Tours & Traveling

The Council on Aging provides monthly trips or outings to local points of interest as well as vacation packages to such places as Las Vegas, Chicago, Nova Scotia, Tuscany, and San Antonio. These extended escorted travel trips are offered throughout the year. Call (231) 873-4461 for more information.

Charming French Canada

June 28 — July 06, 2019 (9 Days)

Montréal, Choice on Tour, Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, Charlevoix, Whale Watching, Montmorency Falls

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Day-by-Day Itinerary

Your tour takes you on an in-depth exploration of the spectacular province of Quebec. Say “bonjour” to the second largest French-speaking city in the world, Montréal.

This morning, it’s your choice! You decide how you would like to explore Montréal: on a walking tour -OR- on a panoramic coach tour. If you choose the walking tour, you’ll join a local guide who will transport you back in time as you explore the streets of Old Montréal on foot; stroll through historic squares and pass impressive architecture, hearing stories of days gone by. If you choose the coach tour, highlights include Jacques Cartier Square, McGill University, and St. Joseph’s Oratory; the tour concludes with a stop high atop Mount Royal, ascended by Jacques Cartier in 1535 and the jewel of Mount Royal Park, to soak in the spectacular view. The afternoon is yours. Sit in a sidewalk cafe, visit a museum, or browse some of the city’s many famous shops. This evening, experience a taste of Montréal during dinner at a local restaurant in the Old Port.

Journey to historic Quebec City, a city with a romantic ambiance reminiscent of Paris. Experience the beauty and history of both Old and New Quebec on a fascinating sightseeing tour highlighting the provincial Parliament and the St. Louis Arch. Your day concludes at the city’s famous Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Spend two nights in this grand castle-like hotel majestically overlooking the old city. This evening, enjoy dinner at a charming restaurant.

Begin your day with breakfast at a local sugar shack nestled in the Quebec countryside. Learn about the custom of maple syrup-making and enjoy sampling delicious traditional foods made with this local product. Before leaving, try a favorite regional treat – maple taffy made in the snow! Return to Quebec City and spend the remainder of your day at leisure wandering the quaint streets and exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site. Hop on the funicular for a scenic ride between lower and upper Old Quebec.

This morning we head to the Albert Gilles Copper Museum to learn about the art of copper and enjoy a demonstration on the detailed work involved in each creation. Then set off for the breathtaking Charlevoix region stopping en route at a cheese farm. Learn how cheddar cheese is made in the artisanal tradition before sampling it yourself. Later, we make our way to the luxurious Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, your home for two nights.

Today you’ll take to the water and embark on a whale-watching expedition for a unique encounter with these fascinating and majestic creatures. Take in the beauty of the natural surroundings in the heart of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. A naturalist guide will introduce you to the many species of marine mammals that reside in the St. Lawrence River. The remainder of the day is at leisure to take advantage of your resort’s many amenities* such as the spa, golfing, and hiking. Or, simply relax and soak up the views.

Our drive this morning takes us to Montmorency Falls where you will board a cable car that takes you up-close. Stand in awe as the river plunges 272 feet off the Canadian Shield, approximately 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls. Admire the stunning views from the many lookout points before heading back by cable car or by foot. Later, arrive at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello and luxuriate in the rustic elegance of the world’s largest log cabin set in a spectacular location surrounded by nature.

Enjoy a full day at leisure to independently explore on your own and enjoy your resort’s many amenities. Your Tour Manager will be on hand to offer suggestions. Perhaps you’ll enjoy an optional day trip to Ottawa for a scenic cruise on the Rideau Canal and free time in the Byward Market. Later this evening we gather to say “au revoir” to our fellow travelers at a special farewell dinner.

Your tour comes to a close today, leaving you with many pleasant memories of your outstanding journey.

 


French Impressions

September 19 — September 29, 2019 (11 Days)

Paris, Eiffel Tower Dinner, Choice on Tour, Versailles, Giverny, TGV Train, Avignon, Palace of the Popes, Aix-en-Provence, Cézanne’s Workshop, Gordes, Wine & Olive Oil Tasting, Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Oceanographic Museum, Monte Carlo, Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

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Day-by-Day Itinerary
Journey through the best of France as you explore lively Paris, romantic Provence and delightful Nice.
Your tour opens in Paris, the “City of Light.” Tonight, sample delicious French cuisine and witness breathtaking views during dinner at the Eiffel Tower. Following dinner, get a different perspective of the city during a Seine River cruise. As you glide along, admire Paris’ glittering skyline.
Come to know Paris your way. It’s your choice! Take a splendid panoramic coach tour featuring the breathtaking architecture of the Arc de Triumph, Place de la Concord, Place Vendome, the Champs-Elysees and the Notre Dame Cathedral -OR- enter the world of Impressionism with a visit to the Musée D’Orsay with its magnificent French Impressionist art collection. Live out your own Parisian adventure during a free afternoon. Perhaps you will join an optional excursion to the world-renowned Louvre, home to the iconic Mona Lisa. This evening, an optional dinner and show at Paris’ oldest cabaret, the Paradis Latin, is offered.
Explore the history, architecture and gardens of Versailles, one of the world’s most magnificent royal palaces and finest, most complete example of 17th century architecture. Your local guide will recount the history of the palace and lead you through the various rooms of the State Apartments. Discover its immeasurable opulence and see its treasures including the Queen's bedchamber and the famous Hall of Mirrors. You then have time to explore the incredible gardens, some of the most famous in the world, which took over 40 years to complete. This afternoon Claude Monet’s famous painting “Waterlilies” comes to life with a visit to the artist’s lovely home and enchanting gardens in the village of Giverny. The remainder of the evening is at leisure for you to explore Paris’ many hidden treasures on your own.
Climb aboard the high speed TGV Train and “fly” through the beautiful French countryside on your way to Provence. Arrive in Avignon for a delightful tour of this historic walled city. Avignon, often called the “City of Popes,” acted as a center of European religion for 70 years when the Popes moved there in 1309. A visit to the Palace of the Popes brings this history to life. Continue to Aix-en-Provence, a lovely town once frequented by Hemingway and the inspiration to many artists. This evening, enjoy fine French dining at your hotel’s elegant restaurant.
This morning a local expert takes you on a tour of Aix-en-Provence. This charming city is full of lively streets, squares and fountains. Walk in the steps of Cézanne when you visit his atelier (workshop) and enter the artist’s most private space. Continue to Mont Sainte-Victoire and see the natural surroundings which are portrayed in the painter’s works. Explore the 18th century jewel of Aix-en-Provence with a visit to the Hôtel de Caumont Art Center. Delve into the intimate atmosphere of a private mansion as you view its works of art and exhibits. The evening is yours to continue to discover the city’s many secrets.
Visit the Musee du Calisson, a confectionery factory where you will discover the unique taste of a calisson. This delicacy–a mix of almonds, candied melon, orange blossom fragrance and marzipan–is a local specialty. Delve into the Provençal landscape during a visit to the picturesque region of Luberon, known for its beautiful lavender fields.* Take time in the hilltop village of Gordes to explore its charms. Visit the Lavender Museum and learn about this precious plant, its unique distillation process and its uses throughout history. You are in for a treat this evening when you stop at a local vineyard and tour their wine cellar and olive oil mill. Complete your day with a cooking demonstration and a sumptuous Provençal meal paired with local wines.
Journey to Cannes to rub shoulders with Europe’s elite. A local expert joins you on a walking tour of Cannes where you will learn about the fascinating history of the city and the Lérins Islands located offshore. Walk in the footsteps of celebrities when you see the Film Festival Palace and the famous red carpet featured during the Cannes Film Festival. Then it’s off to Nice, the renowned playground of the rich and famous.
Explore the charming hillside village of Eze. Learn the secrets of perfume making, from extraction to distillation, while visiting a famous parfumerie. Your journey then takes you to witness the splendor of Monaco, the dazzling gem of the Riviera. A panoramic tour highlights the famous and extravagant Casino of Monte Carlo and the spectacular 13th-century Prince’s Palace. Pause to see the Cathedral of Monaco, where Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace are buried. Complete your trip to Monaco with a visit to the fascinating Oceanographic Museum.
This morning you’ll feel like a local as you stroll through the colorful and fragrant flower market in Nice. Continue to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and visit the luxurious apartments of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Explore the lush gardens with magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea. Your visit to the villa is complete with lunch served in the charming tea room. The remainder of your day is free to discover Nice’s Place Massena and the lively seafront Promenade des Anglais. Partake in world-class shopping, sample the many French delicacies found in the south of France, or simply relax and take in the laid-back atmosphere along the Riviera. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a quaint restaurant.
Your tour ends today, leaving you with many wonderful memories.

La Belle Seine

October 29 — November 06, 2019 (9 Days)

7-Night River Cruise featuring Paris and Normandy, Auvers-sur-Oise, Rouen, Honfleur, Château Gaillard, Giverny

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Day-by-Day Itinerary

Depart for Paris, France to start your journey through the Normandy region. Bask in the rich history, art, culture and romance of its celebrated cities and charming towns.

Your journey opens in Paris. Board your ship and unpack once for a relaxing 7-night river cruise. Your beautiful vessel offers the newest technology, panoramic deck, panorama bar, delicious cuisine including regional wines with every dinner, and outstanding service. Tonight, a cocktail is served in the Panorama Bar where you will meet your fellow travelers before a lovely welcome dinner.

This morning, arrive in Conflans, situated at the confluence of the Oise and Seine rivers. Visit the town of Auvers-sur-Oise, once home to several 19th-century painters including Paul Cézanne, Charles-François Daubigny, Camille Pissaro, and perhaps most famously, Vincent Van Gogh. Embark on a tour of Auvers-sur-Oise that retraces Van Gogh’s time here, including Auberge Ravoux where he rented his room, the idyllic fields that inspired his last masterpiece, and his final resting place. This afternoon, cruise past lovely French countryside scenery as your journey continues.

Today your ship docks in Rouen, the historical capital of Normandy. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the medieval city, highlighting its many monuments and architectural treasures. Visit the cathedral and the Church of Joan of Arc before viewing the Gros Horloge astronomical clock. Spend time at leisure to continue exploring the city, perhaps with a visit to Place du Vieux Marché, the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in the 15th century. This afternoon, you may take an optional excursion with a local expert along the “Abbey Trail” to the ruins of both St. Wandrille Abbey and Jumièges. Learn about the rich history of the churches, castles and abbeys that once populated this region.

This morning we dock in Le Havre, a city located on the English Channel at the mouth of the Seine River. Perhaps you will join an optional morning sightseeing tour to Étretat, a town situated on the Normandy coast with stunning clifftop views and a charming fishing village where a guided walking tour highlights the various artists who have visited and painted there through the years. This afternoon, enjoy an included excursion to Honfleur, a remarkable maritime city. Explore the narrow streets and the old port with a local guide. View the Lieutenancy, the Old Salt Stores and St. Catherine’s Church before enjoying time to shop or explore independently.

A full day of remembrance awaits, as we travel through Normandy to visit some of the significant D-Day Landing sites of World War II. Begin at Pointe du Hoc, a strategic German battery that defended Utah and Omaha beaches from the Allied invasion, where craters from cataclysmic bombings occupy the landscape to this day. View Omaha Beach, one of the U.S. landing zones of the invasion of Normandy. Next, visit the Normandy American Cemetery and visitor’s center. Enjoy an included lunch locally before traveling on to Arromanche-les-Bains to view the Mulberry Harbor, one of the greatest engineering feats of WWII and a massive coup for the Allies. This evening, we rejoin the ship in Caudebec-en-Caux.

Begin your morning with a stop in Les Andelys to visit Château Gaillard, constructed in the 12th century by Richard the Lionheart. Admire the striking views of French countryside from the château’s vantage point on a promontory along the Seine. Next, continue to Giverny, where tranquil gardens combining flora and water elements inspired Monet’s greatest works. A guide will share stories of Monet’s time here as you tour his home and its surrounding gardens. This afternoon, perhaps you will join an optional excursion to King Louis XIV’s magnificent Palace of Versailles,* the largest palace in Europe; visit the grand private apartments and the Hall of Mirrors on a guided tour of the palace; stroll the magnificent gardens which are amongst some of the world’s most famous and took over 40 years to complete. Tonight, the captain welcomes you to the elegant Captain’s Gala dinner, immediately followed by an evening of dancing.

This morning, take a splendid panoramic coach tour that features views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Les Invalides, the Louvre Museum, the famous Champs-Elysées and the Jardin des Tuileries. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to continue exploring this great city, or join an optional guided walking tour of the Montmartre district highlighting its narrow winding streets that have drawn artists to them for hundreds of years. Your day concludes with a farewell dinner where you will bid adieu to the illuminated “City of Lights.”

Your tour comes to a close today, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful adventure.