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TR - Two week land tour of Vancouver Island then Grand Princess to Alaska


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I would imagine that all the regulars here have been to Alaska & Victoria, Vancouver Island but thought I’d share my trip anyways for those who may be interested especially as we went beyond Victoria in Vancouver Island and we were on the Grand Princess’ first cruise of the Alaskan 2024 season.

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I've done an Alaskan cruise but unfortunately it didn't call into Victoria so I'm looking forward to all of it, especially your thoughts on Vancouver Island. 🙂

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Had a direct flight booked Sydney to Vancouver with Air Canada departing Sydney at 9.10AM which meant we needed to be at the airport early.

 

Luckily, I was still up late the night before the flight because I received a text at 10.30pm advising that my flight was delayed and would not be departing until 10.00pm the next evening 😳A013FAA4-B4BD-40E7-AAB5-1943DF6A8786.thumb.jpeg.ed04631ec6fa02c9145fdb73274a13ec.jpeg

 

When I finally checked in, I got this letter for insurance and a $20 voucher (food only) as compensation for the delay - to be used at the airport - so I did.31BFF243-5918-43A6-8F18-80FCFBA60DA6.thumb.jpeg.170f119daa12da7ab0fb20cb81d1f0cd.jpeg

 

Nice smooth flight and lovely view as we flew over Vancouver Island before approaching Vancouver.

 

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Arriving in the evening at YVR airport, it was a breeze to go through customs and collect luggage.

 

Then straight to the taxi rank to get the taxi to Times Square Suite Hotel, very close to Stanley Park.

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After an excellent nights sleep, late checkout of 11am and a too short  walk in Stanley Park, we hit the road for the Tsawwassen Ferry Wharf (40mins from Vancouver).  We were catching the BC Ferry to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. The   views from the top open deck during the 90min ferry ride were just lovely.1D0659F3-8416-4C49-9570-708D0CD7B55E.thumb.jpeg.96dee3364f43496a7b85996f1f6731d3.jpeg

 

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Great posts. Thank you for sharing. It's a beautiful part of the World. Enjoy every minute of it. 

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6 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

...Luckily, I was still up late the night before the flight because I received a text at 10.30pm advising that my flight was delayed and would not be departing until 10.00pm the next evening 😳A013FAA4-B4BD-40E7-AAB5-1943DF6A8786.thumb.jpeg.ed04631ec6fa02c9145fdb73274a13ec.jpeg

 

Ouch! Airports Manager Australia and New Zeland? In what's probably the standard template this guy has on all his outgoing letters since whenever? That's gotta sting for any Kiwis getting similar notification!!!

 

Glad you had an easy trip otherwise, and made use of your time here for more than just the cruise - look forward to seeing what else you got up to!

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1 hour ago, martincath said:

Ouch! Airports Manager Australia and New Zeland? In what's probably the standard template this guy has on all his outgoing letters since whenever? That's gotta sting for any Kiwis getting similar notification!!!

 

Glad you had an easy trip otherwise, and made use of your time here for more than just the cruise - look forward to seeing what else you got up to!

Yep - obviously forgot to proofread in a rush to get the letter done

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I haven't been to Alaska. Hope to go one day though my goal is to do the Alaska Marine Highway which hopefully will still exist by the time I get there 😂. I have done Vancouver Island and Victoria which I enjoyed though not as in depth as you. Sounds like you're going to have a fascinating trip. 

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The drive from Swartz Bay Ferry Wharf to downtown Victoria took approx 40mins.  We passed right by the entrance to Butchart Gardens but we didn’t want to visit in the afternoon and be rushed, so continued on to our accommodation located in Inner Harbour very close to the Empress Hotel.
 

The weather was so nice, I decided we should walk to Fisherman’s Wharf for a casual dinner.  We walked along the  harbour’s edge and we  were delighted to see otters right near the rocks enjoying their own fish dinner.

 

Having a light dinner in the sun at Fisherman’s Wharf was a very pleasant way to spend our first evening in Victoria.

 

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Btw, You can’t tell from this photo but we were surprised by how much bigger Canadian seagulls are to our Australian ones.926A6C62-7D53-4991-948A-751A34753899.thumb.jpeg.138317fcb5098d16a5ca8e09da0e7f2b.jpeg

 

On our return walk, I took a quick pic of some of the pretty flowers surrounding The Empress Hotel.AB57E9A4-CEA3-4E41-8692-56ACE690D9FC.thumb.jpeg.aaf4630c26fe66159814328d2c8da59c.jpeg

 

 

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13 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

Btw, You can’t tell from this photo but we were surprised by how much bigger Canadian seagulls are to our Australian ones.926A6C62-7D53-4991-948A-751A34753899.thumb.jpeg.138317fcb5098d16a5ca8e09da0e7f2b.jpeg

 

I remember those gulls, they are huge😯 I honestly didn't believe they were seagulls at first. 

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1 hour ago, MicCanberra said:

Wait till you see the gulls at St Ives England, like the size of Eagles, 

Yes. I was going to comment on the size of UK seagulls. Maybe it’s the Aussie one that are small! 🤷‍♂️
 

My wife tells a story from her first trip to the UK. On a day visit to St Ives, a seagull swooped down and stole her ice cream, leaving her with an empty cone in her hand!

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6 minutes ago, Sparky74 said:

Yes. I was going to comment on the size of UK seagulls. Maybe it’s the Aussie one that are small! 🤷‍♂️
 

My wife tells a story from her first trip to the UK. On a day visit to St Ives, a seagull swooped down and stole her ice cream, leaving her with an empty cone in her hand!

Tried to steal my pastie from out of the bottom of the bag between my legs while I was sitting on a bench by the harbour. One tried to take a chihuahua on a leash according to the shop owner.

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13 minutes ago, MicCanberra said:

Tried to steal my pastie from out of the bottom of the bag between my legs while I was sitting on a bench by the harbour. One tried to take a chihuahua on a leash according to the shop owner.

I have thought of several humorous responses but fortunately my filter is working today. 😇🤐

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3 hours ago, Sparky74 said:

I have thought of several humorous responses but fortunately my filter is working today. 😇🤐

Yes, lol. A different bag, this one was paper and came with the pastie

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9 hours ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

I remember those gulls, they are huge😯 I honestly didn't believe they were seagulls at first. 

The next morning, saw a couple of tourists stroking one of the seagulls - think they had mistaken him for a cat

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2 minutes ago, aussielozzie18 said:

The next morning, saw a couple of tourists stroking one of the seagulls - think they had mistaken him for a cat

Maybe they were trying to get the cat back out of the gull.

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Posted (edited)

First full day in Victoria and we decided to do another harbour walk.  This time heading in the other direction to & across Johnson Bridge and then all  along the beautiful foreshore to Esquimalt.  Beautiful morning for it.  Lots of otters swimming in the clear water.B5E51BF3-889F-4961-A828-8A07899169B9.thumb.jpeg.c5d958f14ed9bdc158bcabedf956aafe.jpeg

 

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On the return walk, we stopped in at Spinnakers Brewpub overlooking the water and had a nice lunch on their terrace.4229CE07-6976-47B5-80FE-C1A06C70A1A5.thumb.jpeg.587f448c25a58d0941af230d57d8637d.jpeg

 

Then I decided I wanted a ride on one of the cute little harbour ferries, so using the QR code on the post on the wharf, I hailed one of their ferries/water taxis that took us back to the inner harbour in front of The Empress.

 

Lovely to see that dogs are permitted on the ferries.  The couple and their dog hopped off and we hopped on for a lovely trip with the friendly & informative ferry Captain.

 

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Edited by aussielozzie18
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Posted (edited)

The Bug Zoo was a short walk from our accommodation.  My dad loves his garden and his insects, so I decided we would visit & take photos for him.  
 

When we first walked in, I thought oh no, we will only be here for 10 mins as it’s a very small place, just two small rooms.  What it lacks in size though is made up for by the very enthusiastic and informative staff.  We had a great time as the staff explained the contents of each glass enclosure in depth and offered us the opportunity to hold the insects as they gave us a tour of the enclosures in the rooms.  Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to see a staff member hold one of the tarantulas.  That would have been very cool.06F7A700-9BE6-4C03-BE6C-7BAA3E197B3F.thumb.jpeg.5a4509ce7a8e09d49abc8619c09784aa.jpeg

 

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Edited by aussielozzie18
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