This intimate experience, beginning June 1st, is an all day affair, perfect for anyone wishing to experience the best that our city has to offer. Relax as your driver guides you through Victoria and the surrounding area with lunch prepared by the fabulous chefs at the Fairmont Empress. Your journey begins with the scenic sights of Victoria including a visit to the Craigdarroch Castle. After you experience the Castle, you will make your way to the charming seaside village of Sidney and Victoria Distillers. At Victoria Distillers, you will be given a tour and experience how they make their gin. No visit would be complete without your tasting of local gins and a chance to dine on your Fairmont Empress lunch. Once we have concluded lunch, you will have the opportunity to choose between visiting Victoria Butterfly Gardens or doing a wine tasting at Church & State Winery. Then complete your day with a visit to the world famous Butchart Gardens. Multiple departures from Butchart Gardens would allow you to stay as long as you wish at no extra charge.
Highlights of the city
Admission to Craigdarroch Castle
Lunch provided by the Fairmont Empress
Admission to Victoria Butterfly Gardens OR a Tasting at Church & State Winery
Admission to Butchart Gardens
Hotel Pickup and Drop off can be arranged at time of booking
The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Regarded as a Condé Nast Readers’ Choice and Gold List hotel, and honoured with the Travel + Leisure distinction as a top Canadian hotel, the Fairmont Empress graces Victoria’s sparkling Inner Harbour with an iconic presence. This luxury hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, offers 464 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, and expansive meeting and wedding space adjacent to the conference centre. Located on the picturesque West Coast of Canada, this is the ideal location to explore all the natural beauty of Vancouver Island.
Church & State Winery
Church & State was founded in 2004. Church & State was created with the goal of raising the bar of the Wines of British Columbia, starting a revolution of quality and a rebellion against the norms. This goal is achieved through a balance of militant control, and freedom of expression, both in the cellar and the vineyard. Their sovereign territory amounts to 120 acres of estate vineyards in strategic locations across the South Okanagan Valley. Church & State has been recognized as producing Canada’s best red wine five times since 2009, acknowledged by international panels and foreign dignitaries including Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine, Wine Advisor to the Queen.
Well-crafted spirits are the essential building blocks of cocktails. At Victoria Distillers, these ‘liquid bar tools’ are made with one basic goal. They want people everywhere to be able to make great drinks.
As one of Canada’s oldest, small-batch spirits companies, they are influenced by history and driven by innovation. For the past 10 years they have been producing some of BC’s finest handmade cocktail spirits in their copper pot still under the name Victoria Spirits. The accommodate their growing business, in 2016, their distillery moved to a unique waterfront location in Sidney, BC. This larger facility opened its doors in May 2016 for fun, animated and educational tours and tastings. Guests can also enjoy innovative drinks and bites in their on-site cocktail lounge and patio area.
Additional Tour Details
June 1- September 30
9:00 – Departure from the Fairmont Empress Hotel (CVS Kiosk)
10:30 – Arrive at Craigdarroch Castle (1 hour stop)
11:30 – Depart Castle and drive to Sidney
12:10 – Arrive in Sidney (Victoria Distillers) – Gin tasting included
13:00 – Depart Sidney and drive to the Butterfly Gardens/Church and State Winery (passengers have the option to explore either attraction)
13:25 – Allow guests 45 minutes at either the Butterfly Gardens/Church and State Winery
14:10 – Depart Butterfly Gardens/Church and State Winery
14:15 – Arrive at Butchart Gardens
17:00 – Depart Butchart Gardens (from June 15th-September 2nd passengers have the option to catch the 6:00pm, 8:00pm & 10:00pm).
17:30 – Return to the Fairmont Empress Hotel