(Tally-Ho Carriage Tours)

Vancouver Island residents can now add a luxurious picnic to their summer staycation this pandemic season courtesy of one local business.

Tally-Ho Carriage Tours, a horse carriage tour company that was created as a transportation business in 1903, has launched a new tour package in partnership with several local businesses in the Saanich Peninsula.

The business which usually offers scenic tours for visitors in downtown Victoria has had to improvise their model due to tourist season effectively being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, they are now offering a Tally-Ho & Sea Cider Picnic Experience: a three-hour long carriage tour showcasing the Saanich Peninsula, and including a complimentary coffee or tea from Fresh Cup Roastery Café, a flight of six award-winning ciders selected by Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, and a fresh gourmet meal prepared by Truffles Catering.

“Open-air carriage rides naturally offer much greater levels of safety than indoor activities and are designed for guests to enjoy with people who are already in their small, consistent social bubble,” says Tally-Ho owner Donna Friedlander in a statement.

“We’ve created a new experience that celebrates the community where our family and horses live, showcasing the spectacular offerings of other Saanich Peninsula businesses.”

The tour will encompass a ride through rural farmlands, feature stunning views of ocean vistas, and guides who offer fun facts about the Saanich Peninsula.

Each ride starts at the Fresh Cup Cafe & Roastery located at 101-1931 Mt. Newton X Rd and brings patrons back to that point at the end of the tour.

This package is offered for groups of two to five people, will be offered on Thursdays and Sundays throughout the summer starting July 9, and costs $110 per person.

Tally-Ho has also resumed their tours of downtown Victoria at a limited capacity from noon to 6:00 p.m. Thursday to Sunday.