Delve into the history, culture, and natural beauty of four vibrant Canadian urban centers: Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, and Québec City.

Starting at: $4,192 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Evening cityscape of Toronto  Niagara Falls  Parliament and Rideau Canal, Ottawa  Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal. Credit: Dale Youngkin  View of Quebec

Cultural Capitals of Eastern Canada

Featuring Niagara Falls

12 days from $4,192

Delve into the history, culture, and natural beauty of four vibrant Canadian urban centers: Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, and Québec City.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Delve into the history, culture, and natural beauty of four vibrant Canadian urban centers.

Highlights Include

  • Toronto: Explore this city, long hailed as one of the world’s most multicultural, plus enjoy a dinner cruise on Lake Ontario and an excursion to magnificent Niagara Falls.
  • Ottawa: Enjoy a cruise of the picturesque Thousand Islands then take a city tour featuring stately Parliament Hill, Canada’s center of governance.
  • Montréal: View the collections of the acclaimed Museum of Fine Arts and the world-class botanical garden.
  • Québec City: Tour Old Québec, a European-influenced gem and World Heritage site, and take an excursion to Montmorency Falls. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Toronto, Ontario

Depart today for Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After checking in at your centrally located hotel, meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by dinner together. (D)

Day 2 — Toronto

Your Canadian adventure begins with a tour of cosmopolitan Toronto. Long a haven for waves of immigrants, Toronto today counts residents from more than 200 ethnic backgrounds among its population. Experience this international charm for yourselves in Chinatown, a center-city enclave dating to the 1890s, featuring shops and restaurants from all Asian cultures. Also see Toronto’s famed Casa Loma, the 98-room Gothic Revival castle (c. 1914); and explore the popular Harbourfront cultural center. After this street-level introduction, get an entirely different perspective from the top of the CN Tower. The tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere at 1,815 feet, the tower affords breathtaking views of the city, its islands, and azure Lake Ontario. This afternoon is free to explore on your own before tonight’s dinner together at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 3 — Toronto and Niagara Falls

Today travel by coach to the Canadian side to come face to face with imposing Niagara Falls. On the renowned Hornblower cruise, pass the smaller American and Bridal Veil falls as well as iconic Horseshoe Falls. Surrounded by the ring of thundering water and billowing spray, gain a firsthand appreciation for 167-foot-high Niagara, North America’s most powerful waterfall. Next: a bird’s-eye view of the falls during lunch at the popular Skylon Tower, the 520-foot-tall observation spire with a revolving restaurant. Then depart for tranquil Niagara-on-the-Lake, the “Loveliest Town in Canada,” with time to explore this historic settlement before returning to Toronto late afternoon. (B,L)

Day 4 — Toronto and Ottawa

You’re on the road this morning bound for Ottawa. Along the way, stop in the tiny town of Gananoque, gateway to the famed “Thousand Islands” of the St. Lawrence River.   Here enjoy an hour-long boat cruise amid these wooded isles, which range from 40 square miles to just a few square feet; even some of the smallest outcroppings support private homes that seem to float on the river’s surface. Pass by Heart Island, site of the elaborate, multi-structure Boldt Castle, a private mansion built in the early 1900s. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue on to the Canadian capital of Ottawa. Dine tonight at the hotel just steps from the nation’s governmental seat at Parliament Hill. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Ottawa

Spend the morning getting acquainted with Ottawa, a riverside city with a high standard of living and a host of museums, performing arts centers, and universities. Your panoramic city tour takes you first to Parliament Hill, or simply “The Hill.” The ornate buildings here house Canada’s federal legislature and stand as some of the world’s foremost examples of Gothic Revival architecture; the Parliament building itself sits proudly above the Ottawa River as a National Historic Landmark. Also see lovely Rideau Canal, home to boaters in the summer and ice-skaters in winter; ever-popular Byward Market; and the historic Rockcliffe Park neighborhood. Then have the afternoon and evening free for lunch, dinner, and more exploration on your own. (B)

Day 6 — Ottawa and Montreal

Continuing your journey northeast today, set off for the French-infused city of Montreal. En route stop at a traditional “sugar shack,” where you learn about the process of turning sugar maple sap into syrup, and sample some of the homemade maple concoctions. Then travel on to Montreal, the confluence of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers. This afternoon take a wide-ranging tour of this Francophone metropolis, the world’s second-largest French-speaking city after Paris. Visit Old Montreal, the city’s historic ward with ties to colonial New France, where you see the redeveloped Old Port and the brightly colored interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica. Other highlights include Olympic Park, host of the 1976 Summer Olympics; and the atmospheric Quartier Latin with its theaters, cafés, and boutiques. (B,D)

Day 7 — Montreal

This morning tour the prominent Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, where your guide illuminates the highlights of the 40,000-piece collection. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the extensive Montreal Botanical Garden. A National Historic Site, the garden boasts 190 acres of flowers, trees, and walking paths, and offers a tranquil retreat from the surrounding city. Explore the Chinese and Japanese gardens here, taking time to wander the footpaths and admire the artfully shaped bonsai trees, peaceful koi ponds, and profusion of Asian blooms. This evening you are at leisure to sample some of Montreal’s fine cuisine on our own. (B,L)

Day 8 — Montreal

Your final day in Montreal is free for exploration (or relaxation) as you see fit. Tonight enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 9 — Montreal and Quebec City

Make the final leg of your four-city sojourn today as you travel to Quebec City. After stopping along the way for lunch on your own, reach La Vieille Capitale this afternoon and check in at your centrally located hotel. Then attend a lecture focusing on the rich history of this city, one of North America’s oldest: Samuel de Champlain founded a permanent settlement on this diamond-shaped promontory in the St. Lawrence River in 1608. Following this informative talk, enjoy dinner together at your hotel. (B,D)

Day 10 — Quebec City

Set out this morning to discover Quebec City, where contemporary life plays out against the backdrop of centuries-old landmarks. On your morning tour, visit Old Quebec, a World Heritage site that features North America’s only fortified city walls outside Mexico. Also visit noble Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Quebec and La Citadelle, the 17th-century star-shaped fortification that today remains an active military base. Your final historical discovery: adjacent Battlefields Park, where the British defeated the French in a pivotal 1759 battle that led to Britain taking control of Canada. After getting a taste of Quebec’s capital, the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration. (B)

Day 11 — Quebec City

A full day of exploration awaits, first at nearby Montmorency Falls, where you ride a cable car from the banks of the St. Lawrence River to the top of the falls, savoring splendid views. At the top, traverse the bridge suspended above the falls’ crest, giving you unmatched views. Continue on to the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, a Roman Catholic church that is said to have restorative powers for the sick and disabled. Next: visit a local apple orchard, where you sample the fresh-pressed juice and other homemade creations, followed by lunch at a restaurant inside a historic mill dating to French colonial times. Tonight, gather to toast your Canadian adventure at a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Depart for the U.S.

Transfer to the Quebec City airport for your flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)