British Columbia
Victorian Christmas at the Grand Empress
Celebrate Christmas at the Grand Empress Hotel, enjoying local traditions, choral performances, a lights display at Butchart Gardens and of course — Afternoon Tea at the Empress!
Rating (4.67)
Program No. 18099RJ
5 days
Starts at
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
5 days
4 nights
10 meals
4 B 2 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
Check In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Victoria, BC
The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Activity note: Participants are encouraged to arrive a day or two before the program starts to be able to spend a little more time enjoying the city. The hotel offers reasonable rates on extra nights, and also on room upgrades.

Afternoon: Check in at the Fairmont Empress Hotel is any time after 4:00 p.m. If you arrive earlier the hotel will store your luggage and have it in your room when you check in. Meet your group leader in the Library between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. to register and pick up your program packet.

Dinner: Buffet dinner at the Fairmont Empress Hotel at 6:00 p.m. in a private room, experience the finest in personal service and outstanding cuisine.

Evening: After dinner there will be an orientation to the program and introductions. This is a time to meet new friends and set the stage for the festivities!! 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.

Christmas Traditions, Inner Harbour, Tea Talk, Carriage Ride
Victoria, BC
The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Activity note: You will be enjoying outdoor activities today. Please dress warmly for winter weather.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Discover Christmas traditions and learn about the fascinating ways Christmas was celebrated in Victoria, from the days of Fort Victoria to the present day. Following the presentation, we embark on an expert-led exploration of Old Town, the historic heart of Victoria, where Christmas traditions and colorful stories abound. Hear true accounts of how Christmas was celebrated during the days of Fort Victoria and the gold-rush era.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: A presentation will explore The History and Tradition of Afternoon Tea. Learn the rich background of the tradition of Afternoon Tea during a special presentation. This time-honored tradition will be explained as well as an explanation of the tea trade throughout the world, and the various kinds of teas and their health benefits. There will be some free time to relax before dinner. Enjoy classic Christmas carols in the Lobby Lounge or cuddle up on the verandah with a hot beverage and a warm blanket.

Dinner: Buffet dinner at the Empress in a private room.

Evening: Enjoy a horse-drawn Christmas trolley ride in downtown Victoria and gain a historical view of what Christmas was like many years ago. Curl up in a warm blanket and take in all the holiday joy and sites.

Afternoon Tea, Festive Christmas Dinner
Victoria, BC
The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Enjoy some free time this morning - take a walk by the waterfront or enjoy Christmas morning Church services nearby. The historic Empress Hotel Library is a great location to enjoy a peaceful Christmas morning as well.

Lunch: Enjoy the Festive Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress. Savour an array of gourmet finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and sip the original blend of "The Empress Tea". With its chic ambience, lovely moldings and polished, hard wood floors, this is truly an exceptional experience for everyone!

Afternoon: Free afternoon. Enjoy some time with new friends or stroll through the Empress and enjoy the festivities. This is also a great time to view the spectacular Festival of Trees, a collection of decorated trees benefitting BC Children's Hospital (just around the corner at the Bay Centre).

Dinner: Savor a festive five course buffet, Empress style in the magnificent Shaughnessy Ballroom, beautifully decorated for the festive season. In appreciation of this special occasion, this event has a semi-formal dress code with a jacket and tie requested for gentlemen; women typically wear short or long, cocktail-style dresses or pantsuits. Cash bar available.

Evening: End the evening on a cozy Christmas note in Q Bar and enjoy the beautiful view of the Inner Harbor, watch the lights on the yachts as they bob in the water, or find a warm spot around the fireplace.

BC Government, Royal BC Museum, Butchart Gardens
Victoria, BC
The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Activity note: You will be enjoying outdoor activities today. Please dress warmly for winter weather.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: A presentation by a local historian will take you on an entertaining behind-the-scenes look at life in the protocol office of the BC government. Then 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. This museum visit will be self-guided, so participants are able to enjoy the galleries of their individual tastes, including displays about Christmas in Old Town and the sights and sounds of Christmas long ago. There will be some free time to explore Victoria on your own before we regroup after lunch.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: This afternoon we depart for the renowned Butchart Gardens and enjoy a scenic coach excursion on our way to the gardens. The Gardens boast fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display, meandering paths and expansive lawns. Truly one of the loveliest corners in the world, the gardens are always in season. 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: Buffet dinner at Butchart Gardens.

Evening: At leisure.

Program Concludes
Victoria, BC

Activity note: Check-out is 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel is served at 8:00 a.m.

Morning: Program ends after breakfast. Departures as per individual travel plans. 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.

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback