Victoria, British Columbia Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Victoria, British Columbia Outdoor activities

Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

1. Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

The waters off Victoria, British Columbia are known as the Salish Sea. Discover its wonders and rich marine environment with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour. Board a brand new high-speed coastal explorer boat and set sail to look for orcas (also known as killer whales), humpbacks, harbor seals, California sea lions, and over 127 species of marine birds!  Take a tour of the west coast aboard a luxurious coastal explorer, with two outside viewing areas and a fully heated cabin. Enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate as you set off on an adventure to learn all about the local marine wildlife and important landmarks. From playful orcas to giant humpbacks, your experience is sure to be memorable. Discover the marine wildlife in the waters off Victoria with the help of marine biologists and learn about efforts to establish Victoria as a world-renowned whale watching destination. 

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 and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

3. Victoria and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in downtown Vancover, and then board the boat at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to take a scenic 1.5-hour cruise around the Gulf Islands. Look for marine wildlife on the outdoor deck as you make your way to Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Drop anchor to explore the provincial capital of British Columbia. Get a short introduction to Victoria and enjoy some free time to look inside the unique shops of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour and get amazing ocean views. Take souvenir photos of the festive decorations of the Victoria Parliament Building and Fairmont Empress Hotel. Continue to the botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens and wander through a series of themed gardens to see the Christmas lights and holiday wreaths. Hear carols being sung and much more to experience the Magic of Christmas. Return to Schwartz Bay for the bus and ferry journey back to Vancouver.

Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

4. Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

Experience the Pacific Coast and Vancouver Island by land and ship on a guided day trip from Vancouver with hotel transfers included. View the British Columbia coastline from a sightseeing cruise, followed by a stop at Butchart Gardens en route to the British-inspired city of Victoria. Board a BC Ferries vessel at Tsawwassen terminal for a 90-minute sail through the serene beauty of the Gulf Islands. On the way, look out for marine wildlife from the outdoor ship decks, especially eagles, sea lions, and whales. Arrive at Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island and continue to the enchanting botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens. Wander through a series of themed gardens, highlighted by the massive Sunken Garden complete with a dancing fountain. Marvel at the architectural wonders of the city of Victoria boasts, including the iconic Parliament Buildings and the waterfront Fairmont Empress Hotel. Visit the shops and cafes of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour for prime ocean views, and enjoy some free time to take in this culturally significant city. Return on the bus to Vancouver by ferry to conclude this diverse tour.

Telegraph Cove: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

5. Telegraph Cove: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

After gathering at the Telegraph Cove Resort, you will embark on your 3-hour, fully-guided whale watching and wildlife viewing adventure. In true comfort and style, your crew will be excited to take you to Johnstone Strait, in search of the majestic wildlife that floods the local waters here in the summer months. You can take advantage of the opportunity to view killer whales and humpback whales in the wild, as well as an assortment of seabirds and other species of marine wildlife. The Ocean Magic II is a custom designed marine marvel, which combines the practicality of a semi-covered vessel with the speed and maneuverability of a Zodiac. With three naturalists on board and two different viewing elevations, this is the only purpose-built whale watching vessel of its size in the industry. Sip your coffee, feel the wind in your hair or keep cozy under cover while you explore the pacific northwest.

From Victoria: Whale Watching Marine Wildlife Excursion

6. From Victoria: Whale Watching Marine Wildlife Excursion

Experience the world’s most beautiful coastline on a 3-hour marine wildlife tour from Victoria, British Columbia, and immerse yourself in the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait are renowned for their ample wildlife, including animals such as Steller and California sea lions, humpback whales, sea and river otters, Minke whales, harbor seals and many marine birds to name a few. You will travel on-board an open-top Zodiac boat to race across the seas. In a smaller, open style 12 passenger vessel, you can be on scene with the wildlife faster and get once in a lifetime exposure to the true west coast elements. Helping to protect the environment, the Zodiacs are powered by eco-friendly Yamaha 4-stroke outboards renowned for their ultra-low emissions and quiet operating levels. Modeled after fast-response coast guard rescue vessels, the zodiacs combine speed with stability, cruising at 25 to 35 knots. They are also equipped with well-padded bench seats and cushioned backrests for added comfort.

Full-Day Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver

7. Full-Day Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver

Enjoy an exciting full-day tour in Victoria that's packed with activities. Your day will start with a ride on board a minibus in Vancouver that will take you to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen. You will then be driven onto a ferry with onboard amenities including a restaurant, gift shop, and arcades for the children. Walk around the deck while enjoying the scenery and look out for orcas, seals, and other marine life. Then dock in the port of Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island and tour the heart of Victoria. The area grew from the Gold Rush in 1841 and still displays many traditional buildings from the period by renowned Canadian architect, Francis Rattenbury. Once your guided tour is complete, enjoy 3 hours to explore the city at your own pace. Meet up and proceed to the magnificent Butchart Gardens, an area that stretches across 55 acres. Stroll through the charming gardens and admire its mix of traditional and modern landscapes.

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

8. 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: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

9. Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

Depart in the evening from Victoria's beautiful inner harbor and head out into the Salish Sea in search of whales and other wonderful marine life. During the 3-hour tour, search for orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, and gray whales, that visit the Salish Sea in search of food. Encounter other marine life such as seals, sea lions, porpoises, otters and various marine birds. Listen to an inspiring and educational talk from the Marine Naturalists as they describe and interpret the spectacular environment, extensive history, and stunning scenery of the Salish Sea. If the weather cooperates, enjoy the stunning sunset views.

From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

10. From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

Discover Victoria, the capital of British Columbia on a guided tour from Vancouver. See the Empress Hotel, the Parliament buildings and beautiful Butchart Gardens. Upon leaving Vancouver, take a scenic ferry ride from the mainland through the Gulf Islands to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. From here, you will embark on a driving tour to Victoria. Discover Victoria’s downtown area featuring the Fisherman’s Wharf, the Inner Harbour, The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Mile 0 and the historic Chinatown. Enjoy some free time to explore downtown Victoria at your own pace. Next, visit the internationally renowned Butchart Gardens. This National Historic Site began with an exhausted limestone quarry that was transformed into the now picturesque Sunken Garden. Explore 55 acres of themed garden displays, including a Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and Rose Garden. Wind down your day with the scenic return sailing trip aboard BC Ferries, and then back to where your tour began.

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What people are saying about Victoria, British Columbia

This was the most amazing experience EVER. We went as a group of 4. We were all kitted out with body length wetsuits. Please don’t wear flip flops like I did as my toes nearly fell off with frostbite lol. We see a huge whale that went under the boat and played around for a while. We then seen some sea lions and a bald eagle. Our guide was fantastic and so enthusiastic.

Friendly knowledgeable captains. Jordan was very witty and entertaining on top of being a great whale finder. Ive been out with them 2 years in a row now. Great price for 3 hours on the water. Highly recommend this company!!

I loved that the captain and the guide were as excited as everyone in the boat to see the whales. That means the enjoy their job and they enjoy seeing the magnificent mammals.

Was a great trip. Loved the ferry ride. All instructions on where to be and when were very clear. Butchart Gardens was well worth the trip

Great experience! The tour guide Zac was great, very knowledgeable and couldn’t do enough for the group.