Day trip to Victoria BC and High Tea at the Empress hotel

Victoria, BC, on Tue May 14 at 8:00AM

Meet in Esprit Lobby at 7:30 am. Passport or Enhanced Drivers License is required. This excursion will cost you about $150 which is NOT included in your Esprit fee.

This year we will again travel to beautiful British Columbia for High Tea and a full day of sightseeing. You will want to wear your finest frock (the Empress has a dress code) and of course a beautiful hat. An extra bag is suggested to carry walking shoes. When we disembark from the Coho ferry we can engage one of Victoria's finest horsedrawn carriages and tour the area. After Tea you can sightsee and shop the wonderful downtown Victoria..

The Empress

The Jewel of the Pacific, The Empress is one of Victoria's highlights. Cresting the city's Inner Harbour, this 460-room hotel was built in the Edwardian style and recently restored to its original grandeur, with antique furniture and luxurious decor. Considered to be the most photographed attraction on Vancouver Island, The Empress was originally designed by Francis Rattenbury, and opened in 1908.

Rising regally on the banks of Victoria's Inner Harbour, the Empress is the symbolic centrepiece of Victoria and conveniently located adjacent to the Convention Centre, Parliament Buildings, Royal British Columbia Museum, shops and local sites. The hotel has long been accustomed to entertaining Hollywood celebrities; Rita Hayworth, Jack Benny, Pat O'Brien, Douglas Fairbanks, Katherine Hepburn, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Tallulah Bankhead, Roger Moore, John Travolta, Barbara Streisand, Harrison Ford and a host of others have passed through its lobby.

In true British tradition, the hotel is famous for its elegant Afternoon Tea - served to over 75,000 visitors annually! Savour tea in the finest tradition, accompanied by berries and Chantilly cream, scones, crumpets, preserves, sandwiches, pastries and tarts, all served with silver service in the main lobby!

Due to increased border security requirements, you WILL REQUIRE at least a PASSPORT or an ENHANCED DRIVERS LICENSE for Customs and Immigration. The Coho Ferry fare is about US$18.50 each way. The Empress High Tea is about C$99. A carriage ride is about C$33.00 per person. We will meet in the Registration Area around 7:30 AM. Note that a small US border entry fee may apply to non-US citizens (see Travel Information, Traveling Across the Border).

In 2004 when the Esprit ladies returned to The Empress after a one year absence, the group was approached at the front door by a sturdy man in a blue blazer and an earphone hanging out of his ear. He inquired "Are you from Emerald City?" and uncertain of his intent, the trip organizer Debra Darling simply answered "yes". He then proceeded to explain how The Empress lamented the ladies' absence the previous year and he escorted the ladies in for a fine afternoon of tea.

Of course, you can simply join the group for the ferry ride to Victoria, spend the day how you like and meet up for the ferry ride back to Port Angeles.

Presenter Info

Stephanie Avion - Trip leader