Canada & US
(St. Lawrence River Cruise)
Experience Toronto before you take a relaxing cruise along the same waterway that early French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed in the 1530's with the goal of establishing a permanent settlement in the New World; the majestic St. Lawrence River. Compliment your 6-night river journey with two nights in the cosmopolitan city of Toronto, and two nights in Quebec City, the only walled city in North America. Visits of Kingston, Ottawa and Montreal along the way will combine to give a panoramic picture of the influence left by the colonial struggles between France and England, with each nation leaving its legacy and culture in both provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Available Dates (2012):
Toronto-Quebec City: Jun 27, Jul 29, Aug 16, Sep 16
Quebec City-Toronto: Jun 15, Jul 3, Aug 4, Aug 22, Sep 22
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer with vehicle and driver.
The Delta Chelsea (4*) – Canada’s largest hotel – offers a variety of options in guestrooms and meeting space. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto and within walking distance of College subway station, the city’s central business district, government offices and the hospital community. The Hotel is also minutes from the city’s best shopping districts (including the Toronto Eaton Centre), Yonge-Dundas Square, fantastic live theatre, vibrant nightlife and exciting attractions.
Experience Toronto aboard a London-style Double Decker, Trolley or Motor Coach with complete flexibility to explore Toronto on your own terms. Your ticket allows you access to both attraction loops, including a seasonal East / West Loop with unlimited hop-on hop-off privileges over three consecutive touring days. The tour runs in a continuous circle with multiple departures throughout the day with most stops at or near all major hotels in the downtown area. The North/South loop (which ruins all year) features attractions such as the Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, Toronto's Harbourfront, Fort York, St. Lawrence Market and the Entertainment District. Also featured are the Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma, Bata Shoe Museum, Eaton Centre, Maple Leaf Gardens and the trendy Village of Yorkville. The East/West loop (operating from June- September) features some of Toronto's most popular neighbourhoods and attractions such as The Beach, The Historic Distillery District, Little India and China.
Transfer from your hotel to the train station, by private vehicle.
Transfer from Toronto to Kingston by Via Rial train. The trip should take approximately 3 hours.
Welcome aboard the Canadian Empress!Take your time getting settled in to your stateroom, as your welcome dinner this evening will provide a great opportunity for you to meet some of your fellow cruisemates.
The bucolic 1000 Island region has been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples and parts of it were recently named as a Biosphere by UNESCO. Many of the passages between these islands are too narrow and far too shallow for most other cruise lines to venture but the Canadian Empress is able to handle this with ease as you pass freighters (called “salties”) from every corner of the earth. An early highlight of this cruise is to enjoy a yacht style evening “at anchor” on a private mooring in the exclusive and secluded Lake Fleet Islands, swinging “on the hook” under a star studded sky.
The M/V Canadian Empress is a 66-guest replica circa 1900’s steamship combining heritage decor with modern technology and intimacy. All cabins are above the waterline with full en-suite bathrooms. Service is delivered by crew members who reside locally and dining is designed for appetites honed by the fresh clean air of the river. Locally grown ingredients are available and menus are announced in advance and are designed around produce from local producers.
Today will have an early call into historic Brockville, known for its War of 1812 history, and the conflict between the young Canadian Dominion and the equally young American Republic. The village was originally called Elizabethtown, yet became widely known as Brockville soon after General Isaak Brock was fatally shot while leading troops on the Niagara Peninsula in 1812.
Your visit to the St Lawrence Riverside marina in Upper Canada Village will give you a glimpse of early life in Ontario, as we visit a world renowned collection of early Canadian homes and business in this well preserved village. Upper Canada is the original colonial name for the Province of Ontario.
Make a call to the village of Coteau Landing on the shore of Lake St. Francis, close to the original Soulanges Canal. Get to see what small town life in Quebec is like along the St. Lawrence River. Your sail today will take you through both American locks Snell and Eisenhower.
Today you'll pay a visit to vibrant Montreal, the mercantile and creative capital of the province of Quebec. Montreal is alive with street performers, superb restaurants and excellent international shopping. After Paris, Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the Western world.
Today you'll arrive at Trois Rivieres where you will board a motorcoach for a brief tour of this historic city bound for a guided tour of Notre-Dame-du-Cap shrine. The Cape is a place of pilgrimage and devotion to Our Lady of the Cape (Canada's national shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary).
As you get closer to Quebec City the bluffs along the shore become higher and higher culminating at the Plains of Abraham, site of the famous battle for Quebec between the French and the British. Imagine having to climb those cliffs. That was the task that faced the British soldiers on September 13th, 1759.
This afternoon you will disembark from the Canadian Empress as your cruise journey along the St. Lawrence River has come to completion.
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac (4.5*) is not only located high on a bluff overlooking the mighty St. Lawrence River at the heart of Old Québec - it is the heart of Old Québec. Guests are guaranteed a memorable and inspiring stay in one of the most beautiful cities in the world with easy walking access to all of the wonderful sites and experiences that Old Québec has to offer. Offering newly renovated luxurious guestrooms, exquisite dining experiences through distinctive European charm, this stately luxury hotel stands above the United Nations World Heritage Site-Old Québec.
Discover Old Quebec’s history, architecture and culture on a shared walking tour. You'll go on a leisurely descending path through all the important sites of Old Quebec. Over the course of approximately two hours, your tour covers the architecture, the marking events and the Quebec people’s history. It meanders next to Quebec historical sites such as the Citadel/Musée Royal 22è Régiment, Chateau Frontenac, Quebec fortifications, Place Royale and uncovers many hidden Quebec sites!
Meet your driver at the hotel for a transfer to the airport.
Two taxes, the federal goods and services tax (GST) and the Québec sales tax (QST), are added to the selling price of most goods and services. Several tourist regions charge a specific tax on accommodations. The amount is $2 or $3 a night or 3% of the price of the room per night, before the GST and QST are added.
You must leave a tip on service provided in restaurants and bars and by taxi drivers and hairdressers. The amount, which is not included in the bill, generally represents 10% to 15% of the total bill (before taxes). Here in Québec, for a restaurant bill, we usually add the amounts of the two taxes (GST and QST) together, the sum of which equals approximately 13%. Tipping bellhops or porters is at your discretion (generally, $1 per bag carried).
Most of Québec’s cities enjoy a humid continental climate, with four very distinct seasons and significant differences in temperature marking each one. Summer is hot, while winter sees a considerable amount of snow fall. In fact, Québecers owe their legendary joie de vivre to these climatic variations!
Québec’s Great North is characterized by arctic and subarctic climates. The ancestral land of the Cree and the Inuit is known for its lengthy winters and brief summers.
Visitors holding a driver’s licence from their country of origin can drive on Québec’s roads for a maximum period of six months. This means you don’t have to obtain an international driving permit, although if your papers are in a language other than French or English, it is highly recommended that you do so.
By law, all vehicle occupants must wear a seat belt.
Consuming alcohol or having alcoholic beverages present in a moving vehicle is strictly prohibited under Québec’s Highway Safety Code. Furthermore, a person suspected of driving under the influence will have to submit to a breathalyzer test. If the test reveals a concentration of alcohol in that person’s blood of 80 or more milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, his or her driver’s permit will be immediately revoked for a 30-day period.
Although the minimum age for driving a car is 16, some car rental companies require that the driver be at least 25, while others charge higher rates for drivers under the age of 21.
The electric current is 110 volts/60 cycles, as it is throughout North America. Because the outlets cannot accommodate European plugs, you’d best bring or buy an adaptor.
Banking & Currency:
The legal tender is the Canadian dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. Bank notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars, and coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 cents and 1 and 2 dollars.
The leading credit cards are accepted everywhere, namely Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Traveler’s cheques are generally accepted in large hotels, some restaurants and major stores. Otherwise, they must be cashed at an exchange office or bank.
There are numerous exchange offices in Québec’s main cities. Airports also offer exchange services. Some businesses accept American money, but they offer a less competitive rate than the exchange offices.
Banking institutions are generally open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can withdraw cash from most automatic teller machines (linked to the Cirrus, PLUS System or Interac networks) any time, seven days a week.
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