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BEGINS IN: VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Vancouver & Victoria: Signature Cities of Canada's Pacific Northwest

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Road Scholar
Program #20578RJ
8 Days | 7 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Dec 19 — Dec 26, 2013

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Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Best Western Sands by the Sea is conveniently located one half block from the beach at beautiful English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park's 1,000 acres of trails and gardens. Three bus routes stop at the front door for easy access to other parts of town.

Contact info:
1755 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5 Canada
phone: 604-682-1831
web: www.bestwesternsandshotelvancouver.com

Room amenities: In-room coffee makers, iron and ironing board, hair dryers.

Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include a sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning and laundry service is available, and there is a laundromat six blocks from the hotel. Restaurant and two lounges on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for availability & rates
Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Thursday, December 19 - Independent Arrivals/Orientation/History of Vanco...
Afternoon: ARRIVALS & CHECK-IN: Independent arrivals to the hotel in Vancouver in the afternoon. Check-in after 4:00 p.m. Group registration, welcome and orientation activities.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.

Evening: PRESENTATION: An evening presentation will explore the history of Vancouver from a social, ethnic and economic perspective. Meet with local historian, author, and heritage advocate, who will discuss Vancouver's multi-faceted personality from past to present. Learn about its historical precedents and urban planning that have enabled the city to achieve its status as one of the most "livable" cities in the world.

Lodging: Best Western Sands by the Sea

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Best Western Sands by the Sea is conveniently located one half block from the beach at beautiful English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park's 1,000 acres of trails and gardens. Three bus routes stop at the front door for easy access to other parts of town.

Contact info:
1755 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5 Canada
phone: 604-682-1831
web: www.bestwesternsandshotelvancouver.com

Room amenities: In-room coffee makers, iron and ironing board, hair dryers.

Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include a sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning and laundry service is available, and there is a laundromat six blocks from the hotel. Restaurant and two lounges on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for availability & rates
Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Friday, December 20 - Museum of Anthropology/Bill Reid Gallery
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Visit the Museum of Anthropology, Canada's largest teaching museum and world-renowned for its collections and research. Your local guide will take you through the exhibitions providing insight into the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world. The Museum houses some 535,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects, many of which originate from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Meet with an art historian and explore the beautiful collection of the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. Bill Reid was the pivotal force in introducing to the world the great art traditions of the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast. He is an acclaimed Haida master goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer, spokesman and one of Canada's greatest artists. Highlights include over 40 pieces of Bill Reid's gold and silver jewelry, Reid's bronze masterpiece Mythic Messengers and several of Reid's works that are featured on Canadian currency.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.

Lodging: Best Western Sands by the Sea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Best Western Sands by the Sea is conveniently located one half block from the beach at beautiful English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park's 1,000 acres of trails and gardens. Three bus routes stop at the front door for easy access to other parts of town.

Contact info:
1755 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5 Canada
phone: 604-682-1831
web: www.bestwesternsandshotelvancouver.com

Room amenities: In-room coffee makers, iron and ironing board, hair dryers.

Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include a sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning and laundry service is available, and there is a laundromat six blocks from the hotel. Restaurant and two lounges on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for availability & rates
Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Saturday, December 21 - Vancouver Communities - Gastown and Chinatown/Dr....
Vancouver Communities - Gastown and Chinatown/Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Note: Please note: Public Transit will be used to transfer participants from English Bay to Gastown, so participants are able to experience Vancouver as the locals do! During the walking tour of Gastown and Chinatown, participants should expect to walk just over 1 mile and stand for short periods of time (10 minutes) for interpretation en route.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: PRESENTATION: Enjoy a presentation on the settlement of Vancouver and the distinct communities and neighborhoods that define this multicultural metropolis.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Following your morning lecture, explore two of the city's most fascinating neighborhoods - Gastown and Chinatown. Join a well-known cultural historian on a walk through Gastown, one of the oldest parts of the city and much of the early architecture and character remains, giving it a different look and feel than the glass and concrete of the rest of downtown. Learn about the importance of Gastown and the birthplace of the city of Vancouver, which was created around the same time that Canada became a nation. The neighborhoods are also unique in that they have the kind of old-fashioned architecture that no longer exists downtown or in the West End. Join an expert guide at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first of its kind outside of China and an authentic representation of an age old garden tradition which reached its peak in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Garden is characteristic of the private spaces within a Ming scholar's residence. With its asymmetrical arrangement of rocks and plants, its winding paths and corridors, and the vistas that overlook its courtyards, the Garden emulates the rhythms of nature.

Lunch: Traditional Dim Sum lunch at a local restaurant in Chinatown.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Continue with an exploration of Chinatown and its brightly colored facades, street markets, and the buzz of modern-day Cantonese commerce. Built by Chinese people to authentically reflect their culture and traditions it is still predominantly populated by Chinese people. (Unlike San Francisco's Chinatown which was built by their Chamber of Commerce to attract tourists.) Discover Chinatown's rich heritage, vibrant culture, and incredible food markets while exploring the colorful streets and alleys. Sample traditional Chinese tea or indulge in steamed rice cakes and warm apple tarts from a traditional bakery. Learn about the Millennium Gate, a four-pillar, three-story high, brightly painted arch spanning Pender Street which was erected in 2002 to mark the millennium and commemorate the Chinese community's role in Vancouver's history.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Best Western Sands by the Sea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Best Western Sands by the Sea is conveniently located one half block from the beach at beautiful English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park's 1,000 acres of trails and gardens. Three bus routes stop at the front door for easy access to other parts of town.

Contact info:
1755 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5 Canada
phone: 604-682-1831
web: www.bestwesternsandshotelvancouver.com

Room amenities: In-room coffee makers, iron and ironing board, hair dryers.

Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include a sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning and laundry service is available, and there is a laundromat six blocks from the hotel. Restaurant and two lounges on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for availability & rates
Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Sunday, December 22 - Granville Island Public Market/Free Afternoon
Note: Please note: Participants will be taking a brief (5 minute) ferry ride from English Bay to Granville Island. During your time on Granville Island, participants should expect to walk just over 1 mile and stand for short periods of time (10 minutes) for interpretation en route.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Join a local expert on a historical and culinary exploration of Granville Island and the Public Market, known for its eclectic mix of artisanal food shops and studios. Discover this urban oasis filled with fine waterfront restaurants, theatres, galleries, studios and the most spectacular fresh food market you've ever seen. Savor the wares of the market's many globally influenced and locally impassioned artisans, farmers and food purveyors. Explore and taste what's been grown, fished and cooked fresh in this bustling public marketplace. Along the way, learn about what makes the island both a sensory and historic delight.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free afternoon to continue your exploration of Granville Island or explore other areas of Vancouver.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.

Lodging: Best Western Sands by the Sea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: With our convenient location in the heart of downtown Victoria, the largest city on Vancouver Island, BC, you can take a leisurely stroll along Victoria’s famous Inner Harbour, shop for treasures on Antiques Row or make business connections in Victoria’s nearby downtown core. Take a horse and carriage tour of Victoria with family and friends, create memories at Beacon Hill Park, and the Royal BC Museum is just around the block. Take in views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. There’s so much to see and do right at our doorstep! Enjoy yourself in the Royal Scot Hotel & Suite’s beautiful indoor pool, whirl pool, sauna and exercise room. Have some fun in our billiards room or gather with friends for a hand of bridge or a movie in the games room. We offer free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel. For your convenience our courtesy shuttle is available to take you anywhere within Victoria's downtown core. After a full day, rest easy in the cozy comfort of the Royal Scot Hotel & Suites and feel at home in downtown Victoria.

Contact info:
425 Quebec Street
Victoria, BC V8V1W7 Canada
phone: 800-663-7515
web: www.royalscot.com/index.html

Room amenities: Our guest rooms include daily newspaper delivery, comfortable lounge chairs, mini fridges, coffee maker with complimentary coffee, tea and cookies, complimentary high speed wireless Internet, iron and ironing board and bathrobes.

Facility amenities: Our Guest Service Amenities include: Business Services Available Coin-Operated Guest Laundry Courtesy Shuttle between the Hotel and downtown Victoria daily Indoor Swimming Pool Hydrotherapy Pool Exercise Room with a variety of Fitness Equipment Billiards and Games Room Hotel Parking (for a fee) High speed Wireless Internet in all Guest Rooms and Hotel Common Areas Hotel Gift Shop Jonathon's Restaurant

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Call for availability & rates
Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Five: Monday, December 23 - Stanley Park/Ferry to Victoria
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Explore Stanley Park's extensive grounds by coach with a naturalist from the Stanley Park Ecology Society. Learn about rainforest and coastal ecology and discover some of the Park's most famous landmarks - Vancouver Lookout, Lion's Gate Bridge, the famous Totems and the 5.5 mile seawall that encircles the entire park. The history of Stanley Park coincides with the early days of Vancouver, opened in 1888 and named after Lord Stanley, then Governor General of Canada. This spectacular urban park is a cool, lush, evergreen oasis situated on a peninsula in the heart of the city and only steps away from your hotel. Today, Stanley Park is recognized as one of the great parks of the world, offering a backdrop of majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees. Ferry departs for Victoria.

Lunch: Box lunch on ferry.

Afternoon: Arrival in Victoria and check in to the hotel. Begin your exploration of Victoria by exploring the beautiful Inner Harbour. Explore some of the local shops or take in some of the area's holiday festivities.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.

Lodging: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: With our convenient location in the heart of downtown Victoria, the largest city on Vancouver Island, BC, you can take a leisurely stroll along Victoria’s famous Inner Harbour, shop for treasures on Antiques Row or make business connections in Victoria’s nearby downtown core. Take a horse and carriage tour of Victoria with family and friends, create memories at Beacon Hill Park, and the Royal BC Museum is just around the block. Take in views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. There’s so much to see and do right at our doorstep! Enjoy yourself in the Royal Scot Hotel & Suite’s beautiful indoor pool, whirl pool, sauna and exercise room. Have some fun in our billiards room or gather with friends for a hand of bridge or a movie in the games room. We offer free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel. For your convenience our courtesy shuttle is available to take you anywhere within Victoria's downtown core. After a full day, rest easy in the cozy comfort of the Royal Scot Hotel & Suites and feel at home in downtown Victoria.

Contact info:
425 Quebec Street
Victoria, BC V8V1W7 Canada
phone: 800-663-7515
web: www.royalscot.com/index.html

Room amenities: Our guest rooms include daily newspaper delivery, comfortable lounge chairs, mini fridges, coffee maker with complimentary coffee, tea and cookies, complimentary high speed wireless Internet, iron and ironing board and bathrobes.

Facility amenities: Our Guest Service Amenities include: Business Services Available Coin-Operated Guest Laundry Courtesy Shuttle between the Hotel and downtown Victoria daily Indoor Swimming Pool Hydrotherapy Pool Exercise Room with a variety of Fitness Equipment Billiards and Games Room Hotel Parking (for a fee) High speed Wireless Internet in all Guest Rooms and Hotel Common Areas Hotel Gift Shop Jonathon's Restaurant

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Call for availability & rates
Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Six: Tuesday, December 24 - Introduction to Victoria/Guided Walk of the Inner...
Introduction to Victoria/Guided Walk of the Inner Harbour/Royal BC Museum

Note: Please note: During your guided walk of Old Victoria and the Inner Harbour, participants should expect to walk just over 1 mile and stand for short periods of time (10 minutes) for interpretation en route. Your excursion at the Royal BC Museum will be self-guided, so participants are able to explore the museum at their own pace. Benches are available throughout the museum.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Enjoy a historic walk of Victoria's Old Town and Inner Harbour. A walk along Wharf Street in the heart of Old Town provides a look at the many examples of Victorian architecture. Despite a fire in 1910 which ravaged the city core, many fine buildings remain and many restorations are evident. Our local historian will discuss the well-marked and hidden treasures of Victoria including the BC Legislature, Old Town, the historic Empress Hotel and the Inner Harbour. FIELD TRIP: Enjoy the opportunity to explore one of Victoria's most prestigious landmarks with some of the most breathtaking architecture in all of Victoria. The Fairmont Empress has hosted notable guests including Queen Elizabeth II, Rudyard Kipling, Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, Princess Margaret, Rita Hayworth, the King and Queen of Siam, and the Emperor and Empress of Japan. While at the hotel, take in the Festival of Trees. Local businesses sponsor and decorate dozens of trees that deck the halls of the Fairmont Empress, benefiting BC's Children's Hospital.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: EXCURSION: Visit the Royal British Columbia Museum and Art Gallery. Through unique galleries, the Museum showcases the human and natural history of British Columbia and temporary exhibits from other countries and cultures. Authentic artifacts and specimens are displayed in highly realistic settings, giving visitors the experience of another time and place. Researchers at the Museum, throughout British Columbia, and around the world use its collections to reveal new insights into the natural world and human cultures of British Columbia. This museum visit will be self-guided, so participants are able to enjoy the galleries of their individual tastes.

Dinner: Christmas Eve dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: With our convenient location in the heart of downtown Victoria, the largest city on Vancouver Island, BC, you can take a leisurely stroll along Victoria’s famous Inner Harbour, shop for treasures on Antiques Row or make business connections in Victoria’s nearby downtown core. Take a horse and carriage tour of Victoria with family and friends, create memories at Beacon Hill Park, and the Royal BC Museum is just around the block. Take in views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. There’s so much to see and do right at our doorstep! Enjoy yourself in the Royal Scot Hotel & Suite’s beautiful indoor pool, whirl pool, sauna and exercise room. Have some fun in our billiards room or gather with friends for a hand of bridge or a movie in the games room. We offer free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel. For your convenience our courtesy shuttle is available to take you anywhere within Victoria's downtown core. After a full day, rest easy in the cozy comfort of the Royal Scot Hotel & Suites and feel at home in downtown Victoria.

Contact info:
425 Quebec Street
Victoria, BC V8V1W7 Canada
phone: 800-663-7515
web: www.royalscot.com/index.html

Room amenities: Our guest rooms include daily newspaper delivery, comfortable lounge chairs, mini fridges, coffee maker with complimentary coffee, tea and cookies, complimentary high speed wireless Internet, iron and ironing board and bathrobes.

Facility amenities: Our Guest Service Amenities include: Business Services Available Coin-Operated Guest Laundry Courtesy Shuttle between the Hotel and downtown Victoria daily Indoor Swimming Pool Hydrotherapy Pool Exercise Room with a variety of Fitness Equipment Billiards and Games Room Hotel Parking (for a fee) High speed Wireless Internet in all Guest Rooms and Hotel Common Areas Hotel Gift Shop Jonathon's Restaurant

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Call for availability & rates
Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Seven: Wednesday, December 25 - Butchart Gardens - Twelve Days of Christmas Displ...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: This Christmas morning is free to enjoy at your leisure. Christmas morning church services are available nearby as well as several easy walks around the waterfront, or to the park one block away. Seize the moment to suspend yourself in time, enjoying a peaceful Christmas morning.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: EXCURSION: Butchart Gardens. Visit the renowned Butchart Gardens. The world-famous Butchart Gardens boasts fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display, meandering paths and expansive lawns. From the exquisite Sunken Garden to the charming Rose Garden, the gracious traditions of the past are carefully maintained. Truly one of the loveliest corners in the world, The Butchart Gardens is always in season. However, they are particularly intriguing during the holiday season, when tens of thousands of colored lights combine with evergreen swags and wreaths of holly and winter berries to line walkways and festoon lamp posts in the gardens. The ever-popular Twelve Days of Christmas displays are tucked away within The Gardens and a recreational skating rink creates a truly spectacular winter wonderland.

Dinner: CHRISTMAS FEAST: Enjoy a spectacular Christmas dinner with your new friends at the spectacular Fairmont Empress Hotel.

Lodging: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eight: Thursday, December 26 - Departures from Victoria
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Independent departures from Victoria after breakfast.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver AquariumCanada’s largest aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium is dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life through display, interpretation, education, research, and direct action. You can experience all of this and more when you visit us. Research is ongoing at Aquarium labs and with display animals, by graduate students and staff.
For additional information, visit: www.vanaqua.org/home/

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
7 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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