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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.


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Best Lodging Options Near Maritime Museum of British Columbia

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Hotel Grand Pacific
Hotel Grand Pacific

Hotel Grand Pacific

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

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    Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites CA $145
    Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites

    Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites

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      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Victoria, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Maritime Museum of British Columbia and Royal BC Museum. Victoria Harbour and Victoria Clipper Ferry Terminal are also within 15 minutes.

      Hotel Rialto CA $119
      Hotel Rialto

      Hotel Rialto

      653 Pandora Ave., Victoria, BC
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Victoria hotel is located in the entertainment district, within a 10-minute walk of Lower Johnson Street and Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Victoria Harbour and Royal BC Museum are also within 1 mile (2 km).

        Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites CA $158
        Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites

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          Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort CA $159
          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.

            Royal Scot Hotel & Suites CA $121
            Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

            Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

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

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              The Fairmont Empress
              The Fairmont Empress

              The Fairmont Empress

              721 Government St, Victoria, BC
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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                The Magnolia Hotel and Spa CA $159
                The Magnolia Hotel and Spa

                The Magnolia Hotel and Spa

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

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