Afternoon: Check-in: Available from 2:00-4:00 p.m. You will find complimentary coffee, tea, and snacks in an area conducive to mingling. A short walk around the lake is a great way to unwind after your travels. Introductions: 4:30-5:30 p.m. After hellos, a short slide presentation provides an overview of L’Auberge du Mont as well a "virtual hike.” Wine is not sold on the premises, but there is a good selection at the local store and you may bring your own. We do not organize a "happy hour" before meals, but participants are welcome to organize something if desired. We can provide a corkscrew and wine glasses!
Dinner: In the dining room at 6:00 p.m, our cafeteria style dinner includes a salad bar, soup, choice of two main dishes, vegetables, dessert, coffee, tea, juice, water.
Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will officially welcome everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. We will also let you know how to make the Auberge du Mont your "home away from home" for the week regarding laundry, phone, newspapers, Internet, etc. Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s sleep for the day ahead.
Breakfast: Early morning coffee is available in the dining room. Breakfast is cafeteria style. Choose from eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, pancakes, cereal, muffins. The only thing lacking is willpower! The newspaper generally arrives shortly after breakfast.
Morning: From a local expert, learn about a giant — the St. Lawrence River and Seaway including its geography, natural history and significance in North American history.
Lunch: In the dining room, lunch is cafeteria style including a salad bar, soup, choice of two main dishes, vegetables, dessert, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Afternoon: Via motorcoach, we begin with a short stop at the Promenade Samuel-De Champlain. This legacy of the 400th anniversary of Québec was inaugurated in 2008 as a gift from the government to the city. It stretches 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) along the St. Lawrence shoreline, reconnecting residents with the mighty waterway. After a short ride along the beautiful St-Lawrence, we then board the M/V “Louis Joliet” for a 90-minute study cruise with expert commentary that provides unparalleled views of North America’s only fortified city — Old Quebec, as well as the Île d’Orléans, Montmorency Falls, and more. The vessel is named for the Quebec explorer who was the first to map the Mississippi River. Next, we transfer to the Naval Museum (Musée Naval) of Québec for an expert led exploration of this impressive facility that features the naval history of the St. Lawrence River, the Naval Reserve of Canada, and traces the history of Canadian sailors from the beginning of the 20th century to today. Take the rest of the afternoon for personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like among the many restaurants and cafés within walking distance in the Old Port and in Old Québec. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
Evening: At leisure. Linger over dinner or continue exploring on your own, then rendezvous at an appointed time and place to re-board the motorcoach for departure back the Auberge at approximately 7:45 p.m.
Breakfast: At the Auberge.
Morning: An expert led presentation provides an overview of activity on the St. Lawrence River and Seaway, its unique navigation attributes, and its significance for the Canadian economy.
Lunch: At the Auberge.
Afternoon: In an exclusive presentation for our group, biologist and aquatic scientist Dr. Harm Sloterdijk examines many facets of the St. Lawrence ecosystem, its formation and geological history, and relation to the Great Lakes and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Dr. Sloterdijk will discuss the impact of human activity that led to severe degradation of the river decades ago, and remedial actions that have put it on the road to recovery. Dr. Sloterdijk concludes with a “virtual” exploration of the river and its estuary revealing awe-inspiring land and seascapes and rich biodiversity.
Dinner: At the Auberge.
Evening: It's a Valcartier House Party! With musicians and other members of the local community, we recreate the ambiance of a fine old tradition. More than a concert, you will be able to interact with the musicians and learn about tunes unique to this area, accented with both Irish and French musical influences. Whether a step-dancer or a sit-and-watcher, feel the heart of this community.
Breakfast: At the Auberge.
Morning: We head along the south shore of the St. Lawrence River via motorcoach to the pier at St-François-de-Montmagny and board a passenger cruise vessel operated by the Lachance family, islanders who tell family tales while navigating the 45-minute ride through the Ile-aux-Grues Achipelago to Grosse Île. Here, we explore the fascinating history and experiences of immigrants. From 1832 to 1937, Grosse-Île was the main Canadian quarantine station to block contagious diseases, holding tens of thousands of immigrants who had crossed the Atlantic. There was a terrible tragedy in 1847 when more than 5,000 immigrants — mostly Irish fleeing the famine — died of typhus. We follow in their footsteps at the Irish Memorial Historic Site during an expert-led walking field trip. Hear the story of the immigrants who died and those who survived to find hope in Québec’s welcome. Imagine their feelings at sites such as the Disinfection Building, the Irish Memorial, the Irish Cemetery, and the Celtic Cross with its beautiful view of neighboring islands.
Lunch: We stop for lunch in the cafeteria within the building that once served as the Third Class Hotel.
Afternoon: Quarantine was the primary means of dealing with the potential for infectious diseases during the era when immigrants arrived in multitudes by ship. They were held in places called “lazarettos” or “lazarets” for Lazarus of the New Testament. The lazaret on Grosse-Île, the oldest island building still standing, was converted into a hospital in 1847. This afternoon we board the trolley take takes us to the other end of the island with stops along the way, concluding at the restored lazaret.
Dinner: Returning to the mainland on the cruise vessel, we take a short ride to a bistro in the St-Jean-Port-Joli marina featuring regional cuisine in a room with a fireplace and a splendid view on the St. Lawrence and mountains of the Charlevoix coast.
Evening: Led by an expert, we explore the Quebec Maritime Museum, a little known treasure housing more than 12,00 items and documents paying tribute to people who spent their lives along the river, including the legendary Captain J-E Bernier (1852-1934) who plied the waters of the Tropics, the St. Lawrence and the Arctic.
Breakfast: At the Auberge.
Morning: Our trusty coach takes us to the Isle of Orleans, a designated Historic District within sight of Old Québec. Here we taverse the road that surrounds the island, or in the words of the great Quebec poet, Felix Leclec, “42 miles of tranquility.” Then, during an expert led field trip, we will make several stops that highlight the historic importance of this island to the development of Québec, from shipbuilding to chocolate, and explain why it is so cherished by the people.
Lunch: At the historic Le Moulin restaurant in Saint-Laurent, enjoy fine cuisine featuring local products in this former flour mill dating back to 1720.
Afternoon: Continuing our exploration of the Isle of Orleans, we will get a panoramic view from the eastern tip of the Island with a lovely views of the archepelago and near-by Cap Tourmente. For the adventurous and fit, you have an option to climb the stairs of the 60-foot fire tower offering a stunning panoramic view. Next, we ride to the Domaine Steinbach for a tasting of some of the islands delicacies including the reknown ice ciders and wines. After we leave the island, we ride to towering Montmorency Falls, stopping for the spectacular view of the Montmorency River dropping 272 feet (83 meters) into the St-Lawrence. You have options: Walk to the top of the falls including a 400-plus step outdoor wooden staircase; take the Gondola (for a fee); or ride in the motorcoach. From the top, it’s a short walk to the bridge over the Falls. You might also like to historic Kent House, now a restaurant/bar. For the adventurous and fit, you have an option to climb up a 60-foot fire tower with lovely views of the archepelago and near-by Cap Tourmente,
Dinner: At the Auberge.
Evening: A relaxed evening of fellowship and fun including a "French Test" which we guarantee you will pass with flying colors!
Activity note: Check-out is by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: At the Auberge. This concludes our program.
Morning: We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!