Thursday, June 19, 2014

Alaska Cruise: Day 8 - Victoria, BC, Canada

Our last port of call was Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. The ship didn’t dock until late afternoon, so we spent the first half of the day wandering around the ship, which was bustling with activity. From an art auction to a silly show called Celebrity Chef, a poker tournament in the casino and dancing in the main hall there was something happening everywhere. The hurried hustle and bustle feeling of the last full cruise day was palpable.

The ship docked in Victoria a full 20 minutes earlier than scheduled and got cleared for passengers to disembark quite quickly. Our Victoria excursion involved a trip to the Butchart Gardens followed by tea service at the Empress.

Butchart Gardens was beautiful and the size of the gardens were astonishing. I think they said it takes somewhere around the order of 70 full-time gardeners to maintain the property. One of my favorite things to do with my camera is photograph flowers, so this excursion was a treat for me:
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This one is my favorite of the bunch.
I won't clutter up this post with a bajillion pictures of flowers, so if you're interested, they're all up on my SmugMug (link to the top right). After the flowers, we went for a late night tea at the Empress Hotel. The food was delicious (or maybe I was just starving) and the forced company was alright. I've never been great at small talk with strangers, but Eric did alright for the both of us. Just before we packed up to leave the Empress, I realized that it was a Fairmont Hotel, making it our second tea at a Fairmont. With tea time complete, we piled onto the bus and our driver took us for a brief tour around downtown Victoria before returning us to the port.