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Fête de Noël: Christmas in Québec City

Program Number: 12831RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/21/2012 - 12/26/2012; 12/21/2015 - 12/26/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Quebec City, Quebec
Price starting at: $1,454.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 11; 4 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Could anything be more enchanting than celebrating the holidays in magical Old Town Quebec? Elegant Quebec City, capital of French Canada, celebrates the holidays with an extravaganza of Christmas lights and festivities from art and music to traditional foods and choir performances. Immerse yourself in Quebec’s rich history and culture through expert-led walks and intriguing presentations. Revel in the holiday spirit with a traditional Reveillon feast and special Christmas day celebration at the magnificent Chateau Frontenac.


• Discover the rich history of Quebec City and learn about the role of missionaries and religious communities in the development of Quebec.
• Indulge in local Quebecois specialties on an exclusive visit to the Christmas fair at the Old Port market.
• Celebrate Christmas with a grand evening of dinner and dancing to orchestra music in the Chateau Frontenac’s ballroom.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; cobblestone streets, uneven, hilly terrain and stairs. Potentially icy, snowy winter conditions.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Quebec City

The towers and turrets of Chateau Frontenac dominate the skyline of this 400-year-old walled city on the St. Lawrence River, the only fortified city north of Mexico. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage City, Canada’s oldest city is known and loved for its European charms and narrow, cobblestone streets lined with centuries-old homes.

Four-star European-style hotel in the heart of Old Québec.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Stephen Marchessault

Stephen Marchessault was raised in a bilingual family and has spent most of his life in Québec City. He majored in history at Glendon College at York University in Toronto, and over the years, has developed an interest in the history of Québec City. Stephen enjoys sharing his interest and knowledge of this World Heritage City with lifelong learners.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Manoir Victoria
  Québec City, Québec 5 nights
 Hotel Manoir Victoria
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Manoir Victoria is a European-style hotel, situated inside the walls and in the heart of historic Old Québec. It is within distance of the Château Frontenac and the funicular to lower town. Please note that access to the hotel through the main entrance does involve stairs.
  Contact info: 44 Cote du Palais
Québec City, QC G1R 4H8 Canada
phone: 418-692-1030
  Room amenities: The hotel offers hair dryer, ironing board and iron, coffee maker, minibar, pay movies, complimentary high speed internet access.
  Facility amenities: The hotel has an indoor pool, sauna, fitness center, spa and offers dry cleaning and laundry services (non-holiday weekdays only).
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 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
  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

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Independent arrival after 3:00 pm Québec City, Québec. Dinner is at 6:00 pm at the hotel. You will be staying at Hotel Manoir Victoria that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast is at 8:00 am. Independent departures after breakfast Québec City, Québec; hotel check-out is 12:00 noon. You will be staying at Hotel Manoir Victoria the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. A passport is required for ALL travel to/from Canada. A US law known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires those traveling to/from the United States by land & sea to also have a passport or other appropriate secure documents (NEXUS card). Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit for information.
  Parking availability:
Airport: Cost per day is approx CAD$15.00. Weekly rate is approx CAD$105.00. Indoor parking is available at Hotel Manoir Victoria (approx. CAD $18.00 + taxes per night). Rate is subject to change without notice. Please contact the hotel directly.
  Train or bus availability: Gare du Palais, the train station, is a very short taxi ride from the hotel, costing approximately CAD$6.00
To Start of Program
  Location:  Québec City, Québec
  Nearest city or town:  Lévis, QC
  Nearest highway: Highway 20 (TransCanada) south shore, Highway 40, north shore
  Nearest airport:  Jean-Lesage International Airport, Sainte Foy (Québec City suburb)
  Transportation to site: By Air: Taxis are available from Jean Lesage International Airport to Hotel Manoir Victoria (approx. CAD $30.00). There is no shuttle service at the Jean Lesage International Airport. By Train: Please contact Amtrak directly at 1-800-872-7245. From major cities within Canada, you can get to Québec City by train (VIA Rail: 1-888-842-7245). Taxis are available from the train station to the hotel. By Coach: From major cities within Canada, you can get to Québec City by coach (Greyhound Canada: 1-800-661-8747). Taxis are available from the bus station to the hotel. For assistance with pre/post add on hotel accommodations, medical/travel insurance, car rentals, or to customize your extended stay please contact Denise Tracey at Maritime Travel, toll free 1-888-905-5959 or by email at
  From End of Program
  Location: Québec City, Québec
  Transportation from site: Taxi from the Hotel Manoir Victoria to Jean Lesage International Airport is approximately CAD $30.00. Shuttle service is not available.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals/Orientation/Québec, World Heritage City
(Friday, December 21)
 Arrive To: Arrivals and independent transfers to the program hotel after 3:00 pm. Please note that rooms are not generally available until mid to late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at the program hotel is at 6:00 pm.
 Evening: INTRODUCTIONS: You will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation. PRESENTATION: Québec, World Heritage City - A power point presentation and lecture will give you an excellent overview of Québec City. Relive the dramatic history of Canada's oldest city founded in 1608 by the intrepid Samuel de Champlain. Historic images and pertinent commentaries will provide a summary of noteworthy events and notorious characters that have shaped the illustrious history of this World Heritage City.
Accommodations: Hotel Manoir Victoria
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: From a Traditional to a Modern Society/Good Shepherd Museum/Musée de la Civilisation/Festive Evening Bus Excursion through the Old City
(Saturday, December 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: LECTURE: From a Traditional to a Modern Society - From its foundation in 1608 Quebec has developed under the ascendancy of the Roman Catholic Church. For much of its history the Church was omnipresent and omnipotent in French Canadian society but the period of the 1960s also known as the "Quiet Revolution" will mark a radical change where Quebec will develop into a modern and a secular society. Today, Quebec is a collectivity that has assumed itself and developed a self-identity. FIELD TRIP: Good Shepherd Museum - During a guided visit participants will discover, through the history of the Congregation and its mission, the role of religious communities in the development of Québec society. More specifically, they will discover important aspects of the social and religious history of women during the 19th century. Indeed, while meeting the needs of marginalized women and abandoned children, the Good Shepherd Sisters were also present in the educational and artistic fields, both in Québec and abroad. During this educational visit, participants will be encouraged to draw parallels between life today and life before the Quiet Revolution.
 Lunch: Lunch Aux Anciens Canadiens Restaurant – Québec cuisine at its best in this charming historical restaurant. Experience traditional Québec cuisine such as Tourtière (meat pie), Ragout or chicken fricassee which brings you closer to the Québec traditional meals then top off your meal with a dessert made of maple products of the area.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Musée de la Civilisation (Civilization Museum) Explore the museum with an experienced guide, the city’s most popular museum, located close to the historic site of Place-Royale. This internationally renowned museum features four permanent and six temporary thematic exhibitions. You will go through the “People of Québec, Now and Then”. This exhibit focuses on life in the province of Québec throughout the centuries of European habitation, which encourages discovery of artifacts, photos and recreations of historic and domestic scenes. Immerse yourself in the ups and downs, the successes and setbacks, intense heat and extreme cold of a history that belongs to all those who have lived in and built Québec.
 Dinner: Dinner at le Patriarche - Nestled in the heart of Old Québec near the Saint-Jean Gate, Le Patriarche beckons with its intimate setting and the refined décor of a beautiful, circa 1827 stone house. In each of the chef’s courses you’ll find products from small livestock farmers, new finds from dedicated foragers, and the most succulent items from area market gardens. The menu gives pride of place to game and other products from the Québec terroir.
 Evening: Explore by bus, the Old City in its Holiday splendor as we marvel at the neighborhoods dressed with all its festive glitter and holiday lights.
Accommodations: Hotel Manoir Victoria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Evolution of Nationalism in Quebec/Musée National des Beaux Arts/Musee du Fort
(Sunday, December 23)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: LECTURE: Evolution of Nationalism in Quebec - What are some of the political and social events that have given rise to a strong nationalism and the creation of a political party whose main objective is to separate from Canada and create an independent country? Following the British conquest, in 1763, French Canadians will fight attempts of assimilation in order to insure the survival of their distinct culture. Today, this culture is vibrant and alive but many feel that it is continuously under pressure. FIELD TRIP: Musée National des Beaux Arts – The National Museum of Fine Arts. We will meet a museum expert for an in-depth presentation and examination of the works of art. Musée National des Beaux Arts du Québec is home to the most important collection of paintings and sculpture by Québécois artists. Over 22,000 selections of works are displayed in three chronological exhibitions: The earliest date from the beginnings of Québécois art and are largely influenced by religion. The second covers the European-influenced modernist period up to 1945. The third showcases figurative and abstract art from the mid-20th century.
 Lunch: Lunch at Café du Musée
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Musée du Fort - Guided visit followed by a sound and light show tells the story of the six sieges of Quebec including the famous battle of the Plains of Abraham and Benedict Arnold's walk to Quebec. Through the impressive 400 foot model of Quebec and its outlying region of 1750, you will fully appreciate the strategic importance of this historic City.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to enjoy local fare or join the Group Leader (at a local restaurant).
 Evening: Free evening to enjoy the ambiance of Christmas in the Old City.
Accommodations: Hotel Manoir Victoria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Place Royale/Petit Champlain District/Réveillon de Noël
(Monday, December 24)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Your historian will lead you through Upper and Lower Town. Visit Place Royale, lined with fine old stone merchant houses and dominated by the church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. Walk through the lively commercial district of rue du Petit-Champlain, lined with craft shops and cafés. End your morning walk at the Christmas market where you can see the merchant’s treasures and sample some of the food if you wish.
 Lunch: Lunch on own to enjoy the market or try one of the many bistro’s and restaurants in the area.
 Afternoon: FREE TIME: Enjoy some free time in the Old City. You may wish to stroll through the Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec (Farmers' Market) where dozens of Québec producers and artisans provide you with a taste of Québec countryside. Take in over 400 years of history in a single glance, from Québec City's highest point, the Observatory de la Capitale. Remember that winter has much to offer for outdoor lovers and it is during the cold season that Québecers express their “Joie de Vivre”. Enjoy one of Québec's favorite winter sports and skate in the very heart of Old Québec, next to Saint-Jean Gate, in Place d'Youville. Skate rental available on site.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Réveillon dinner with some traditional foods of Québec at the hotel. The Réveillon de Noël (réveillon means "to stay awake") typically begins a few hours before the Midnight Mass with a traditional feast and lasts well into the wee hours of the night. Friends and relatives, children and adults, join in traditional songs, dances and exchanges of presents. This French-Canadian tradition, still alive today in many households, stems from centuries-old traditions imported to the New World from France. Experience a “Réveillon de Noël” in the company of newfound friends.
 Evening: OPTIONAL: Solemn and impressive, filled with hymns of joy, the Midnight Mass reaches its high point with the procession of the Christ Child.
Accommodations: Hotel Manoir Victoria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Christmas Brunch/Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride/Christmas Dinner and Dancing at the Chateau Frontenac
(Tuesday, December 25)
 Brunch: Breakfast on your own if you wish. Free morning to rest or explore Old Québec. Christmas brunch at Hotel Manoir Victoria.
 Afternoon: EXCURSION: Old Québec by a Horse-Drawn Carriage - Delight in the little hidden treasures of the Old City in this horse drawn carriage ride with a guide that will draw you into the spirit of the holiday season. You will have warm blankets to keep the chill out but dress for the weather. Your carriage ride ends at the Chateau Frontenac where you will have cocktails (Dutch Treat) before you enjoy your elegant Christmas dinner.
 Dinner: CHRISTMAS DINNER-DANCE: Perhaps the grandest Christmas tradition in Québec City is the annual dinner-dance at the Chateau Frontenac — the most photographed grand hotel in the world and a proud symbol of the city. The centerpiece is a semi-formal, six-course dinner in the ballroom.
 Evening: Along with the fine cuisine, you're welcome to join in the dancing as the band plays contemporary popular music accompanied by a singer throughout the evening. Complete your Christmas Day festivities with this celebratory feast in a setting that is trés magnifique! Truly an unforgettable experience.
Accommodations: Hotel Manoir Victoria
Meals Included: Brunch, Dinner

Day 6: Independent Departures
(Wednesday, December 26)
 Breakfast: Farewell Breakfast at 8:00 am at the hotel.
 Morning: Independent departures after breakfast; check-out of hotel is 12:00 noon.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Michelin Green Guide Quebec

Author: Michelin Travel Publications

Description: GUIDEBOOK 2009 PAPER 448 PAGES A thorough introduction to the region in the classic Michelin style, featuring brief descriptions of all the major attractions. We include it for its broad coverage, and especially for its excellent local maps. (CND66)

Canadians, A Portrait of the Country and Its People

Author: Roy MacGregor

Description: CULTURAL PORTRAIT 2008 PAPER 320 PAGES A journalist and popular author, MacGregor takes the full measure of Canadian life in this irreverent, entertaining portrait of a people. (CND320)

Quebec Province Map

Author: Borch Maps

Description: A map of the province (1:800,000) with insets of Old Montreal, Quebec city and the region on the reverse. Two Sides. 27x40 inches. (CND26)

Eyewitness Top Ten Montreal & Quebec City

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: GUIDEBOOK, 2010, Paper, 128 pages A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions in Montreal and Quebec City. (CND205)

A Traveller's History of Canada

Author: Robert Bothwell

Description: HISTORY, 2010, Paper 228, Pages An admirably concise march through Canadian history by Robert Bothwell, who has also written "Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories." Compact, easy-to-read and covering from prehistoric times to today, it's a useful introduction to the country, designed specifically for travelers. (CND82)

Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories

Author: Robert Bothwell

Description: HISTORY, 1999, Paper, 296 Pages An in-depth look at Canada-Quebec relations through interviews with prominent Canadian figures. (CND69)


Author: Kenneth Roberts | N. C. Wyeth

Description: LITERATURE, 1995, PAPERBACK, 496 PAGES The grand historical novel of Colonel Benedict Arnold's doomed march on Québec in 1775, told through the eyes of a soldier in the Continental Army. Rich in historical detail. (CND43)

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