Afternoon: Following your independent arrival, HOTEL CHECK-IN begins at 4:00pm. Get your room assignment then at 5:30pm come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet containing the most up-to-date schedule of program activities and general information on your stay. Shortly thereafter, we’ll gather for an ORIENTATION session for introductions, to review the program schedule, note any updates, review roles and responsibilities, address safety issues, and answer any questions you may have. PRESENTATION: A talk about the Frontenac will reveal its history — even some secrets! — as well as its role in Québec’s economic and social development and influence in the development of winter sports.
Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in the heart of Old Québec, a 5-minute walk from the Château Frontenac. After dinner, stroll with your coordinator through the streets of the Old City to the famous Terrasse Dufferin to form your first impressions of Quebec and discover the city or return to the hotel after dinner.
Breakfast: We'll enjoy a breakfast buffet in the restaurant at the Frontenac with a wide variety of options amid opulent seasonal surroundings. The Chateau embraces its role as the “star” atop the city’s figurative Christmas tree with a beautiful display of decorations and a wonderful sense of revelry and bonhomie.
Morning: PRESENTATION: A local expert will tell you about the history of Québec City — the birthplace of French America and the first settlement in Canada. You’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. 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. The spirit of Christmas radiates throughout Québec City, and Christmas at the Château Frontenac is truly unique and special.
Lunch: Another favorite local tradition is Onion soup for lunch. We’ll dine at a Brasserie Française in a cheerful ambiance.
Afternoon: Led by our local guide, 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 you, from exquisitely decorated storefronts to beautifully-lit cobbled alleys — a wondrous scene to behold. Our walking field trip concludes at Christmas Farmer Market featuring local flavors in the Old Port.
Dinner: We’ll dine out to savor traditional food of Québec at the renowned restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens, located in the oldest house in the city (1675). Its thick walls, solid joints, marvelous wainscoting and recessed cupboards are characteristic of the houses constructed during that era. Specialties of the house include a "tourtière" meat pie and an exquisite maple dessert.
Evening: PRIVATE CONCERT: End the day with classical musicians who've prepared a program of classical and seasonal music just for you.
Breakfast: We'll enjoy a breakfast buffet in the restaurant at the Frontenac with a wide variety of options amid opulent seasonal surroundings.
Morning: Guides visit at Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts). The museum is located in Battlefields Park, also known as the Plains of Abraham, a site of exceptional beauty and significance in Canadian history. You’ll hear about the fascinating history of the museum itself — comprising three buildings, styles, and periods — and of course its impressive collections including 35,000 works by 4,000 artists, dating from the 17th Century to the present.
Lunch: Lunch in a local Café.
Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON: You may stay to examine the museum's fascinating exhibits or explore more of what the historic district has to offer. Your packet will include a list of suggestions and our coordinator will be happy to answer your questions. You may want to learn more about the Quebecers or the First Nations we suggest a visit to Musee de la civilisation, a voucher is included in the program.
Dinner: Dinner is on your own, allowing you to explore the multitude of Quebec City eateries. Our coordinator will offer guidance and suggestions. For this dinner, a reservation will be made by Sylvie in one of Quebec's fine restaurants (5 minutes walk from the hotel) for anyone who wishes to accompany her. (optional) See our suggestion list for more restaurants.
Evening: EXTRACURRICULAR: You have two options this evening if you wish to attend a traditional Christmas Eve service full of liturgical pageantry and music. Both the Basilica of Notre Dame (Catholic) and the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Anglican) inhabit magnificent historic buildings. Immerse yourself in the joyful sounds of voices and organ for an evening to remember.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
Morning: EXCURSION: Christmas continues with a festive ride in an authentic calèche (horse-drawn carriage). From your cozy seat, get a different perspective on North America’s only walled city including the beautiful 19th Century Parliament building.
Lunch: Lunch is on your own. Our group leader will offer guidance and suggestions. For this lunch, a reservation will be made by your group leader in one of Quebec's fine bistro for anyone who wishes to accompany her. (Optional)
Afternoon: EXCURSION: Walking is key to appreciating all Old Québec has to offer. To absorb more of the city’s holiday spirit, we’ll 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. You’ll feel as if you’re walking through history — no cars allowed! — as you look into distinctive boutiques and little artisan shops in old stone or half-timbered buildings while carolers on street corners sing traditional Christmas favorites.
Dinner: CHRISTMAS DINNER-DANCE: Perhaps the grandest Christmas tradition in Québec City is the annual 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 semi-formal, six-course dinner in the ballroom.
Evening: Along with the fine cuisine, you're welcome to join in the dancing as the band plays contemporary popular music. Complete your Christmas Day festivities with this celebratory feast in a setting that is très magnifique! Truly an unforgettable experience.
Breakfast: Say farewell to Québec and Christmas at the Frontenac as we gather for one more breakfast buffet in the restaurant. This is the time to share your fondest memories of the program with new-found friends. Au revoir! The program concludes with breakfast. Hotel check-out is 12:00 Noon.We hope you have enjoyed this very special program and have gained an appreciation for the Christmas traditions of Old Québec and its grandest and most historic hotel. Please join us for other rewarding Road Scholar programs in the future, and best wishes for all your journeys!