Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Walking up to 1/2 mile on snowy sidewalk; some icy conditions, some stairs. Dress in layers for winter weather. Hotel check-in available from 4:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).
Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:30 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. Orientation will be held at tonight’s restaurant before dinner. 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. Periods in the 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/current conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Our 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.
Dinner: At a restaurant in the heart of Old Québec.
Evening: We will stroll with our Group Leader through the streets of the Old City to the famous Terrasse Dufferin and form our first impressions of Quebec. Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is free to explore further or just relax. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Walking up to a mile on snowy sidewalk; some icy conditions, some stairs. Dress in layers for winter weather.
Breakfast: In the restaurant at Le Château Frontenac. The Frontenac 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: At the hotel, we will be joined by a local expert who will tell us about the Frontenac and 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. We’ll then learn 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, and how residents deal with it in their daily lives. We’ll also get an overview of Québecois culture and Christmas traditions. Led by a local expert, we will 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 will be all around us, from exquisitely decorated storefronts to beautifully-lit cobbled alleys — a wondrous scene to behold.
Lunch: At a neighborhood restaurant.
Afternoon: Take this free time opportunity to discover and explore the German Market which showcase Quebec Culture. It's the last day, it will be open until 6:00 pm.
Dinner: At the renowned restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens, featuring traditional foods of Québec and 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.
Evening: At Carter Hall of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, we will enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive performance with classical musicians who have prepared a program of classical and seasonal music just for us.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to 1 mile throughout the day, standing in museum.
Breakfast: At the Frontenac.
Morning: We will set out on an expert-led field trip to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts). It is situated in Battlefields Park, also known as the Plains of Abraham, a site of exceptional beauty and significance in Canadian history. We’ll hear about the fascinating history of the museum itself. Guided visit to learn about their fabulous Canadian Inuit Art Collection and more.
Lunch: At the Museum café.
Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your 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. Please note that the period scheduled for free time is subject to change depending on local circumstances and opportunities for independent exploration. You may stay to examine the museum’s fascinating exhibits or explore more of what the historic district has to offer. If you would like to learn more about the Quebecers or the First Nations, we suggest a visit to Musee de la civilization; a voucher is included.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to have what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and will make reservations for Road Scholars who wish to accompany her (at personal cost) to one of Quebec’s fine restaurants.
Evening: At leisure. There are two choices that we recommend 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.
Activity note: Walking up to a mile on snowy sidewalk; some icy conditions, some stairs. Dress in layers for winter weather. Getting on/off a funicular.
Breakfast: At the Frontenac.
Morning: We’ll join our local expert and experience a ferry ride on the St. Lawrence River. We will discover the most beautiful view of Quebec City and learn about the river’s importance. The second largest river in Canada, the St. Lawrence River has been an important trade route in North America for centuries.
Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and will make reservations for Road Scholars who wish to accompany her (at personal cost) to one of Quebec’s fine bistros.
Afternoon: 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. We can imagine ourselves in Old France thanks to the beautifully preserved architectural character and charm of North America’s oldest commercial district. We’ll feel as if we’re walking through history — no cars allowed! — seeing distinctive boutiques and little artisan shops in old stone or half-timbered buildings while carolers on street corners sing traditional Christmas favorites.
Dinner: In the ballroom at the Frontenac. Perhaps the grandest Christmas tradition in Québec City is the annual dinner at the Château Frontenac – the most photographed grand hotel in the world and a proud symbol of the city. Share favorite experiences and enjoy camaraderie with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Evening: As we linger at the Frontenac, the band will play contemporary popular music. We’ll complete our Christmas Day festivities in this setting that is très magnifique! A truly memorable experience. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: At the Frontenac. Say farewell to Québec and Christmas as we gather share our fondest memories of the program with new Road Scholar found friends. This concludes our program. Au revoir!
Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. 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!