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Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

Findlay, Ohio
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Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

I'm taking my 16 year old granddaughter and her mom to Victoria to celebrate their birthdays August 10-13. I'm anxious to provide quality introduction to travel different from Disney/water parks. They chose Victoria as destination. Neither have strong opinions of activities, so I thought a hop on/off experience might be best for Friday (24 hr). Saturday I think Buchart Gardens with fireworks might appeal.

Question: I am totally confused by reviews of Big Bus Victoria. There's great Groupon offer now that is about half the cost of Grayline Activity. However, I'd hate to make decision on $$ and have poor experience. I've studied the route on both websites. Big Bus covers lots more area; Grayline route provides smaller area; all of it is close to hotel, Parkside Hotel and Spa.

Any strong opinions which to choose??? Thanks!

7 replies to this topic
Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

Honestly, I don't think you need either one. The downtown area is very compact, and there is a ton of things to do, and places to explore, without taking a guided tour.

The BC Royal Museum is right there. Fisherman's Wharf is a short walk from downtown. And you have the whole harbour area as well.

Whale watching tour? That would be high on my list for sure.

Good choice for Butchart Gardens on the Saturday. Take a blanket out there with you, and upon arrival, head over the lawn area where the fireworks are. Lay your blanket down to save your spot, and then enjoy the gardens.

For places that you want to visit that are too far for you to walk, hop on the bus. It's only $5.00 for a day pass in Victoria.

Findlay, Ohio
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2. Re: Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

Thanks! We all like to walk, so I will run that by my daugher-in-law to see what she thinks.

hallju1

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

93% of reviews for Gray Line are favourable: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

63% are favourable for Big Bus.

In Vancouver HOHOs are usually late arriving to their stops, there are large crowds waiting to get on, there are not enough available seats for everyone to get on, meaning more waiting. Watch for that in Victoria in case it's the same situation.

I'm not a big fan of HOHOs in the summer. For the increased demand, they hire uni students for summer jobs, their regular staff are there too, but would you get that driver/guide for your coach.

Butchart would be lovely, you could look into taking the CVS shuttle for their Butchart tour. In fact look into them for their Victoria tour offerings in general: http://www.cvstours.com/

Why not look into a private tour operator. The cost might be comparable too, given the individual prices on the HOHOs vs the car for 3. You could have it incorporate Butchart fireworks night as well.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

Have a look at the some of the other private sightseeing tours as well: the London Taxi one, the Classic Car one, the I Love Victoria one.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g154…

Victoria, Canada
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4. Re: Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

Hello, to be completely transparent, I do work for the parent company of Sightseeing Victoria's Hop On Hop Off tour. Some of the great benefits to the tour is that we have 14 different stops over the course of a 90 minute loop. The tour does take you to areas just outside of the downtown core that would not be easily walkable such as Cook Street Village, Oak Bay Marina, Oak Bay Village, and even China town is quite a walk from the Inner Harbour. The tickets available for purchase are either 24 hours or 48 hours giving you tremendous flexibility as the start of the 'clock' is when you buy the ticket and it is good until 24 or 48 hours from that start time. Craigdarroch Castle is amazing and is most likely not something you would walk to from the inner harbour either. Please visit our online reviews and our website to get a glimpse of our tour. There is also a great video on our site that will give you another view. We hope to see you in August!

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

Top notch post by a business rep! Factual, descriptive, level headed to provide the OP something to base a decision on. First post too.

I believe this would be Gray Line.

Victoria Capital...
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6. Re: Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

I agree that there is so much more to see outside of the downtown area!

Findlay, Ohio
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7. Re: Hop On Off activity: Grayline Or Big Bus

I appreciate all the info posted here. Thanks! hallju1

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