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Extension: Victoria - City of Gardens

Program Number: 16759RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/16/2013 - 9/19/2013;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Price starting at: $899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Homes & Gardens
Meals: 6; 3 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Established in the 1840’s as a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, Victoria grew into a thriving commercial and naval port and the seat of colonial and provincial governments. Discover well known treasures of Victoria including Butchart Gardens and the Royal British Columbia Museum, examine the architecture of historic neighborhoods like Rockland, developed by the famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Delve into the early history of Vancouver Island and learn about modern-day life here.


• A local expert reveals the colorful story of Butchart Gardens as you walk among its stunning floral displays and fountains.
• Discover the neighborhoods of Victoria where governors, merchant barons and other elites built their luxurious homes.
• Enjoy a behind-the-scenes visit to the Empress Hotel, a landmark chateau-style hotel that has hosted royalty and was a favorite of Rudyard Kipling.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day, mostly on flat terrain. Some (optional) stairs at historic sites.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Ferry to Victoria, 3 nights; departure.


This provincial capital on Vancouver Island is blessed with spectacular scenery and a mild climate year-round. Home to Butchart Gardens and the Empress Hotel, Victoria is rich in First Nations history, marine coastal ecosystems, cultural attractions and European charm that dates to its years spent under British colonial rule.

Hotel in the Inner Harbour neighborhood.
Meals and Lodgings
   Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
  Victoria, British Columbia 3 nights
 Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: With our convenient location in the heart of downtown Victoria, the largest city on Vancouver Island, BC, you can take a leisurely stroll along Victoria’s famous Inner Harbour, shop for treasures on Antiques Row or make business connections in Victoria’s nearby downtown core. Take a horse and carriage tour of Victoria with family and friends, create memories at Beacon Hill Park, and the Royal BC Museum is just around the block. Take in views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. There’s so much to see and do right at our doorstep! Enjoy yourself in the Royal Scot Hotel & Suite’s beautiful indoor pool, whirl pool, sauna and exercise room. Have some fun in our billiards room or gather with friends for a hand of bridge or a movie in the games room. We offer free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel. For your convenience our courtesy shuttle is available to take you anywhere within Victoria's downtown core. After a full day, rest easy in the cozy comfort of the Royal Scot Hotel & Suites and feel at home in downtown Victoria.
  Contact info: 425 Quebec Street
Victoria, BC V8V1W7 Canada
phone: 800-663-7515
  Room amenities: Our guest rooms include daily newspaper delivery, comfortable lounge chairs, mini fridges, coffee maker with complimentary coffee, tea and cookies, complimentary high speed wireless Internet, iron and ironing board and bathrobes.
  Facility amenities: Our Guest Service Amenities include: Business Services Available Coin-Operated Guest Laundry Courtesy Shuttle between the Hotel and downtown Victoria daily Indoor Swimming Pool Hydrotherapy Pool Exercise Room with a variety of Fitness Equipment Billiards and Games Room Hotel Parking (for a fee) High speed Wireless Internet in all Guest Rooms and Hotel Common Areas Hotel Gift Shop Jonathon's Restaurant
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for availability & rates Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for availability & rates Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
You will be picked up at the hotel in Vancouver and will travel as a group by ferry to Victoria to start the program; arrive at hotel at 2:00 pm You will be staying at Royal Scot Hotel and Suites that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast on final day is served starting at 8:00 a.m. Participants can depart at their leisure from Victoria. Hotel check-out is 12 noon. Independent departures. You will be staying at Royal Scot Hotel and Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. A passport is required for ALL travel to/from Canada. A US law known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires those traveling to/from the United States by land & sea to also have a passport or other appropriate secure documents (NEXUS card). Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit for information.
  Parking availability:
To Start of Program
  Location:  Victoria, British Columbia
  Nearest city or town:  Victoria
  Nearest airport:  Victoria International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Victoria, British Columbia
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



To Airport






Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $55 (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 minutes 


Taxi is available from the hotel to the Victoria International Airport. The hotel staff will be happy to arrange taxi service from the hotel at the end of the program.




To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
AKAL Airporter
phone: 250-386-2525
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $21 + tax
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 - 30 minutes 


Shuttles operate from 4:00 am until midnight or until last flight clears., Taxis are also available - approximately $50.00 CDN.




To Bus Terminal






Per Person/One Way:


$5 - 6 CDN (taxi); $2 - 3 City bus
Prices are subject to change.




5 - 10 minutes


Taxi (or city bus) from the hotel to the bus terminal in Victoria. Pacific Coach Lines offers coach service from Victoria to Vancouver; the bus goes onto the ferry to Vancouver (airport and downtown) to the central bus station. Contact PCL at 1-800-661-1725 or visit




To Ferry Landing




Public Transportation
Victoria Transit


Per Person/One Way:


$2 - 3
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 Minutes from hotel to the Ferry Terminal in Sidney, BC (Swartz Bay) 


City bus available from downtown Victoria to the ferry terminal in Sidney, BC (Swartz Bay). The ferry leaves from Sidney for the Vancouver (BC Ferries). Check for current schedule and fare information or call 888-223-3779.




To Ferry Landing






Per Person/One Way:


$5 - $6 CDN
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


5 minutes 


Taxi (or walk) to the ferry terminal in in Inner Harbour to board the Victoria Clipper passenger ferry to Seattle, WA. Travel time is 2 ½ hours. For more information, schedules and current fares please call 1-800-888-2535 or visit

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Ferry to Victoria/Orientation/History of Victoria
(Monday, September 16)

Note: Ferry travel distance is 24 nautical miles and takes approximately 1 hour 35 minutes. Accessible washrooms are available on board the vessel.

 Afternoon: The group will travel by BC Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. From Vancouver, we will sail across the Georgia Strait between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, through the magnificent scenery of the southern Gulf Islands. There is opportunity to see killer whales, porpoises and other marine mammals on this route. Check-in and program orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: An in-depth lecture will introduce you to historic Victoria - capital of British Columbia and western Canada’s oldest city. Established by the Hudson's Bay Company, the post was eventually named Fort Victoria, after the Queen of England, and quickly grew into a commercial and naval port and the seat of colonial and provincial governments. Today, Victoria is a global destination and is home to people of many different origins, cultural traditions, languages and religions and it welcomes them all.
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Historic Harbor Walk/BC Legislature/Empress Hotel/Royal BC Museum
(Tuesday, September 17)

Note: Walk on paved walking paths along the harbor for approximately 1 hour and up to 2 miles (3km).

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Explore Victoria's historic harbor with a local expert.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Visit the BC Legislature. During this guided visit, you will develop an understanding of the history of the BC Parliament.
 Lunch: Lunch at the BC Legislature. Nestled in BC's historic Parliament Buildings, the Legislative Dining Room offers a quiet, casual oasis in the heart of Victoria's inner harbour. Originally meant for the legislators and their staff, the dining room is open to the public. It is subsidized by the Provincial government and offers exceptional value and service.
 Afternoon: EXCURSION: Tour the Empress hotel. Learn of its history and its past famous visitors.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Royal BC Museum. Discover the proud history of the First Nations peoples of British Columbia and learn about the influence of European settlers on their cultural background.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to sample from one of the many fine dining establishments in Victoria.
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Butchart Gardens/Free Afternoon
(Wednesday, September 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION AND FIELD TRIP: A short talk by your group leader outlines the colorful family history of Butchart Gardens, the development over the last 100 years and an orientation to the layout of the specific gardens. Then explore the renowned Butchart Gardens in full bloom. Learn the story of Jennie Butchart who crafted this gem from a limestone quarry. Discover the beauty of her Rose, Japanese and Italian gardens. Fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display are open to the public, offering spectacular views from the many paths that meander through the four main gardens.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to experience local fare.
 Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON: There will be free time this afternoon to explore the city; take tea at one of the numerous tea houses or the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel; or tour the spectacular castles within the city.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner and wrap-up at a Victoria restaurant overlooking the harbor.
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Independent Departures
(Thursday, September 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served at the hotel between 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
 Morning: Program ends after breakfast. Independent departures from the hotel in Victoria. Participants can depart anytime as per their travel plans. Check-out is 12 noon.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Victoria, British Columbia Empress Tea
Indulge in one of Victoria's grandest traditions - Afternoon Tea at The Fairmont Empress. For almost a century, the majestic lobby of this landmark hotel has played host to England's most beloved ritual - the taking of Afternoon Tea. Award-winning Pastry Chef D'Oyen Christie works his magic, ensuring an authentic and memorable experience - from your very first sip of our secret Tea at The Empress blend tea, right through to his freshly baked raisin scones served with clotted cream and strawberry preserves. Served in the relaxing atmosphere of the elegantly restored Tea Lobby, overlooking Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbor in the stately Harborside Room or under the hand-painted ceiling of the Library, Afternoon Tea is an absolute 'must do' for all who visit Victoria. For additional information, visit
  Craigdorrach Castle
Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria British Columbia’s “must see” attraction, is located a short drive or a leisurely walk from the downtown harbour. Craigdarroch was built between 1887-1890 for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal. This legendary Victorian mansion, built on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria announced to the world that Robert Dunsmuir was the richest and most important man in Western Canada. He died in 1889 leaving his entire estate to his wife Joan who lived in the Castle until her death in 1908. The immense fortune of the Dunsmuir family is reflected in the four floors of exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and fabulous Victorian era Furnishings. There are 39 rooms, most of which are furnished lavishly in the 1890s-1900s period; enjoy the ambiance as you climb the 87 stairs to the tower. There you’ll see fabulous views of Victoria, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Olympic Mountains. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Fodor's Vancouver & Victoria

Author: -

Description: A practical guide in the popular series, saturated with valuable information on accommodation, shopping, sights, and dining.

The Last Great Sea, A Voyage Through the Human and Natural History of the North Pacific Ocean

Author: Terry Glavin, Carl Safina (Introduction)

Description: A wide-ranging conservation history of British Columbia and the North Pacific ocean. Glavin lives in the Gulf Islands, where he writes frequently about fisheries and environmental issues facing the region.

The West Beyond the West, A History of British Columbia

Author: Jean Barman

Description: A fascinating history of the Canadian province from the 18th century to the mid-1990s. The author weaves portraits of major personalities and events into a readable overview of the cultural and social influences that have shaped the region.

Vancouver & Victoria Colourguide

Author: Candace Brissenden

Description: The third edition of this compact, illustrated guide, revised and updated, by a local expert with over 300 color photographs.

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