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British Columbia

Victorian Christmas at the Grand Empress

Wondrous festive lights illuminate Victoria and the Inner Harbour! Celebrate at the Fairmont Empress, enjoy a festive light display at The Butchart Gardens and Tea at the Empress.
Rating (4.75)
Program No. 18099RJ
5 days
Starts at
British Columbia

Victorian Christmas at the Grand Empress

Wondrous festive lights illuminate Victoria and the Inner Harbour! Celebrate at the Fairmont Empress, enjoy a festive light display at The Butchart Gardens and Tea at the Empress.
5 days
Starts at
Program No. 18099 RJ
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At a Glance

Revel in the spirit of the season amid the history and ambiance of charming Victoria and the opulent, turn-of-the-century Empress Hotel. Presentations and field trips mingle with horse-drawn trolley rides and traditional sing-alongs as you stroll the historic streets of Victoria and learn of Canadian holiday traditions. On Christmas morning, immerse yourself in holiday atmosphere as carolers wander the hotel halls.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Witness the magical holiday transformation of magnificent Butchart Gardens with a display of thousands of twinkling lights.
  • Be regaled with true accounts of how Christmas was celebrated during the days of Fort Victoria and the gold-rush era.
  • Take part in one of Victoria’s grandest traditions — Afternoon Tea at the Empress — and top off Christmas Day with a festive dinner.

General Notes

Christmas dinner dress code is semi-formal, with a jacket and tie requested for gentlemen. Max of 80 participants, divided into groups for activities.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Eyewitness Top Ten Vancouver & Victoria
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A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions in Vancouver and Victoria.
Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest
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Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form
by Bill Holm
An in-depth analysis of the form, shape and texture of the art of the Northwest Coast Indians by an artist, teacher and expert in the field, illustrated throughout.
Canada, Images of the Land
by J. Kraulis
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Victoria, A History in Photographs
by Peter Grant
The story of Victoria, British Columbia from its days as a mining colony to its development into a city. Nearly 150 archival photographs are organized together with a short text.
A Traveller's History of Canada
by Robert Bothwell
A readable and admirably concise march through Canadian history from prehistory to today, including a timeline.
The Raven Steals the Light
by Robert Bringhurst, Bill Reid (Illustrator), Claude Levi-Strauss (Introduction)
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Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast
by Bill Richardson
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Moon Vancouver and Victoria, Including Whistler and Vancouver Island
by Andrew Hempstead
A no-nonsense practical guide in the Moon series, jam-packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history, flora and fauna and geology.
Christmas Stories
by Diana Tesdell (Editor)
These choice selections, in an Everyman's pocket edition, celebrate Christmas with short fiction that includes Elizabeth Bowen's Green Holly, Dancing Dan's Christmas by Damon Runyon, A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote, Willa Cather's The Burglar's Choice, and works by Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, John Updike, Alice Monroe, John Cheever, Grace Paley, and others.
The West Beyond the West, A History of British Columbia
by Jean Barman
A fascinating history of the Canadian province from the 18th century to the mid-1990s. The author weaves portraits of major personalities and events into a readable overview of the cultural and social influences that have shaped the region.
Tea Sommelier
by Gabriella Lombardi
A gorgeous, coffee-table introduction to the wide world of tea, its rituals, jargon, health benefits and varieties, brimming with gorgeous full- and double-page photographs and 20 tea-infused recipes.

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