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Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

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New York, New York...
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Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

Spending 2 full days in Vancouver, then plan to take a trip to Victoria early in the morning. Next stop, Seattle? Should I stay in Victoria or can I just spend the day there and take late trip to Seattle? Is the ferry ride (Clipper?) from Victoria to Seattle very scenic? That is, should I really stay overnight in Victoria, and experience the clipper the next morning?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

If you can make the necessary connections for the ferries, and you want to move right along, then go for it. The Clipper during daylight would be better than in the dark. Depends on when you're coming as to when sunset is.

But I think you would be missing a gem of a small city if you didn't spend one night in Victoria.

Nanaimo, Canada
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2. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

Doubt many on TA will recommend that you whizz through Victoria for a portion of the day and then take the Clipper to Seattle. But it is entirely possible to do and really it is up to you to decide how quickly you want to move along on your trip. Would I do it? Depends on how long my trip was and what I was interested in doing but probably not.

Port Moody, Canada
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3. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

If you're taking the ferry to Victoria you'll have gone through some scenic Gulf Islands ( in the US they're the San Juan's) ..even with an early morning ferry it will be about 10:30 before you're in Victoria..assume you are using Pacific Coach to get from Vancouver to Victoria? If you're not doing an overnight one issue would be luggage storage ( again assuming you'll have more than a small backpack) I'm not sure if Pacific Coach has luggage storage at the depot in Victoria but something to check.

as Dave says it's really up to you to determine the time you want to spend and how you want to allocate it.. not knowing how long you have for the trip and what your priorities are for sight seeing it's hard to say if you should spend the night there.

Also depending on when you're travelling you may well see the views from the Clipper on the evening ferry as it will be light until almost 10 pm later into June.

You might also look at flying from Vancouver to Victoria on Harbor Air (downtown to downtown) which would mean you could spend a bit more time in Vancouver and then overnight in Victoria and take the morning Clipper to Seattle.

Victoria is small so you could get a "taste" in the time you'd have between 10:30 arrival and 5 pm check in for Clipper.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

I always struggle to see the point in going at all if you aren't going to bother seeing a place. Sorry, but if you are bothering to go to Victoria, shouldn't you see a few things before moving on? I guess if its just a case of collecting trophies and moving on, then that's what you do, but it just seems like a fairly expensive side trip to stand on the street and say "Well, there it is. I've seen it" and head on to the next destination.

There's certainly enough around Victoria to entertain a visitor for at least two days, more if you are wiling to head into the outlying areas a bit. One night seems to me to be a minimum to sample some of what the area offers.

Nanaimo, Canada
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5. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

The beauty of travel and individualism V67! Sometimes it is just enough to do as the OP has queried about, sometimes not. But most difficult with questions like this is answering a travel question through the eyes of the poster. C'est la vie!

This question is similar to when posters ask about a one day trip to and from Nanaimo to Tofino. Most TA posters would recommend otherwise however I met people daily who do so and enjoy the drive, beach, whale watching, a meal and the chance to see something they haven't before. They arrive back, happy and satisfied. All about personal choice.

Edited: 09 May 2012, 16:37
victoria, bc
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6. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

Great response Dave...

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

Yes, indeed, it is all about personal choice, and I have to shake my head at some of the plans people make. I just can't fathom how they could enjoy the itinerary they have planned for themselves, But you are right - they do indeed enjoy it. I've learned to be clear in my posts about what sort of holiday I enjoy because the advice I have would not suit every traveler. This may indeed be one of those cases. :>

The trip to Victoria through the Gulf Islands is very beautiful, and worth doing just for that, IMO.

Victoria B.C.
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8. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

The Clipper is an almost 3 hr long trip, and the latest that it leaves Victoria is 6:45pm (it only runs twice a day during most of the year). You must go through customs so you have to be there at least an hour early, so you would need to be at the ferry terminal approx. 5:45pm.

So unless you take the very first ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, you are going to have very little time here.The first ferry from Vancouver is at 7am (you would need to get up at around 5am to get out to the ferry ect to make sure that you got on it). If you take public transit to get to downtown Victoria, you would be arriving at around 10am.

I really don't think that it would be worth it unless you stay at least one night in Victoria. Otherwise, you will have spent close to five hours on ferries in just one day (Van ferry=1.35hrs, Clipper ferry=2.45hrs), and I'd assume be quite tired from such an early start to the day.

Clipper schedule:

clippervacations.com/victoria/ferryschedule

BC Ferries schedule:

bcferries.com/schedules/…tssw-current.html

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

Well said, Dave. <<through the eyes of the poster>> that's the challenge.

Calgary, Canada
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10. Re: Must I stay overnight in Victoria?

We've discovered some real gems with a quick side trip. It's not a proper exploration, but we get enough of a taste to know we want to go back for a longer stay (and we do).

~Natasha