Celebrate the Holiday Season in Merry Montreal: A European-Like Experience Without Going There!

Departure Date: Thursday, December 7        Return Date: Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tour Length: 4 Days/3 Nights
christmas-marketBienvenue Montreal-one of the most magical holiday destinations. The holiday season comes alive with millions of twinkling lights, outdoor markets, carolers, animations and aromas of freshly-baked sweets. Explore international charm and age-old holiday traditions that began with the very first Christmas.

Day One, Thursday, December 7:

Arrive late morning in Old Montreal, a historical district that is a key part of the city’s cultural and economic life. Like Quebec City, Old Montreal is European in character. Cobblestone streets, a café culture and historic 17th and 18th century architecture all contribute to the quaint charm that is unique amongst cities in North America. Take note of the amazing display of lights and the outdoor fires, the Christmas Markets and the bustle of activity. Have lunch on your own at one of the many charming eateries that line the streets.

Mid afternoon, join your local guide for a 2 1/2-hour Christmas History Tour of Montreal. During this voyage through time, you will be introduced to the origins of holiday traditions that have been part of the local culture. Witness the spectacular window display at La Maison Ogilvy’s, known as Montreal’s Macy’s.

Late afternoon, check into your downtown hotel. This full-service, four-star hotel situates you just minutes away from the best that Montreal has to offer.

After you have relaxed and refreshed, head back into Old Montreal. Gather for an included dinner served at a historic restaurant beautifully appointed with interior stone walls.

skating-in-montrealAfter dinner there will be time to walk around the Old City and witness the holiday happenings. Stop by the outdoor movie screen and take a glimpse at the holiday flicks, sip a warm beverage at a “holiday hot spot,” an outdoor fireplace surrounded by Adirondack chairs. Visit the unique shops and boutiques and make certain to stop by the Place des Festivals for a shimmering participatory display of Luminotherapie. And, as you travel back to your hotel, witness the city come alive under the glow of holiday displays.

Day Two, Friday, December 8:

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel before you immerse yourself in the spirit of the holidays. From festivals to figgy pudding, this will be a holiday happening day!

Surround yourself in the magic of the season when you step through the doors of Noel christmas-decorations-1150015_640Eternal. This year-round Christmas shop offers a multitude of collectible items both locally made and from around the world. You will find German nutcrackers, Russian dolls, hand-blown glass ornaments, hand-painted nativity scenes and themed Christmas villages.

Next, step into a winter wonderland when you explore the Nutcracker Christmas Market. Explore over 100 exhibits offering samples of gourmet food, hand-knit items and locally made crafts and gifts. The market is sponsored by Les Grands Ballets. A portion of the sales are donated to sick and disadvantaged children so that they may attend a performance of The Nutcracker.

Arrive for a taste of Quebec at the Café des Arts in the renowned Bonsecours Market. During this “sampling lunch” savor the flavors of local specialties such as Smoked Salmon Tartine with Cream Cheese and Capers, Pear and Brie Maple Butter Ciabattas, Cheddar Cheese with Grapes Charcuterie, Semi-firm Cheese Tapas and Maple Crème Brulee. You will also taste Quebec Wines and Ciders.

bonsecouresThe Bonsecours Market is acknowledged as one of Canada’s ten finest heritage buildings and is an essential stop on any visit to Old Montreal. The market houses 15 boutiques featuring top-quality, “made in Quebec” creations, crafts, fashions, accessories, jewelry, furniture and mores. The restaurants offer amazing local specialties. You may want to pick up some French pastry to enjoy back at the hotel!

The Montreal Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful destinations in the city and ranks as one of the world's largest and most spectacular botanical gardens. Witness artistically decorated trees and poinsettias in every color imaginable. Find other favorite holiday plants such as Cyclamen and Christmas Cactus. The ever-changing holiday theme is always an anticipated surprise. The on-site gift shop offers many unique items for the gardeners and flower lovers on your list.

Late afternoon return to the hotel to unload your packages and take a refreshing break from your day. Enjoy a beverage in the lounge or just sit back and reflect on the season.

Montreal, known as an international melting pot, has a large Asian community and is highly regarded for its variety of Asian restaurants. Your included dinner will be served at one of Montreal’s iconic Chinese restaurants and features classic favorites.

After dinner, explore the Marche de Noel (Christmas Market.) Discover a magical and toy-mountainspectacular environment that will dazzle you with an immense structure of animation, including animals and a giant puppet. Vendors selling unique gifts line the streets and the smell of roasted chestnuts fills the air! Gather around an open flame and sip a hot toddy. This visit truly transcends you to the Old World Markets of Europe.

Day Three, Saturday, December 9:

After breakfast at the hotel, take a trip around the world when you visit the Santa Claus exhibit at Montréal's World Trade Center. These life-size figures represent the iconic Claus as dressed by time period and as seen by different cultures. There will also be time to visit the boutique shops in this beautiful building.

Mid-morning, visit the most anticipated craft fair in Montreal and explore over 350 exhibitors from all over the Province and beyond, at the Salon des Metiers d’art. This fair is typical of juried shows in the U.S., as norms and standards of the Council of Quebec Crafts must be met by every artisan. These one-of-a-kind works of art make for ideal gifts or treasurers for yourself. There will be time to have lunch on your own at one of the many eateries located in the Underground Mall, home to the craft fair.

This afternoon, embark on a guided tour of the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum. Marguerite was the first teacher of Montreal, founder of the Congregation de Notre-Dame and has been declared a Saint by the Catholic Church. She educated the children of the colony on the basics of their faith, as well as counting, reading and writing. In 1655, she rallied the inhabitants of the town to help realize her dream of building a chapel of pilgrimage. After delays and some uncertainty, in 1675, Montreal’s first stone chapel was erected. During your tour, you will be transported back through time to another world, as you learn about her invaluable works and legacy and her role as a key figure in the birth of the city.

Next, walk next door to the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, a jewel of history and heritage. As you step into the church, you will immediately notice the peaceful atmosphere and feel a palpable link to Montreal’s past. In the 19th century, the chapel became a favorite place of prayer for sailors, which explains the replicas of sailing ships hanging from the value of the chapel. The British garrison including Irish and Scottish families attended services at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours. It was from this community that money was raised to begin construction of Saint Patrick’s, Montreal’s first parish for the English-speaking community. In 2005, the remains of Marguerite Bourgeoys, “mother of the colony,” were returned to her chapel. Her remains were placed in the left side-alter below the statue of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours. During your visit, you will be treated to a performance by the choir.

crepes-1029645_640Return to the hotel to refresh before your farewell dinner. A visit to Montreal would not be complete without dinner in a French restaurant. Tonight’s dinner is served at a Creperie, where you will savor the flavors of this traditional “flat pancake” rolled and filled with delicious ingredients.

After dinner, you are in for a real treat as you experience another tradition. Witness the amazing holiday fireworks display over the Saint Lawrence River.

Day Four, Sunday, December 10:

After breakfast, pack your luggage and check out of the hotel. Before you depart Montreal, you may wish to attend a church service or to visit the Jean Talon Market. The Jean Talon Market is a European-style market that has over 300 vendors that sell imported goods from around the world. You will find cheese, bread, meat, pastries, spices and more. Purchase some goodies to enjoy on the way home or to fill gift boxes for your gourmet friends.

Details

Departure Date: Thursday, December 7        Return Date: Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tour Length: 4 Days/3 Nights

Your Package Includes:

  • 3 Nights accommodation
  • 3 Breakfasts
  • 1 Quebec Food and Wine Sampling Lunch
  • 3 Dinners
  • Visit to Old Montreal
  • Time to partake in “Merry Montreal”
  • 2 ½- hour Christmas History Tour of Montreal, led by a local guide
  • Visit to the Place des Festivals Luminotherapie
  • Visit to the Noel Eternal Christmas Shop
  • The Nutcracker Christmas Market
  • Admission to the Montreal Botanical Gardens
  • The Marche de Noel Christmas Market
  • Santa Claus Around the World Exhibit
  • Admission to the Salon des Metiers d’art (Montreal’s juried craft fair)
  • Guided tour of the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum
  • Visit to the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel
  • Choir performance in the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel
  • Fireworks display over the St. Lawrence River
  • Optional visit to the Jean Talon Market
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Accommodations and breakfasts for the motor coach driver
  • Coach overnight parking fees near the hotel
  • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities for the local guide and coach driver are not included and are at your discretion based on service.)

Pricing Information:

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The following NET prices are based on 30 paid travelers. Fewer than 30 paid travelers may result in a price increase. Prices and itinerary are subject to change and subject to the value of the Canadian dollar at the time of travel.

  • Per person double occupancy: 577.00
  • Per person triple occupancy: 482.00
  • Per person quad occupancy: 435.00
  • Per person single occupancy: 822.00