From sweeping birds-eye views to skimming past the rocky shorelines, the Sea & Sky package offered the perfect mix of thrilling adventure and relaxing scenery.
Traveling often begins with cramped quarters and stale air. It’s normally survived by sitting glued to a device watching the latest reality tv show. Such is not the case aboard the Victoria Clipper, where guests are free to roam the spacious ship. The Victoria Clipper V, the newest member of the fleet, even has an outdoor viewing deck.
I began my journey in the elegant Comfort Class Cabin, staring out the floor to ceiling windows that run the entire length of the ship’s bow. As Seattle faded into the distance, the boat disappeared into a thick fog. Grey clouds hung to the windows like a cozy blanket.
And seemingly as soon as the covers had been pulled into place, they dissipated. Sunshine cut through the last of their hazy wisps, falling like a late sunrise upon the water and surrounding islands.
Enjoy Stunning Water Views
We sailed past lighthouses, the white beacons standing proudly near the water. The captain expertly maneuvered around driftwood. Passengers were on the lookout for whales and dolphins. Though there were sadly no sightings (whales are predominantly seen during the late spring and early summer months), the chance to see the islands from the water was incredible.
The shores varied from rocky bluffs to steep, red dirt cliffs. The occasional home or small community was nestled in the dense tree line. Seals lazily sunbathed on rocks. I even spotted a bald eagle perched overhead.
In addition to the spacious seats, Comfort Class also treats you to complimentary snacks, tea, and espresso drinks. You can also purchase a selection of locally sourced and freshly prepared meals directly from the Clipper’s trademark in-seat concierge service. (Hello convenience and service!) And, did I mention they serve cocktails aboard. The family sitting next to me was celebrating a recent union, so they toasted with a morning Baileys and coffee. It was such a special moment to witness.
Because you aren’t confined to your seat, the almost three-hour boat ride seems to sail by all too fast. I loved the opportunity to get up and walk around. It meant when we landed my muscles weren’t stiff. I was refreshed and ready to explore!
Take a Thrilling Flight Home
Like the Victoria Clipper, Kenmore Air operates out of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Flights depart from the Victoria Seaplane Terminal — a somewhat new addition to the Inner Habour, the floating terminal is a stunning place to relax before your 45-minute flight home.
Unlike traditional airports, here check-in is a breeze and the loading terminal is a dock with a view of the Fairmont Empress and BC Parliament Buildings.
Generally flying at 500 feet, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Pacific Northwest’s islands and mountains. Flying much of the same path the Clipper follows from the water, you’ll be able to complete your perspective of the coast, lighthouses and quaint communities. Discover the lush farmland that lies inland. Fly face-to-face with the snow-capped mountains. And, wave to the boats!
Just be sure to bring your camera. This is one trip you’ll want to capture!
Discover fun things to do in Victoria
While The Butchart Gardens offer floral displays year-round, the spring is an exceptionally special time to visit. This is thanks in large part to the over 300,000 bulbs coming into bloom featuring daffodils, peonies, irises, and, most prominently, tulips.
The food-hub showcases a diverse range of farm fresh and locally sourced artisan foods. While wares from local artisans are sure to catch your fancy, it’s the grassroots food vendors that are the real draw.
Fondly nicknamed the "Garden City," Victoria's lush landscape is home to a wide variety of breathtaking outdoor spaces, including the 200-acre Beacon Hill Park.