Captain's Log

Relaxing Group Dining in Downtown Victoria Category: Cruises

Anniversary? Family reunion? Graduation? Office celebration? Birthday party? Hosting visitors from out of town? Time to book a restaurant.

Victoria is famous for its wide array of dining spots, boasting one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada if not the world. But if you've ever made a group restaurant booking, you know the pains that can come with it: Getting a convenient time on the date you want, making sure there's enough space, dealing with tiny tables shoved together, yelling to be heard over the hubbub... the list can go on.

Luckily, there's a group dining option that skips all the headache and throws in tranquility, privacy, and beautiful scenery. Read on and let us show you.

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Whale Watching in Victoria BC Category: Cruises

Bull killer whale approaching a whale watching boat in the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Victoria BC in the summer of 2004. Credit Kevin Stanley on Wikimedia.

It's August, which means it's time for festivals, BBQs, swimming, tourism, and other activities that squeeze out the last of summer, including one of our favourites: Whale watching!

Victoria has its own pod of resident killer whales — also known as orcas — which is one of the largest in the world. The sheltered waters of the Juan de Fuca strait also means a variety of other whales come to visit and play, including humpback whales, porpoises, and grey whales. August is one of the best times of the year to see all three.

In this post we invite you to learn a little more about these majestic creatures, and why the Fantasea offers an experience you won't find with any other whale watching company in Victoria.

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The Best Seats For Victoria Symphony Splash Category: Cruises

Attendees for the 2008 Symphony Splash in the Inner Harbour leading up the Legislature.

On August 5, tens of thousands of people will be heading to Victoria's Inner Harbour for the 29th Annual Victoria Symphony Splash. More than 40,000 audience members from all over the world come to watch the Victoria Symphony orchestra on a floating stage right in the middle of Victoria's Inner Harbour. There are featured young soloists, an opening act performance, local food vendors, a family zone, a downtown parade of the orchestra, fireworks and cannons, and much more!

So where's the best place to claim a seat?

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Planning A Bachelorette Or Bachelor Party in Victoria Category: Cruises

A bride-to-be toasts her bachelorette party aboard the Fantasea.

If you have a wedding on the horizon, you know how important it is to get started early if you want to hold your special day in the warmer seasons of spring or summer — especially if you're getting married in Victoria, where a summer wedding can mean competing with tourists for event venues.

At Fantasea Charters, we start taking reservations as early as January and February for spring and summer wedding events on our 41-foot party yacht: everything from family get-togethers and wedding showers to the main event — a small wedding ceremony on the water is just the thing for some couples!

But the type of event we get the most requests for are bachelor and bachelorette parties. Groups love taking advantage of the unique setting of a boat party, with room to dance and a hosted bar. Quite a few organizers also ask for help planning the event. Enough, in fact, that we decided to collect a list of tips here, to help you put together a great celebration for your wedding group in Victoria BC:

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Supporting Victoria Business This Christmas Category: Cruises

A decorated Christmas tree at the Fairmont Empress Festival of Trees.

As the gift-giving Christmas season comes into full swing, it's time to shop local! Fantasea Charters is a proud supporter of local Victoria businesses, including our scrumptious catering suppliers, Truffles and Cakes Etc.!

There are tons of benefits to shopping local, including the gift of supporting your home community. Shopping at big chain stores usually means up to 80¢ of each dollar you spend leaves town. Shop at a local business, and that money gets recycled back into the Victoria economy. So have a look at some of our favourite local business and local business search engines!

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Funerals & Memorials At Sea — Honouring the Dead In Different Cultures Category: Cruises

Paper memorial lanterns with well-wishes floating on the ocean off the shore of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Like the name suggests, a sea memorial is a funerary service held on a boat or other vessel out at sea. Most sea memorials take place some distance from the shore and involve a religious or personal service, the scattering of wreaths or flowers on the water, and individual speeches or tributes. Small candles may also be lit, and food may be provided. Often the vessel will circle around the site for a final farewell before returning to land. Upon request, the captain can provide longitude and latitude coordinates of the site for return visits or anniversary memorials in the future.

Of course, every memorial is different and the details are at the discretion of the organizers. At Fantasea Charters we can put you in touch with any number of services that you might need: from florists and catering to musicians and photographers.

A traditional Maritime Farewell for members of the navy is the service we see the most often, but there are many religions that allow or even encourage a memorial on the ocean. If you're considering a religious sea memorial, take a look at the information here and refer to your preferred religious advisor if you have any questions.

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Halloween For Adults in Victoria Category: Cruises

Halloween Boat Party on the Fantasea!

October is a spook-tacular time in Victoria, with plenty of decorations around the city, events like the Zombie Walk and Wicked Victoria, and a ton of fun in the #VictoriaBOO (and #SidneyBOO!) hashtag.

There's no shortage of activities for kids, but sometimes adults want to get their ghoul on as well. And what better way than a night on the town?

Halloween may fall on a Tuesday this year, but festivities are running all month. Here's a guide to having a terror-riffic October with your adult friends.

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Pacific Marine Wildlife in Victoria Category: Cruises

Sleeping sea otters holding hands, photographed at the Vancouver Aquarium.

In our last blog post we covered some of the different birds you might see out on the ocean around Vancouver Island — but what about other marine life? On our popular wildlife sightseeing cruises you can see orcas, sea lions, porpoises, otters, and more. Come with us and learn a little more about these majestic creatures.

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The Sea Birds Of Vancouver Island Category: Cruises

A laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis. Credit to DickDaniels on Wikimedia.

As an island in the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver Island has a broad collection of birds and wildlife, both on land and in the sea. Learning to recognize different species can bring us closer to nature and keep us aware of the world we live in. Here are just some of the birds you might encounter walking the ocean shores of Victoria, or on one of our wildlife sightseeing cruises.

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