“What are your plans for the Christmas holidays?” seems like a strange question for the middle of July, but just as summer snuck up on us during this crazy year, the holidays will be here in no time! We recently released our Christmas and New Years Eve tours for the 2020/2021 season and we have some fantastic options. If you’ve never been on one of our holiday tours, here are a few reasons we think you might enjoy them:
Get into the festive spirit
We always choose hotels and attractions that bring in the holiday spirit in a big way. From musical performances, holiday buffets, sleigh rides, or eggnog and cookies by the fire, we make sure our guests get the full Christmas experience even though they’re away from home.
Let us handle the holiday stress
The holidays are definitely the most stressful time of year to travel. With so many other people trying to get home to visit family or see the same holiday attractions, it can be hard to enjoy the experience. Factor in driving in challenging winter conditions or making dinner for a large group, and you have a recipe for stress. Leave the planning to us this year and all you’ll need to do is pack your bag. We’ll take care of everything and you can focus on enjoying yourself.
Visit family and friends without the hassle
Many of our guests join our holiday tours in order to see family and friends in the destination city without the stress of being a guest in someone’s home. You’ll have lots of free time to schedule visits with your loved ones and you won’t have to sleep on anyone’s uncomfortable pull-out couch.
Perfect for solo travellers
Our holiday tours are ideal for solo travellers who don’t want to spend the holiday alone. There are a lot of opportunities for socializing and getting together with your fellow guests to share in the magic of the holidays. We’ve found these tours to be very social with many new friendships formed.
Christmas tour experiences
Here are some thoughts from our Tour Directors and staff who have led or been guests on our previous tours.
“I have been on our Christmas in Victoria tour many times. For me, it’s the Chateau Victoria hotel that truly makes the tour special! It starts with the manager personally greeting the coach with short bread, and eggnog or cider is served in the lobby. Guests find a welcome gift in their rooms. All rooms are suites and immediately feel like ‘home’. On Christmas Eve, the Victoria Operatic Society puts on a concert in the lobby just for our groups and Chateau Victoria provides complimentary cocktails. The Christmas day brunch is amazing, and a quartet moves around the restaurant singing Christmas carols. The hotel provides a thoughtful Christmas gift for each guest. The entire staff is so friendly and efficient, making for an all-around wonderful holiday atmosphere.”
– Marion, Tour Director
“Our Christmas and New Year tours are a great way to relax and enjoy beautiful surroundings, wonderful food, and entertainment. As a Tour Director, I’ve led two of our Christmas tours. One to Seattle and last year to Harrison Hot Springs. At each hotel we had a place to get-together during free time. People would drop by to visit with others on the tour. We’d sit by the fire, chat, play games, people-watch, read, share laughs and eat lots of chocolate! On the Seattle tour a generation of three came along: Grandma, her daughter, and granddaughter. They enjoyed sharing the holiday together with fun activities and no cooking to tackle. It’s ideal for solo travellers too; an easy and safe way to have a special break and meet others in the festive spirit!
– Jill – Tour Director
“2020 will be my 11th Wells Gray Tours Family Christmas. Like most other Christmases there is good food and presents but there is so much more. My favorite thing is having the hospitality room set up all day for snacks (selection varies but there is always chocolate and Mandarin Oranges), puzzles, and meeting up with other members of the group on Christmas Day. We get some great entertainment and shows, and it is so much fun sharing that experience with your fellow travelers as you head back to your hotel. Some of our clients have celebrated many Christmases on our tours and it has been special to be with them each year. Lots of our guests also have a chance to see extended family they would not otherwise get to see at Christmas.
– Lisa – Tour Director
I was lucky enough to join the Leavenworth Christmas Lighting tour in 2015 and it certainly was the perfect way to start the Christmas season and get in the spirit! A few of my favourite things about the tour (besides driving into Leavenworth for the first time at dusk and seeing all the lights) were the in-house warm spiced almonds that the Enzian Inn sells only in the winter months at the front desk…be sure to try them! The night before we were to go on the Red Tail Canyon Sleigh Ride, it started to snow and didn’t stop all the next day creating the most beautiful winter wonderland! We were given big wool blankets to keep warm and dry and afterward enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate in a little warming tent. I was also lucky enough to meet a new friend, Joanne Georgeson from Vernon, whose travel partner got sick and had to cancel at the very last minute. We still keep in touch by text and email. The whole experience makes me smile and I get the warm fuzzies every time I think about it!
– Terri – Office Manager, Kelowna
Join us on one of these festive tours
Click on the links to learn more or call your local office for additional information. Our holiday tours always sell out quickly, so don’t delay!
LEAVENWORTH CHRISTMAS LIGHTING
BC Interior: November 29, 2020 – 4 Days
Van Island & Lower Main: December 1, 2020 – 4 Days
The beauty of the Christmas season in the quaint Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth is a magical experience. Browse the shops, savour the pastries, and enjoy the entertainment. All the buildings are decorated and adorned with lights, so in the evening the town twinkles like a fairyland. The Interior tour stays three nights at the lovely Enzian Inn, located across from Leavenworth’s town square and convenient to the shops. The Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland tour stays at the lovely Bavarian Lodge, also located across from Leavenworth’s town square. The Leavenworth Village Voices present an exclusive Christmas concert for our groups. Other highlights include a Christmas concert by Leavenworth’s acclaimed harpist Bronn Journey, an optional sleigh or wagon ride at Red Tail Canyon Farm, and a trip to the Aplets & Cotlets factory in nearby Cashmere.
CHRISTMAS IN VANCOUVER
BC Interior: December 21, 2020 – 6 Days
This tour stays all five nights at the Granville Island Hotel, located on False Creek at the east end of Granville Island. The hotel is surrounded by interesting shops and restaurants, including many art galleries and craft shops. Stroll the waterfront boardwalks, relax in the jacuzzi, or ride the Aquabus to downtown Vancouver. There will be a delicious Christmas brunch and dinner served at the hotel and lots of fun activities. We will enjoy an afternoon tea with a charter of a Paddlewheeler in New Westminster, an evening at VanDusen Gardens, an evening on the Christmas Carol Ships, a tea ceremony at Sun Yat Sen Garden, Bloedel Conservatory, Vancouver Art Gallery OR BC Sports Hall of Fame, and Vancouver Maritime Museum OR Space Museum.
CHRISTMAS IN VICTORIA
BC Interior: December 22, 2020 – 6 Days
Christmas in Victoria is an annual tradition for Wells Gray Tours. We have stayed at the Chateau Victoria for many years and our guests love the Christmas décor and spirit. The hotel has a fine location near the corner of Burdett and Douglas, close to the Inner Harbour and Legislative Buildings. We have four nights here and the fifth night is in Vancouver at the Granville Island Hotel. Highlights for Christmas 2020 include: a reception with entertainment by the Victoria Operatic Society, Christmas Brunch at Vista 18 atop the Chateau, Christmas Dinner at Grand Pacific Hotel, a festive Christmas lunch at Abkhazi Garden Teahouse, the Butchart Gardens Festival of Lights, a Dinner & Show at Ambrosia Events Centre, a Tour of Victoria with local guide Danda Humphreys, IMAX at the Royal BC Museum, a tour of the Craigdarroch Castle OR Helmcken House, and Van Dusen Gardens.
CHRISTMAS AT SPOKANE’S DAVENPORT HOTEL
BC Interior: December 22, 2020 – 6 Days
Enjoy the beauty of the Christmas season at the historic Davenport Hotel for five nights. For 70 years, the Davenport hosted the world’s elite, but it fell on hard times and closed in 1985. It reopened in 2002 after a $38 million renovation and now boasts AAA’s prestigious 4-diamond award. This tour is full of delicious meals, including a fantastic Christmas brunch and Christmas dinner at the hotel, a dinner at Steam Plant Grill, a dinner at the historic Greenbriar Inn, and lunch and a sleigh ride at the High Country Orchards in Green Bluff. Other highlights include a driving tour of Spokane, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, the Campbell House, the Gaiser Conservatory at Manito Park, a distillery tour and tasting at Warrior Liquor, a Christmas Lights cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene, a tour of Bing Crosby’s childhood home, the musical Anastasia at First Interstate Center for Arts (Opera House) and even an optional Christmas Eve service at St. John’s Cathedral.
CHRISTMAS IN VANCOUVER & HARRISON
Vancouver Island: December 22, 2020 – 6 Days
This tour stays two nights at the renowned Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. While in Vancouver we enjoy an afternoon tea with a charter of a Paddlewheeler in New Westminister, the Van Dusen Gardens Christmas Lighting, dinner on board the Christmas Carol Ships, the Museum of Anthropology, the Bloedel Conservatory, and the Vancouver Art Gallery OR BC Sports Hall of Fame. We then retreat to the soothing waters of Harrison Hot Springs. Two days are free for you to relax and indulge in the hotel’s facilities plus enjoy Christmas dinner in the Copper Room with the Jones Boys band.
NEW YEAR’S IN VANCOUVER
BC Interior: December 30, 2020 – 4 Days
Vancouver Island: December 30, 2020 – 4 Days
Ring in 2021 in style and enjoy the annual performance of Salute to Vienna performed by the Vancouver Symphony with an outstanding cast of 75 musicians, singers, and dancers, which has been billed as the world’s greatest New Year’s concert. We have reserved superb seats in the Centre Orchestra at the Orpheum Theatre. Another highlight is a morning at the Vancouver Art Gallery.