Waterfront - 30 minutes
We start our tour alongside the Parliament buildings and continue through the historic James Bay neighborhood. Breathe in the fresh salt air as we turn onto the Dallas Road waterfront and be captivated by the magnificent Olympic Mountains. We return through James Bay past many of our Heritage Homes and then back to Victoria's spectacular Inner Harbor.
Park Promenade and Lantern Tour - 45 minutes
This tour winds through the city past our recently restored St. Anne's Academy and then into the oldest park in Victoria. The variety of trees and array of colorful flowers is guaranteed to delight everyone. iWe then wind our way back through the historical James Bay neighborhood returning to the carriage stand.
Park and Waterfront - 60 minutes
Our most popular tour begins with a breathtaking view of the majestic Empress Hotel, overlooking the Inner Harbor with its classic tall ships and sleek sailing vessels. Feel like royalty as we carry you past landmark buildings and historic homes.
As we enter Beacon Hill Park, you will be dazzled with the array of fragrant flowers and delightful duck ponds. We continue on out to the Dallas Road waterfront, passing Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway.
Here you will experience the splendor of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The rest of your tour will be through the oldest neighborhood in Victoria with an impressive variety of well-maintained historic homes and gardens. Our tour finishes back in the Inner Harbor by the Parliament Buildings and the Royal London Wax Museum.
Victoria Royale - 120 minutes
We then pass by the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Crystal Gardens, Victoria's oldest Church and the recently restored St. Anne's Academy. We then continue into Beacon Hill Park and 86 acres of flowers, duck ponds and a wonderfully fragrant rose garden.
Our next view is of the spectacular Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. From here we meander back through James bay to the Inner Harbor, up Government Street to Chinatown and the Gate of Harmonious Interest and back through the Old Town of Victoria with its original waterfront buildings.
Your next breathtaking view is of the majestic Empress Hotel and our landmark Parliament buildings ending back at the carriage stand across from the Royal London Wax Museum.
We can design a tour especially for your occasion, whether it be a wedding, anniversary, proposal or graduation. We will strive to make your event memorable. Imagine a picnic lunch while touring through Beacon Hill Park or sipping champagne on the waterfront while enjoying the views of the Olympic Mountains. Please contact us to find out more and book your special event.
Double-deck carriages debut
They’re modern versions of pre-auto transport
Darron Kloster Times Colonist
April 25, 2008
In a city already renowned for its double-decker buses, visitors to Victoria will be getting another taste of Old England with two-level horse-drawn carriages.
Black Beauty Line Ltd., one of three carriage operators providing scenic tours in the capital, contracted a Quebec company to design and build replicas of the 19th-century 20passenger carriages that plied the streets of London and other parts of Europe before the advent of the automobile.
Co-owner Rebecca Spray was doing dry runs yesterday with a Percheron team pulling a slender metal-and-glass carriage, which will elevate driver and passengers about three and a half metres off the asphalt.
“It’s taking a little getting used to, sitting above the team instead of behind, but they have a lot more control and you can see much better,” said Spray. “The horses? They’re just, ‘Whatever ... let’s get going.’”
Ted Jeglum, Spray’s husband and Black Beauty coowner, said the service will start in a couple of weeks to allow the drivers and horses to get the feel for the carriages. Black Beauty has a stable of 20 draft horses, including Belgians, Clydesdales and Shires.
He said the replica carriages have never been used in North America before, and will help Black Beauty compete with Capital City Tally-Ho and Victoria Carriage Tours Inc. — which both operate larger carriages — to reduce prices by attracting single-passenger fares and larger groups. Black Beauty currently uses only smaller carriages that attract couples and cost riders more.
The cost to ride the new carriages will be between $20 and $25 per hour.
Smaller carriage rides currently range from $50 for 15 minutes up to $170 for a full hour.
Under bylaws, the larger carriages are only allowed to carry 20 passengers.
The double-deckers were built by Les Voitures Robert Inc. in Ste. Pie, Que., from detailed plans obtained from a British transportation museum, and brought here on a flatbed truck last month. The owners would not divulge costs, but partner Dan Pedrick, a former Black Beauty owner and longtime operator, said replicas recently built in Europe have been sold for $80,000.
The original carriages were made of wood and weighed about 3,700 pounds, but the new sheet-metal variety is much lighter and easier to handle and pull with vulcanized rubbercovered tires and disc brakes, he said.
The lower level is sheltered with safety glass and removable windows.
Each carriage will have a tour guide as well as the driver, said Spray.