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Canadian Contrasts

ESCORTED TOUR

From the cosmopolitan city of Toronto and cobblestone streets of Québec City to the towering Rocky Mountains and the coastal city of Vancouver, this tour takes you on a wonderful journey across Canada.

You’ll journey through snow-fringed mountains, rolling ranchland and dramatic fjords to experience truly special Canadian moments. Become a cultural explorer in vibrant cities and encounter romance on far frontiers where native tribesmen hunted and cowboys, trappers and prospectors forged new lives. 
You’ll find wilderness adventures at the foot of Niagara Falls and on the back of glacial icefields. Unique excursions, unrivalled attractions and unforgettable memories all lie ahead for you.
              

Arrival in Toronto

DAY 1

Arrive at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and transfer independently to your downtown hotel. After checking in with your tour director, the remainder of the day is free to explore the streets of this dynamic city. Discover the delights of Toronto’s colourful neighbourhoods, take a ride to the top of the CN Tower, experience the lively theatre district and indulge in one of the numerous restaurants. Overnight in Toronto at the Courtyard by Marriott or similar.

              

Toronto / Niagara Falls Excursion

DAY 2

This morning you meet your fellow travellers at breakfast before setting out to discover the many identities of Canada’s most cosmopolitan city. After seeing the provincial parliament buildings, the waterfront, the imposing CN Tower and lively Chinatown, we leave the city and head for the Niagara Peninsula. We pass through outlying communities and towns around the southern shores of Lake Ontario en route to Niagara Falls. Time is allocated to admire the falls and take part in some of Niagara Falls’ numerous activities. Don’t forget your camera to capture the spectacular views! Overnight in Toronto at the Courtyard by Marriott or similar. Canadian breakfast included.

              

Toronto to Ottawa

DAY 3

Leave the Toronto skyline behind and drive east towards Ottawa. Your route then winds through rolling farmland, following the rivers and lakes of the Rideau Waterway. Upon arrival in Ottawa, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the national capital. Defined by the Rideau Canal (designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site) and the government buildings on Parliament Hill, the city offers many great sights, including the public gardens, the Byward Market and City Hall. Overnight in Ottawa at the Capital Hill Hotel or similar. Canadian breakfast included.

              

Ottawa to Québec City

DAY 4

This morning you travel along the scenic Ottawa River to the French-speaking province of Québec. You skirt the magnificent Laurentians and follow the Chemin du Roy past Quebecois villages and historic shrines. Today’s journey ends in Québec’s cultural heartland, Québec City. You tour within the walls of the old city and view the ornate city gates, Lower Town, the Citadel and Battlefields Park. Overnight in Québec City at the Hotel Clarion or similar. Continental breakfast included.

              

Québec City

DAY 5

The day is at your leisure to further explore the sights of this charming World Heritage Site. You can enjoy an optional full-day excursion to Tadoussac including three hours of whale-watching on the St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Saguenay River. Step aboard a boat and go in search of the world’s largest mammals. You will also visit the spectacular Montmorency Falls that are 30 metres higher than the world-famous Niagara Falls. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore this historic French-Canadian city with narrow streets and unique boutiques. Overnight in Québec City at the Hotel Clarion or similar. Breakfast included.

              

Québec City to Montréal

DAY 6

Departing from Québec City you drive along the St. Lawrence River in the footsteps of the early settlers. Upon arrival in Montréal, you tour the second-largest French-speaking city in the world. The dynamic city of Montréal encapsulates the two founding cultures of Canada and boasts a curious blend of history and modernity. Touring the downtown area we view the Olympic Complex, charming Old Montréal, McGill University, the residential streets of Mount Royal and the bustling shopping streets. This evening, perhaps embark on an optional dining excursion and experience ‘Montréal by Night’ – a scenic trip out on the town to one of the city’s traditional restaurants. Overnight in Montréal at the Hotel Faubourg or similar. Breakfast included.

              

Montréal to Toronto

DAY 7

Today’s route takes you back to Toronto, where you will have time to explore colourful neighbourhoods and to sample some of the city’s great restaurants and wonderful entertainment. In Rockport you have an option of enjoying an entertaining and relaxing cruise through the beautiful 1,000 islands. Overnight in Toronto at the Courtyard by Marriott or similar. Breakfast included.

              

Toronto to Calgary Flight

DAY 8

A transfer brings you to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport for a flight over the prairie grain fields of central Canada to Calgary.* Upon arrival in Calgary, you make your way to your downtown hotel. Overnight in Calgary at the Sandman Hotel or similar. Canadian breakfast included.

* Please note there may be a charge for checked baggage on this flight.

              

Calgary to Banff National Park / Canmore

DAY 9

You set off early this morning to tour the sights of Calgary. You can admire such modern and historic landmarks as the Calgary Tower, Fort Calgary and the skyscrapers of the commercial district. Leaving Calgary behind you then set your sights on the Rocky Mountains, which can already be seen, far off in the distance. Experience the majesty of the mountains as you first travel through the foothills and then enter Banff National Park. You tour the region around Banff amidst snow-capped peaks, sparkling glaciers and emerald green lakes, and see landmark Banff Springs Hotel, Bow Falls and Tunnel Mountain. Overnight in Canmore at the Coast Canmore Hotel or similar. Canadian breakfast included.

              

Canmore / Banff National Park

DAY 10

The entire day is at leisure to tour Banff and browse through the many boutiques and specialty shops along Banff Avenue. An optional full- day tour is offered to the Columbia Icefield. The tour starts with a visit to the turquoise waters and spectacular glacier of Lake Louise, the jewel of the Rockies. From the unsurpassed beauty of Lake Louise we enter rugged wilderness as we travel up the world famous Icefields Parkway. At the spectacular Columbia Icefield we board an Ice Explorer that will take us onto the surface of the ancient Athabasca Glacier. You may also take an optional helicopter tour of the world famous Three Sisters Mountains. Overnight in Canmore at the Coast Canmore Hotel or similar. Continental breakfast included.

              

Canmore to Kamloops

DAY 11

Your drive today is on the famed Trans-Canada Highway, following a route charted by the railroad engineers and fur traders of the mid 1800s. You continue your tour of the Canadian parks system as you cross the jagged Kicking Horse Pass into British Columbia’s Yoho National Park. From the highway, you are treated to a dazzling display of vast Icefields, deep canyons, dense forests and glacier-fed streams. One awe-inspiring landscape follows another en route to Glacier National Park. You continue through the Monashee and Selkirk mountain ranges to the rugged interior town of Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops at the Ramada Kamloops or similar. Continental breakfast included.

              

Kamloops to Whistler

DAY 12

You can expect a day of dramatic scenery changes when you drive through the ranch lands and head for the coastal mountains. A journey along the Duffey Lake Road exposes new vistas at every turn. An optional Floatplane Sightseeing Tour over Garibaldi Park gives you an inspiring view of a natural preserve of volcanic peaks, alpine lakes and meadows. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Whistler at the Whistler Village Inn or similar. Continental breakfast included.

              

Whistler to Vancouver

DAY 13

You drive south along the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway through a dramatic landscape of jagged fjords and glaciated mountain peaks. You leave the countryside behind and explore the metropolis of Vancouver on a sightseeing tour. Highlights include Stanley Park, Prospect Point, English Bay, historic Gastown, bustling Chinatown and much more. The afternoon is free to discover more of this coastal gem. Overnight in Vancouver at the Sandman Hotel or similar. Continental breakfast included.

              

Vancouver

DAY 14

The Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains form the backdrop to your day at leisure in Vancouver. You might want to do some shopping down on Robson Street, relax in Vancouver’s playground Stanley Park or stroll through the markets of Granville Island. If you prefer to explore the outdoors, take a gondola ride to the summit of Grouse Mountain. You can also go on an optional full-day tour to Victoria, the charming provincial capital that is proud of her maritime heritage. Before taking the ferry back to Vancouver, you will visit Butchart Gardens, one of the world’s great floral displays set in a reclaimed stone quarry. Overnight in Vancouver at the Sandman Hotel or similar. Canadian breakfast included.

              

End of Tour

DAY 15

The time has come for some last minute shopping and to say farewell to Canada. Transfer Individually to Vancouver’s International Airport in time to check in for your return flight. Canadian breakfast included.