Journey by train through the cosmopolitan cities and untamed wilderness of Canada, discovering architecture in Montreal, cuisine in Toronto and sweeping views in the Canadian Rockies.
Rating (4.87)
Program No. 3844GFF
Length
13 days
Starts at
3,995
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13 days
12 nights
30 meals
12 B 8 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Montreal, QC
D
Marriott SpringHill Suites Old Montréal

Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel; check-in after 3:00 p.m. Meet your Group Leader between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. to register and pick up your welcome packet.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Evening: Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation. Take the rest of the evening to become acquainted with your fellow participants or stroll around the local area. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Transportation History, French-British Battles, Old Montreal
Montreal, QC
B,L,D
Marriott SpringHill Suites Old Montréal

Activity note: Today you will encounter uneven terrain and cobblestone streets during your moderate guided walk of Old Montreal.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Two presentations with a local historian will set the stage for our activities in Montreal. The first will provide an analysis of transportation technology and its impact on Montreal commerce; the second lecture will focus on the French Empire in North America and the British Conquest. Then set out to explore the architectural history of the city as you travel the cobbled streets on a guided walk of Old Montreal. Notable highlights during the walk include Notre Dame Basilica, Place d'Armes and Place Jacques Cartier. This historic city center is rich in museums, galleries, restaurants and grey stone architecture spread out along narrow, cobblestone streets. Stroll through Place Jacques Cartier, a lively public square, and then turn south to the waterfront (Vieux Port). Its impressive harborfront facilities include a 1.5-mile (2.5-km)-long recreational park along the St. Lawrence River, a state-of-the-art science center, a theater, antiquarian bookshops and inviting cafe.

Lunch: At a nearby restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore Montréal on your own after lunch. You may want to check the Montréal website to see what’s on: www.tourisme-montreal.org.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Continue your exploration of Montréal, or relax at the hotel.

DAY
3
Canadian Railway Museum, City Excursion, Train to Toronto
Toronto, ON
B,L
Courtyard by Marriott Toronto (Downtown)

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: On a field trip to the Canadian Railway Museum, examine transportation artifacts including giant steam locomotion engines and refurbished early coaches. One of Canada's most unique museums, the collection of railway material here is the largest in the country and one of the most important in the world.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: En route to the train station, enjoy a guided coach excursion of Montréal. Highlights along the way include St. Joseph’s Oratory and Mont Royal. Later this afternoon, board the train and depart for Toronto.

Dinner: Dinner on your own onboard the train.

Evening: Arrival in Toronto and check into your hotel.

DAY
4
Loyalists, Railroad Through Western Canada, Free Time
Toronto, ON
B
Courtyard by Marriott Toronto (Downtown)

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The theme of the two morning lectures is the history of Ontario and the United Empire Loyalists, with an emphasis on Toronto's origins as the capital of Upper Canada; the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States, and contemporary Toronto. As well, your lecturer will discuss the building of the railroad through central and western Canada. Your lecturer is the Senior Program Officer at Historic Fort York, a municipally operated museum that specializes in the era of the War of 1812. Fort York features some of the oldest buildings in the city of Toronto.

Lunch: On your own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Toronto on your own. Options include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Bata Shoe Museum or the Eaton Centre.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare; or join your Group Leader at a local restaurant.

Evening: Free evening.

DAY
5
Toronto Excursion, Royal Ontario Museum, Train to Jasper
Aboard train
B,L,D
VIA Rail

Activity note: Due to luggage limitations on the train you are restricted to 2 small carry-on bags per person (1 small suitcase plus 1 small carry-on bag OR 2 small carry-on bags). Maximum dimension of each carry-on is 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches. Maximum weight of each carry-on is 25 lbs. Consider taking only 1 small suitcase per couple plus a small carry-on bag for each person (for personal items, camera etc). Larger bags will be checked through from Toronto to Jasper. You will have all of your luggage in Jasper.

Breakfast: At the hotel; followed by check-out. Baggage (including carry-on bags) can be stored at the train station; carry-on bags can be picked up before we board the train this evening. Larger bags will be checked through to Jasper.

Morning: A coach is the learning venue for the morning lecture, as you traverse the city and examine its history. Toronto is one of North America's most ethnically diverse cities, home to more than 80 ethnic communities from around the world.

Lunch: At the Royal Ontario Museum.

Afternoon: Explore an exceptional array of themed galleries at the Royal Ontario Museum, spanning both world cultures and natural history. With six million objects in the ROM's collections, there's something new to discover around every corner. Travel coast to coast, discovering the rich history of Canada and its natural wonders. From dinosaurs discovered in the Badlands of Alberta to the legacy of Canada's First Peoples and more. Your experience begins behind-the-scenes in a private room with an expert from the ROM and dozens of Canadian artifacts from the vaults. Touch and discuss the artifacts in an environment that encourages collaboration and group discussion. Then embark on a guided adventure in the Museum's galleries; experience the diversity of this great country and discover what makes the ROM like no other museum.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant near Union Station.

Evening: Depart by train for Jasper at 10:00 p.m. Your train journey to Western Canada begins at Union Station in downtown Toronto. The train route will follow the "iron road" that was carved out of solid rock more than a century ago. Journey past lakes and mountain peaks crowned with snow and wind your way across bridges and through tunnels. You will sleep aboard the train for three nights and cross four provinces traveling from central Canada to Canada's west to arrive in Jasper, Alberta

DAY
6
Aboard the Train, Trans Canada Railway
Aboard train
B,L,D
VIA Rail

Breakfast: On board the train. Each meal on board the train promises to be a memorable experience: a sophisticated, enticing cuisine, served with a generous portion of stunning landscapes.

Morning: Audiovisual materials are available to enhance your learning experience on the train.

Lunch: On board the train.

Afternoon: Relax and enjoy the passing scenery.

Dinner: On board the train.

Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.

DAY
7
Free Time in Winnipeg, Aboard the Train
Aboard train
B,L,D
VIA Rail

Breakfast: On board the train.

Morning: Enjoy several hours of free time in Winnipeg, the largest city in Manitoba. Containing over half of the provincial population, Winnipeg is also the provincial capital. The city is located near the geographic centre of North America, at the confluence of the historic Red and Assiniboine Rivers, a point now commonly known as The Forks. Winnipeg lies in close proximity to hundreds of lakes, including Lake Winnipeg, Canada's fifth largest lake and the world's eleventh largest, as well as Lake Manitoba and the Lake of the Woods. The city is a cultural centre and is the home of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. It boasts historic architecture, scenic waterways, a heritage river, numerous parks including Assiniboine Park, and distinctive neighborhoods. Winnipeg is home to the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, and is in the area of the original settlements and farms in the west.

Lunch: On board the train.

Afternoon: The train departs Winnipeg in early afternoon.

Dinner: On board the train.

Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.

DAY
8
Jasper National Park, Maligne Canyon
Jasper, AB
B,L,D
The Crimson

Breakfast: On board the train.

Morning: This morning the train approaches Jasper, nestled deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and recognized internationally for its rugged beauty. Jasper is a world premiere national park, with a combination of startlingly blue-green mountain lakes, soaring peaks, and broad, forested valleys.

Lunch: On board the train.

Afternoon: Once in Jasper, a presentation will provide an orientation to the extensive riches of Jasper National Park. Encompassing over 10,878 square kilometers (4,200 square miles), the park has healthy wildlife populations, including grizzly bears and wolves, living among the grand peaks. The park's distance from large urban centers and its relatively intact ecology create a special sense of the early days in the Rockies. This afternoon we explore Maligne Canyon. Your guide will discuss the geological evidence of deep canyon formation; the rich natural history of the site; and wildlife habitats. There will be an opportunity to search for fossils.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Free evening to explore Jasper on your own. To discover what’s on, visit www.jaspercanadianrockies.com.

DAY
9
Jasper Natural History, Athabasca Glacier, Ice Explorer
Jasper, AB
B,L,D
The Crimson

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: On the second day in Jasper the learning activities will be geared to the study of the natural history in a number of areas of this beautiful and diverse mountain terrain. Possible sites of study may include Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls, Maligne Lake, and the Valley of the Five Lakes. with your naturalist guide. Exact destinations may vary depending on the weather.

Lunch: Box lunch en route.

Afternoon: Travel to the Columbia Icefields and learn all about this impressive geological feature. Travel in a specially designed Ice Explorer to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier, on a 3 mile/5 km round trip journey, for an awe-inspiring glimpse of icy crevasses and ice-fed streamlets. The driver/guide will explain how glaciers are formed and point out interesting geological features as you travel onto the glacier in safety and comfort. At the mid-point, you will have the option of stepping out onto ice formed from snow falling as long as 200 years ago.

Dinner: At a local restaurant in Jasper.

Evening: Following dinner, the evening is free to explore Jasper on your own or relax at the hotel.

DAY
10
Yellowhead Museum, Train to Vancouver
Aboard train
B,D
VIA Rail

Activity note: Due to luggage limitations on the train you are restricted to two small carry-on bags per person (1 small suitcase plus 1 small carry-on bag OR 2 small carry-on bags). Maximum dimension of each carry-on is 21.5 x 15.5 x 9 inches. Maximum weight of each carry-on is 25 lbs. Due to limited space you may want to consider taking only 1 small suitcase per couple plus a small carry-on bag for each person (for personal items, camera etc). Larger bags will be checked from Jasper to Vancouver.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Discover "A Wild Life" in the Jasper area through an expert led presentation. This thought provoking and entertaining program explores Jasper National Park's amazing variety of mountain wildlife. Get a bear's eye view of alpine landscapes, or how about a crash course on romance in the Rockies? Participants will leave with an appreciation of the wonders of the wild side of Jasper. On a visit to the Yellowhead Museum, the educational program will address the human history of the area. This is a research and exhibit museum. Its documents and artifacts illustrate the human history of Jasper National Park and the Yellowhead corridor.

Lunch: On your own to explore local fare

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in Jasper before the train departs for Vancouver mid afternoon.

Dinner: On board the train.

Evening: Games and movies are featured activities during the evening.

DAY
11
Explore Vancouver, Granville Market, Anthropology Museum
Vancouver, BC
B,D
Best Western Sands by the Sea

Activity note: Today, in addition to having lunch on Granville Island you will have time to explore the area on your own. You may encounter cobblestone streets and uneven terrain.

Breakfast: On board the train, prior to arrival in Vancouver.

Morning: Disembarking the train in Vancouver, we will immediately commence the exploration of this vibrant city. Downtown areas of the city, such as Stanley Park, Gastown and Chinatown will be the subjects of study. Both coach and walking excursions will be utilized as learning venues for this segment of the program.

Lunch: On your own at Granville Island Market.

Afternoon: The focus of the afternoon educational program is the culture of indigenous people. The venue for the study will be the Museum of Anthropology, a spectacular building on the campus of the University of British Columbia overlooking mountains and sea. This museum is Canada’s largest teaching museum. Its collections, exhibitions and programs are renowned for providing insight into the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Following dinner, the remainder of the evening is free to explore Vancouver on your own. For a list of what's on, check www.tourismvancouver.com.

DAY
12
Vancouver's Evolution, West End, Farewell Dinner
Vancouver, BC
B,L,D
Best Western Sands by the Sea

Activity note: The morning walk to/from and through Stanley Park will be approximately 2 miles or 3.22 km over relatively flat terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Vancouver is Canada's gateway to the Pacific Ocean. The morning presentations will be led by a local historian and will highlight the evolution of this dynamic city from a social, ethnic, and economic perspective. Next we will explore Vancouver's West End on a guided walk. Famous for its majestic wilderness in downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park spreads over 1000 acres and is the largest urban park on the continent. Visit the seawall, the impressive totem poles and other sites of interest.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant

Afternoon: Free time this afternoon to explore Vancouver on your own.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
13
Program Concludes
Vancouver, BC
B

Breakfast: At the hotel at 8:00 a.m.

Morning: Departures from the hotel after breakfast as per individual travel plans. Hotel check-out is 12:00 noon. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.