Day 1: New York to Boston
Meet up with your Contiki crew and Trip Manager in New York City, before we hit the road and drop by Providence, Rhode Island's capital city.
Next up is Boston. Home to the Red Sox (the famous baseball team), many creative thinkers and historic rebels, this thriving university town is soaked in history and packed with things to do.
Your Trip Manager will introduce the group to Bostonâ€™s core spots. Youâ€™ll see Boston Common â€“ the cityâ€™s oldest park â€“ and the historic Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall, which served as a meeting place for those wanting independence from England and for slavery to end.
Get to know your crew and Trip Manager over dinner tonight, before exploring more of the city in a fun night out. With everything from indie bands to nightclubs, thereâ€™s something for everyone.Day 2: Boston
With a full day here, youâ€™ll get a feel for this user-friendly city, which is easy to explore on foot.
In your free time, walk through a living time line and follow Bostonâ€™s famous Freedom Trail, which takes you past 2 and a half centuries of history. Learn about Bostonâ€™s rebellious role on its road to independence as you explore the cobbled lanes and historic hot spots.
Discover more of Boston. Pound the pavements or choose our optional Hop-on-Hop-off trolley tour and cover more of the city. Youâ€™ll get the background on Bostonâ€™s famous Tea Party, when Boston citizens threw tons of tea into the harbour in protest against the British Crown.
Head back to Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market for a bit of souvenir shopping and a dose of history. Dubbed the â€œCradle of Libertyâ€ this famous brick building has played a key role in the city for over 250 years. Check out the stalls loaded with New Englandâ€™s crafts, pick up some Boston-made items and order some local food at a push cart eatery or restaurant.
For a bit of the local lifestyle, take in the waterfront by following the Haborwalk. Made up of 62.8 km (39miles) of paths weaving through diverse neighborhoods, it is a great way to experience Bostonâ€™s maritime flavour and see its working ports in action.
Get into the cityâ€™s cafÃ© culture on Italian flavoured Hanover Street in Bostonâ€™s oldest residential district. Sip on a cappuccino as you take in the cityâ€™s iconic brick architecture.
If you just want to relax, kick back with the locals and people-watch in one of the nine parks that make up the cityâ€™s â€œEmerald Necklaceâ€. You could return to Boston Common, where public hangings took place in the old days, â€“ now itâ€™s a great place to hang out.Day 3: Boston to Quebec City
With the luck of the Irish, we pack our bags without leaving anything behind and make for Quebec via the wilds of Maine. Whizzing by jaw-dropping scenery and spotting the occasional moose out the window is sure to give you a second wind before we cross the border to Canada.Day 4: Quebec City
Step back in time in Quebecâ€™s old-town as your Local Guide opens up the UNESCO World Heritage listed center. As you walk through this open-air museum, complete with cobbled streets and 17th century stone houses youâ€™ll learn about its history.
With free time, discover more of the fortified city. Check out the Citadel, ancient point of defense, complete with a traditional changing of the guard. Otherwise, follow the city walls and uncover little boutiques and galleries tucked away within the time-worn streets.
With its European heritage, Quebec has a buzzing cafÃ© culture that fills its historic center. For lunch, grab a table in a Parisian style bistro and try some of the local specialties like tourtiÃ¨re quÃ©becois (meat pie) or duckling with maple syrup. Kick back and listen to the locals speaking French.
For views over the St. Lawrence River, walk along Dufferin Terrace, Quebec Cityâ€™s most famous boardwalk.
If youâ€™re keen for a slice of Canadaâ€™s diverse history, get the low-down on the people of French-Canada at the MusÃ©e de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization) See how the building cleverly blends both new design and old buildings. Otherwise, donâ€™t forget to visit the iconic Chateau Frontenac in the heart of the old town.Day 5: Quebec City to Montreal
Continue on to the island city of Montreal. A happening hub and home to the famous Montreal Jazz festival, this hot, creative city mixes up a North American feel with French influence. It also has amazing food and is thriving with festivities.
Get familiar with the city when we arrive. Catch some of Montrealâ€™s relaxed vibes down at the Old Port and get the background on its maritime history as the group drives around the quays. The well-preserved riverside old-town was a key player in early Montrealâ€™s development.
Then, weâ€™ll take a drive up Mt Royal, which serves up sweeping views over the city. Check out this enormous park that was designed by the same person who landscaped New Yorkâ€™s famous Central Park.
Your Trip Manager will show you some of Montrealâ€™s signature sites. See the copper dome of St Josephâ€™s oratory, the biggest monument built to honor Canadaâ€™s patron saint. Youâ€™ll get a look at Montrealâ€™s most famous architectural curiosity: the 1976 Olympic stadium, complete with the worldâ€™s tallest inclined tower.
For some action, hit the rapids of the St Lawrence River in an adrenaline-pumping optional jet-boat ride, and experience another side of Montreal.Day 6: Montreal
With a free day ahead of you, explore Montrealâ€™s creative core and joie de vivre (joy of living).
See some of the cityâ€™s innovations, like the world-famous Biodome, where you can walk through different eco-systems, from ocean fronts to woodlands, and get up close to all sorts of wildlife.
Montreal is a great place to shop. On St Laurent Boulevard (itâ€™s affectionately dubbed â€œThe Mainâ€) look through cutting-edge boutiques, jewelery stores and artistsâ€™ workshops. Otherwise just hang out in an outdoor cafÃ© among the throngs of people and get a real feel for Montrealâ€™s street life.
For a different shopping experience, head underground to Montrealâ€™s famous underground-city. With 19 miles of shops and restaurants right under the heart of the city, itâ€™s got it all.
Lunchtime: go local and head to Jean-Talon Market, with its bustling stalls and friendly atmosphere. Try some tasty baked goods, fresh produce or delicious snacks, like calamari and chips. Then kick back with some of the best coffee in town from near-by Little Italy.
Tonight, explore Montrealâ€™s amazing nightlife with some friends. Thereâ€™s so much to choose from â€“ jazz bars in the down town area, the student vibes of the Latin Quarter, the clubs of Rue St. Catherine or the festive outdoor atmosphere and cozy lounge bars back up the hill on Mt Royal, where Rue St. Denis is a happening night spot.
Afterward, round off your night with a Montreal favorite: poutine (French fries with gravy and cheese curd).Day 7: Montreal to Toronto
As we stick to the St Lawrence River Valley, youâ€™ll see the local fresh water wonder: the 1000 islands of different sizes that are scattered across Lake Ontario and the river.
Later, pull into Toronto, Canadaâ€™s economic powerhouse, cosmopolitan capital and English speaking heart.
Kick start your time here with a few of Torontoâ€™s key spots on a tour around the city. Your Trip Manager will fill you in on the iconic CN Tower, North Americaâ€™s tallest free standing structure at 553 meters. See buzzing Yonge Street, with its designer labels, funky boutiques and diverse stores.
Enjoy a look into student life as you check out the University of Toronto, complete with Gothic buildings and ivy covered stone walls.Day 8: Toronto
Toronto is another one of Canada's multi0-cultural hotspots. Maybe catch a baseball game, head to the top of the CN tower, visit Gallery 44 or Toronto Park for people watching. Tonight, feel the global vibe of this city's nightlife.Day 9: Toronto to Niagara Falls
Head to the surging waters of world-famous Niagara Falls, right on the border of the USA and Canada. Jump on board the Maid of the Mist and cruise along the river to the base of the worldâ€™s second largest falls for a closer look. Youâ€™ll see the incredible volume of water pouring over the cliff and feel the sheer power of the spray. But donâ€™t worry â€“ there is an included rain poncho!
Choose to get a birdâ€™s-eye-view of it all on an optional helicopter ride and check out the falls from both sides of the border. Follow the riverâ€™s path and see the tons of water that make up the fallsâ€“ itâ€™ll make your jaw drop.
Later, Enjoy an insiderâ€™s look at Torontoâ€™s night life on an optional guided party pub crawl around the cityâ€™s hot spots tonight and finish your time off in this city with a night to remember.Day 10: Toronto to Whistler via Vancouver
Today weâ€™ll fly across to Vancouver to meet up with your new crew on the other side of Canada.
With beaches, forests and mountains, Vancouver is all about location and fusing big-city living with an outdoor lifestyle.
Youâ€™ll enjoy a first taste of it all with the group when your Tour Manager points out historic Gastown, Vancouverâ€™s founding district, the cityâ€™s own Chinatown â€“ home to the largest minority group in Vancouver and the landmark Lionâ€™s Gate Bridge. In Stanley Park, see the colorful Totem Poles of Canadaâ€™s First Nations People and learn about traditional culture as your Tour Manager tells you the stories behind them.
Weâ€™ll then wind our way along the spectacular cliff-top Sea to Sky highway and arrive in Whistler, one of the most popular ski resorts in North America and home to the 2010 Winter Olympics.Day 11: Whistler
Today, youâ€™ve got time to get into some alpine activities and experience Whistlersâ€™ high-energy action. Choose to have a go with the paddle and get out on the water in a canoe excursion along the River of Golden Dreams.
With lots of trails to choose from, Whistler is a hikerâ€™s heaven. For those wanting vistas of the spectacular surrounds but not wanting to work up a sweat, choose a gondola or chairlift ride to the top for amazing views. Otherwise, kick back and take in the natural surroundings back at the hotel or walk around the quaint village of Whistler.Day 12: Whistler to Kamloops
Leaving the mountains behind, we make our way to the desert and to Canadaâ€™s impressive interior. Passing the picture-perfect Seton Lake, weâ€™ll make a stop in Lillooet, a former gold rush town.
We travel on to our next night stop, Kamloops, sitting at the confluence of 2 rivers. Once a former meeting point for traders, it continues to serve as a stop over point for travelers and still has touches of the Wild West.Day 13: Kamloops to Jasper
Sticking to the famous Yellowhead Highway, we stop off at the highest peak of the Rockies, Mt Robson. Get your blood pumping in a thrilling white-water rafting optional on the Fraser River. Then pull into small-town Jasper and kick back in the Rockiesâ€™ largest national park â€“ our home for the next two nights.Day 14: Jasper
Be sure to keep your camera ready for wildlife shots on the short drive to Maligne Lake this morning, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing scenery. We'll also visit Maligne Canyon, the deepest and longest limestone canyon in the Rockies, where you'll marvel at this impressive gorge carved by generations of raging water. The afternoon is free to hike, bike or simply enjoy the beauty of Jasper. Tonight, sample the local Rocky Mountain cuisine.Day 15: Jasper to Banff
The Wonder Road ... It's non-stop beauty today as we travel the famous Icefields Parkway, considered one of the most scenic highways in the world. The highlight will be the ride aboard the specially designed "Ice Explorer" on the Athabasca Glacier! This afternoon we'll visit Lake Louise and make several photo stops, including the vivid blue Peyto Lake (seasonal). We arrive in Banff late this afternoon.Day 16: Banff
We have two days free to enjoy everything that Banff National Park has to offer. You're able to sightsee, hike, shop, or just relax in the beautiful town of Banff. Why not take the optional gondola ride to Sulphur Mountain where spectacular views of Banff await? Or take a breathtaking helicopter ride over the Rocky Mountains, a once in a lifetime experience. Join us one night for an optional horseback ride and steak fry.Day 17: Banff to Calgary
We travel to the slick city of Calgary, home to whatâ€™s known as the greatest show on earth: the Stampede. Itâ€™s all about Albertaâ€™s pioneer past and ranching tradition at this massive cowboy carnival. This mind-blowing festival is surely going to be an unforgettable experience, get ready for a whole lot of action over the next two days. From bull-riding to calf-roping, steer-wrestling to cow-tackling, our amazing seats have you up close to these electrifying events at the Rodeo. Once we arrive in Calgary, you will have an opportunity to shop along Stephen Avenue and a premier pedestrian mall in downtown. While shopping make sure get your cowboy/cowgirl kit, youâ€™ll find cowboy hats, shirts and boots to dress the part for the Stampede. This evening we will venture into Stampede Park to catch the Chuckwagon races and round out the evening with an epic grandstand show and prepare for the worldâ€™s most unique entertainment doubleheader.
First you get to watch the crazy GMC Rangeland Derby which has been described as NASCAR for cowboys, featuring four wagons, nine heats, and excitement that is measured on the Richter Scale. When the last wagon thunders across the finish line, prepare yourself for The Grandstand Show. Youâ€™ll witness a variety of spectacular performances that includes comedy, elaborate song and dance numbers, acrobatics and the spectacular fireworks finale, TransAlta Lights Up The Night. The stage alone is an engineering marvel. The night will be among the most memorable of your lifeâ€¦.and this is only the first night!Day 18: Calgary for Stampede
With a day at Stampede Park, youâ€™ll experience one of the worldâ€™s biggest rodeos and get a look into cattle country lifestyle.
Today itâ€™s all about the rodeo but if you think thatâ€™s means men riding on bulls all day your wrong! Youâ€™ll see people hitting the dust in more ways than one. The action includes ladies barrel racing, bareback, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc, bull riding and the lifesaving clowns who will be out there entertaining throughout the day.
Make the most of your time here and discover Canadaâ€™s country core. With square dancing, mock gun fights, country bands, bars, restaurants and livestock, there is loads to see. Or why not head to the Teepee village, where the five nations peoples are represented and learn about indigenous peoplesâ€™ traditions.Day 19: Vernon to Vancouver
Journey through the stunning Okanagan Valley, Canadaâ€™s wine country, before returning to laid-back Vancouver, with its friendly locals, sandy beaches and Pacific rim position.
You'll enjoy a taste of it all with the group when your Trip Manager points out historic Gastown, Vancouverâ€™s founding district, the cityâ€™s own Chinatown â€“ home to the largest minority group in Vancouver and the landmark Lionâ€™s Gate Bridge. In Stanley Park, see the colourful Totem Poles of Canadaâ€™s First Nations People and learn about traditional culture as your Trip Manager tells you the stories behind them.
For a bit of urban culture, head down town and grab a coffee at one of the many cafes. Continue on to the Gastown area for a bit of shopping, where you can find souvenirs to take back home, including Native American crafts and jewelery.
Tonight, head out on the town with your friends and experience more of Vancouverâ€™s nightlife. Hit the back streets of Gastown or the alleys of Yale Town for some live music. Otherwise, if you know what youâ€™re after, ask your Trip Manager for tips.Day 20: Calgary to Vernon
This morning we say goodbye the wild west and the Rockies before cutting across three national parks in a spectacular drive.
Things get wilder and a whole lot more rugged in Yoho National Park, where the ice blue Kicking Horse River winds through a valley of waterfalls and meadows. Be impressed by Glacier National Park, home to over 400 glaciers and stop off at Rogers Pass â€“ a place of awesome surroundings. Weâ€™ll also see Mt Revelstoke National Parkâ€™s towering peaks and surging river.
Then itâ€™s a complete change of scene as we travel into British Columbiaâ€™s wine country, Okanagan Valley, with its vines and terraced hills, to Vernon for our overnight stop.Day 21: Vancouver
Feel the young vibe of this city while exploring its hip shops & cafes. Later, enjoy a dinner cruise around the harbor & head out for a night on the town!Day 22: Depart Vancouver
Your Canadian adventure ends this morning and itâ€™s time to say farewell to your new friends. For those who are keen for some more action, thereâ€™s the option of a trip to Grouse Mountain or Butchart Gardens.
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