To Victoria, BC by Cruise Ship

Most cruise ships only visit Victoria, British Columbia, because they have to under what’s commonly known as the Jones Act – basically, a foreign-flagged ship that sails from and back to a US port has to make at least one stop in a foreign port. For Victoria that’s typically a 7:00 pm to midnight stop before the ship returns to Seattle. I was looking forward to spending a whole day there on this voyage.

On Tuesday evening, the Norwegian Sun left Nanaimo at 5:00 pm as scheduled. I shot this photo as we neared Galiano Island 17 minutes later.
Boats of all sizes near Galiano Island, BC
If it wasn’t costing me 40 cents per minute for extremely slow Internet access I’d Google which lighthouse this is. It’s directly east of Nanaimo, and at this point we turned to the south for the short run to Victoria.
Lighthouse near Victoria
Our room steward, Marcos Lugtu, is very good, as I always expect on any ship now. He’s pretty much invisible, but our cabin is always neat and clean. As silly as these towel animals are, I really enjoy seeing the evening’s new creation when we return after dinner.
Towel bunny on the Norwegian Sun
Nearing Victoria at 07:15 Wednesday morning. Contrary to what the weatherman keeps saying, the clear skies are staying with us.
Sunrise near Victoria
The view as we moved into our docking position at Ogden Point (the “outer harbour”) at 08:10. We would be the only cruise ship this day, though there were 3 large research/expedition looking ships docked at Ogden Point as well, including the Thomas G. Thompson which is approaching in this photo.
Ogden Point - Victoria, BC
I had no real plans for the day, but went off the ship just after 9:00 while Dad was asleep, looking for inspiration for an activity for us.
Cruise ship tours at Ogden Point in Victoria
The walk along the coast from Ogden Point to Ross Bay and beyond is superb, and I decided to see if I could re-locate a memorial I’d found many years ago in the Ross Bay Cemetery. The first historic site I came to on the walk was this memorial to the steam collier SS San Pedro, which in 1891 hit Brotchie Ledge and sank. The rock is now marked by the light seen above the memorial, to the left of an inbound ferry from Seattle.
There are many beaches along this piece of coast which would be great places to spend a few hours on a day like this. I always have two main things in the back of my mind when I travel in North America now – potential RV destinations, and places to move to if I get tired of Yukon winters. Victoria hits both of those marks.
A secluded beach in Victoria, BC
Right on the opposite side of Dallas Road and the sidewalk/trail from the beaches is the city, with sights such as Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway. A busload of Asian tourists blocked my view for a few minutes, but I was in no hurry so waited for this shot.
Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway
Ross Bay is one of the more popular pieces of coastline in the area, though you wouldn’t have guessed that this day.
Ross Bay, Victoria
I’d forgotten how large the Ross Bay Cemetery is. Although I thought I remembered where the memorial to the 1918 wreck of the coastal steamer Princess Sophia is, I wasn’t able to find it. There are so many other stories there, though – I could spend days there.
Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria
On the way back to the ship, watched this heron fishing for a few minutes.
Heron fishing at Victoria, BC
This scene is very peaceful now, but during both Great Wars, Victoria and the adjoining Esquimalt naval base were heavily defended. The white structure towards the far end of the beach is a large concrete gun emplacement from those days, one of dozens that remain.
Beach in Victoria, BC
Back at Ogden Point at 11:50.
Ogden Point dock, Victoria, BC
Dad had been exploring the ship, but was in the cabin when I got there, so we went for lunch – our first lunch aboard. It unfortunately was awful – I don’t know how you can ruin things like iced tea, potato salad and coleslaw, but they did. The pizza we had wasn’t bad, just boring. Great scenery on Deck 11, though 🙂
Deck 11 on the Norwegian Sun
Unable to get the small photos I use for the blog (ca. 100 Kb) to load despite spending about $20 in Internet time, I decided to go back ashore to find a decent connection (how sad is that?). The dock area was very quiet by then.
Ogden Point cruise ship dock in Victoria, BC
I was able to quickly load photos for a couple of days of blogging using the free wifi in the dock reception area, and headed back. Norwegian does a very good “welcome back aboard” reception, with drinks, cookies, ice cream, warm towels, good bouncy music and dancing crew members.
Norwegian's welcome back tent
At 5:00 pm, we started to make our way out to the open ocean, bound for Astoria.
Goodbye Victoria – see you again soon 🙂
Ogden Point cruise ship dock in Victoria, BC
One last shot at 7:28 pm as night descended and we neared the open sea. The ship rolled a bit for an hour or so until the stabilizers were set – unfortunately, that was enough to upset some of the stomachs on the ship.


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