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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in ALASKA
Sights to see & things to do Cruise Alaska

Victoria, British Columbia ~ Canada

While it’s not Alaska, this charming Canadian city located on Vancouver Island is typically a port call for cruises beginning in Seattle or San Francisco. Arrival in the capital of British Columbia is likened to a step back in time to an earlier era emphasized by the city’s Victorian architecture and very proper atmosphere. Founded as a British outpost, it’s often said that Victoria is more British than Great Britain herself.


Cruise ships dock at Ogden Point terminal of Juan De Fuca Strait. The shuttle to the Inner Harbor will deposit you at the elegant Empress Hotel, famous for English-style high tea. If that afternoon ritual is too stuffy for your taste, at least take a walk through the ivy-covered hotel’s grand public rooms for a glimpse of the opulent interiors and the imposing view of the harbor. 

Inside the Royal British Columbia Museum you will find mesmerizing exhibits that recreate British Columbia's history from prehistoric times to the present. Outside the entrance is a glass-enclosed display of totem poles and large sculptural works by Northwest Native artists. Behind the museum is Thunderbird Park where more totem poles and a Native ceremonial house are located.

Since the nineteen-twenties, visitors have come from afar to see the spectacular Butchart Gardens. Created from an abandoned limestone quarry by Mrs. Jenny Butchart, every month there are beautiful shows of seasonal flowering plants. Located thirteen miles from downtown, you can easily take a cab or organized tour and spend several hours there and at the nearby Victoria Butterfly Garden.

Also requiring a cab or an organized tour is Craigdarroch Castle, the lavish home of millionaire Scottish coal-mining magnate Robert Dunsmuir. Built in the 1880’s, the four-story Highland-style castle contains 39 rooms and is topped with stone turrets. Inside it is furnished in Victorian splendor.

Cool Cruising-- Spring! It's in the air and cruisers' fancies turn north. North to Alaska, with thoughts of majestic scenery, frontiers to explore, and what  to pack.

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