Quebec to the Maritimes featuring VIA’s Ocean
Immerse yourself in the coastal beauty of Eastern Canada, with a journey from the historic centre of Quebec City, through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and out to Prince Edward Island, where Scottish culture comes to life.
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Canada’s coastline has so much to offer, from wineries and national parks to charming towns and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On this 12-day journey, we will have the chance to see some of the very best this region has to offer. The tour begins in Quebec City, a city that has origins and architecture dating all the way back to the early 1600s. After sightseeing and experiencing the undeniable culture of the city, we will board VIA Rail’s Ocean for a ride along the St. Lawrence River and overnight out to Moncton. Upon arrival in New Brunswick, our true coastal adventure begins. You will see the tides swell in Hopewell Rock Park, enjoy a ferry ride across the Bay of Fundy, and see historic sites, museums and lighthouses. Along the way, we will get in touch with nature at two national parks, Cape Breton Highlands and Prince Edward Island National Parks. Exploring the Maritimes has never been more exciting.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Rail travel on VIA Rail Canada (1 night on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 10 nights
- 15 meals
- Quebec City sightseeing tour
- Érablière le Chemin du Roy Sugar Shack
- Walking tour of St. Andrews By the Sea
- Ferry ride across the Bay of Fundy
- Drive down Lighthouse Route
- Cabot Trail
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park
- Prince Edward Island National Park
- Green Gables Heritage Place
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling
Day 1 - Arrive Quebec City
Bonjour! Arrive in Quebec City today, and transfer on your own to your hotel in Old Quebec, where your tour manager will greet you. Check in and unpack, then you will meet your tour manager and fellow travellers in the lobby between 3 and 6 pm. The evening is yours to explore the unbelievable culinary scene or to take in the beauty of the city as evening falls. Overnight Quebec City.
Day 2 - Quebec City
Today begins with a group breakfast at the hotel, at which time you will learn about all the excitement in the days to come. Following, we will set out on our guided tour of Quebec City. Along the way, we will see sites such as Montmorency Falls, the Isle of Orleans, Place d’Armes, Plaines d’Abraham, Place Royale and even some of the beauty just outside the city in the countryside. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is yours to see the sites independently. Perhaps you will wind your way through the narrow, cobbled streets of Old Quebec in search of shops, eateries and centuries-old architecture, or maybe you will embark on a ferry ride out onto the St. Lawrence River to see the city vistas in a new way. Overnight Quebec City. (B)
Day 3 - Quebec/VIA Rail’s Ocean
This morning and afternoon, you are free to say goodbye to this magical city however you see fit. Revisit favourite sites from yesterday’s tour, visit a museum or ascend to the top of the Observatoire de la Capitale for a glimpse of the city from above. This evening, we will make our way just outside the city to Érablière le Chemin du Roy for a traditional sugar shack experience. While it will not be maple sugaring season, it will feel like it during our immersive visit, where we will learn how tapped maple sap is transformed into delicious maple syrup. Our festive sugar shack visit includes a traditional dinner, maple taffy treats on the snow (yes, even in the summer) and sleigh rides. Live traditional Quebecois music and dancing make our time at the sugar shack unforgettable. After dinner, we will be transferred to Sainte-Foy rail station where VIA Rail’s Ocean waits for our overnight journey to Moncton. You will enjoy comfortable, Sleeper Plus Class accommodations on the train, including a private cabin for up to two guests. Overnight train. (D)
Day 4 - Bay of Fundy/St. John
As you awake this morning, the Ocean is crossing through rural Quebec and New Brunswick. Take in the passing scenery from your cabin, or watch the vistas unfold from the domed windows of the lounge car. You will be treated to multi-course meals in the dining car for breakfast and lunch, and later this afternoon, the train will arrive at Moncton Station. Upon arrival, we will transfer to Hopewell Rock Park to gaze upon the most famous geological feature in New Brunswick, the Flowerpot Rocks at Hopewell Cape. After, we move closer to the water to watch as the tides change. You are in for a treat, as the Fundy Tides are the highest and most dramatic on Earth, changing 6 to 8 feet every hour, for a total of approximately 50 feet. When evening falls, we depart for our hotel in St. John. Overnight St. John. (B, L)
Day 5 - St. Andrews
After breakfast at the hotel this morning, we will set out on the day’s adventure: travelling down the coastline to our next destination, St. Andrews-by-the-Sea. This coastal town is located right on the Bay of Fundy and offers maritime history and all the charm of yesteryear. In St. Andrews, we will embark on a guided walking tour through the town’s historic district featuring landmark sites. Some of the homes and buildings date back over 200 years and offer a glimpse at the town’s past. We will reboard our motorcoach and return to St. John by late afternoon, and at that time, you are free to explore the city’s sites and attractions on your own. Make time to visit the town’s City Market, located in a historic building downtown, for a taste of local fare and a look at the work of local artisans. Overnight St. John. (B)
Day 6 - Annapolis Valley/Halifax
Rise and shine for a day filled with new destinations. We make our way to the water this morning where our ferry awaits. We will be crossing the Bay of Fundy today, making a journey of nearly 3 hours to the town of Digby in Nova Scotia. In the summer, the Bay of Fundy is home to up to 12 species of whales, including Humpback, Finback and Minke. Keep an eye out for aquatic life during your ferry crossing. In Digby, we make our way through the lush countryside of the Annapolis Valley. Marvel over the orchards, farmland and quaint towns that dot the landscape. Our first stop here is at one of the 11 wineries that call this up-and-coming wine region home. You will be able to sample the local varietals and see the operations before we more onto Grand-Pré National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, we will learn more about the Acadian people, see a beautiful stone church that stands in memorial to those Acadians that were deported and lost their lives and look upon the famed Evangeline Statue. Gardens, cascading willow trees and duck ponds complement the vast meadows that make this site so special. Following our visit, we are transferred to Halifax for an evening of leisure. Overnight Halifax. (B, L)
Day 7 - Lighthouse Route/Peggy’s Cove
Begin your day with some of the most impressive sightseeing Nova Scotia has to offer by setting out on the Lighthouse Route. Featuring quaint fishing villages and historic lighthouses, this drive is a coastal delight. We follow the South Shore of the peninsula until we arrive at our first stop, Peggy’s Cove, for breakfast. You will see the waves crashing against the rocks as you enjoy a traditional fisherman’s meal. Following the meal, we will have a chance to see the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse, the most photographed lighthouse in Canada, before continuing our drive to Mahone Bay for a photo opportunity and the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Lunenburg. Lunenburg is the best-preserved example of a British Colonial settlement in all of North America. You will fall in love with the coastal scenery - a picture-perfect mixture of colourful historic buildings abutting the blue waters of the harbour. Here, we will visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and enjoy free time to explore the local shops on Main Street. When we arrive back in Halifax this afternoon, the rest of the day is yours to do with as you please. The Halifax Public Gardens are a wonderful place to get lost, the 18th-century Citadel offers abundant history, and there a number of museums, historical sites and even a beautiful, modern library to explore. Halifax’s dining scene is highly impressive, as well, with an abundance of Michelin Star restaurants and eateries offering fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Overnight Halifax. (B)
Day 8 - Halifax to Baddeck
A day of travel lies ahead, as we make our way from Halifax to Baddeck in the heart of Cape Breton Island. This charming coastal village is located at the beginning of the Cabot Trail and offers a fantastic mixture of natural beauty and historic sites. You will have some time to get acquainted with Baddeck on your own after checking into the hotel; then tonight, we are in for a true treat with an Acadian Cultural Dinner. In addition to delicious local fare, the living traditions of Nova Scotia will come to life with traditional fiddle music, a lesson and demonstration of the Gaelic Milling Frolic, Acadian folk dancing and an informative discussion about the Kilt. Overnight Baddeck. (B, D)
Day 9 - Cabot Trail/Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Grab your sunglasses and your camera; today we will experience some of the breathtaking scenery of Cape Breton Island as we follow along the Cabot Trail. We will set out from Baddeck this morning and make our first stop at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Here, visitors get a look at the man behind some of the modern world’s most important inventions. You will learn about his accomplishments, his ideas and his family life while in Nova Scotia. Continuing on, we wind our way through the colourful landscape of the island on the Cabot Trail, passing through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Gaze upon unbelievable North Atlantic Ocean vistas, breathtaking sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and thick coastal forests. By lunchtime, we arrive at the Keltic Lodge, where we are treated to a chef-prepared lunch using locally-sourced ingredients. Afterwards, we return to Baddeck with the remainder of the day at your leisure. Overnight Baddeck. (B, L)
Day 10 - Prince Edward Island/Charlottetown
Soak in the coastal scenery of Baddeck one last time as you board the motorcoach this morning bound for more seaside beauty in Prince Edward Island. Our first stop of the day is the Tatamagouche Train Station Inn. This unique B&B is set at the old Tatamagouche Train Station. You will have time to take a peek in some of the rail cars and to see the onsite museum, cafe and gift shop, which are in the station. What an experience! After, you will have time to grab lunch either at the B&B or in one of the quaint eateries in Tatamagouche. Our journey continues through Nova Scotia, passing through the Cape Jourimain Wildlife Area before passing over the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Strait on the Confederation Bridge. Upon crossing the bridge, we have reached our destination, Prince Edward Island. Our first stop on the island is the harborside town of Summerside, where we will visit The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada. Have you ever wondered how bagpipes are made and played or wanted to participate in a traditional Scottish folk dance? Today is your day; we will learn all of this and more. Later this evening, we will arrive in Charlottetown and check into our Downtown hotel. You will have time to freshen up before we head out to a local traditional Prince Edward Island lobster dinner. Overnight Charlottetown. (B, D)
Day 11 - Charlottetown/Prince Edward Island National Park
We will set off for Prince Edward Island National Park this morning. Here, visions of sand dunes, red sandstone cliffs and sandy beaches meet the beautiful blue of the ocean waters. We will take a scenic shoreline drive through the park en route to North Rustico Beach. The deep red sands of this beach make it a stunning sight to behold. Next, we will visit Green Gables Heritage Place - the location that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery to write “Anne of Green Gables.” We will tour the farmhouse, see interpretive displays in the barn and see sights that bring the book to life. As lunchtime rolls around, we are treated to yet another incredible experience, a traditional Ceilidh Experience lunch. Not only will the cuisine fill you with warmth, you will also enjoy the fiddling and storytelling that comes with this Acadian folk party. We transfer back to Charlottetown, where a guided sightseeing tour gives us a look at all the best sites, such as historic Victoria Row and Charlottetown City Hall, amongst others. Overnight Charlottetown. (L)
Day 12 - End of Tour
Reminisce about your grand adventures through Canada’s Maritime region this morning over breakfast. You will have some time to enjoy Charlottetown before you are transferred to either Halifax International Airport or Halifax VIA Rail Station for your return journey home. Transfers are available for flights and trains departing after 1:30 p.m. (B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include Hotel Manoir Victoria (Quebec City), Hilton Saint John, The Westin Nova Scotian (Halifax), Inverary Resort (Baddeck), and Delta by Marriott (Charlottetown).
This overnight train offers stunning views of Eastern Canada as it makes the journey from Quebec City to Moncton. While aboard the Ocean, enjoy such amenities as fine cuisine in the Dining Car, free Wi-Fi, wine tastings and beautiful views from the domed sightseeing car. Travel aboard the Ocean will be in Cabin for two accommodations. These are private bedrooms and include two folding chairs or a sofa by day that convert to upper and lower berths at nights. An en suite bathroom is included.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
Quebec to the Maritimes featuring VIA's Ocean: Departs 22nd July 2019 (£2,547), 23rd September 2019 (£2,659)
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