Christmas in Victoria
7 days of festivities in Victoria & Vancouver!
December 4-10, 2019 • 7 Days • $2250**
Featuring a Christmas walking program indulging in an assortment of Pacific Northwest delights in Victoria, Vancouver, and Seattle!
**Traveler Rewards Program: New Travelers receive a $100 discount on the Christmas in Victoria tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. See the Traveler Rewards page for more details.
Reserve your spot on this tour with a $500 Registration Deposit! Check below for more details.
The “Emerald City” of Seattle provides the start/finish point for this Christmas Adventure in the classic, coastal Canadian cities of Victoria and Vancouver. Primed with holiday cheer, we ferry through the stunning Puget Sound en route to the picturesque Inner Harbour of Victoria for an action-packed two-night stay. Cruising through the Canadian Gulf Islands, we continue the yuletide fun with two nights in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. Finishing the festivities back across the US border, we savor one last walk amidst the natural beauty of Deception Pass State Park.
- Complimentary hotel shuttles for airport to hotel group transfers on first and last day
- All land travel as outlined
- Tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
- 8 meals: all breakfasts and 2 dinners (denoted in the itinerary as BD)
- 3 walks
- Fees for walking credit (for those collecting AVA/CVF credit)
- WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
- Tips for the coach driver and for group dinners
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $350.
- Scenic ferry ride on the Victoria Clipper through Puget Sound from Seattle to Victoria, BC
- Royal BC Museum – Victoria, BC
- World famous vistas at The Butchart Gardens (“Magic of Christmas” lights) – Victoria, BC
- BC Ferry through the Canadian Gulf Islands to Vancouver, BC
- Vancouver Christmas Market
- Stanley Park – Vancouver, BC
- VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights – Vancouver, BC
- Deception Pass State Park – Whidbey Island, WA
- More fun and educational stops than we can list!
- Downtown Seattle Highlights Walk with Pike Place Food Tour (Day 1)
- Afternoon Tea at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel (Day 3)
- Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights (Day 5)
A 1:15 guide to traveler ratio
Tourist class or better hotel accommodations
8 meals: all breakfasts and 2 dinners
2 Walking Adventures Guides
Ferry to Puget Sound
Ferry through Canadian Gulf Islands
Transportation in 40+ pax motorcoaches
Discounts available. See the More Details section for info.
Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5
Scott Isom has had a passion for the outdoors ever since his childhood days spent exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River Gorge with his family. Scott has led tours on all 7 continents and is one of WAI’s busiest guides and on-site Adventure planners. Scott will be leading Christmas in Victoria along with an assistant.
Click on each day for more details.
DAY 1-Dec 4: Arrive Seattle, Washington
Optional Downtown Seattle Highlights Walk with Pike Place Food Tour
Our Pacific Northwest Christmas Adventure begins today in the Emerald City of Seattle. Travelers arrive throughout the day. Our first official activity is the Welcome Orientation this evening at 7:30 pm at our hotel. Please plan to arrive in time to attend this important Adventure kick-off!
For those who arrive into Seattle a day early (December 3), an optional Downtown Seattle Highlights Walk with Pike Place Food Tour is available. This exciting all-day exploration of Washington’s picturesque Puget Sound port city includes round-trip transport from our airport hotel to downtown Seattle, walk credit, guide services, and an outstanding food tour in historic Pike Place Market. Estimated price: $135 per person
DAY 2-Dec 5: Seattle – Victoria, BC (BD)
A morning sailing on the Victoria Clipper whisks us from Elliott Bay in Seattle through the scenic Puget Sound and into the iconic Inner Harbour of Victoria, British Columbia. With a reputation of being “more English than England,” Victoria combines wonderful Old World charm with outstanding scenery and one of the oldest Chinatowns in North America. Walking a block or two to our strategically-situated waterfront hotel, we store our bags and enjoy lunch on our own in this elegant capital city of British Columbia. A mid-afternoon visit to the Royal BC Museum, one of North America’s must-see collections, introduces us to the fascinating history and culture of this region before we enjoy dinner together at our hotel.
DAY 3-Dec 6: Activities from Victoria, BC (B)
Victoria, BC Walk – 11 km with 5 km option, rated 1B
This morning provides a chance to explore this multi-faceted city on foot, with numerous highlights including the picturesque Inner Harbour, fascinating alleys of Chinatown, regal Empress Hotel, architecturally stunning Parliament, vibrant hues of Fisherman’s Wharf, endless Olympic Mountain views across Juan de Fuca Strait, and nicely manicured grounds of Beacon Hill Park. In the mid-afternoon, a short bus ride north brings us to the gates of The Butchart Gardens, a fanciful floral funhouse! During the holiday season, this National Historic Site of Canada is set aglow with Christmas lights, holiday wreaths and carolers, and is sure to put us in a magical mood.
For those who would like to fully immerse themselves in the English tradition of afternoon tea, Victoria’s most recognizable landmark, the Fairmont Empress Hotel, offers the grandest of many afternoon teas in town. This popular activity takes place in their famous Tea Lobby, which overlooks the city’s picturesque Inner Harbour. While formal attire is not necessary for this optional experience, smart-casual dress is recommended as we sample from the hotel’s exclusive tea menu, including fresh fruit cocktail or berries with whipped cream, and an assortment of tea sandwiches, fresh scones, tea cakes, and pastries (Don’t eat lunch beforehand – the food served is plentiful!). Estimated price: $89 per person
DAY 4-Dec 7: Victoria, BC – Vancouver, BC (B)
We head north this morning, from Victoria to Swartz Bay, where we board a BC ferry for a scenic cruise through the Canadian Gulf Islands en route to Tsawwassen on mainland Canada. Once ashore, we continue by motorcoach to Vancouver, host of the 2010 Winter Olympics and full of both cosmopolitan charm and great natural beauty. Following lunch on our own and check-in at our centrally located hotel, we take a stroll down to Jack Poole Plaza for an Old World holiday experience at the German-themed Vancouver Christmas Market, where fabulous food, drink, and unique gifts await. After enjoying dinner on our own at the Christmas Market, we board a chartered bus and savor a Christmas-themed tour of the city, enjoying the top-notch light displays at Stanley Park and VanDusen Botanical Gardens.
DAY 5-Dec 8: Activities from Vancouver, BC (B)
Stanley Park Seawall Walk – 10 km, rated 1A
One of the world’s great urban landscapes, Vancouver’s Stanley Park serves as the scenic setting for our morning walk, offering wonderful views of Burrard Inlet, the North Shore, Lion’s Gate Bridge, and the city’s skyscrapers, not to mention several lovely beaches. This relatively flat stroll circumnavigates the massive, 1,000-acre park along a picturesque seawall path and includes a worthwhile stop at a collection of native totem poles. Following time for lunch on our own, the early afternoon and evening are free for you to explore Vancouver’s many wonderful delights from our Robson Street hotel.
For those who haven’t had enough festive fun and would like an optional afternoon visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge’s Canyon Lights (Estimated price: $37 per person), we will board a free shuttle from our hotel in the late afternoon and explore this fascinating, forested Vancouver landmark lit up with Christmas cheer.
DAY 6-Dec 9: Vancouver, BC – Seattle, WA (BD)
Deception Pass State Park Walk – 10 km with 5 km option, rated 2C
Saying farewell to Vancouver this morning, we motor southward and cross the border into the USA. Back on American soil, we make a brief stop to purchase picnic supplies before continuing to Deception Pass State Park. Considered one of the better walks in the Pacific Northwest, this scenic stroll on Washington’s Whidbey Island is full of outstanding highlights including lush forests, rocky beaches, grassy dunes, mountain views, and a dramatic bridge, just to name a few. Following the walk and picnic lunch, we continue southward to our Seattle area hotel for one final night together and a farewell dinner to celebrate a shared week of holiday memories.
DAY 7-Dec 10: Departure from Seattle, WA (B)
Our Christmas in Victoria Walking Adventure draws to a close with breakfast at our hotel. Exploring two of western Canada’s great cities during this special season is an absolute delight and we hope you return home filled with glad tidings to share with the ones you love. Thanks for experiencing this terrific two-country tour with us!
Click on each heading for more details.
How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?
To save yourself a spot on this Adventure, contact us to register with a $500 deposit as soon as possible! Our groups have an average of 25-30 travelers and have a 1:15 guide to traveler ratio.
Traveler Rewards Program
New Travelers receive a $100 discount on the Christmas in Victoria tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. See the Traveler Rewards page for more details or contact us with any questions at 800.779.0353 or [email protected].
General Tour Conditions and Registration Forms
How is airfare arranged?
The official start and finish point for this Adventure is Seattle, Washington. Travelers should fly into and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (airport code SEA). Upon arrival, travelers can take a complimentary hotel shuttle from the airport to our starting hotel (Best Western Plus Plaza by the Green in Kent, WA). On the last day of the adventure, we will be at the same hotel in Kent and you can arrange for your complimentary hotel shuttle back to the Seattle Airport. We recommend that you contact Debbi Custer, the travel agent we work with, to help book your flight arrangements. In this age of airfare complications and airport uncertainty, using a travel agent is a good investment! More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided by email after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving these flight details from us!
Three optional excursions are available during this Adventure: Day 1 – Downtown Seattle Highlights Walk with Pike Place Food Tour (Estimated price: $135 per person), Day 3 – Afternoon Tea at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel (Estimated price: $89 per person), Day 5 – Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights (Estimated price: $37 per person). If you would like to participate in any of these excursions, we have limited space available. To guarantee your place, please let us know your decision at the time you register. We will be charging you in advance for the Day 1 Seattle Walk & Food Tour as well as the Day 3 Afternoon Tea at the Empress. For Capilano Bridge on Day 5, you can pay the entrance fee on site, but we would like to have an idea of how many plan to participate.
What about the walks?
We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Because these are guided group walks, the success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness in order to ensure that we are walking at a somewhat similar pace. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1-800-779-0353.
We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:
1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.
A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.
Other Planning Considerations
More information to help you plan will be included in the much longer Tips & Tidbits factsheet that is mailed out about four months before the trip.
WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Debbi Custer of World Travel Inc., a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well as your airfare (email [email protected] -OR- call 888-276-0925 / 503-231-9507). For those of you who purchase airfare through Debbi, purchasing your travel insurance from her as well may be the simplest option. As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the squaremouth.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.
Other options include:
- Travel Guard
- Travel Insured International
NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.
What happens next?
Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter and initial invoice. An email with critical information on flight arrangements and the Adventure Advice flyer will be sent soon after, with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review the Flight Arrangements email. Final payment for the program is due 90 days before departure, and you will receive a final billing about 3 weeks prior to that point, along with a factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the details of the program, including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.
Take a few minutes to peruse the enclosed itinerary and start getting into the Yuletide spirit, envisioning yourself strolling through an assortment of Christmas-themed delights in three terrific Pacific Northwest cities. Give us a call and talk to one of our Adventure Consultants about how to join us for this unforgettable Walking Adventures program next winter as we savor Christmas in Victoria together!