15419
Canada/United States
Boston to Montreal: A Cultural and Historical Journey
From Harvard Yard to the Fortress of Louisbourg and the museums of Montréal, discover the story of coastal communities of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Seaway.
Rating (4.75)
Program No. 15419RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
3,995
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13 days
12 nights
33 meals
12 B 10 L 11 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrival and Check-in, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Boston, MA
D
Boston Park Plaza

Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel in Boston; check-in is 3:00 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: Welcome dinner at 6:00 pm.

Evening: Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and orientation. 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.

DAY
2
Boston:History & City Overview, North End & Old North Church
Boston, MA
B,L,D
Boston Park Plaza

Activity note: Today includes walking on cobblestone streets. To visit the bell chamber at the Old North Church must be able to climb steep flight of stairs.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel

Morning: Known as the Cradle of Liberty, the city of Boston played a crucial role in the story of America. Begin your day with a lecture by a well known local historian. Then experience both colonial and contemporary Boston on a guided city overview aboard a motor coach with our expert.

Lunch: Lunch at Tia's.

Afternoon: Explore Boston's historic North End neighborhood on foot. See what life was like for Paul Revere on a guided walk of his neighborhood. Then visit the Old North Church for a behind the scenes experience to learn the truth of the famous quote " One if by land, two if by sea." Climb the bell tower to the room where the teen-aged Paul Revere worked as a bell ringer.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Evening: You may remain with your Group Leader to continue exploring local sites or take the opportunity to head off on your own to discover Boston.

DAY
3
Boston: Cambridge, Harvard, Free Time
Boston, MA
B,L
Boston Park Plaza

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Enjoy a guided visit of Harvard Yard, the Harvard campus buildings in Cambridge; and end by enjoying a view of the beautiful Charles River.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Harvard Square.

Afternoon: This afternoon is free for your own exploration. Many people choose this time to visit the Adams Historical site in nearby Quincy or the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library just south of downtown. Ask your group leader for additional suggestions

Dinner: Dinner on your own to enjoy local fare or join the Group Leader (at a local restaurant).

DAY
4
Boston: Museum of Fine Arts/Embarkation
Boston, MA
B,L,D
ms Veendam

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Explore the Museum of Fine Arts. The original MFA opened its doors to the public on July 4, 1876, the nation's centennial. Built in Copley Square, the MFA was then home to 5,600 works of art. Over the next several years, the collection and number of visitors grew exponentially, and in 1909 the Museum moved to its current home on Huntington Avenue. Today the Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; the collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art.

Lunch: Lunch at the cafe of the Museum of Fine Arts.

Afternoon: Early afternoon embarkation on the ms Veendam.

Dinner: Dinner is on board the ship in the elegant two-story Rotterdam Dining Room featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and two grand staircases. Alternative dining options include The Pinnacle Room, The Terrace Grill, The Lido, Tamarind, Canaletto. This is no charge for dining in these venues except for the Pinnacle Grill.

Evening: Free time to explore the ship and its many venues.

DAY
5
Historic Properties,Intro to the Maritimes Region
Bar Harbor, ME
B,L,D
ms Veendam

Breakfast: Breakfast will be served on board the ship. You may have breakfast in the dining room or the Lido Buffet; both are open seating.

Morning: This morning the ship will arrive in Bar Harbor, Maine. Travel by tender to the shores of the largest community on Desert Island; what was once the premier summer resort in New England in the 19th century. A guided walk in Bar Harbor including the beautiful historic properties and Saint Saviour's Episcopal Church with its 10 original Tiffany stained glass windows. Learn about the development of Acadia National Park spearheaded by wealthy summer residents such as Joseph Kennedy and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. You will also hear about the devastating fire of 1947 and its effects on the island.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at Galyn's.

Afternoon: This first lecture aboard ship will give you a good introduction to the upcoming maritime regions of Atlantic North America to be visited on the program. It preambles your visit to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island where you will witness the maritime way of life and learn of the history and culture of this region. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the ship and enjoy the many activities available to you. Try your luck at the casino, enjoy an afternoon of onboard shopping, relax by the pool, or treat yourself with a trip to the spa. The ship offers all this plus much more.

Dinner: Dinner is on board ship in the Rotterdam Dining Room

Evening: Enjoy the large variety of evening entertainment the ship has to offer.

DAY
6
Halifax: City Exploration & Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B,L,D
ms Veendam

Breakfast: Breakfast on board, open seating.

Morning: A coach excursion in Halifax will take you on a journey to the past and to present time. See Government House, the official residence of the province’s Lieutenant Governor. It is North America’s oldest consecutively occupied government residence, since the US White House was evacuated and burned during the War of 1812. A stop at Halifax Citadel allows you a wonderful view of the Harbor and the city. Take a stroll in the Public Garden’s next to the Needham Memorial Bell Tower. Visit Fairview Cemetery, final resting place of 121 of the victims of the Titanic, many of them never identified.

Lunch: Lunch at Salty's.

Afternoon: A guided visit of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic offers a great look into the maritime history of Atlantic Canada. The museum is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada and was first created by a group of Royal Canadian Navy officers who envisioned a place where Canada's naval past could be preserved. You will be introduced to the age of steamships, local small craft, the Royal Canadian and Merchant Navies, and WWII convoys. The museum also tells the story of famous historical events such as "The Battle of the Atlantic", the Halifax explosion of 1917, Nova Scotia's role in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, various shipwrecks and more.

Dinner: Cocktail party in the lounge aboard the ship followed by dinner in the Rotterdam Dining Room

Evening: Enjoy the large variety of evening entertainment the ship has to offer.

DAY
7
Sydney: Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site,Sydney
Sydney, Nova Scotia
B,L,D
ms Veendam

Breakfast: Breakfast on board, open seating.

Morning: Embark on a guided visit of the Fortress of Louisbourg. The French came to Louisbourg in 1713 after ceding Acadia and Newfoundland to the British as per the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht. They built the fortress to protect France's interest in the New World and to serve as the center of France's lucrative cod fishing industry off the Grand Banks. The location of the fortress on the eastern tip of Cape Breton Island enabled it to act both as the capital of the new colony at Isle Royale and as the first line of defense in France's struggle against Britain for colonial supremacy in North America. Entering the Fortress of Louisbourg you leave the modern world behind and step back to 1744. The fortress is alive with animators in full costume and character. Visit the lively town tavern, see Chapelle St. Louis, the garrison chapel, or explore the King's Bastion Barracks, the largest building on site and one of the largest buildings in North America in its day. Stroll through the fortress streets amongst the impressive walls, majestic gates, quaint homes and formal gardens.

Lunch: Enjoy a meal as the inhabitants would in 1744 with a lunch at Fortress Louisbourg, featuring 18th century cuisine.

Afternoon: Explore Sydney with a local expert - from the mining and steel town of yesterday to the vibrant tourist area of today.

Dinner: Dinner is onboard ship in the Rotterdam Dining Room

Evening: Enjoy the large variety of evening entertainment the ship has to offer.

DAY
8
Early Exploration and Settlement of the St. Lawrence River
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
B,L,D
ms Veendam

Breakfast: Breakfast on board, open seating.

Morning: A local historian will guide you on a walking exploration Charlottetown, the birthplace of Confederation. Visit Beaconsfield Historic House with its mansard roof, elaborate gingerbread trim, and crowning belvedere stands. Learn about historic architecture with this enduring symbol of Victorian elegance. Hear about the restoration of Charlottetown's historic properties as you continue along Great George Street and visit St. Dunstan Cathedral as well as location for the last public hanging in the city. Learn about the high-profile people of the city, the prosperity and bust of its merchants, and of course the Fathers of Confederation.

Lunch: Lunch at Brick House.

Afternoon: A presentation on the early exploration and settlement of the St. Lawrence River will lead you into a world of adventure and exploration. Learn about the European explorers that set out to discover what the vast wilderness of Canada had to offer. Hear of how early exploration led to the settlement of the St. Lawrence region by Europeans traveling to the New World. The lecture will prepare you for the next phase of your voyage as you leave the Maritime region of Canada and journey to the province of Québec.

Dinner: Dinner is on board ship in the Rotterdam Dining Room

Evening: Enjoy the large variety of evening entertainment the ship has to offer.

DAY
9
The Fur Trade & the French-Indian Alliance
At Sea
B,L,D
ms Veendam

Breakfast: Breakfast on board, open seating.

Morning: As we make our way through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, learn about the history of the fur trade industry in Quebec and the alliance created between the French settlers and the native population of the region. Historically important to the area’s First Nations people for both transportation and as a fishery, the gulf was also the site of the first known exchange between the native population of the Quebec region and Europeans. The first documented voyage through the gulf’s waters by Europeans was in 1534 with the arrival of Jacques Cartier. In 1603, Samuel de Champlain negotiated the first economic and military alliance between North American Indians and Europeans at Tadoussac. Under the terms of the agreement, the First Nations would transport and deliver beaver pelts to the French in exchange for European goods and a pledge to aid the Huron and Algonquin in their longstanding war with the Iroquois of New York.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship. You may decide to eat in the dining room, at the Lido buffet, the poolside grill or other locations the ship offer. Open seating is available at all locations.

Afternoon: Relax on deck as the ship glides through the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The world’s largest estuary, the gulf is the outlet of North America’s Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence River. Known as the “great highway into the continent” this inland waterway of the northeast lead to the bounty of forests, furs and raw materials. Carved between the Laurentians to the north and the Appalachians to the south, it forms a natural pathway to the lakes of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior.

Dinner: Dinner is on board the ship in the Rotterdam Dining Room

Evening: Enjoy the large variety of evening entertainment the ship has to offer.

DAY
10
Lunch at the Historic Chateau Frontenac
Québec City, Québec
B,L,D
ms Veendam

Breakfast: Breakfast on board, open seating.

Morning: Join a local expert on a walking field trip through charming and historic Old Québec City. Start at the Lower Town and Place Royale, known as the cradle of French civilization in North America with its fine stone merchant houses and Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church. Walk through the charming commercial district of rue du Petit-Champlain. Continue on to Upper Town and visit the Cathedral-Basilica Notre-Dame-de-Québec, site of the first diocese in Canada and founded in 1663 by Bishop Laval.

Lunch: Your morning walk will end at the famous Château Frontenac which dates back to 1892 and is a testimony to the important role played by the railroads in building Canada. Countless personalities have stayed within the walls of this most prestigious hotel: Kings, Queens, American and French presidents, Hollywood movie stars and other celebrities. More important perhaps were the Québec Conferences held in 1943 and again in 1944. Present were Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and the Allied High Command to discuss war strategy and plan D Day. Enjoy a buffet lunch at the Château Frontenac.

Afternoon: There will be some free time to continue exploring North America's most European city on your own before returning to the ship.

Dinner: Dinner is onboard ship in the Rotterdam Dining Room

Evening: This will be your last evening aboard ship to take advantage of all there is to see and do.

DAY
11
Montréal: Historic Landmarks, Pointe-à-Callière Museum
Montreal, Quebec
B,L,D
Hyatt Regency

Breakfast: Breakfast on board, open seating. Disembarkation in Montreal after breakfast.

Morning: Say goodbye to the ship and board a coach for a look at the city of Montréal. Founded in 1642 by a group of French missionaries, Montréal is one of Canada's most diverse and fascinating metropolises. Gain insight into the city's rich architectural heritage by embarking on a journey of its historical and architectural landmarks. Highlights will include a photo stop at Mount Royal Park, inaugurated in 1876, planned by Frederick Law Olmstead; St Joseph's Oratory atop Mount Royal, one of the world's most visited shrines. Drive through Notre Dame Island, and visit St Helens Island with a wealth of discoveries including the impressive dome of the former U.S. pavilion designed by Buckminster Fuller.

Lunch: Lunch at L'Arrivage.

Afternoon: Built atop actual remains of the original 17th century city, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum offers its visitors a genuine archaeological view. See the first public square, the vaulted canalization of the St. Pierre River, the first Catholic cemetery, and much more. The museum was founded as part of the celebrations marking Montréal's 350th birthday and owes its existence largely to the significant archaeological discoveries made on the site during the 1980s. Pointe-à-Callière houses hundreds of artifacts from the archaeological site below, a site that shows evidence of more than 1000 years of human activity in the area.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Evening: The evening is yours to relax, take a lovely stroll about the city, or further explore Old Montréal.

DAY
12
Montreal: Old Montréal,Bonsecours Market
Montreal, Quebec
B,D
Hyatt Regency

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: A guided walking exploration in Old Montréal highlights the major sites of the city. See Place d'Armes, with its fascinating historical remains and walk along the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal and into the Bonsecours Market, inaugurated in 1847, a wonderful example of the neo-classical style of the time; and the Notre Dame Basilica whose neo-Gothic twin towers have been an Old Montréal landmark since 1829. Continue on to the Old Sulpician Seminary, the oldest standing building in Montréal and one of the finest examples of institutional architecture dating from the French Regime.

Lunch: Lunch on your own to enjoy the culinary experience of Montréal.

Afternoon: Free afternoon to take in the city with its museums, galleries and entertainment

Dinner: Farewell dinner at Essence.

DAY
13
Program Concludes
Montreal, Quebec
B

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel is served between 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. Departures after breakfast according to individual travel plans. Check-out is 12:00 noon.

Morning: 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.