Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:30-5:45 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table on the Mezzanine level to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, 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.
Dinner: At a popular steak house restaurant on rue St-Paul, the oldest street in Montréal, enjoy a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), choice of entrée (chicken, fish, steak), dessert of the day, and beverage choices in-cluding coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar.
Evening: Orientation: We will return to the hotel for orientation when 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. Plus, a few useful tips to enhance your stay in French Canada. 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. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach.
Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers a rotating variety of choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat (such as bacon and ham), hot and cold cereals, fruit, toast, bagels, muffins, yogurt, milk, juices, coffee (regular and decaf), hot tea, water.
Morning: Led by an expert, we will go for a city field trip via motorcoach, focusing on the city's history, architecture, main neighborhoods, and its astounding underground city that features a 20-mile network of pedestrian walkways. Among the highlights are the Underground, Mont-Royal, and Ste-Hélène Island that was the site of Expo 67 (1967 International and Universal Exposition.
Lunch: Montréal is known for its abundant cafés, well attended by Montréalers at lunchtime. We will select one for a light and tasty meal.
Afternoon: With our Group Leader, we will go by motorcoach to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) for an overview of the Quebec and Canadian art exhibition. Founded in 1860, the MMFA has an outstanding permanent collection representing artistic achievements from antiquity to the present day with paintings, sculptures, graphic arts, photographs, and decorative art objects in four major areas: international art, world cultures, decorative arts and design, and Québec and Canadian art that we will visit. A new wing devoted to international art and education will open in late 2016 for Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Returns to the hotel will be via taxi in small groups for those who wish to leave earlier or stay later.
Dinner: In Old Montréal, we will enjoy a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), choice of entrée (chicken, fish, steak), dessert of the day, and beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages are available for purchase from the bar.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Led by an expert, we will head out for a walking field trip through Old Montréal. We will learn about the delicate transformations of public art and architecture, and why the importance of blending old and new is at the heart of this urban conversion to create the Montréal of today. Our exploration will include le Quartier International and end at the Notre-Dame Basilica.
Lunch: In Old Montréal.
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. Among the highlights you might enjoy are the Pointe-à- Calliere Museum, the port, and the Botanical Garden.
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: We will walk a few blocks from the hotel to enjoy a concert just for us performed by a pair of well-known musicians from the Montréal jazz scene. As we delight to their improvisations, we’ll also learn about the history of jazz in Montréal. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning. Baggage aboard the train is limited to one piece of luggage and one carry-on bag.
Activity note: Getting in/out of taxis; on/off a train. Baggage aboard the train is limited to one piece of luggage and one carry-on bag per person. We will carry our baggage when we transfer to the train station. There it will be loaded onto the train for us; keep carry-ons with you. The train ride is about 160 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Upon arrival in Québec City, we will retrieve our baggage and load it onto a van for transfer to the hotel where it will be taken to our rooms.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We will begin the day with a lecture by a local expert on living in Montréal. Next, we will walk a few minutes to the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal (Notre-Dame Basilica) and explore led by a church specialist. This magnificent church that grew from a small chapel in 1642 has a fascinating history and is considered one of the most beautiful in North America. The decorative scheme we see today was inspired by the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. Returning to the hotel, we will check out and depart via taxis to the train station, then board the train for departure at 1:00 p.m.
Lunch: Aboard the train, we’ll have box lunches from a local bakery with a sandwich, salad, and soft drink, coffee, or tea.
Afternoon: Upon arrival in Québec City, we will transfer via motorcoach to our hotel for check-in. Take some time to freshen up and relax before dinner or feel free to walk around the hotel and surrounding area.
Dinner: We will walk 1 block from the hotel to a renowned pub in the heart of Old Québec for a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), choice of entrée (meat, seafood, vegetarian), and dessert of the day, plus beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar.
Evening: We will be joined at the hotel by a local expert will present the history of Québec City — the cradle of French civilization in North America — and the first settlement in Canada. We will also learn about different aspects of the city's present-day social and economic realities.
Activity note: Riding a funiculaire (cable car). Walking up to 1 mile; cobblestone, uneven ground.
Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes hot and cold choices plus juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: Led by an expert, we will go for a walking field trip to explore Québec City with its eclectic architecture, streets, and monuments that serve as eloquent, perfectly conserved testaments to its evolution. There are two parts, the Upper Town that was the fortified area and the Lower Town that developed around the Place Royale and the harbor. A well-preserved integrated urban ensemble, the Historic District is a remarkable example of a fortified city of the colonial era, and unique north of Mexico. Enjoy the city's uniquely European atmosphere, enchanting setting, and friendly inhabitants. After the walking exploration, we will board the motorcoach and ride to the foot of Montmorency Falls where will take the cable car to Manoir Montmorency.
Lunch: At Manoir Montmorency, we’ll have a set meal featuring area specialties.
Afternoon: You will have some free time to see astonishing Montmorency Falls Park. Located between the river and the cliffs, it's one of the province's most spectacular sites. You might like to take a short walk to the bridge that goes over the falls. On our way back to Quebec City, we will stop at l’Ile d’orleans and meet a local pro-ducer and learn more about the exquisite gourmet product. You will then have some free time for personal independent exploration at your own pace. You might like to Quartier Le Petit Champlain located at the foot of the funicular a block away from your hotel (coupon provided). The Quartier Petit-Champlain is the site of Québec’s first port. As one of the city’s original neighborhoods, it has gone through various periods of development, decline, and redevelopment. Today, after an expansive (and expensive) restoration project, the quarter exudes an Old World atmosphere with historical architecture and buildings dating back to the 1600s, narrow streets, artisans and craftsmen, charming boutiques, and much more.
Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking and standing up to an hour; limited seating.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Led by an expert, we will visit the official residence of the Governor General of Canada, located within La Citadelle of Québec overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River. Québec, the cradle of French civilization in North America, is a repository of history and culture from the French, English, and Canadian periods. The fortified boundaries of this old British fortress are the only such remaining walled defenses on the continent. 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. Today, it houses an important collection of art and period furnishings.
Lunch: On your own.
Afternoon: We will re-group at the hotel and walk to the Musée des Ursulines, a block away. At this art and history museum, we will learn about the rich heritage of the oldest teaching order in Canada including Québec’s religious and social history. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore on your own. Take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most at your own pace.
Dinner: At the hotel, we will enjoy a 3-course plated meal with appetizer (soup or salad), choice of entrée (meat, seafood, vegetarian), and dessert of the day, plus beverage choices including coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
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!