Afternoon: 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. Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel by 4:00 pm. Meet your Group Leader between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the hotel to register and get your welcome packet; or pick up your package at the front desk if you arrive after 5:00 p.m.
Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room is at 6:00 pm.
Evening: Meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation at 7:30 p.m. at the hotel. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; some standing on field trips. We use the funicular to travel between upper and lower town. Dress in layers for winter weather, be prepared for slippery conditions, snow covered or icy terrain, some stairs.
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel with hot and cold items; milk, juice, coffee, tea.
Morning: A power point presentation and lecture at the hotel will give you an excellent overview of Québec City from its founding to the present day. Learn about the principal historical events that occurred here. The city was awarded its World Heritage City designation in 1985 based partially on the fact of the preservation of the fortifications around the Old Town, which date from 1745. This area has a distinct European feel with its stone buildings and winding streets lined with shops and restaurants. Porte St-Louis and Porte St-Jean are the main gates through which people and traffic flow between the Upper Town and the Old Port. Then set off on foot with local food experts and embark on a gastronomical adventure exploring the European style food district and the Old Port Market. We will have the opportunity to learn about present day society on a guided walk and tasting of St. Jean Street and the Old Port Market meeting with local vendors and shop owners, specializing in Quebec produce and sampling specialty foods, artisanal cheeses, meats and other local products. This has been a tradition stretching back more than three centuries. Built on the site of Marché Saint-André (1841) and in the same style, Marché du Vieux-Port is a reminder of a time when country folk would meet and exchange with city folk.
Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant – Québec cuisine at its best - in a charming historical restaurant. Experience traditional Québec 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: Set out on an expert-led walk of Upper Town - visit the Cathedral-Basilica Notre-Dame-de-Québec, site of the first diocese in Canada. Arriving at Place d'Armes, visit the monument of Samuel de Champlain, Father of New France and founder of Québec City who established his first “abitation” here in 1608. Dufferin Terrace offers magnificent views of the mountains, St. Lawrence River.
Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in the heart of Old Québec.
Evening: Explore the Old City on your own: As you stroll the streets of the old city imagine Christmas of yesteryear.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile; some standing on field trips. Dress in layers for winter weather, be prepared for slippery conditions, snow covered or icy terrain, some stairs.
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
Morning: Explore the Evolution of Nationalism in Quebec in a presentation with a local historian. 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. Next, we will board the coach for a city exploration with our local expert, followed by a visit to Musée National des Beaux Arts, The National Museum of Fine Arts. 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. We will explore the highlights of the Pierre Lassonde pavilion. Visit the spectacular public spaces, the stunning exhibition of Inuit Art, the impressive collection of contemporary art, and the first exhibition of decorative art and design of Quebec.
Lunch: Lunch at Café du Musée.
Afternoon: We will return to the hotel around 3:00 p.m. or spend more time at the museum.
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.
Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles; some standing on field trips. We use the funicular to travel between upper and lower town. Dress in layers for winter weather, be prepared for slippery conditions, snow covered or icy terrain, some stairs. While there is no dress code, participants may wish to dress up for Christmas Eve dinner; NO jeans or jean-like material.
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
Morning: Our historian will lead you through Lower Town Quebec for an expert-led walk. 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. Then we transfer by bus to explore the Musée de la Civilisation with an experienced guide, the city's most popular museum, located close to the historic site of Place-Royale. We will visit the permanent exhibition, This is Our Story, which aims to familiarize visitors with the aboriginal cultures of today, their diversity, their visions of the world, and their identity processes in relation to their stories. The exhibition offers a reflection on what it means to be aboriginal in the twenty-first century. The grand narrative of the exhibition is based on aboriginal words. Accompanied by a guide, the visitor “meets” the aboriginals in their territory, through a storyline and through their vision of history, through what they have become beyond romanticism and prejudice, and finally, through their concerns and questions about the challenges of the future.
Lunch: Lunch on own to enjoy the market or try one of the many bistros and restaurants in the area.
Afternoon: FREE TIME: Enjoy some free time in the Old City. You may wish to stroll through the Marche du Vieux-Port de Quebec (Farmers' Market) where dozens of Quebec producers and artisans provide you with a taste of the Quebec countryside. Take in over 400 years of history in a single glance, from Quebec 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 Quebecers express their "Joie de Vivre". Enjoy one of Quebec's favorite winter sports and skate in the very heart of Old Quebec, 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. This will be a plated 3-course meal with starter, entrée and dessert; coffee, tea, water. 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. Information on local Christmas services will be provided in the arrival package.
Activity note: Dress in layers for winter weather, be prepared for slippery conditions, snow covered or icy terrain. While there is no formal dress code in effect for Christmas Day dinner-dance at the Chateau Frontenac; most wear semi-casual to dressy attire; NO jeans or jean-like material.
Breakfast: Breakfast on your own.
Morning: Take some free time this morning to rest or explore Old Québec; or attend Christmas Mass at a nearby church.
Brunch: Christmas brunch at 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon: Delight in the little hidden treasures of Old Québec 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: Perhaps the grandest Christmas tradition in Québec City is the annual Christmas 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 traditional 4-course plated Christmas dinner in the ballroom.
Evening: Along with the fine cuisine, you're welcome to join in the dancing as the band plays live Jazz music throughout the evening. Complete your Christmas Day festivities with this celebratory feast in a setting that is trés magnifique! Truly an unforgettable experience.
Breakfast: Farewell breakfast at hotel between 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Morning: Independent departures after breakfast. Check-out of hotel is 12:00 noon. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.