Breakfast daily, 9 lunches including a special “Taste the Gardens” lunch in Matane, 10 three-course dinners including a special farewell dinner in Old Town Québec
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN MONTRÉAL
Welcome to Montréal, the second largest city in Canada. At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink as your Tour Director prepares you for your Québec adventure.
Day 2 MONTRÉAL
After breakfast, enjoy sightseeing with a Local Guide. Take in NOTRE DAME BASILICA, the Old Seminary of St. Sulpice, and a drive to the top of Mount Royal to enjoy a panorama of the city. The rest of your day is free to explore this lively city on your own. Your Tour Director will be onsite to provide ideas for shopping, dining, and exploring.
Day 3 MONTRÉAL–RIMOUSKI
Next, follow the historic Navigator’s Route along the St. Lawrence River traveling through quaint Victorian villages, past lighthouses and into the Bas-Saint-Laurent region for an overnight in the maritime center of Rimouski.
Day 4 RIMOUSKI–MIGUASHA NATIONAL PARK–CARLETON-SUR-MÉR
Today, start your grand tour of the spectacular Gaspé Peninsula featuring panoramic views of the sea, beaches, and cliffs. Continue along the St. Lawrence River to POINTE-AU-PÈRE MARITIME HISTORIC SITE, home of the Empress of Ireland Museum, to learn about the transatlantic liner’s history and doomed fate. Later, travel through the Matapédia Valley to Chaleur Bay for a guided visit to MIGUASHA NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered the world’s most outstanding illustration of the Devonian Period known as the “Age of Fishes.” Continue to the Carleton-sur-Mér.
Day 5 CARLETON-SUR-MÉR–BANC-DE-PÊCHE-DE-PASPÉBIAC NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE–PERCÉ
After a morning at leisure, continue your adventure through the Gaspé Peninsula countryside to FERME BOURDAGES TRADITION, the local experts in everything strawberries since 1821. Here, visit strawberry fields with sea views and discover the secrets behind the art of making strawberry wine and liqueurs before tasting them. Next, visit the BANC-DE-PÉCHE-DE-PASPÉBIAC NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE to explore the original buildings dating back to 1766, witness the Gaspésie fishing history, watch traditional shipbuilding, and net-mending demonstrations. Later, continue to the seaside village of Percé.
Day 6 PERCÉ. EXCURSION TO PERCÉ ROCK AND BONAVENTURE ISLAND
Today, discover the iconic gems of the Gaspé Peninsula. Take a scenic CRUISE around the famous “Pierced Rock” also known as the "Pierced Rock" and Bonaventure Island to observe the stunning seabird colony and marine wildlife that frequent the region. Visit BONAVENTURE ISLAND AND PERCÉ NATIONAL PARK, home to one of the largest migratory bird refuge in North America. Its colony of 116,000 northern gannets is the most accessible in the world. Wander the hiking trails or enjoy the heritage trail to learn about the rich natural, historic, and geological wonders of the island. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. NOTE:The scenic cruise is subject to favorable weather conditions.
Day 7 PERCÉ–FORILLON NATIONAL PARK–GRANDE VALLÉE-MATANE
This morning, visit GESPEG MICMAC INTERPRETATION SITE for a guided introduction to the Mi’gmaq, a First Nations people, to discover their culture, traditions, and contributions to modern day society. Then, into FORILLON NATIONAL PARK and follow the peninsula road to old Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse. Enjoy a lunch break in a sleepy, yet charming fishing community. The catch-of-the-day comes highly recommended. This afternoon’s drive provides some of the best scenery of the peninsula. Late afternoon arrival in Matane, the hub of Gaspé’s thriving shrimp industry.
Day 8 MATANE–QUÉBEC CITY
Today, visit the famous LES JARDINS DE MÉTIS, better known as the Reford Gardens after Elsie Reford who spent thirty years transforming a fishing camp on the Métis River into a vast 40-acre estate garden brimming with bold and innovative character. Spend time exploring the many areas of the gardens, such as the Linear Garden, the Stream Garden, or the Bird Garden which is specifically designed to attract many varieties of birds. Then, a TASTE THE GARDENS lunch at the historic Estevan Lodge, once the summer home to Elsie Reford. Enjoy the seasonal menu highlighted with the 150 edible plants picked daily from the gardens themselves. This afternoon, continue your journey to romantic Québec City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for being one of the most historic and best-preserved cities in North America. Tonight, explore Québec’s Parisian ambiance by visiting the shops in the Petit-Champlain district or enjoying the French inspired cuisine at one of the many restaurants.
Day 9 QUÉBEC CITY. EXCURSION TO THE SAGUENAY FJORD & CHARLÉVOIX REGION
This morning, travel along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River to the breathtaking Saguenay Fjord. Here, embark on a WHALE-WATCHING CRUISE in the heart of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, known for having the greatest variety of whale species on earth. On board, a naturalist guide will introduce you to the marine mammals of the area including the endangered species: the blue whale and the St. Lawrence beluga whale. En route back to Québec City, stop in the Charlévoix region, known as a thriving culinary destination. Here, visit a family owned traditional FROMAGERIE, or cheese factory, to learn the delicate art of cheese making, followed by a tasting. NOTE:The whale-watching cruise is subject to favorable weather conditions.
Day 10 QUÉBEC CITY
This morning, enjoy a tour of the only walled city north of Mexico with a Local Guide. Within the walls of Old Québec, see the Place d’Armes, the Laval Seminary, the star-plan Citadelle, and the Place Royale. Also see the old-world houses crowding the narrow streets in Lower Town by the St. Lawrence River, and the historic Plains of Abraham. Tonight, travel to Ile D’Orléans to enjoy a delightful farewell dinner at a fine restaurant housed in a restored 17th-century flour mill.
Day 11 MONTRÉAL (EMBARKATION)-SCENIC CRUISING: SAINT LAWRENCE RIVER
Spend the morning at leisure. This afternoon, transfer to the pier to embark on your Holland America cruise ship, the MS Zaandam or MS Amsterdam.
Day 12 QUÉBEC CITY
Visit Canada’s only walled city, which, until the British victory of 1759, was the center of New France and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll within the walls and see the Place d’Armes, Laval Seminary, and ancient Place Royale. Also see Old World houses crowding the narrow streets in Lower Town by the St. Lawrence River and the historic Plains of Abraham.
Day 13 SCENIC CRUISING: GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE
Québec City marks the start of Saguenay Fjord. This 200-mile-long natural canal brings saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean inland and creates a beautiful environment for waterfront living for the communities of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Spend the day at leisure aboard the ship, taking advantage of the numerous amenities.
Day 14 CHARLOTTETOWN
Spend the day in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, the provincial capital named after Queen Charlotte, consort of King George III. The city is famous for hosting the 1864 conference that three years later led to the creation of the independent Dominion of Canada. Perhaps take a trip to Cavendish and visit the famous Anne of Green Gables homestead.
Day 15 SYDNEY
So green and Gaelic is Cape Breton Island that Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell called it home for the last 37 years of his life. In fact, Cape Breton was principally settled by Highland Scots whose families had come out on the wrong side of rebellions against the Crown. You can still see this heritage in the accents in some remote villages—and in the great popularity of Scottish-style folk music. Today, you may choose to travel along the scenic Cabot Trail or visit historic Louisbourg Fortress, which recreates life in French-occupied Canada.
Day 16 HALIFAX
Arrive in Halifax, where lighthouses stand sentinel on cliff side ledges and tiny villages huddle in rocky inlets. Take time to explore Citadel Hill with its early 19th-century star-shaped fort, the tree-shaded walks of the public gardens, and Fairview Cemetery, the final resting place for more than 100 people who perished on the Titanic.
Day 17 BAR HARBOR
Arrive in Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine’s oldest summer resort, and stroll around the charming waterfront with its many shops, galleries, and boutiques. Alternatively, take an optional excursion to picturesque Acadia National Park, one of America’s most visited parks.
Day 18 BOSTON (DISEMBARKATION)
The tour ends this morning. Guests depart on individual schedules. Please schedule your flights after Noon.