• a body of water with a mountain in the background

Canadian Contrasts Tour

Discover the wonders of Canada on our Canadian Contrasts tour, which entails a unique journey from the East to the West of this magnificent country. The tour incorporates Canada’s top sights; from exploring vibrant cities to observing the marvellous Niagara Falls and enjoying breath-taking glacier mountain views.

If you’re looking for an introduction to the vastly different cities, towns and landscapes of Canada, our 15 day tour is the ideal option for you. Effortlessly combining historical sights, cultural experiences, rugged wilderness and cosmopolitan cities, you’ll get to experience everything Canada has to offer across nine different locations. Nature lovers will be taken aback by the unspoilt beauty in Banff National Park and Yoho National Park. History enthusiasts can get stuck into learning about the old city of Quebec and tracing its origins back to the 17th century. If you’re creative and cultural then you can enjoy the extravagant art collections and captivating cultural scenes in Toronto and Vancouver.

Snow-capped mountains, luscious forests and open green spaces, rolling ranch land, vivid fiords and luxurious beaches await you on our Canadian Contrasts Tour. Unforgettable memories and astounding scenery are around every corner, so pack your bags, charge your camera and bring your loved ones for a unique getaway of a lifetime.

2020 Departure Dates:
May: 16th, 30th

June: 13th
July: 4th, 18th
August: 1st, 22nd, 29th
September: 5th, 12th

Duration
15 days

Guide Price

 £3,399  pp
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
a body of water with a city in the background

Trip highlights

  • Marvel at the magnificent glaciers at the national parks of the Canadian Rockies, including Banff and Yoho
  • Explore the cultural sights of Canada’s most loved cities, including Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal
  • Discover Vancouver on our sightseeing tour and spend a further day enjoying the city yourself
  • Immerse yourself in the real Canadian experience, which balances iconic cities and stunning national parks
a bridge over a body of water
a car parked on Royal Ontario Museum street

Upon arrival into Toronto Pearson International Airport, head to your hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Toronto. Here you’ll meet your tour director and become acquainted with your itinerary.

The rest of your day is free to explore the bustling city of Toronto. Take a stroll around the beautiful city and discover the soaring skyscrapers and peaceful green spaces that are nestled within the city’s busy streets. Browse the extensive artefacts, fascinating collections and intriguing art exhibitions at the largest museum in Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum.

After working up an appetite, why not experience some of Canada’s delicious food in the thousands of restaurants on offer in this vibrant city? Before heading back to your hotel to get a good night’s rest, be sure to stop by one of the many cosmopolitan bars that feature live music performances.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Courtyard By Marriott Toronto
a large body of water with a city in the background
Voyage to the Falls, Hornblower Cruise
Journey Behind the Falls

Settle down in the morning and tuck into a delicious breakfast at your hotel. You can also meet your fellow travellers who will be accompanying you on your Canadian Contrasts tour. After you’ve had your fill, your first guided tour will commence.

Our Toronto guided tour aims to show you the wonders of this beautiful city, and Canada’s most cosmopolitan. Discover the provincial parliament buildings that are set in the luscious Queen’s Park, and learn more about the history of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Enjoy a leisurely paced walk along the Toronto Waterfront, and take in the views of the city by the lake. Your tour also incorporates the CN Tower and strolling through the sweet-smelling streets of Chinatown.

Your city tour of Toronto ends in the Niagara Peninsula, where you will then be taken to the renowned Niagara Falls. On the way to the falls, you can enjoy views of outlying communities and towns. Admire the wonders of the falls and engage in the various activities on offer here. You can enjoy a closer view of the falls on a boat ride.

With a complete, fun-filled day, it’s time to return to rest your head in Toronto.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Courtyard By Marriott Toronto
Parliament Hill Center Block Peace Tower
a boat is docked next to a body of water

After indulging in a hearty Canadian breakfast, you will embark on a picturesque journey from Toronto to Ottawa. You’ll be passing through green rolling farmland, gushing rivers set in beautiful landscapes, and the lakes of Rideau Waterway, so make sure you have your camera at hand.

Once in Ottawa, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Canada’s capital city. Discover the joy of the city’s cultural sights, including UNESCO’s World Heritage site, the historic Rideau Canal, as well as the government buildings that are situated on Parliament Hill, and City Hall. During our sightseeing tour, you’ll be able to explore Ottawa’s many impressive and extensive public gardens.

You’ll also get the chance to indulge in the lively ByWard Market, which is littered with colourful street art, outdoor farmers’ market stalls, specialty food shops, crafts and clothes stores. After a day spent shopping for local treats, you’ll find an abundance of eateries offering delicious Canadian food.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Capital Hill Hotel & Suites or Best Western Plus Ottawa Downtown
a castle on top of Château Frontenac

Enjoy a traditional Canadian breakfast at your hotel before setting off on a scenic journey that follows the Ottawa River to the French-speaking province of Quebec. During your drive to Quebec, you’ll be able to take in the breathtaking Laurentian Mountains and travel along the historic Chemin du Roy, which passes through quaint Quebecois villages and historic shrines.

When we arrive into Quebec City, it’s time to adventure into the city’s history and dig deeper into some of its most iconic sights. You’ll learn more about the old city, which is complete with stone buildings and narrow streets that date back to 1608, as well as the remaining fortified city walls that surround most of the old city. History enthusiasts can also explore the charming buildings in the Lower Town, the impressive fortress at the Citadelle of Quebec, and historic artillery artefacts within the Battlefields Park.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hôtel Ambassadeur or Hotel Lindbergh or Hotel Universel Ste-Foy
a small boat in a body of water

After tucking into a continental breakfast, you’re free to explore the wonders that Quebec has to offer at your own leisure. Revisit some of the historical sights you saw yesterday or discover other historical parts of this vast French-Canadian city. Quebec is the ideal place to pick up gifts or go souvenir shopping, as the city is filled with unique boutiques and shopping malls.

Alternatively, you can take part in an optional Tadoussac full day excursion. This unique excursion is ideal for animal and nature lovers, as it includes a boat trip along the St. Lawrence River where you can enjoy three hours of whale watching, as well as a visit to the Montmorency Falls. The St. Lawrence River is home to 13 different species of aquatic mammals, including blue whales and humpback whales. The Montmorency Falls stand at 83 metres tall, which is an impressive 30 metres higher than the famous Niagara Falls. After the excursion, you’re free to explore more of Quebec or find a cosy restaurant to replenish and reminisce on all the wonders you witnessed during your excursion.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hôtel Ambassadeur or Hotel Lindbergh or Hotel Universel Ste-Foy
a car parked on the side of a building

From Quebec, we journey to Montreal, along the St. Lawrence River. Take in some of the areas where early settlers first inhabited beautiful Canada. Upon arrival into Montreal, the second largest French-speaking city in the world, we explore the unique combination of old and new in a city that incorporates both Canadian and French culture.

Seeing the sights of downtown Montreal, our tour allows you to experience the wonders of this beautiful, bustling city. It includes a visit to the Olympic Complex, a tour around the charming streets of Old Montreal, a trip to the McGill University, a wander down the residential streets of Mount Royal, and a stroll down the lively shopping streets. In the evening, you’re invited to join us on an optional dining excursion, which allows you to experience one of the city’s traditional restaurants and experience the city at night.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Faubourg Montreal or Les Suites Labelle or Hotel le Roberval
a group of people standing in front of Millennium Park

Enjoy a continental breakfast before heading back to the bustling city of Toronto. Day seven of our tour allows you to rest or embark on your own adventures. Many guests like to spend the day leisurely exploring the city further and finding some of the hidden gems that Toronto has to offer, such as secluded spots in peaceful parks, or delicious dishes served up in cosy restaurants.

If you’d rather explore some of the beautiful islands in Rockport, then you can join us on a relaxing cruise and take in scenic surroundings, incredible castles, and impressive gardens and grounds. There are one thousand islands that sit on St. Lawrence River, all of which come with fascinating history and intriguing facts.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Courtyard by Marriott Toronto

Pack your bags and saddle up as we head onto the next part of our adventure. From Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, we take a flight out of Toronto over central Canada to Calgary. The flight takes just over four hours.

In Calgary, we’ll travel to our hotel, which is situated in downtown Calgary. The remaining part of your day and evening can be spent relaxing in the hotel, or exploring nearby restaurants and tasty eateries.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sandman Hotel Calgary City Centre
a man standing on top of a snow covered mountain

Dig into a delicious Canadian breakfast to help prepare yourself for a wonderfully fun-filled day ahead. Embark on an early morning tour of Calgary and discover some of the modern and historic landmarks of the city. Take in the Calgary Tower and Fort Calgary, and find yourself amazed by the vast skyscrapers aligning the commercial district.

After a morning spent taking in the city’s sights, we’ll journey to beautiful Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. Banff National Park boasts stunning surroundings and scenic views of snow-capped mountains and glistening emerald green lakes. Experience the park’s most iconic landmarks, including the world-famous, castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, and the spectacular Bow Falls. The fascinating Tunnel Mountain was once going to connect Calgary to the town of Banff via a railway through the mountain and is a unique place to visit.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre
a man standing on top of a snow covered mountain

Spend today exploring the beautiful town of Banff at your own leisure. Banff has an array of boutiques and shops to explore, as well as plenty of cafes and restaurants to sample. if you’re feeling more adventurous, then why not choose to discover the surrounding Banff National Park, where you can visit Mount Rundle and Mount Cascade? The mountains tower over the town and are home to some wonderful native wildlife, such as elks and grizzly bears.

Alternatively, join us on an optional full day excursion that takes in the breath-taking views of the Columbia Icefield. This tour starts with the serene turquoise waters and an out-of-this-world glacier site at Lake Louise. Travelling up towards Icefields Parkway, you’ll encounter unspoilt scenery. Boarding an Ice Explorer at the Columbia Icefield, the tour will head onto an ancient glacier, known as the Athabasca Glacier, which is 3.7 miles in length.

We return to Banff in the late afternoon, allowing you to enjoy the sights and settle down for dinner.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre
Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada
a body of water with a mountain in the background

Today, from Canmore we travel along the Trans-Canada Highway, a historical route that was first created and used in the mid-1800s by railroad engineers and fur traders, all the way to Kamloops. The journey takes a few hours and passes over the jagged Kicking Horse Pass into British Columbia’s Yoho National Park, Glacier National Park, and through the mountain ranges of Monashee and Selkirk.

Pass through this awe-inspiring landscape, which is full of vast icefields, deep canyons, rich green forests and tranquil, trickling glacier-fed streams. Look out for Giant Cedars and Rogers Pass. Marvel at the quiet towns and cities as we pass through Salmon Arm, Revelstoke and Golden. Expect a contrast as we arrive into the desert-like city of Kamloops. The surrounding golden scenery is very different to the mountains and glaciers we’ve travelled from. Once at Kamloops, you are free to relax at the hotel, or venture into the city and explore.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Ramada Kamloops or similar
Glacier Icefields
a snow covered mountain

Swapping glacier mountains from the previous day for coastal mountains, we journey to Whistler. Your drive will include views of ranchlands and outstanding mountains. Spend your day strolling around Whistler and taking in some of the town’s beauty by relaxing at a luxurious spa, or shopping and indulging in some fine dining.

Take our optional floatplane sightseeing tour which goes over Garibaldi Park and offers incredible views of the naturally-preserved volcanic peaks, blissful alpine lakes and meadows. The tour takes a few hours, after which you’re free to explore Whistler at your own pace.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Whistler Village Inn & Suites or Pinnacle Hotel Whistler Village or Aava Whistler
a group of people on a bridge over a river
a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background

No trip to Canada would be complete without an expedition to the coastal seaport of Vancouver, so we head from Whistler to Vancouver, driving along the Sea to Sky Highway. Enjoy jagged fjords and glaciated mountaintops during this drive, which takes less than two hours. Easing you back into the bustling landscape of the metropolis, we’ll take you on a sightseeing tour around Vancouver.

Discover some of the 1,000 acres of Stanley Park, which features gorgeous beaches, paved and dirt trails such as Prospect Point. There’s even an aquarium, a pool, a miniature railway and more. We’ll also introduce you to the bustling beach known as English Bay, the historic Gastown which is filled with Victorian buildings, souvenir shops, and indie art galleries. Your final stop this morning is vibrant Chinatown.

Spend the afternoon enjoying the sights of this delightful coastal city by yourself. Revisit some of the sights we saw in the morning, or head to the beach and relax. We recommend you check out Vancouver’s thriving art, theatre and music scenes, which you can find throughout the city. A must-see for art enthusiasts is Vancouver Art Gallery, which is home to extensive collections of art from talented regional artists.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Centre or Best Western Sands by the Sea
a tree next to a body of water
a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background

Enjoy your final full day exploring more of the wonders that Vancouver has to offer, or revisiting some of your favourite sights, such as the extensive Stanley Park. You may wish to relax and soak up the sun on the beach, or spend the day shopping on Robson Street. You can even get stuck in with some adventurous activities, including taking a gondola ride to the summit of Grouse Mountain.

Make the most of your final full day by embarking on our full day optional tour of Victoria. The provincial capital of Victoria is steeped in maritime heritage and provides you with a lively atmosphere that’s brimming with historical and cultural sensations. Discover the attractive 19th century landmarks and buildings, such as the impressive Craigdarroch Castle mansion, which was constructed in the 1800s. You’ll also get the chance to look around Butchart Gardens, which is set in a reclaimed quarry and is filled with magnificent floral displays and manicured landscapes.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Centre or Best Western Sands by the Sea

Enjoy your final Canadian breakfast and gather any last-minute gifts for loved ones on your final day of our Canadian Contrasts Tour. Early morning risers can take in the sights one final time, before being taken to Vancouver’s International Airport in time for your flight home. All that is left for you to do is say farewell to beautiful Canada.

Included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 14 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis is Breakfast only
  • Transportation by modern motorcoach with an experienced tour driver
  • Local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Toronto/Calgary flight on Westjet Airlines
  • Canadian government air transportation tax (applicable only to air inclusive cost).
  • Taxes, including Provincial taxes and federal GST and/or HST

Not included

  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)