21845
Québec

Québec City to Charlevoix: Exploring the Saint Lawrence River

Travel by boat and train to explore the history and natural wonders of the Saint Lawrence Valley, from Québec City’s European charm to the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Charlevoix regions.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21845RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,279
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8 days
7 nights
14 meals
7 B 3 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Quebec City, QC
D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

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

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. 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. All transportation will be provided via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. 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.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal featuring tasty regional cuisine and a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: With our Group Leader, we will stroll through the streets of the Old City to the famous Château Frontenac, forming our first impressions of Quebec as we begin to explore the city.

DAY
2
History, Downtown, Le Petit Champlain, Private Concert
Quebec City, QC
B,L
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Walking up 2 miles.

Breakfast: At the hotel, choose what you like from the breakfast buffet featuring a variety of choices such as breakfast meats, eggs, pancakes, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: At the hotel, a local expert will give us a presentation highlighting the city's foundation and exceptional geographical location as well as its present-day social and economic facets. We’ll gain an understanding of how Québec City's history contributed to the creation and development of Canada and why it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We’ll then head out on a walking field trip with our expert to explore Québec City with its eclectic architecture, streets, and monuments that serve as eloquent, perfectly conserved testaments to its evolution. Enjoy the city's uniquely European atmosphere, enchanting setting, and friendly inhabitants. We’ll conclude at the renowned Château Frontenac, one of the city’s landmarks and the most photographed hotel in the world. It boasts a fascinating history, owing its name to Louis de Buade de Frontenac, the powerful Governor-General who guided the destiny of New France in the late 1600s.

Lunch: At the Château Frontenac, enjoy a plated, 3-course meal featuring tasty regional cuisine and a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time to explore the Quartier Le Petit Champlain, home to some of the city’s oldest homes and trading outposts along the Saint Lawrence River. The site of Quebec’s first port, the quaint neighborhood has a European atmosphere with narrow cobblestone streets, cafés, and shops. Explore the unique Exhibition This Is Our Story: First Nations and Inuit in the 21st Century at the Musée de la Civilisation. Discover what it means to be aboriginal in the 21st century. This permanent exhibition takes an in-depth look at today’s aboriginal cultures, from their diversity, worldviews, beliefs, and ways of identifying with their pasts, to contemporary expressions of aboriginality around the world (museum voucher will be provided).

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: Private concert featuring the Quatuor Arthur-Leblanc, one of Canada’s finest string ensemble. Carter Hall, Holy Trinity Cathedral. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
3
St. Lawrence South Shore, Kamouraska, Île aux Lièvres
Île aux Lièvres
B,L,D
Île aux Lièvres

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 120 miles, approximately 2 hours. Getting on/off a boat; transfer to island approximately 45 minutes. Walking up to 2 miles on trail.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will board a motorcoach and travel through the Bas-St-Laurent area on the south shore, stopping in the Kamouraska region. Famous for its Victorian style architecture and history of early settlers and navigators, the Bas-St-Laurent region represents our introduction to the maritime life and history of Canada. Arriving at Rivière du Loup, we will board a boat for the trip to Île aux Lièvres — the Island of Hares. This island in the middle of the St. Lawrence estuary, eight miles long, is a designated Biodiversity Reserve. It was originally owned and managed by the non-profit Société Duvetnor, founded by biologists including the eminent scientist Jean Bédard. The name Île aux Lièvres derives from the 1536 voyage of Jacques Cartier when his crew discovered an abundance of hares that provided sustenance. The island today is home to multitudes of Common Eiders, renowned for their down, as well as other birdlife, a variety of mammals, and sea life such as seals and whales.

Lunch: At the Island restaurant.

Afternoon: With a local expert, we will explore one of the hiking trails along the St-Laurence River. 5:00 pm we will meet our host, founder and President of Duvetnor, Jean Bedard, who will tell us about the society’s work, values, and plans for the future.

Dinner: At the Auberge, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal featuring tasty regional cuisine and a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Charlevoix Museum, La Malbaie
Baie St-Paul & La Malbaie - Charlevoix
B,L
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach and boat. Walking up to 2 miles, varied terrain. The boat ride from the Island to Rivière-du-Loup is approximately 45 minutes; crossing the St. Lawrence River by ferry to St-Siméon is approximately 65 minutes.

Breakfast: At the Island restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: Free time. Take this opportunity to explore this isolated island in the middle of the St. Lawrence independently.

Lunch: At the Auberge, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase before we will transfert from the island to the shore.

Afternoon: We will take the ferry to reach the opposite side of the St. Lawrence. From the south to the north shore, it will be approximately 65 minutes across the Saguenay Marine Park area to reach the Charlevoix region, our next destination. Look out for whales and other mammals that use the St. Lawrence for their habitat. From the St. Simeon north shore ferry terminal, we will take a motorcoach to La Malbaie where the Museum Director will lead our examination of ethno-history and regional folk art. The Musée de Charlevoix is a non-profit organization, the legacy of local artists and a community initiative to preserve, share, and educate on local traditions and work of famous artists that found inspiration in the region’s exceptional landscapes, nature, and people. We will then check in to the Manoir Richelieu, a vision of historical splendor perched high above the St. Lawrence River. In 1988, the Charlevoix region was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Covering more than a million acres (457,000 hectares), it comprises agricultural areas, river ecosystems, estuarine tidal marshes and flats, coniferous and mixed forests, krummholz (stunted vegetation), and mountain tundra ecosystems. Animal life is equally diverse. Some 30,000 residents are engaged in agriculture, ecological activities, fisheries, mining, and more.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like in La Malbaie.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Baie St-Paul, Domain Forget
Baie St-Paul & La Malbaie - Charlevoix
B,D
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: With a hotel representative, we will walk through the Manoir Richelieu, an historical landmark of La Malbaie, with its architecture inspired by a French castle. We also learn about the initiative that led to the largest ethnographical and archaeological collection of Canada. The collection reflects the life of Canadians from the French period to the Confederation. As we walk, we will see some the pieces and elements of the collection still present in the hotel. In the late morning, we will set out from the hotel to the National Park Pointe-Noire on the cliff of the Saguenay Fjord and Tadoussac Bay.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: We will ride back to the hotel and enjoy some free time for activities offered by Manoir Richelieu (walking trails, swimming, etc.).

Dinner: In La Malbaie, we will choose from the menu.

Evening: 7:00 pm Departure by motorcoach to Domaine Forget the impressive site of the International Music & Dance Academy. We will attend a concert at their renowned concert hall for his exceptional acoustic. We will return to the hotel in La Malbaie after the concert. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
6
Train to Baie St-Paul
Quebec City, QC
B
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach and train. The train ride is about 90 minutes.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Travel by scenic train (light rail transit) from La Malbaie towards Baie St-Paul along the St. Lawrence River. The train offers a singular experience of a journey by rail between mountains and seashore, along incomparable riverside scenery. During the trip, we learn about the St. Lawrence navigation history and shipbuilding industry of the region that dates back to the 18th century!

Lunch: On your own to enjoy the local fare of your choice.

Afternoon: Baie St-Paul has one of the largest concentrations of artists in Canada. Free time for independent exploration of Baie St-Paul, with a list of suggestions, Musée d'Art contemporain and/or the Art galleries. We will then reboard the motorcoach and ride to Quebec City with expected arrival and check-in at our hotel by approximately 4:30 p.m.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

DAY
7
Governor’s Residence, Fine Arts Museum, Farewell Dinner
Quebec City, QC
B,D
Hotel Manoir Victoria

Activity note: Walking 1/2 mile, approximately 15 minutes each way across Plains of Abraham.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Led by an expert, we will visit the Official Residence of the Governor General of Canada, located within the Citadelle of Québec and overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River; a historic building housing an important collection of art and period furnishings. Québec, the cradle of French civilization in North America, is a repository of history and culture from the French, English, and Canadian periods. Its old fortified boundaries of the British fortress — La Citadelle — are the only such remaining walled defenses on the continent. It includes the official Québec residence of the Governor-General of Canada. After a terrible fire in 1976, it was restored with Canadian materials throughout to showcase the city’s history, modern cultural sensibilities, and outstanding artists.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: With our Group Leader, we will walk across Plains of Abraham — an historic park in downtown Quebec where an important battle took place during the Seven Years’ War — to the Quebec National Fine Arts Museum. There, we will have time for a self-directed exploration. Among its highlights are the remarkable Inuit art collection, as well as works by some of Quebec's most prominent artists. After our visit to the National Fine Arts Museum, the remainder of the afternoon is on your own to continue exploring Quebec City independently.

Dinner: At a renowned restaurant in Old Québec noted for its local “farm to table” gastronomy, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with appetizer, choices of entrée, dessert of the day, and beverages including coffee, hot tea, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Quebec City, QC
B

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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

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!






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