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Cruising Article – 2011-05-27

Be charmed by the wonders of Victoria, British Columbia

Canadian cruise destinations

Victoria, the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia, is a charming destination full of history and beauty. With its myriad of things to see and do, this city is a must-see stop for a shore excursion during an Alaska cruise.

One of the most popular activities during a trip to Victoria is to see its range of architectural treasures. The legislative buildings that house the government of British Columbia are one of these gems, as they feature landmark designs made to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. They are a particularly stunning sight at night, when they are illuminated by more than 3,000 glowing light bulbs.

Two other amazing architectural attractions are the Fairmont Empress Hotel, a landmark facility famous for its delicious afternoon tea, and Craigdarroch Castle, an 1890s-era fortification with a stunning restored estate and lots of opulent antiques.

Victoria's natural landscape is just as impressive as its cutural one. The biggest draw in the city is Butchart Gardens, a 25-acre reserve known for its gorgeous flowers, serene walkways, bubbling fountains and bronze statues. Another great green space is Beacon Hill Park, which is a haven for the many birds that make their home in the city.

If you're interested in seeing Victoria's wildlife, you can pay a visit to the Butterfly Gardens. In this 12,000-square-foot enclosure, you can watch in amazement as you are surrounded by countless free-flying butterflies. Just off the coast of the British Columbia city, you can see some of Canada's most majestic creatures on a whale watching expedition.

At the end of a long day of exploring the wonders of Victoria, there are few activities better than kicking back and enjoying a pint of beer at one of the many pubs scattered throughout the downtown district.