A Victoria Hippo Tours bus enters the water at the James Bay Anglers Association ramp near Ogden Point. The company’s three converted school buses offers passengers a view from land and sea.

Touring in the belly of a hippo

Unique Victoria bus company offers tours from land and sea

“Go, hippo, go!” an enthusiastic busload of passengers yells in unison. And with that, the bus drives down a ramp at Ogden Point and splashes into the Pacific Ocean.

Fear not – it’s no suicide mission; it’s a tourist attraction that provides a unique, one-of-a-kind tour of Victoria from both land and sea.

Victoria Hippo Tours is in its first season offering sightseeing tours in and around downtown Victoria. So far the feedback has been quite positive.

“Victoria has its own little flavour, its own lustre. It’s got a lot of charm and because everybody comes to centre ice (a.k.a. downtown Victoria) when they visit, we thought it would be a great place for us to be,” says Geoffrey Lind, president and co-owner of Victoria Hippo Tours.

The hippo buses – named Happy, Harry and Henrietta – were formerly school buses. They were taken apart and had a boat’s hull built underneath. The vessels are government certified to run on land and in water.

Tours last roughly 90 minutes and begin with a land tour downtown and in James Bay.

As the aforementioned amphibious bus travels along Dallas Road, it turns off the road near Ogden Point and drives straight into the water.

For 45 minutes, the hippo bus cruises through the water, touring Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Inner Harbour.

“It’s not hop-on, hop-off. It’s a fully narrated tour with a guide and a captain,” Lind says. “It’s a great way to see Victoria and get some history from a bus and from a boat without having to switch vehicles.”

Victoria Hippo Tours load in front of the CPR Steamship Terminal building. Tours run on the hour between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information visit victoriahippotours.com.

Just Posted

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

PRIDE on the Barge caps off last Friday of Pride Month

Starting at 5 p.m. with music from Rocksteady

Local grocery store steps up to help resident after Saanich jams her stand

Pepper’s Foods will start selling jams previously sold through roadside stand

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

Last remaining Victoria Legion faces $100,000 property tax bill

The Trafalgar/ Pro Patria Branch can’t afford to operate with such high taxes

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read