Day 1 - Sunday, July 16
We depart today on a journey to Canada’s beautiful capital city, Ottawa. Our travels take us through the scenic 1000 Islands and into Ontario Province. In the late afternoon we check in to the stately Lord Elgin Hotel overlooking the public gardens by the historic Rideau Canal in the center of the city. The evening is free for dinner and exploring the city.
Day 2 - Monday, July 17
After a full Canadian breakfast at the hotel, we board the coach for a guided tour of Ottawa. The first highlight is the Changing of the Guard at Parliament. The ceremony, which began in1959, has turned into a full production that starts as the guards march past our hotel on their way to Parliament Hill. We tour the Houses of Parliament, see the Prime Minister’s residence, admire the grounds of Rideau Hall and visit the stables of the Roy-al Canadian Mounted Police. After a break for lunch, you may continue the city tour or choose to explore other at-tractions on your own. Dinner is at the Fish Market Restaurant in ByWard Market, a neighborhood of open-air markets, restaurants and shops. Afterwards, we enjoy a narrated evening cruise on the Rideau Canal.
Day 3 - Tuesday, July 18
Following breakfast, we depart Ottawa for la Province de Québec and cosmopolitan Montréal, the fourth largest French-speaking city in the world. After lunch, we enjoy a guided tour of Montréal, which includes Le Vieux (Old) Montréal with its cobblestoned streets lined with buildings from the 17th through 19th centuries housing boutiques, cafés and quaint restaurants. Here we visit la Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal with intricate wood carvings that make it perhaps the most dramatic and ornate church interior in North America. The tour also includes le Mont Royal with its spectacular view overlooking the city and the imposing l’Oratoire Saint-Joseph, the shrine of Brother André and the largest church in Canada with the world’s third largest dome. We then check in to our hotel, the Delta Hotel Montréal in the heart of the city and close to the network of connecting shops that form Underground Montréal. This evening dinner is at le Vieux Port Steakhouse near the port in Old Montreal.
Day 4 - Wednesday, July 19
A buffet breakfast is followed by a free morning in Montreal to continue sightseeing, visit la Place des Arts, shop in one of the large department stores, explore the city’s extensive underground mall, or take a trip to the Botanical Gardens. After lunch, we follow the picturesque banks of the St. Lawrence River on route to la Ville de Québec, the only walled city in North America outside Mexico. Check in to l’Hôtel Palace Royale, at la Porte St-Jean (St. John’s Gate), an entrance into the fortifications surrounding Le Vieux (Old) Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dinner this evening is at the hotel.
Day 5 - Thursday, July 20
After breakfast, get to know this historic city on an extensive guided tour which includes the major attractions of la Haute Ville (Upper Town) including la Terrasse Dufferin, the boardwalk at Place des Armes next to the famous Château Frontenac. Also, visit la Basse Ville (Lower Town), established by the explorer Samuel de Champlain in the early 1600s. In addition, you see les Plaines d’Abraham, site of the 1759 Battle of Quebec; the Provincial Parliament Building and la Basilique de Notre-Dame-de-Québec. Then we head up the Beaupré Coast to la Chute (Falls) Montmorency, a spectacular 272-foot waterfall that is 99 feet higher than Niagara. On route we pause to taste maple butter on warm bread baked in quaint outdoor ovens, before visiting the famous pilgrimage site of la Basilique de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, where there are many stories of miraculous cures. On the return to Quebec City, cross over to Île d’Orléans, a scenic, pastoral island which was one of the first places settled by the French in the province of Quebec. Dinner tonight is in the intimate setting of the popular Café de Paris.
Day 6 - Friday, July 21
Breakfast is followed by a free day in the city to visit its numerous shops and to discover more of its treasures, including la Citadelle, l’Observatoire de la Capitale, le Musée de la Civilisation, le Musée du Chocolat, or la Place Sainte-Foy, a mall with over 100 shops. For relaxation and scenic beauty, take a walk along la Terrasse Dufferin and la Promenade des Gouverneurs, which overlook the river, or enjoy a ferry ride across the river to Lévis for a unique view of the Quebec skyline. There is also the possibility of a river or dinner cruise on the St. Lawrence. (The tour director will be available to assist everyone with these and any other activities. All of these optional attractions are within a 20-minute walk from the hotel. The only exception is la Place Sainte-Foy mall, to which an excursion will be organized if there are enough interested passengers.)
Day 7 - Saturday, July 22
Following breakfast, we bid adieu to French Canada and visit a duty-free shop before re-entering the U.S. Just over the border, we stop in the Vermont town of Newport for lunch at the East Side Restaurant & Pub on Lake Memphremagaog. Continuing south to Norwich, we visit the home of King Arthur Flour for a tour with time to visit the extensive shop and bakery. We then head for for home arriving approximately 730 pm.