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Getting to Vancouver Island means hopping on a ferry or flying. Victoria International Airport, in Sidney, is only 16 miles from the capital city and the port of entry for many. From here you just rent a car, take a taxi or hop on a shuttle bus to get into town. But the City of Victoria has an eye-popping and even more convenient option that throws in a bit of sightseeing as well.
Imagine soaring over the Juan de Fuca Strait, circling the Victoria skyline and then splashing down in the Inner Harbour. Your seaplane taxis past million dollar yachts, funky houseboats and docks within steps of the ivy covered Empress Hotel.
The sculptured, Victorian-style Parliament Building, completed in 1897, impressively sits on its expanse of lawn just south of the Empress. In the warmer seasons you’re greeted with a riot of flowers along the Inner Harbour walkway, spilling out of lamppost flower pots and sidewalk flower boxes framing Victoria’s Old Town. Arriving into Victoria by seaplane, which flies slower and lower than a jet, means you get an even better bird’s eye view of these delights before you even land.
Two of the companies offering flights into Victoria’s Inner Harbour are Kenmore Air Seaplanes, based in Seattle, and Harbour Air Seaplanes out of Richmond, British Columbia. All planes are prop or turbo-prop, with Harbour Air offering both single and twin engine aircraft. Both companies offer scheduled flights and charter service, as well as flight-seeing options.