Frequently Asked Questions

Canada is a very large, diverse and wonderful country.  Looking to better prepare yourself before your Canadian holiday?  Use the frequently asked questions below to better understand our geographies, climates and traveling customs.

A passport valid until at least the day after you return from Canada is required.

International visitors to Canada (not US citizens or US permanent residents) must carry a valid passport and, if required, a visa. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for a full listing of countries whose citizens require visas to enter Canada.

All other visitors should contact their Canadian consulate or embassy to learn what documents are required. 

To learn more about Canadian customs regulations, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website. 

Each child under 18 years of age must have their own passport, identification such as a birth certificate, proof of citizenship or student visa. A letter of permission is required from the parents of any children accompanying travellers who do not have legal custody of the children. If only one parent is travelling with the child, a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent is required allowing the child to be taken out of the country. If this is impossible, we recommend carrying a letter from a solicitor or a death certificate if applicable. 

Customs officers are often looking for missing children and may ask questions about the children who are travelling with you.

Travellers with disabilities in Canada have more options and resources for exploring the country than ever before. Visit Canada's Persons with Disabilities Online website for information on accessibility in Canada.

For details about accessible transportation in Canada and links to resources for travellers with special needs, visit Access to Travel.

Gifts valued at $60 CDN or less each may be brought into Canada duty free and tax free. If you bring in gifts worth more than $60 CDN, they will be subject to duty on the excess amount. Alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and advertising materials do not qualify as gifts.

You can bring in limited quantities of alcohol if you meet the minimum age requirements of the province or territory where you enter Canada (see below). These items must accompany you on your arrival. Minimum ages for the importation of alcoholic beverages are 18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Québec and 19 years for Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador. For more information on bringing in alcohol and tobacco to Canada, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Many agricultural items are restricted or prohibited entry to Canada. Canadian law requires that you declare all agricultural products you bring into Canada to customs officers when you arrive, whether it is by land, water or air. Permission is required to import plants to Canada, with the exception of houseplants from the United States. See the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more information. Handguns and weapons, such as mace and pepper spray, are prohibited from entering Canada. In addition, some fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, meats, dairy products and plants from other countries cannot be brought into Canada. For more information, please consult the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Canada encompasses six of the world's 24 time zones. From east to west, they are: Newfoundland Standard Time Zone, Atlantic Standard Time Zone, Eastern Standard Time Zone, Central Standard Time Zone, Mountain Standard Time Zone and Pacific Standard Time Zone.

Pacific Time, Canada's westernmost time zone, is eight hours behind Coordinated Universal Time during the observance of Standard Time; it is seven hours behind during Daylight Saving Time. The easternmost time zone is Newfoundland Time, which is 4-1/2 hours ahead of Pacific Time.
Canadians celebrate several national (federally established) statutory holidays, in addition to various statutory holidays established by the provinces and territories. See National Statutory holiday dates.
As of 2013, the population of Canada was 35,158,300 according to Statistics Canada.
9,976,000 square kilometres.
Driving is on the right hand side of the road. Pedestrians have the right of way and in certain provinces you can turn right on a red signal. There is also a 4-way stop. This is a cross road intersection where the right of way is given to the first to arrive at a complete stop at the cross road intersection.

A valid drivers license is required to drive in Canada.
A 5% goods and services tax (GST) or 12% harmonized servcie tax (HST in B.C. - this combines the GST & PST) is levied on most goods and services. This tax is generally not included in the price labels of items in shops but levied at the check-out counter. Tax can be reclaimed on certain articles.
Brewster Vacations Canada strongly recommends taking travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances that may interrupt your travel plans. We offer two options through Manulife Global: Cancellation and All-Inclusive Insurance.

Cancellation Insurance: This will cover the guest if they have to cancel or interrupt their vacation for a valid reason such as medical, death in the family, loss of employment without cause, etc.

All Inclusive Insurance: Includes all the benefits of Cancellation Insurance along with extending secondary medical benefits during travel which will cover any emergency medical expenses not already covered by their own health care provider.

For a quote (requires date of birth), please contact our Canada Specialist Vacation Planners. Travel Insurance is available for all independent Brewster Vacations travel packages. Brewster Group Travel is not able to offer insurance to group travellers.
We send physical documents in custom-designed packages for all travel agents and guests who reside in Canada and the USA approximately three weeks prior to travel. For overseas visitors, we can make arrangements to send these to your first hotel for pick up.
Yes. All Brewster Vacations Canada packages that include visits in the National Parks will include park passes.
The climate in Canada varies across the country, and according to the season. There are four distinct seasons in all regions, but actual temperatures and humidity vary.

Rockies and other Mountain Areas: The greatest variation of temperatures is to be found in the mountains. Mountain temperatures average from -16 degrees Celsius in the winter to 24 degrees Celsius during the summer. However, when visiting the Rockies, be sure to have layers of comfortable clothing available in case of a sudden change in weather conditions (in the mountains, even summer evenings tend to be cool). If you are planning on walks or hikes, bring sturdy shoes and a warm jacket. If you plan to visit the Rockies in the winter, come dressed for snow - make sure your outer clothing is warm and wind/water repellant.

Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island: Vancouver and Victoria rarely experience temperatures below freezing. These cities enjoy the mildest weather in Canada, averaging 5 degrees Celsius in the winter and 23 degrees Celsius during the summer. However, an umbrella and raincoat are recommended for Vancouver year-round - just in case it rains.

Eastern Canada: The Maritime provinces, Ontario and Quebec are more humid than the western provinces. Temperatures in Halifax, Nova Scotia range from 0 degrees Celsius in January to a very temperate 24 degrees Celsius in July. Plan on wearing a sweater and light raincoat in the summer. Quebec and Ontario are usually a little colder in the winter and slightly warmer in the summer.
While we can't guarantee it, there is always a likely possibility of seeing wildlife when visiting any of Canada's National Parks.
Unless otherwise specified or requested, meals are not included in our vacation packages.
VIA Rail is Canada's national train service that travels from coast to coast. VIA Rail's signature route, the Canadian, includes onboard sleeping accommodation for the ultimate overnight train experience.
Rocky Mountaineer is a luxury train service that includes overnight accommodation in a hotel so that all train travel is done during daylight hours. Rocky Mountaineer operates between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies. Both services offer wonderful travel experiences to visitors.
Accommodations onboard VIA Rail include either a berth or a cabin.
Berth: a berth is suitable for one person and is considered semi-private. The daytime setup includes one wide couch-style seat facing another seat. At night-time, your train attendant transforms your berth into a bed with heavy curtains for privacy.
Cabin: a private cabin is available for one to four people. The daytime setup comes complete with comfortable lounge chairs, and at night the room transforms into upper and lower beds. Private washrooms are available inside each cabin.
Brewster Vacations Canada is a packaged tour operator and does not offer a breakdown of individual prices.
Yes, usually the Banff Gondola is open year-round including holidays. Hours of operation vary, depending on the season.

2016 Daily Operating Hours

Jan 1 - Apr 30, 2016 CLOSED FOR RENOVATION
May 1 - May 20, 2016 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM*
May 21 - Jun 30, 2016 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM*
Jul 1 - Sep 5, 2016 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM*
Sep 6 - Oct 10, 2016 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM*
Oct 11 - Dec 31, 2016 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM*

  • *Last ride up one hour prior to close and last ride down 30 minutes prior to close.
  • Open late Fridays and Saturdays! We're open until 10pm every Friday and Saturday from September 5 to December 31, 2016
  • Thanksgiving Sunday October 9th open from 10am to 10pm
  • Christmas Holiday December 23-31, 2016 open from 10am to 10pm
The Banff Lake Cruise operates from early May to October each year. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled cruise time.

2016 Daily Operating Hours

May 6* - Jun 9 Monday to Thursday -
four departure times

Friday to Sunday -
daily departures every hour on the hour 
11:00 AM, 1:00, 3:00 & 5:00 PM

10:00 AM to
5:00 PM
Jun 10 - Jun 30 Daily departures every hour on the hour 10:00 AM to
6:00 PM
Jul 1 - Sep 5 Daily departures every hour on the hour, plus every half hour between 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM 10:00 AM to
6:00 PM
Sep 6 - Sep 18 Daily departures every hour on the hour 10:00 AM to
6:00 PM
Sep 19 - Oct 9 Daily departures every hour on the hour  12:00 PM to
5:00 PM

*Start date of May 6 is weather dependent

Availability is on a first-come, first-serve basis and specific departure times cannot be guaranteed without pre-purchased tickets.
The Glacier Adventure operates from Mid-April to Mid-October each year. Tours depart from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre every 15 - 30 minutes.

2016 Daily Operating Hours

Apr 15 to Apr 29 Daily 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Apr 30 to May 27 Daily 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
May 28 to Sep 4 Daily 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sep 5 to Oct 2 Daily 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Oct 3 to Oct 16 Daily 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Reservations are not required for individuals
The Glacier Skywalk operates from the beginning of May to Mid-October each year. Tours depart from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre.

2016 Daily Operating Hours

Apr 15 - Apr 29 Daily 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Apr 30 - May 27 Daily 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
May 28 - Jul 10 Daily 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Jul 11 - Sep 4 Daily 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sep 5 - Oct 2 Daily 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Oct 3 - Oct 16 Daily 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM*

Reservations are not required for individuals