Eastern Canada is known for its spectacular natural beauty and rich farm land, which makes it a perfect destination for the Quadrant agricultural group visiting in June this year when the snow has melted, the weather is beautiful and views are spectacular!
The agricultural visits are diverse and interesting, including Canada's largest greenhouse and a visit to a microscopic laboratory to learn about the influence of bacteria on soil. There are also a number of innovative, but traditional operations including a large robotic Holstein dairy, goat dairy operation, grain fed beef cattle operations and sheep farms. In addition there are some unusual operations including a cropping enterprise growing ginseng, tobacco and sweet potatoes; as well as fruit orchards and greenhouse enterprises.
Canada is a great country for beef cattle, so to provide an overall appreciation of Canada's cattle industry, the group will visit a number of progressive beef operations in Ontario, which produces a quarter of Canada's beef. In the Canadian Rockies, there are further beef visits and time to explore this mountain paradise.
Travelling through Mennonite Country is a fascinating experience. Similar to the Amish of Pennsylvania, the Mennonites lead quiet lives without the distractions and noise of modern technology and horse drawn vehicles are the preferred method of transport. There are so many beautiful and interesting places that are visited along the way, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Rideau Canal and the renowned Byward Market just to name a few.
The group cruises the famous 1000 islands at the mouth of the Great Lakes; explores the Niagara Pass with a boat ride up to the falls and a memorable dinner follows in a restaurant overlooking the spectacular Niagara Falls.
In the spectacular Rocky Mountains the tour travels along the Icefields Parkway, which National Geographic describes as 'the most scenic highway in the world' and visits the Athabasca Falls before stopping at the Columbian Icefields to ride a Sno-Coach over the moving 1,000 foot-thick Athabasca Glacier. Then it's on to Banff, the highest town in Canada, with an elevation of 1,383 metres and time at beautiful Lake Louise, Emerald Lake and Morraine Lake.
The highlight of the tour is Calgary and the Calgary Stampede. Known as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", the Stampede offers all things agricultural and cultural, as well as the traditional side show alley, but there are also concerts and ring events, cattle judging, displays of local Indian history and plenty of unique Canadian food. With reserved seats to the Chuck Wagon Races, the spectacular Grand stand Show and the fireworks finale along with major Rodeo events, everyone is guaranteed a good time with so much on offer.
Western Canada is equally as stunning as its eastern counterpart, with a gondola ride up Sulpur Mountain in the heart of the Canadian Rockies providing one of the best vantage points in the world, with 360 degree views. Banff, located within Banff National Park, is on the itinerary and provides the perfect location for visiting the natural wonders and spectacular lakes. A cruise on the largest lake in Banff National Park provides the group with a relaxing and peaceful opportunity to soak in the spectacular surrounds. Banff and other nearby areas are known for their mountain scenery and hot springs. At Harrison Hot Springs the group can soak and relax in the warm bath-like water rich in minerals and known to be thoroughly therapeutic and good for ones health.
Agriculture in Western Canada, like in Eastern Canada, is rich and diverse, with beef farming being a major highlight. Cattle ranches are a plenty, with a winery and a hazelnut farm providing some tasty experiences. A visit to a 2800 acre cropping enterprise growing wheat, barley, canola, oats, and silage production is an interesting visit; as are visits to a Simmental cattle ranch, a quarter horse stud and a large dairy farm operation. One of the top 20 feedlots in Alberta provides an example of a combined 'owned' and 'custom' feedlot, charging a 'per-head per-day' fee to house and feed the cattle.
Like the Eastern Canada tour, the group will experience all the thrills and spills of the Chuck wagon races, rodeo and agricultural events that the Calgary Stampede offers to visitors from all over the world. The winner of the ALPA 'Young Auctioneers' competition will be accompanying the tour as one of its participants, representing Australia at the International Auctioneers' Competition during the Stampede.
Another highlight of the tour is a visit to the Butchart Gardens in the quaint inner harbour city of Victoria, with 130 acres of floral extravaganza carved out of an old limestone quarry.
An optional 7 day tour extension follows the Eastern Canada tour. The extension includes a tour through the magnificent Rockies to Vancouver Island, staying at Victoria and visiting the famous Butchart Gardens. An alternative optional 12 day tour explores the Maritime Provinces of Canada, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
An optional 7 night Alaskan Cruise follows the Western Canada tour, where passengers can relax in the comfort of Celebrity Century's warm, open spaces and soaring atriums. The group can indulge in dining in world-class restaurants, sipping a favourite after-dinner drink whilst mingling with new friends. There are opportunities to view amazing wildlife and scenery, meet the locals in historic Alaskan towns and relax and enjoy the myriad of entertainment and services on board.