December 20 - 26, 2018
About This Tour
The Christmas season is one of the most picturesque times of the year, and the most visually stunning places to celebrate are those which are covered in snow and brightly lit, dressed up in festive holiday attire. Europe is especially known for its open-air markets, public festivities, lovely music, and the general gayety of the season. Christmas in Europe can make you feel like a kid again, and that is where we have gone for our past three Christmas tours. This year we’ve decided to stay closer to home and go somewhere with dazzling Christmas traditions that is just a couple of hours away—French Canada!
A French colony for almost two hundred years, Canada was originally known as New France. Even today, the province of Quebec retains the language of its earliest European settlers, along with many of its customs including French Christmas traditions. The magical cities of Montreal and Québec will be dressed up in colorful lights, welcoming us to join in their holiday celebrations. Enjoy three nights in each city, a guided tour of both, train travel between them, and a special welcome dinner and farewell Christmas feast. Escape the American hysteria surrounding the Holidays and surround yourself with classic, old-world Christmas spirit.
- Old Montreal Quarter
- Notre Dame Basilica
- VIA Rail train ride from Montreal to Québec City
- Québec City
- Old Québec Quarter *
- The Citadel
- Plains of Abraham, French-Indian War site
- Christmas Markets * UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Arrive in Montreal
Arrange your international flight to leave your home city early today, arriving in Montreal by this afternoon. (Search for flights using the airport code: YUL). Let us know on your reservation form if you wish to arrive a day early, on December 19. Upon arrival, collect your luggage and take a taxi to our downtown hotel. Our group will meet for the first time this evening for drinks and introductions in our hotel bar. We walk to a nearby restaurant for a Welcome Dinner in Old Montreal, just a leisure half-mile stroll from our hotel. Overnight in Montreal. (Welcome Dinner included).
After a full American-style breakfast at our hotel, we depart on a guided city tour of Montreal. It is the world’s second largest French speaking city, after Paris, France. Discover the Old Montreal Quarter, the Notre-Dame Basilica (from outside), the Mount-Royal, the business quarter with its Skyscrapers, the underground city and Ste-Catherine street. We return to our hotel by lunch time and the rest of the day is at your leisure to explore on your own. Overnight in Montreal. (Breakfast)
Montreal Free Day
Today is an entirely free day to dive into the various holiday festivities the city plans every year. Your tour leader will suggest optional activities. In addition to the colorful lights on trees, lamppost and storefront, the city here has so much to do for every kind of budget, from shopping to concerts to ice-skating and parades (with many activities free), that you will have the winter holiday vacation of your dreams. Our recommendations: check out the Jacques-Cartier Square which becomes La Place Nordique for fun musical performances, outdoor bars offering artisanal beers, hot chocolate and other warm drinks, holiday mascots, photo-booths, and much more. Overnight in Montreal. (Breakfast)
Train to Québec City
After breakfast, we depart our hotel and travel by taxi (included) to the train station. Our VIA Rail train (Escape Class) takes about 3 hours. We are met upon arrival and transferred to our hotel. After check-in and free time for lunch, we enjoy an afternoon guided tour of Québec City. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only fortified city in North America. Our sightseeing will take us to the Plains of Abraham, the Citadel, the Ramparts, the Château Frontenac, the picturesque streets of Old Quebec, the Dufferin terrace, the Petit Champlain quarter and Place Royale. (Breakfast)
Free Day in Québec City
Today is entirely free to revel in the holiday spirt. Experience the authentic European charm of a German Christmas Market in Old Québec, or stroll through the Christmas Village on Rue du Petit-Champlain and Place-Royale, or go ice skating along the city’s fortification at Place D’Youville. Overnight in Québec City. (Breakfast)
Christmas in Québec City
Christmas Day begins with breakfast at our hotel. You have the morning and afternoon free to attend a church service (if so inclined) or stroll along the Grande Allée to the Parliament Building with its beautiful decorations and buildings all aglow. We gather together in the early evening for a special Christmas Dinner in a restaurant near to our hotel. Overnight in Québec. (Breakfast / Christmas Dinner)
The tour officially ends after breakfast this morning. Book your return flight for any convenient time today. The Quebec City airport code is YQB. We will organize small group transfers to the airport by public taxis (optional). If you wish to extend your stay in Québec City, please let us know on your reservation form so that we can keep your room available for another night. (Breakfast)
Entry Requirements - For U.S. Citizens a valid passport is the only document required to enter Canada for stays of up to 60 days.Immunizations and Health - No immunizations are currently required for travel to Canada, but it is wise to have your inoculations up-to-date. Is your tetanus booster current?
Exit Requirements - There is currently no separate departure tax required of visitors leaving Canada other than that included with the cost of your airline ticket.
Making Travel Arrangements to CanadaOn this tour, international airfare is NOT included. You will need to get your international air to Montreal, and returning from Quebec City. We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who knows the best flights to get you to Canada and back.
You will need to arrive in Montreal by 4:00 pm on December 20, 2018. Departure is from Quebec City at any convenient time on December 26, 2018. For assistance with your booking, please call:
Steven Goldberg / Frosch TravelToll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276 (ask for Steven)
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686 (Steven’s direct line)
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible we often must turn away last minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space and air reservations 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
What to BringIn December, average daily temperatures will be cold in Canada. Montreal temperatures will range from 22 to 29 degrees, and Quebec a few degrees colder with temperatures ranging between 15 and 22 degrees. You won’t need a suit jacket or tie, as the tour is informal and dinner attire will be casual, but you will want nice outfits for concerts and dinners. Try to pack light and bring only one piece of luggage plus your carry-on. Create mix and match outfits, and think about layering! Pack any medications you require in a carry-on bag and leave expensive jewelry at home.
Suggested Packing List:
- Proof of citizenship. Passport required.
- Nice casual wear for dinners.
- Long pants (2 – 3 pairs), belt.
- Long-sleeve shirts (3 – 4).
- Socks, underwear for 7 days.
- Sweater or fleece to add a layer for additional warmth.
- Winter coat, hat, scarf, gloves.
- Long underwear (if you get cold easily).
- Waterproof winter boots.
- Personal toiletries.
- Camera, lots of digital memory, extra batteries.
- Ziploc Bags (sandwich size for documents, gallon size for wet items or toiletries).
- A good book for your flights.
Money MattersThe Canadian Dollar is the national currency of Canada (the code is CAD when looking up exchange rates). All major credit cards are accepted throughout the country. As of January 15, 2018, the exchange rate was $1 U.S to $1.22 CAD. Click here to see the current exchange rate.
Tipping in Canada: Tipping is pretty much the same in Canada as it is in the United States. Gratuities are not included on the restaurant tabs (except for larger groups), and it is customary to leave a 15 – 20% tip depending on quality of service. We will offer a group tip to guides and drivers, and more details will be provided before departure.
The Toto SpiritToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted
- eager to try new things & test limits
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please follow the link below or call us for more information.
Tour prices per personPrice: Price: $1,900 in double occupancy hotel accommodations.
Private Room: $500 additional, for a total tour price of $2,400.
(Paying a single supplement is not required. Toto Tours will try to match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone and prefer to share a room. If this is not possible, a single supplement will be applied to your reservation before the final payment date.)
(Due at time of registration for the tour. May be paid with a credit card.)
Remaining Balance (main tour): $1,300 double / $1,900 single
Remaining Balance Due: October 1, 2018 (80 days prior to departure)
(Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Note: The tour price does not include bank service charges for processing credit card payments, and assumes that the balance of the tour price will be paid by check. If you would like to pay the final balance with a credit card, a 4% service charge will be applied. Let us know if you wish to pay by credit card, and we will adjust your invoice accordingly.
Included: 6 nights hotel accommodations; hotel breakfasts daily plus Welcome & Farewell Dinners; two guided city tours; touring transportation in climate controlled motorcoach; sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary. This is a fully escorted tour, with guides added during tours.
Not Included: International airfare to Montreal (YUL) and returning from Quebec (YQB); hotel transfers; ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.); meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary; camera fees; alcoholic beverages; insurance; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.