly to the gardens as there is a lot to see and you really won't want to miss it. The people on Prince of Whales were outstanding and showed us a great time. We ran into a problem at the end as the boat meant to take us back to Vancouver had mechanical problems and was too damaged to take us back, but the owner of the company came out to meet us and ensure us that he would take care of us. He got us on a bus which then got on the ferry to Vancouver. He even paid for all of us to have the dinner buffet on him for the trouble we had gone through. It is nice to see someone back up their company. Wish Viator would've have done that. Highly, highly recommend doing this tour.
Fantastic day. The crew are brilliant and very informative. We saw lots of whales on the trip out and on our return which was an added bonus. Victoria and Butchart Gardens are very beautiful places which made the day even more memorable.
Entire trip was excellent. Naturalist on board was very informative. We DID see whales as we were approaching Victoria. So majestic - so beautiful. Besides choppy seas of which we were forewarned it was an excellent trip. We will have to go back to the Butchart Gardens - too much to see - needed more time. The entire layout was well planned except for needing more time to see all the lovely locations. Highly recommend this trip.
AWESOME!! Well worth the cost of the tour. Although the boat ride out was cold not their fault, they offered us warm raincoats and blankets and inside seating we chose to sit on the back deck and watch the scenery. We saw seals and whales on our way to Victoria, and otters and seals when they picked us up from the Gardens to return to Vancouver. We enjoyed seeing and shopping in Victoria and had a nice lunch there at a restaurant the naturalist suggested to us. At the end of the day we were tired, but very happy.
We had a wonderful time. The naturalist was enthusiastic and extremely knowledgable. She made sure to spend time with every guest. The boat got close enough for photos but not so close that it interfered with the wildlife.
The tour was everything you promised, including brilliant weather. Followed a pod of killer whales for at least 40 minutes. Would highly recommend your tour.
Whales playing tag with each other! We saw several pods of them on our way west to Victoria. This was a lovely day, combining whale watching with lunch in Victoria at the Fairmont Empress, then a bus trip to Butchart Gardens. Not enough time in either place to do them justice, but enough for a taste of their beauty. The boat trip home was uneventful. Weather was good, although a little hotter than usual. It was lovely at sea. The only downside was that the bus driver from Victoria to Butchart Gardens left us sitting on a hot bus without the AC for extended periods at each end, without telling us why. Several families tried to leave the bus on their own at the Gardens.
G W D New Zealand
Well organised with informed commentary and knowledgeable crew. And we saw whales!!! Would definitely recommend this trip
We saw many whales, the ride was not too bumpy and umbrellas were provided when it sarted to drizzle. The four year old grand daughter loved the whales and the flowers
good tour but not enough time to really see anything in Victoria. I would suggest giving yourself 2 days in Victoria. 1 extra to see the city. Beautiful.
The whale watching was fun, but there really wasn't much time in Victoria. You end up picking one or the other Victoria vs Butchart gardens. We had lunch in Victoria and went to the gardens. That being said, it was a long day so I don't know that I would make it longer - just don't expect to see a lot of both. The whale watching would have been easier with a loud speaker system but each guide came around to give the same story to different sections of the boat. They were very nice and gave photos at the end for free which was a nice surprise.
We did not see any whales in the morning, but were able to see a pod on the way back from Butchart Gardens. My only critique is that I wish we would have had a few more minutes on the way back to Vancouver to whale watch. Although, had we seen whales in the morning, this may not have been such a big deal. The guides and rest of the crew were wonderful!
I wish we left at earlier and get some more time in Victoria. It's a place worth visiting.
We didn't see any whales there, but we did get to see the lone wolf on Chatam Island which was cool. We did see a pod of Orcas which was nice. If you have kids with you, I would advise against this trip as the three and half hours there and same on the way back was too much for our teeenage son. There was one naturalist on board, Wilma, that was fantastic and really made our trip great.
unfortunately a rare day when no whales sighted, but the tour was first class otherwise and Butchart gardens were staggering
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