Christmas in Victoria
Projected: December 4-10, 2019 • 7 Days • Approx $1900-$2200
Featuring a Christmas walking program indulging in an assortment of Pacific Northwest delights in Victoria, Vancouver, and Seattle!
The itinerary for Christmas in Victoria 2019 will be finalized by February 2019.
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.
Now accepting Early Bird deposits on this 2019 tour! An Early Bird is a $50 deposit that holds your spot during the planning stages of a trip, when we don’t have a set itinerary or dates. Early Birds are always refundable!
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.
This is a draft itinerary, which will be revised, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!
- Airport to hotel transfer on first and last day
- All land travel as outlined
- Superior Tourist Class or better hotel accommodations
- 8 meals: all breakfasts and 2 dinners as listed in itinerary (BD)
- 3 walks – sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association (1) and Canadian Volkssport Federation (2)
- Fees for walking credit
- WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
- Tips for the coach driver
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement.
- Scenic ferry ride on the Victoria Clipper through Puget Sound from Seattle to Victoria BC
- Royal BC Museum in Victoria
- World famous vistas at The Butchart Gardens (“Magic of Christmas” lights), Victoria, BC
- BC Ferry through the Canadian Gulf Islands to Vancouver
- Vancouver Christmas Market
- Guided Christmas Trolley tour of Vancouver, BC
- Van Dusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights in Vancouver, BC
- Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC
- Annual Santa Claus Parade in Vancouver, BC
- Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island
- More fun and educational stops than we can list!
- Downtown Seattle Highlights Walk with Pike Place Food Tour (Day 1) – Price TBA
- Afternoon Tea at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel (Day 3) – Price TBA
- Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights (Day 5) – Price TBA
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.
This is a draft itinerary, which will be revised, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!
DAY 1: 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, 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. Price TBA
DAY 2: 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: 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!). Price TBA
DAY 4: 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 trolley bedecked in lights and savor a guided tour of the city, including Canada Place (site of Expo ’86), Gastown, and a chance to enjoy the top-notch light displays at Stanley Park and Van Dusen Botanical Gardens.
DAY 5: 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 holds a special holiday treat as we join a cast of thousands in watching the city’s annual Santa Claus Parade.
For those who haven’t had enough festive fun and would like an optional afternoon visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge’s Canyon Lights (Price TBA) 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: 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: 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!
How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?
Call or mail in your refundable Early Bird ($50) to save your spot! A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on this Adventure.
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].
How is airfare arranged?
The official start and end point is Seattle, WA. More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided in the Adventure Advice flyer, available after this tour has been confirmed.
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. 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.
What happens next?
We are currently developing the itinerary for this Adventure. Once the itinerary is released, we will accept registration deposits ($500) to save space.
If you have Early Birded with a refundable $50 deposit, your spot on the tour will be held for 2 weeks after the itinerary is published while you make a decision on whether or not you’d like to register with an additional $450 deposit, bringing your total on the tour up to $500. If you decide not to join us for this tour, your Early Bird can be refunded or transferred to another tour.