Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m. Walking 2 blocks to/from hotel.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 6:00 p.m. We will walk from the hotel to a nearby restaurant in the heart of Old Québec where the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This program is based at one of the world’s most historic and charming hotels, in one of the world’s most historic and charming cities, within easy walking distance to all that Old Québec has to offer. Part of the learning experience will consist of delighting in the city itself decked out in a magical array of seasonal lights and decorations. As the holiday spirit radiates throughout Québec City, Christmas at the Château Frontenac will be truly special. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. After the Orientation session, we’ll enjoy a glass of wine together. A votre santé et Joyeux Noël!
Dinner: At the restaurant, we’ll enjoy a 3-course plated meal with appetizer of soup or salad, choices of entrée, dessert of the day; coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase from the bar.
Evening: After dinner, we will stroll with our Group Leader through the streets of the Old City to the famous Terrasse Dufferin that stretches along the St. Lawrence River just below the Château Frontenac.
Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles. Dress in layers for winter conditions.
Breakfast: At the Château Frontenac, choose what you like from the extensive breakfast buffet amid beautiful seasonal decorations and surroundings. The Frontenac is the virtual “star” atop the city’s figurative Christmas tree with a wonderful sense of revelry and bonhomie.
Morning: We will be joined by a local expert who tell us more about the history of Québec City — the birthplace of French America and the first settlement in Canada. We’ll learn how winter has shaped the military and political destiny of Québec, how residents deal with it in their daily lives, and get an overview of Québecois culture and Christmas traditions.
Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. A favorite local lunch tradition is soupe à l'oignon — onion soup.
Afternoon: Led by our local expert, we’ll go on a walking field trip to explore the neighborhood surrounding the Château Frontenac. We’ll walk along narrow streets to illustrious monuments and significant buildings that eloquently illustrate aspects of the city's history and architecture. The spirit of Christmas is all around, from exquisitely decorated storefronts to beautifully-lit cobbled alleys — a wondrous scene to behold. Our field trip will end at the Christmas Farmers Market in the Old Port featuring more than 1,000 products and handicrafts.
Dinner: In the renowned restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens, we’ll savor traditional food of Québec in a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup), choices of entrée, maple sugar pie, and beverage choices including a glass of wine or beer, soft drink, coffee, hot tea, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar. The restaurant is situated in the city’s oldest house (1675). Its thick walls, solid joints, marvelous wainscoting, and recessed cupboards are characteristic of houses constructed during that era.
Evening: We’ll enjoy a program of classical and seasonal music performed by talented musicians just for our Road Scholar group.
Activity note: Getting in/out of taxis. Walking and standing at museum.
Breakfast: Château Frontenac buffet.
Morning: We will take taxis for a field trip to Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. The national museum of fine arts is in the heart of National Battlefields Park, also known as the Plains of Abraham, a site of exceptional beauty and significance in Canadian history. Led by a museum expert, we’ll learn about the fascinating history of the museum itself — comprising three buildings, styles, and periods — and its impressive collections including 35,000 works by 4,000 artists, dating from the 17th Century to the present.
Lunch: At the museum restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with appetizer, choices of entrée, dessert, coffee, hot tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You are welcome to stay longer at the museum with its fascinating exhibits or go out to see more of the historic Old City dressed for the holidays. If you are interested in learning about the First Nations or Québécois people, we recommend a visit to the Musée de la civilization with a provided voucher.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We will also have reservations at one of Old Québec restaurants a short walk from the hotel if you would like to join the Group Leader (at your cost).
Evening: At leisure. If you wish to attend a traditional Christmas Eve service full of liturgical tradition, two excellent choices are the Basilica of Notre Dame (Roman Catholic) and the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Anglican). Both inhabit magnificent historic buildings.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile.
Breakfast: Château Frontenac buffet.
Morning: From the hotel, we will set out for a festive Christmas Day ride in an authentic calèche (horse-drawn carriage). From our cozy seats, we will get a different perspective on North America’s only walled city including the beautiful 19th Century Parliament building.
Lunch: At a gourmet bistro, we'll have a "farm to table" lunch. A 3-course plated meal with appetizer of soup or salad, choices of entrée, dessert of the day; coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase from the bar.
Afternoon: Free time. Walking is key to appreciating all Old Québec has to offer. To absorb more of the city’s holiday spirit, you might like to stroll along cobblestoned Rue du Petit-Champlain in the lower town, named for Samuel de Champlain who founded Quebec City in 1608. You might imagine yourself in Old France thanks to the beautifully preserved architectural character and charm of North America’s oldest commercial district where cars are not allowed. It may feel like walking through history, looking into distinctive boutiques and little artisan shops in old stone or half-timbered buildings while carolers on street corners sing traditional Christmas favorites.
Dinner: Perhaps the grandest Christmas tradition in Québec City is the annual dinner-dance at the Château Frontenac, the most photographed grand hotel in the world and a proud symbol of the city. The centerpiece is a semi-formal 4-course dinner in the ballroom. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our sumptuous farewell dinner.
Evening: As we continue enjoying the holiday feast, the band will play jazz and you’re welcome to kick up your heels on the dance floor. Complete your Christmas Day festivities in a setting that is très magnifique! Returning at the end of the evening, prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: Château Frontenac buffet. We will say adieu to Québec and Christmas at the Frontenac as we gather for our final breakfast as a group. Then it’s au revoir…until next time! This concludes our program.
Morning: If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!