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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Maritime Museum of British Columbia

Learn about the maritime heritage of this province on Canada’s west coast and hear ghost stories about its haunted historic building.

Visit the Maritime Museum of British Columbia to look at some of its 80,000 artifacts relating to the maritime history of Canada. Learn about early voyages, see a collection of model ships, and browse a gallery dedicated to Captain Cook. Listen to stories about the ghosts that some believe haunt the museum, which is housed in the Old Courthouse building. 

Your first port of call should be the First Floor Gallery. Here you can learn about the historic journey of the Tilikum, a 30-feet (9-meter) long canoe used by German-Canadian sailor John Voss to circumnavigate the globe. While here, look for the galleries that retell the struggles of whaling and seal hunting. At the Modelmainia exhibit you’ll find more than 400 model boats, the smallest of which is only 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. 

See Captain James Cook’s journals, which document his arrival to Vancouver Island in 1778, at the Royal Navy Gallery. This gallery also has stories about naval journeys on the Columbia River. Visit the museum’s official website for details of temporary exhibitions at the gallery. Previous exhibits include the Guardians of the Coast, which honored the life-saving work of the men and women that protect Canada’s coastline. 

Wander around the Vice-Admiralty Courtroom, where the notorious Judge Matthew Begbie sentenced prisoners to hang in the late 19th century. Don’t miss out on a ride in the building’s elevator, the oldest working birdcage elevator in North America. 

If you love ghost stories, come to the museum to join a ghost hunt. Use the investigative devices of a clairvoyant to search for wandering spirits in the museum’s galleries. You can also take a guided tour of the building and nearby Bastion Square while listening to stories of paranormal activity. 

Located in Bastion Square, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia is in the heart of downtown Victoria. Pay-and-display parking is available behind the museum. Ask at the museum’s reception for a free one-hour parking voucher. 

The museum is open daily. Some tours have a fee, which is additional to the museum admission charge. Find full details and a schedule on the museum’s official website.


Guide to Exploring around Maritime Museum of British Columbia


Best Lodging Options Near Maritime Museum of British Columbia

See all 905 Properties near Maritime Museum of British Columbia
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites $117
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites

Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites

740 Burdett Ave, Victoria, BC
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Victoria, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Maritime Museum of British Columbia and Victoria Conference Centre. Victoria Harbour and Royal BC Museum are also within 10 minutes.

    Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites $131
    Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites

    Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites

    1234 Wharf St, Victoria, BC
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Victoria hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Lower Johnson Street, Victoria Harbour, and Victoria Clipper Ferry Terminal. Victoria Conference Centre and Royal BC Museum are also within 15 minutes.

      The Magnolia Hotel and Spa $151
      The Magnolia Hotel and Spa

      The Magnolia Hotel and Spa

      623 Courtney St, Victoria, BC
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Victoria, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Government Street and Victoria Conference Centre. Royal BC Museum and Victoria Harbour are also within 10 minutes.

        Hotel Grand Pacific $140
        Hotel Grand Pacific

        Hotel Grand Pacific

        463 Belleville St, Victoria, BC
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in James Bay, this romantic hotel is steps from The Robert Bateman Centre, Victoria Harbour, and Victoria Clipper Ferry Terminal. Royal BC Museum and Victoria Conference Centre are also within 10 minutes.

          Royal Scot Hotel & Suites $87
          Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

          Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

          425 Quebec St, Victoria, BC
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in James Bay, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from The Robert Bateman Centre, Victoria Harbour, and Victoria Clipper Ferry Terminal. Royal BC Museum and Victoria Conference Centre are also within 10 minutes.

            Days Inn by Wyndham Victoria On The Harbour $80
            Days Inn by Wyndham Victoria On The Harbour

            Days Inn by Wyndham Victoria On The Harbour

            427 Belleville St, Victoria, BC
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in James Bay, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Victoria Harbour and The Robert Bateman Centre. British Columbia Parliament Building and Royal BC Museum are also within 10 minutes.

              Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort $131
              Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort

              Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort

              100 Harbour Road, Victoria, BC
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Victoria, this spa resort is within a 10-minute walk of Pacific Rim College, Market Square, and Bastion Square. Chinatown is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) away.

                Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza Hotel $82
                Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza Hotel

                Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza Hotel

                642 Johnson St, Victoria, BC
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Victoria, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of The McPherson Playhouse, Market Square, and Chinatown. Victoria Conference Centre and Royal BC Museum are also within 15 minutes.