Get amongst the winter festivities of Canada and the USA

Escape the crowds, embrace the snow and enjoy the magical festivities of Christmas on this 10-day winter adventure through the USA and Canada. Check out the Windy City, dine with an Amish family in small-town Ohio, experience the misty magic of Niagara Falls and skate along the frozen Rideau Canal in Montreal. Explore eclectic and French-infused Montreal, try your hand at sleigh riding in snow-covered Stowe, and finish up among the bright lights and skyscrapers of New York. Along the way, there’s a slew of winter festivals and Christmas markets to explore.

30% OFF Select 2019 Trips

Hurry, offer only available while spots last. Trips must depart by December 22, 2019.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Chicago, United States
Finish
New York, United States
Destinations
Canada, United States
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSKS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • Capture the magic of Christmas and enjoy the local festivities. This flexible itinerary is specially designed to show you the winter highlights and some seasonal treats.

  • Venture off the tourist trail on a visit to Amish Country where you’ll dine on hearty homemade cuisine with a local family.

  • Indulge in Canadian local cuisine, from pastrami sandwiches at Shwartz’s Deli in Montreal to ‘beaver tails’ in Ottawa’s Byward Market Square.

  • Get insider knowledge on an orientation tour of Old Montreal with plenty of free time to explore the rest of the eclectic city at your leisure.

  • Get among the Canadian festivities like Christmas markets or the festival of lights in Toronto and Montreal. Depending on when you visit there's always something going on!

Is this trip right for you?

  • You'll be travelling in a van with a group of travellers on long journeys, so conditions may feel a little cramped. This is all part of the adventure and you might even make some long-term friends.

  • Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people. As this trip includes a visit to Amish country, we ask you to dress respectfully and please don't take photos without asking.

  • Traffic around the cities of New York and Toronto can be quite hectic and busy, especially during holiday periods. There may be delays, so be prepared to take part in car games to keep yourself entertained.

  • Some of the cities on this itinerary are best explored by foot. You'll get the most out of your trip if you're reasonably fit and able to walk moderate-to-long distances. However, public transportation in these cities is modern and reliable.

  • It will be cold. Very cold. You'll need to make sure you have appropriate gear such as a pair of warm winter boots. See our packing list (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/packing-list) for a full recommendation of what to take.

  • Highways are generally well maintained in this part of the world and ploughed regularly, however there can occasionally be disruptions to transport due to storms or heavy snow. Winter is a great time to travel but it does require some flexibility.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Welcome to the Windy City, aka Chicago, USA. There are no activities planned until your welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you have time during the day, explore the lakefront paths that Chicago is famous for or opt for a cruise down the river to Lake Michigan. After the welcome meeting, perhaps head out with your new travel companions for a slice of the city’s legendary deep-dish pizza.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Chicago - History Museum - USD14
  • Chicago - Boat Cruise - USD18
  • Chicago - Field Museum - USD15
  • Chicago - Navy Pier - USD16
  • Chicago - Museum of Science and Industry - USD27
  • Chicago - Bobby's bike hike - USD35
  • Chicago - Willis Tower Skydeck - USD18
  • Chicago - Adler Planetarium - USD12
  • Chicago - Museum of Contemporary Art - USD12
  • Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago - USD23
  • Chicago - Buddy Guy's Legends - USD55
  • Chicago - Architecture Boat Tours - USD50
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

This trip doesn't spend much time in Chicago. We highly recommend you arrive early and spend a couple of extra days there.
Prepare for an early start as your morning begins with a long drive to Berlin, Ohio, which usually takes around 7 hours. As part of the largest Amish settlement in the world, Berlin is at the heart of Amish country in Ohio. After checking in to the hotel in the evening, the group will visit a local's house for dinner. The menu consists of homemade bread, baked chicken, vegetables, salad, pie, beverages and more. This is a unique chance to learn about the Amish lifestyle from your hosts, who will join you at the table.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Berlin - Dinner with an Amish family
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
The Amish are quite conservative, and we recommend you dress modestly for dinner, with shoulders and knees covered, so as not to cause offence.
Embark on a 6-hour drive across the border into Canada. On arrival in Toronto, join your leader on a tour through Kensington Market – one of the city’s most colourful and multicultural neighbourhoods, where you'll get to experience the history, culture and individuality of the area. After your tour, perhaps take in the views from the CN Tower, catch a Blue Jays baseball game (in season), visit the Hockey Hall of Fame or go shopping in the PATH underground market. This evening, opt for a dinner at a restaurant that supports career development for people in need of skills and employment and embraces a cuisine of local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Toronto - Kensington Market walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Toronto - CN Tower - CAD38
  • Toronto - Blue Jays baseball game (in season) - CAD40
  • Toronto - Hockey Hall of Fame - CAD18
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today the group will make the 2-hour journey to Niagara Falls. Once there, take a walk around town, and stop at a couple of different viewpoints to witness the natural wonder in action. Winter is a lovely time to see the falls, as the mist and spray blows in the wind and settles to create oddly shaped ice sculptures. Afterwards, enjoy a free evening in Toronto. Perhaps explore dining options in and around Yonge-Dundas Square, or check out what's playing at the Bell Lightbox cinema in the entertainment district. During winter, the popular Maid of the Mist boat trip does not operate – however, for an additional cost, you can choose to view the falls up close in all their thundering glory on the Wind Cave tour.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Niagara Falls - Cave of the Winds - USD14
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive to Ottawa, (approximately 5 hours) where your day is free to explore Canada’s capital. In the afternoon, perhaps check out the awesome Gothic parliament building, or visit the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History. Byward Market Square is great for a meal, with quality cuisine from all over the world (don't miss the ‘beaver tails’ – an Ottawa trademark and a delicious winter snack). Try your ice skating skills on the Rideau Canal Skateway. Every winter from December to February, 7.8 km (4.8 miles) of the Rideau Canal transforms into the world’s largest outdoor skating rink.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Canadian Museum of Nature - CAD14
  • Royal Canadian Mint - CAD6
  • National Gallery of Canada - CAD15
  • Canadian Museum of History - CAD20
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today it will take around 2 hours to drive to Montreal. Upon your arrival this afternoon, enjoy an orientation walk of Old Montreal where you’ll explore iconic sites in this historic neighbourhood including the famous Notre-Dame Basilica. This is a compact island city, which is great for walking around and exploring on foot. Montreal is also home to more than 80 ethnic communities and enjoys an outstanding reputation for gourmet dining. Perhaps head to one of the many restaurants for dinner in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Old Montreal Walking Tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day in Montreal. For lunch perhaps try the famous pastrami sandwiches at Schwarz's Deli, or relax over a long brunch at Beautys Luncheonette. The winter activities on offer are many. Glide around The Old Port’s Montreal Skating Rink or perhaps visit Mont Royal for some snowshoeing. Depending on exact dates, check out one of the many winter festivals the city delivers each year; Fete des Neiges de Montreal festival (January and February), Igloofest music festival (January) or Montreal en Lumiere festival (late February). For dinner, the unique O.Noir restaurant is a fine choice – it's a social enterprise hosted by blind waiters who will serve your food as you dine in the dark – and proceeds go to good local causes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Montreal - Biodome - CAD19
  • Montreal - Montreal Tower - CAD23
  • Montreal - Dinner at O'Noir - CAD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, head south and back across the border into the USA on your way to Stowe (approximately 3 hours). En route, stop at the picturesque Lake Champlain to stretch your legs. A bit further down the road is the Ben and Jerry's Factory, where you'll take a tour and try some ice cream. Depending on time and season, you may also stop at a chocolate factory, a cheesemaker's or a maple syrup farm. The rest of the day is yours to explore.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Waterbury - Ben and Jerry's Factory Tour
Optional Activities
  • Stowe - Ice skating (winter only) - USD20
  • Stowe - Snowshoeing (winter only) - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There's a lot to do in this mountain resort town and with a full free day at your disposal, you won’t be short of optional activities to keep you entertained. Perhaps visit the Von Trapp Family Lodge (once home to the family made famous by The Sound of Music), ride the Mount Mansfield gondola or try some winter activities like sleigh riding, ice skating or snowshoeing. If you’re feeling adventurous, you may wish to zip-line through the snow-dusted treetops or if you prefer to relax, head to one of the mountain spa retreats.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Welcome to the Big Apple! Today you’ll drive through New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut and on to your final destination for this tour, New York (approximately 6 hours). With a Metrocard in hand and some guidance from your leader you'll be set to explore the city that never sleeps, with a free evening to do as you wish. Perhaps check out Central Park and the Empire State Building or take a walk around Times Square and grab yourself a slice of pizza, New York style.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • New York - Metrocard
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to your travel buddies as your epic winter discovery ends today. If you’re extending your time in New York, ask your leader for the best tips and tricks to make the most of your time in the Big Apple.
Optional Activities
  • New York - Metropolitan Museum of Art - USD25
  • New York - Museum of Modern Art - USD25
  • New York - American Museum of Natural History - USD22
  • New York - Empire State Building - USD27
  • New York - Guggenheim Museum - USD22
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

4 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights)

Included activities

  • Berlin - Dinner with an Amish family
  • Toronto - Kensington Market walking tour
  • Old Montreal Walking Tour
  • Waterbury - Ben and Jerry's Factory Tour
  • New York - Metrocard

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.

Essential trip information

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