Last evening we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at the Crystal Cove.
Afterwards we were back to the Crystal Dining Room for the second and final time of this voyage. These are the menus.
Dinner was fantastic. The dining room was much relatively quiet. We laughed because Anne Marie had Shrimp Cocktail and Tiger Shrimp and Keith had Tuna Tartare and Ahi Tuna. Talk about a lot of Shrimp and Tuna. It was delicious.
We slept well as we sailed to Victoria. The seas were very calm.
Keith was up early and enjoyed his final workout on the Elliptical Machine and skipped the last Spin Class.
We had breakfast in our room and then we got ready to go ashore.
Our first visit to Victoria was part of a pre-cruise stay in Vancouver prior to boarding an Alaskan Cruise with our family with Celebrity Cruise Line in the mid-1990's. Since that time, we visited Victoria several times by cruse ship including on Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.
Victoria is a charming city. The downtown area boasts a population of 80,000 residents and including the metropolitan area approximately 350,000 residents live in the nearby area. It is located approximately 60 miles from Vancouver.
It is known as the Garden City and one of the attractions located outside the city is Butchart Gardens which we have visited twice on prior trips. It is an amazing place to visit with its beautiful garden and statues along with all of its birds.
Victoria has a very strong economy driven by food products, tourism, education, government services and is a popular place for retirement.
As soon as the ship was cleared we made our way down the gangway and onto the pier. Crystals Cruises provided a complimentary shuttle for those who wanted to be dropped off downtown. Another option is to walk and there is a route from the pier into the downtown area. We took that one. The walk included beautiful views along the water front and at times the path took us by beautiful homes.
The weather was perfect. It was totally clear without a cloud in the sky so you could see the snow capped mountains. We could not have asked for better weather. Because the Alaska Cruise season is just starting we were the only ship in port and there were very few tourists walking the town.
This is an absolutely beautiful area. The town is immaculate.
Once in town we walked by the beautiful Parliament Buildings which were constructed in 1893. We stopped into The Empress Hotel which is a famous hotel and and their tea time is very popular with locals and tourists. The hotel is going through some renovation inside and outside. It was stunning inside. We walked by the Queen Victoria and the status in honor of author Emily Carr.
We then made our way up one of the main streets that are lined on both sides with restaurants, pubs, shops and hotels and we walked up and down several side streets which intersected the main street.
We stopped by a favorite shop that has beautiful made men's and women's clothing that we have shopped at previously. We didn't purchase anything this time around.
After a few hours we retraced our steps taking the thirty-minute walk back to Crystal Serenity. We were greeted at the runway by a member of the Crystal Crew who said "welcome home" as did the security personnel when we boarded Serenity. Yes, it always feels like our home, even on a five day voyage.
Shortly after we returned to Serenity we had our last lunch of this cruise at the Lido Cafe. We ended up staying there for two hours mainly conversing with others. We finished most of the packing afterwards.
Before dinner we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink in the Crystal Cove with Cruise Director Rick and one of the executives of Crystal Cruises.
This evening we dined at the Silk Road Japanese Restaurant for the very first time of this voyage. We were taken good care of by Waiter Albert and his assistant and by Sommelier Dennis. Maitre d' Antonio stopped by several times as well.
What can we say? The dinner was amazing. We will let some of the photos speak for themselves.
Tomorrow we will fly from Vancouver to our hub airport and then we will fly home the following day. We will post again in the next couple of days.
Keith & Anne Marie