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Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

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Valley Stream, New...
posts: 41
reviews: 54
Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

Our cruise ship docks in Victoria from 7:30pm to midnight in July. They are offering a 2 hour excursion to tour the Castle including transportation. For a family of four it would cost us about 200.00. It's a little pricey in my opinion. Is the castle open to the public so that we can just walk there and tour it ourselves or is the castle only open to the people who buy the excursion from the ship?

In the event that the castle is only open to excusion purchasers, does anyone have and suggestion of what we could do on our own to see this beautiful city. Keep in mind we are only there from 730 PM til midnight and traveling with two boys 13 and 11 yrs old.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,430
reviews: 38
1. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

Your option will be for ship pax only. They close to the general public at 7h00 in July.

If you are there on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night! You could have a look at the Royal BC Museum which is open until 10.

You could also walk the Causeway at the Inner Harbour to enjoy the waterfront. I'm not sure how late the buskers and entertainers stay, after being there all day. You could also window shop up Government St. I'm sure that on Fri night, anyway, they would be open until 9 pm.

The Americans could look into repealing the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 which makes silly stops in a foreign country necessary.

…wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_Vessel_Service…

victoria, bc
posts: 1,418
reviews: 4
2. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

I'd tip my hat to the Ghostly Walking Tours... Always a favourite tour to take out of town guests on.. Always a big hit with kids that age.

http://www.discoverthepast.com/

Vancouver BC
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 5,597
reviews: 99
3. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

And the Jones Act too Mufti …wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_Marine_Act_of_1…

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,430
reviews: 38
4. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

Jones applies to cargo, not humans, but is commonly used to describe this situation. I mean, which one is easier to say? :-))

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 7,624
reviews: 41
5. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

I think that you and your kids would enjoy touring around the Inner Harbour and the excellent Royal BC Museum much more than the "castle."

The name is mis-leading as it really is just an old mansion built about 120 years ago.

Valley Stream, New...
posts: 41
reviews: 54
6. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

Thank you to everyone. Royal BC museum looks awesome but I know it's closed. We arrive on a Monday. I will look into the ghost tour. My son loves everything paranormal. If not we will just walk around inner harbor a little bit on our own. I am very interested to do a search on the various Acts mentioned. We were initially told that we could disembark the ship in Victoria BC and spend a few days there before finding our way home. Two days ago I inquired again and I was told that we could not go ahead with our plan. Some Act that made it illegal and that the Rules had changed in the last 30 days. I believe Victoria deserves more than just a few hours at midnight. I will not give my money to the cruise excursion, rather I will return at a future time. We love Canada and look forward to returning

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,430
reviews: 38
7. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

<<Some Act that made it illegal and that the Rules had changed in the last 30 days>>

Interesting, my research nose is twitching already. The Acts were written to protect US flagged ships from competition. They would be the only ships permitted to operate from US to US ports. All foreign flagged ships are required to stop at a "distant country" between US ports. So your ship, Seattle - Alaska - Seattle, I am assuming will be foreign flagged to be docking in Victoria.

Valley Stream, New...
posts: 41
reviews: 54
8. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

Yes mufti, correct. Seattle, Alaska, Victoria, BC. the entire experience of trying to disembark in Victoria peaked my interest. The rules seemed vague, arbitrary and antiquated. Three people at Carnival had three different stories at three different points in time over the last six months. Im sure its in the best interest of the cruise ship company for people to stay onboard for the final day at sea. Instead of spending money in Victoria, passengers are now forced to spent at the bar, casino, kids camp,etc. for the last day at sea - captive audience. Carnivals rules probably have very little to do with the Acts at all and more to do with profit. The act are just being used as a scapegoat. We have been on six cruises and to be honest, it's not my favorite way to travel, however living in a democratic household, I was out voted. Better luck next year!

Camden, Australia
posts: 8,122
reviews: 33
9. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

G'day lisamarie,

As Mufti said, the PSVAct 1886 is so far out of touch with reality it is not funny. That is one of the reasons that I religiously encourage people contemplating an Alaska cruise to seriously consider a round trip from Vancouver rather than Seattle. That advice is also contained in a Top Question about cruises on the Alaska forum. There is only one cruise line which docks at Victoria at a reasonable time, and obviously you are not booked with that line.

Only you US residents can get things changed in getting something going by lobbying Congress. The cruise lines follow demand/profit trends, and as it is cheaper for US residents to fly to Seattle than to Vancouver, combined with lower port charges in Seattle, that is where most lines on round trip cruises depart from, mores the pity. A Vancouver round trip Inside Passage cruise is much more enjoyable cruising inside Vancouver Island with some scenery, whereas the Seattle cruises are in open water to the west of VI with nothing to see but sea.

Have a great trip anyway, and don't let the Victoria thing spoil your enjoyment of cruising in the wonderful region of SE Alaska. Happy travels.

Valley Stream, New...
posts: 41
reviews: 54
10. Re: Cruise excursion to Craigdarroch Castle at night.

yes frommy, I agree that departing from a different port would have been more suited to us. Unfortunately, my husband's job requires him to select his vacation days 12-18 months in advance and confirmation coming in at the last minute. We usually just pick randomly and then fill in the blanks later. That's how we ended up on this cruise: timing plus quite honestly as you said- dirt cheap. I am proud to be an American, however, I am not so jaded in believing that my Congress actually gives two hoots about me and my travel arrangements. They barely support us in the most important of matters affecting our everyday lives. I'm sure it would fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately, often times it really is all about the money. It is a pity. Someone once wrote that the one necessity to pack for any trip is an open mind. We are fortunate to have opportunities to travel as much as we do. Next year, maybe Australia??? Enjoyed everyones post. G'day