One might say that the guests aboard National Geographic Venture were rather Victoria-esque this day! We arrived at the beautiful Garden City on a sumptuous fall day with soft light illuminating the storied shores of British Columbia’s capital with the Olympic Range smiling proudly in the distance. Nestled at the southern tip of grand Vancouver Island, Victoria boasts one of the world’s greatest standards of living with comfortable climes, wonderful wilderness, and less-than-soggy streets, tucked away as it is in the rain shadow of Washington’s Mount Olympus. A day of exploration ensued with interpretive walks, traditional canoe lessons, bicycle outings, a private viewing of the Robert Bateman gallery, and even a ghost tour. We were booked solid with cultural delights that left bellies and minds filled and ready for our next destination: the orca-laden coastlines of the San Juan Islands.