What is a Hippo bus/boat?
A Hippo is a unique vehicle that is able to travel on land and in the water. Each Hippo carries 40 passengers as we travel around one of Canada’s most beautiful cities, giving you a taste of the local culture and history. The Hippos travel on land and in the waters of the Pacific Ocean – this is truly the bus that floats!
How long is the tour?
Hippo tours are usually 90 minutes in length, although they may be slightly longer because of traffic or special events taking place in the city. We spend approximately 60 minutes on land, and 30 minutes on the water.
Where is the pick-up and drop-off location?
Passengers are picked up and dropped off at the same location, 470 Belleville Street, near the CP Steamship Terminal and the Coho/Blackball Ferry Terminal.
Do I need to make a reservation in advance?
Yes, it is highly recommended that you purchase tickets online to secure your seat(s) as tours sell out quickly. Advance purchase will guarantee that you have seats at your desired departure time.
How early should I arrive before departure?
We do not assign specific seating on the Hippo buses, so we recommend that you arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled tour. Boarding will begin 10 minutes before departure.
Is this a guided tour?
Yes, all Hippo tours are fully guided! As you travel around the city and on the water, one of our friendly and knowledgeable guides will tell you everything you want to know about this fantastic city.
Do I need to tip my guide?
There is no obligation to tip your guide and driver, but if you feel they have provided a great tour, they will be happy to accept your Monetary appreciation. If you did not have a great tour please let us know!
Do you offer tours in other languages?
Although we do not offer regular tours in any language besides English, we do occasionally make exceptions. Please contact us to find out if any of our guides are able to accommodate you in another language. You can call us at 250-590-5290 or toll free 1-855-884-4776, or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does the tour make frequent stops to collect passengers?
Victoria Hippo Tours offers a continuous, uninterrupted fully narrated experience, we do not offer pick up service other than our main departure and return location at 470 Belleville Street next to the Black Ball Ferry Terminal.
Where can I get my tickets?
It is recommended that you purchase your tickets online, you will need to print off your ticket and bring this to our sales kiosk and exchange it for your ticket(s). You can come down to our kiosk and purchase tickets for the next available departure.
Under what conditions would a tour be cancelled?
Our tours run rain or shine, and cancellations are rare. However, certain weather conditions and city events may force us to reschedule certain tours. City streets are sometimes closed to motor traffic for a few hours or a full day during major city events and festivals. Cancellations may also arise due to high wind warnings and severe water conditions, in which case we may offer a shorter land-only tour. Please contact us by phone if you have any questions and to check our cancellations, 250-590-5290 or toll free 1-855-884-4776.
Will I get wet?
If you mean from the rain, no. Our buses are covered and completely waterproof. If you mean from the SPLASH, also no. While it is the most exciting part of the tour, you will remain comfortable and dry in our Hippo buses throughout your tour.
Is there a washroom onboard?
No, there is no washroom onboard the Hippo, so please be sure to find alternative facilities before departure.
Can I take food on the bus?
We ask that passengers do not bring food onboard the Hippo. The only food or beverage we allow is water.
Is there parking available?
We do not have designated parking for Hippo Tours passengers. However, paid street parking is available in the area.
Is there public transit available?
Yes, BC Transit runs public buses every day. There are many routes traveling to the downtown core and drop off passengers within walking distance of our departure location. You can find a comprehensive transit schedule at www.transitbc.com. Here is a list of the most common routes:
From Swartz Bay — #70 or #72
From Ogden Point — #31
From the University of Victoria — #4 or #7
Can my infant carrier seat go onboard?
Yes. There are no seatbelts on the Hippo, so we are happy to let you bring your infant carrier on the bus, space permitting.
Can I bring my pet onboard?
We love pets, but for the consideration of other guests who may be bothered by pets (allergies, for example), only service dogs and service dogs in training are allowed on the bus.
Has there ever been a nautical emergency?
No! Hippos are among the safest water vessels around, and we are proud to say that we have never experienced an emergency on the water.
Can the tours accommodate a wheelchair?
The Hippo buses are not equipped to take on passengers in a wheelchair, guests must be able to navigate a set of 5 stairs to get into the bus, there are rope railings to hold onto.
Our sales agents can look after your walker or wheelchair at our sales kiosk while you are on tour.