20578
British Columbia
Vancouver & Victoria: Signature Cities of Canada's Pacific Northwest
Enjoy culinary explorations, architectural walks, visits to museums and fascinating lectures as you immerse yourself in the unique story of Vancouver and Victoria.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20578RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,695
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8 days
7 nights
17 meals
7 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Vancouver, British Columbia
D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00-5:00 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 last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet meal; coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always 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. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Vancouver History, City Exploration, Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver, British Columbia
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking approximately 1 mile at moderate pace; standing at the museum.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold options plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll be joined at the hotel by a local historian, author, and heritage advocate who will discuss Vancouver's multi-faceted character from past to present. We’ll learn about the history of Vancouver from social, ethnic, and economic perspectives, its historical precedents, and urban planning — all of which have enabled the city to achieve its status as one of the most “livable” cities in the world. Next, we’ll board a motorcoach with our local expert for a field trip to see some of the city’s most notable neighborhoods and hear about points of interest as we make our way to the University of British Columbia campus. Enjoy interpretive commentary onboard; and stop at Queen Elizabeth Park, a 128-acre (52-hectare) park to walk in the gardens.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal; coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll visit the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) for a self-guided exploration. The MOA is Canada's largest teaching museum, world-renowned for its collections, research, teaching, public programs, and community connections. Its exhibitions and programs provide access and insight into the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world. The Museum houses some 535,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects, many of which originate from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. We’ll then head over to the beautiful Nitobe Memorial Garden for an expert-led exploration. A traditional, Japanese-styled oasis of serenity, it is considered one of the top five Japanese gardens outside Japan. It honors Nitobe Inazo (1862-1933), a noted agriculturalist, author, educator, and diplomat who wrote an internationally acclaimed book, “Bishido: The Soul of Japan.” Every element of the garden is designed to reflect harmony and an idealized conception of nature.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with starter, entrée, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Vancouver Communities, Chinatown, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens
Vancouver, British Columbia
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking approximately 1 mile on pavement, standing for short periods during field trip.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: A local historian will join us and give a presentation on the settlement of Vancouver and the distinct communities and neighborhoods that define this multicultural metropolis. We’ll then transfer by coach to explore Gastown and Chinatown. Stop at the steam clock and explore Chinatown amid its brightly colored façades, street markets, and the buzz of modern-day commerce. Built by Chinese people to reflect their authentic culture and traditions, it is still predominantly populated by Chinese people. We’ll learn about Chinatown's rich heritage, vibrant culture, and incredible food markets as we while exploring the colorful streets and alleys. Highlights include the Millennium Gate, a four-pillar, three-story high, brightly painted arch spanning Pender Street, erected in 2002 to mark the millennium and commemorate the Chinese community's role in Vancouver's history.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with starter, entrée, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Our next expert led field trip is to the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden, named for the man considered the father of modern China. It was the first of its kind outside China, an authentic representation of an age old garden tradition that reached its peak in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Garden is characteristic of the private spaces within a Ming scholar's residence. With its asymmetrical arrangement of rocks and plants, winding paths and corridors, and vistas that overlook its courtyards, the Garden emulates the rhythms of nature. While in the garden, we’ll participate in a traditional tea ceremony, learning about the flavors and art of making this ubiquitous drink.

Dinner: Buffet at the hotel, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Granville Island Public Market, Free Time
Vancouver, British Columbia
B,L
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Brief (5 minute) ferry ride from Granville Island to English Bay, short walk to hotel; walking approximately 1 mile, standing for periods during 2-hour market exploration.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Transfer by bus to Granville Island where we’ll be joined by an expert from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) on a historical and culinary exploration of Granville Island and the Public Market, known for its eclectic mix of artisanal food shops, studios, fine waterfront restaurants, theatres, galleries, an exceptional fresh food market. In this bustling public marketplace, we’ll savor samples of the market's many globally influenced and locally impassioned artisans, farmers. and food purveyors, and taste what's been grown, fished, and cooked fresh Along the way, we’ll learn what makes the island both a sensory and historic delight.

Lunch: At the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts restaurant, we’ll enjoy cuisine prepared by talented students and have a plated meal with starter, choice of entrée, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. The menu, featuring locally sourced foods, changes with the seasons.

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. PICA is situated just outside the entrance to Granville Island. You might like to continue exploring the Market, visit one of the many museums and attractions in the city, or just relax.

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.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
5
Stanley Park, Ferry to Victoria, Butchart Gardens
Victoria, British Columbia
B,D
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. The ferry crossing from the mainland to Victoria on Vancouver Island is approximately 1.5 hours. We will be at Butchart Gardens for 2.5 hours, walking at your own pace.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll board a motorcoach for a field trip to explore Stanley Park's extensive grounds with a naturalist from the Stanley Park Ecology Society. We’ll learn about rainforest and coastal ecology and see some of the Park's most famous landmarks: Vancouver Lookout, Lion's Gate Bridge, the famous Totems, and the 5.5 mile seawall that encircles the entire park. The history of Stanley Park coincides with the early days of Vancouver. It opened in 1888 and was named after Lord Stanley, then Governor General of Canada. This superb urban park is a cool, lush, evergreen oasis situated on a peninsula in the heart of the city. it is recognized as one of the great parks of the world, with a backdrop of majestic cedar, hemlock, and fir trees. Moving on, we’ll reach the ferry terminal. We are scheduled to depart for Victoria at 1:00 p.m.

Lunch: On your own aboard the ferry. Choose from a wide variety of sandwiches, wraps, sushi, burgers, salads, hot and cold entrees. hot and cold beverages.

Afternoon: Arriving on Vancouver Island, we’ll board a motorcoach and ride to Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada, for a self-directed exploration. We’ll learn the story of Jennie Butchart who crafted this gem from a limestone quarry. Still owned and operated by family descendants, the expansive gardens offer 55 acres of wonderful floral display. From the exquisite Sunken Garden to the charming Rose Garden, this show garden still maintains the gracious traditions of earlier times. We’ll then proceed into the picturesque city of Victoria and check into our hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Intro to Victoria, Inner Harbour Walk, Robert Bateman Centre
Victoria, British Columbia
B,L
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Walking approximately 1 to 1.5 miles, standing for periods of time during field trips.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot and cold options plus juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll be joined at the hotel by a local historian who will provide an overview of Victoria and its landscape, environment, culture, and history. We’ll learn about forces that shaped Victoria, the current character of the city, and what the future holds. We’ll then depart on foot with our expert and set out on a walking field trip in Victoria’s Old Town and Inner Harbour. This seaside gem of a city has an old-British charm. As we walk along Wharf Street, we’ll see many examples of Victorian architecture. Our historian will point out both well-known and hidden treasures. In addition to Old Town and the Inner Harbour, we’ll see the British Columbia Parliament Buildings and the historic Empress Hotel.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with choice of entrée, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll visit the Robert Bateman Centre, featuring the definitive collection of one of Canada’s best known artists and naturalists. Bateman’s distinctively realistic paintings portray wildlife in natural habitats. The Audubon Society has recognized Mr. Bateman as a “hero of conservation” for his dedication to environmental and preservation issues. The remainder of the afternoon is free. You might like to explore independently along historic Government Street and its side streets; have tea at one of the many tea houses or indulge in traditional High Tea at the Empress Hotel; or grab a pint at one of the charming pubs found throughout the Inner Harbour.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Monarchy in Canada, Point Ellice House, Coach Exploration
Victoria, British Columbia
B,L,D
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking approximately 1 mile, standing for periods of time during field trips.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: A presentation at the hotel with a local historian will discuss the monarchy in Canada. Hear about royal visits to one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria, the Empress. The hotel has hosted notable guests including Queen Elizabeth II, Rudyard Kipling, Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, Princess Margaret, Rita Hayworth, the King and Queen of Siam, and the Emperor and Empress of Japan. This Victoria landmark has some of the most breathtaking architecture in all of Victoria. We’ll then transfer by coach to Point Ellice House, a 19th century Victorian home and garden displaying one of North America's largest collection of original artifacts from the Victorian period. The house and gardens have been restored to how they would have looked in bygone days when they were the genteel home of one of the city's leading families. Complete with original furnishings, Point Ellice has one of the best collections of Victoriana in North America.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with choice of entrée, pop, coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We’ll then explore by coach some of the city's most prestigious landmarks and neighbourhoods and marvel at the breathtaking architecture. Some of the highlights include Government House, Ross Bay, Oak Bay, University of Victoria, and the Chinese cemetery.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with choice of starter, entrée, dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We’ll have a wrap up session back at the hotel to share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Victoria, British Columbia
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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