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Eastern Canada Winterfest

Eastern Canada Winterfest

8

days

starting fromUS $2,399per person

  • Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours
  • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget
Eastern Canada Winterfest – Map
Sample trip map & photos – personalize your trip by adding extra nights and activities in each location
Rideau Canal in winter, Ottawa.
Rideau Canal in winter, Ottawa.
Glide along the Rideau Canal on skates - Wintertime in Eastern Canada is truly magical.
Winter culinary tour
Winter culinary tour
Explore the city of Ottawa on a delicious Culinary Adventure.
Winterfest ice sculptures
Winterfest ice sculptures
Take in the amazing sights at Ottawa's Winterfest.
Complimentary service onboard VIA Rail
Complimentary service onboard VIA Rail
Enjoy the service on board VIA Rail with complimentary drinks and snacks.
Snowshoeing at Mount Royal Park in Montreal
Snowshoeing at Mount Royal Park in Montreal
Enjoy a day of winter fun at Mount Royal Park in Montreal.
Quebec in the wintertime
Quebec in the wintertime
Discover the beautiful winter wonderland of Quebec as you explore on your choice of guided tours.
Inside the Ice Hotel
Inside the Ice Hotel
Enjoy a cocktail inside the amazing ice hotel.
Bonhomme
Bonhomme
Ask your vacation advisor to arrange your trip during Quebec City's famous Carnaval Festival!
  • Quick Overview

    What we love about this trip

    • Traveling onboard VIA Rail through the snowy countryside

    • Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    • Great choice of unique guided tours in Eastern Canada

    • Skating on the Rideau Canal

    • Food tour of Byward Market

    • Exploring the winter festivals such as Quebec Winter Carnival and Ottawa Winterlude

    Embark on a truly unique Eastern Canada winter wonderland experience. Journey by train across the snowy Quebec and Ontario countryside, to visit Canada’s charming nation’s capital, eclectic Montreal, and historic Quebec City. Cultural tours, winter activities, and great food are highlights of this vacation.

    Trip Outline

    Arrive Quebec City 3 nights Quebec City 2 nights Montreal 2 nights Ottawa Depart Ottawa

  • Sample Itinerary
    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

    Day 1 – Your Canadian Winter Adventure begins in Quebec!
    Quebec City, once fought over by the French and English in the early days of Canadian history, is one of the oldest cities in Canada. When you arrive in Quebec City you will almost feel like you have made it all the way to Europe, as the cobbled streets and stone buildings have an old-world atmosphere. Admire the mountains on the horizon, peruse lovely local shops and galleries and discover Quebec City’s charms.

    Day 2 – Explore Quebec City
    Spend a full day discovering Quebec City’s French-Canadian culture. Marvel at the beautiful architecture of the fortified city, visit historic sites commemorating the battles between French and English, and discover the many quirky local shops and galleries.

    Today you have 3 options to choose from to help you enjoy Quebec City to the fullest.

    Option 1: Private Walking Tour of Quebec City
    Stretch your legs on this walking tour of Quebec, t
    his tour covers all the must-see sights in Old Quebec. The tour follows a leisurely downhill route and takes in the Citadel, the Chateau Frontenac, the Quebec Fortifications, and Place Royale.
    Activity rating: Moderate 

    Option 2: Private Quebec City Tour by Vehicle
    Relax in the comfort and convenience of a vehicle with your local private tour guide. At Fresh Tracks Canada, we pride ourselves on finding the best local guides so you have the most memorable and informative experience. Witness history first hand – and hit all the top spots including the Chateau Frontenac, the Latin Quarter, Ramparts, and the Plains of Abraham.
    Activity rating: Easy

    Option 3: The Food Tour – Canadian Signature Experience
    So confident are the folks that run this tour – that they simply called it ‘The Food Tour’ – the only food tour you will need to take! Ready your taste buds because this tour covers seven different venues, and you will sample about 15 various products. Expect to try food of French Canadian origin at venues like Le Tournebroche (organic rotisserie), La Buche (Traditional Quebecois Cuisine) and Creperie le Billig (Crepes) and Le Moine Échanson (Organic wine).
    Activity rating: Moderate 

    Insider tip: Make your winter experience in Quebec that much more authentic choose to visit the German Christmas Market or better yet do a tour with a local guide and get all the insider secrets of what is best to try out!

    Day 3 – Explore Quebec City and the Ice Hotel
    Quebec City is truly a winter wonderland. With Christmas Markets decorated with enchanting snow-covered lights in the holiday season, to the world’s biggest winter carnival, Quebec City is a world class destination throughout the entire winter season.

    Visit the Ice Hotel today, one of Quebec City’s top winter attractions.


    Visit to Ice Hotel
    “Wow!” This is what two Fresh Trackers said when they stepped into this Ice Palace. A winter palace built in ice and snow, with uniquely themed rooms, an Ice Cocktail Bar and Sugar Shacks! Make and eat maple taffy, a Quebecois delicacy made by pouring piping hot Maple syrup into snow and rolling it up into a tasty morsel. Your photos and memories made at this winter wonderland will be yours to treasure for a lifetime.
    Activity rating: Easy

    Insider tip:
    Every year from the end of January to mid-February Quebec City holds the Quebec Winter Carnival. Make sure you do not miss out on any special events by having your Vacation Advisor plan your trip around the festival.


    Day 4 – Board VIA Rail to Montreal for Time at Leisure to Explore the City
    Later this morning, enjoy a private transfer to the train station. Lunch is served on the train to Montreal while travelling in Business Class. The snowy vistas are a stunning sight as you pass through some of the prettiest countryside in French Canada. This 3-hour route takes you along the northern shore of the St Lawrence River, past charming Cap-de-la-Madeline and historic Trois-Rivieres.

    Arrive in Montreal refreshed after a relaxing train journey and enjoy the day exploring the many amazing sights that the city has to offer.

    Insider tip: If you happen to be in Montreal over the weekends in December, be sure to ask your Sales Advisor about the holiday festivities that will be happening around the city. Take a guided Secrets of Christmas Holidays Walking tour in the evening to explore the cities traditions and customs, holiday lights in Old Montreal, visit the Santa Claus exhibit and Bonsecours Market for some extra gifts or souvenirs.

    Feature Dinner in Montreal
    Staying in such a food centric city, we wanted to give you a chance to sample some of the best cuisine. We have selected one of our favourite restaurants for you in Montreal. With a menu created with a certain ‘French flair’, enjoy a showcase of the finest, freshest, regional products.

    Day 5 – Explore Montreal
    You have 3 options to choose from today to help you enjoy Montreal to the fullest.

    Option 1: Walking Tour of Old Montreal
    Explore the winding cobblestone streets of Old Montreal on a privately guided walking tour. Travel back in time to Fort Ville-Marie in 1642, to today’s modern city of Montreal. Over the Christmas period, your guide can highlight some of the special holiday touches - learn about traditional New France Christmas customs, and see some of the wonderful light displays.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Option 2: Private Montreal City Tour by Vehicle
    A tour that ensures you see as much as possible of Montreal from the comfort and convenience of a vehicle. Journey through the Old Town and historic heart of the city and then onto downtown with its hustle, bustle and towering skyscrapers. Venture past the Old Port, Bonsecours Market, and head up to Mont Royal Park, a unique oasis in the middle of the city. You will hit all the scenic spots to take the perfect photo. This tour captures it all!
    Activity rating: Easy

    Option 3: Montreal Food Tour
    Enjoy a variety of delicious offerings on this tour which compliment your exploration of the Old Town. This food tour slightly differs from the norm in that it is not about famous chefs and on trend restaurants, rather it is a lens into the Montreal’s varied food traditions. Influenced by, among others, indigenous culture and Expo 67. Hear historical anecdotes and spot unique street murals and architecture along the way.
    Activity rating: Moderate


    Day 6 – VIA Rail from Montreal to Ottawa and Time at Leisure in the Capital
    This afternoon, a private transfer takes you to the train station where you board the train to Ottawa. Enjoy the snowy vistas glide by the train window as you nestle into your comfortable seat.

    Welcome to the capital of Canada! Don’t let the stereotypical assumption that this is a bureaucratic government town fool you; Ottawa is a hub for culture and history and has a definite hidden flair! Home to seven national museums that recount the tales of Canada’s colourful past, a thriving restaurant scene, and plenty of stunning historic buildings to explore. Ottawa has an abundance of attractions no matter the time of year!

    Spend the afternoon in Ottawa at your leisure. Skate along the Rideau Canal (weather dependent) while indulging in a hot chocolate (you can’t get more Canadian than that!) or head to Byward Market for souvenirs. Alternatively, spend the morning exploring Ottawa’s museums - the National Gallery of Canada is home to a permanent Canadian collection and often features exhibitions by Canadian artists.

    Insider tip: Choose to visit the Capital over one of the weekends at the beginning of February for the annual Winterlude Fesitval that the city holds. Ask your Vacation Advisor for more details for all the activities that the festival offers.

    Day 7 – Explore Ottawa
    You have 3 options to choose from today for exploring Ottawa.

    Option 1: Private Walking Tour of Ottawa
    Visit the historical highlights of Ottawa’s downtown core. Stretch your legs and learn all about the French, Irish and English history of Ottawa. This guided tour takes in all the top spots including Parliament Hill, the National War Memorial, Sparks Street, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and the Byward Market.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Option 2: Private Ottawa Tour by Vehicle with a Local Guide
    With a third generation Ottawan as your guide, enjoy an immersive tour full of anecdotes only a local would know. This tour visits the top sights in Ottawa, including Parliament Hill, and then onto Rockcliffe via the Ceremonial Route. See official government residences, Rideau Hall, an experimental farm with arboretum and ornamental gardens. This tour is fully customizable to your interests - from photography to food, your guide will show you the best in Ottawa.
    Activity rating: Easy

    Option 3: Food Tour of the Byward Market
    The best way to explore a city is through its culinary scene! Discover little known spots in the city’s most historic district and meet quirky local business owners. Of course, you get to sample delicious offerings along the way so bring an appetite! You may want to revisit some of your favourite new spots for dinner.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Day 8 – Depart Ottawa
    Sadly, your vacation is at an end but not without fond memories made to savour for a lifetime. A private driver will take you from your hotel directly to the airport.
  • What's Included
    Accommodations:
    • 7 nights of hotel accommodation

    Train Experiences:
    • Business Class on VIA Rail’s Corridor Train - Quebec City / Montreal / Ottawa

    Tour Inclusions:

    Quebec Experiences:
    Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Private Walking Tour of Quebec City
    2. Private Quebec City Tour by Vehicle
    3. The Quebec City Food Tour

    Plus
    • Ice Hotel Visit with Transfers

    Montreal Experiences:
    Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Walking Tour of Old Montreal
    2. Private Montreal City Tour by Vehicle
    3. Montreal Food Tour

    Ottawa Experiences:
    Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Private Walking Tour of Ottawa
    2. Private Ottawa Tour by Vehicle with a Local Guide
    3. Food Tour of the Byward Market

    Meal Inclusions:
    Feature Dinner in Montreal
    • Meal service and complimentary beverages for business class guests on VIA Rail’s Corridor Train

    Transfer Inclusions:
    • Personalized pick up from your arrival airport, and drop off at your departure airport
    • All train station transfers

    Other Inclusions:
    • Gratuities on private transfers
    • Documentation package
    • Fresh Tracks Canada customer service. From the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.


    Seasonal Restrictions:
    • Any trip falling over Dec 15th, 2017 to Jan 1st, 2018 may have limited tour options.
    • Choose to substitute your tour in Quebec for the German Christmas Market tour for trips leaving in Nov 23 to Dec 23, 2017
    *ask your Vacation Advisor for more details if interested
    • Ice Hotel Visits only available on Jan 4th – March 20th, 2018 departures
    • Skating on the Rideau Canal is likely to be available on Jan 10
    th – Feb 17th, 2018 departures based on historical opening trends.

     

    Not Included

    Not Included:
    • Meals, other than those mentioned
    • Airfare (but do not hesitate to ask for help)
    • Gratuities for rail, hotel, and scheduled tour & transfer staff
    • Trip Cancellation or Travel Medical Insurance (highly recommended)
    • Canadian Sales Taxes

    Get your personalized itinerary before availability is gone. Because we're now booking into 2019

    • Choose your activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
    • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
  • Accommodations

    Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation choices. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

    Hotel Bonaparte

    An example of our Comfort Level hotel accommodations

    The cozy Auberge Bonaparte is a charmingly historic inn, nestled in Old Montreal. Along with an award winning French restaurant, guests can enjoy sunny summer days or moonlit nights on the rooftop terrace. A full complimentary breakfast at the restaurant is included in your stay here (or continental breakfast if guests choose to eat in their room).

    Hotel Place d’Armes

    An example of our Boutique Hotel accommodations

    It takes a special hotel to equal Montreal's unique urban sophistication and charm, and that's exactly what the 4.5 star Hotel Place d'Armes is. Luxury and exceptional service are the rule at this gem nestled among the lovely cobbled streets of Old Montreal. Here, you'll discover three centuries of history, boutiques and art galleries as well as fine dining and vibrant nightlife.

    Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

    An example of our Deluxe accommodations

    This deluxe landmark chateau-style hotel is located within the walled city of Old Quebec. To enjoy views of the St. Lawrence River, upgrade to a deluxe view room. The hotel offers 3 restaurants, 2 lounges, a pool with whirlpool, fitness room, steam bath, spa, and shops.

     

  • Prices & Dates
    Trip Start Dates
    Daily departures from December 3, 2017 to March 24, 2018
    • Trips departure dates to take in Carnival and Winterlude festivals:
    January 27, 28, 29, 30
    February 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11

    Seasonal Restrictions:
    • Any trip falling over Dec 15th, 2017 to Jan 1st, 2018 may have limited tour options as some activities may not run every day over the Christmas period.
    • Ice Hotel Visits only available on Jan 4
    th – March 24th, 2018 departures
    • Skating on the Rideau Canal is likely to be available on Jan 10
    th – Feb 17th, 2018 departures based on historical opening trends.
    • Quebec City Carnaval runs from January 26
    th – February 11, 2018 (weekends in Quebec City are the best)
    • Winterlude event in Ottawa runs every weekend between February 2- 19
    th, 2018

     

    Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.

    Comfort Level Hotels
    from US $2,399to US $2,591per person

    Our Comfort Level vacations include our favorite 3 star hotels, in great locations. Combined with our unique sightseeing tours and personalized service, you’ll receive exceptional value, a step above what you might expect anywhere else.

    Boutique Level Hotels
    from US $2,699to US $2,915per person

    Our Boutique Level provides amazing value for clients wanting something more upscale but not at the price of a top-end 5 star resort. Boutique Level hotels are some of our favorites because of the character and unique charm that you won't find at the average chain hotel. Private drivers and unique tours complete your itinerary.

    Fresh Tracks Favorite
    Deluxe Level Hotels
    from US $3,075to US $3,321per person

    On our Deluxe Level vacation, it's likely you'll be staying at one of the iconic Canadian Fairmont Hotels in a room with a view. Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 20th century, these hotels are luxurious and full of history – ensuring an experience you'll never forget. Enjoy unique sightseeing experiences and the insider detail that only Fresh Tracks Canada can provide.

  • Common Questions

    Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

    What are the best ways to travel around Canada on my vacation

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

    Is it safe to drive in the mountains?

    New visitors will drive with ease because of the wide and well maintained roadways. We'll ensure your trip includes the most spectacular and safest routes throughout your trip.

    When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

    Are your tours escorted?

    No, but you'll feel like it is with all your connections and experiences prearranged. Our clients love the freedom and flexibility it gives them. Some of our wildlife experiences are small group tours led by specialist guides.

Get your personalized itinerary before availability is gone. Because we're now booking into 2019

  • Choose your activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
  • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.