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Do I need a passport to enter Canada?
You must have a valid passport if you are visiting Canada from another country including the USA.
Visitors coming from certain countries will be required to present a visitor visa. It must be obtained at a visa office outside Canada. To know if you require a visa to enter Canada, contact the nearest Canadian Diplomatic Mission.

A note to all US Citizens traveling to Canada a Passport is required for all travel to Canada.

For additional information visit the official government site.

US Customs Announces New Procedures Governing Inclusion of Digital Photos in Passports
The U.S. Customs & Border Protection Service announced today new procedures to govern the Oct. 26, 2005, deadline for the inclusion of digital photographs in passports of travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries. The requirement applies to all passports issued on or after Oct. 26, 2005, and not to any issued before that date. However, passports from VWP countries issued prior to Oct. 26 must be machine-readable.

It appears that Italy, Austria and France will not be able to comply with the digital photo requirement by the deadline, and, therefore, travelers from those countries with post-October 26 passports will, for the near future, need visas to gain admission to the United States.

However, in limited cases, individuals may receive a "parole" that permits them to enter the United States with a non-compliant passport. Such paroles are at the discretion of the CBP officer at the entry-point and no one should count on receiving a parole. Each parolee will have to pay a $65 fee.

To be compliant with the digital photo requirement, the traveler's photo must be "printed into the page" of the passport rather than a separate document affixed to the passport page.

More information about this program may be found at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/fact_sheets/qa_machine_readable/qa_mach_read.xml

What are the requirements for general visitors entering into Canada?
Visitors to Canada must satisfy an immigration officer that:
•    they intend to return to their home country and will not try to stay in Canada;
•    they are in good health (some visitors may be asked to undergo a medical examination at their own expense);
•    they do not have a criminal record or are a security risk; 
•    They have sufficient funds to cover travel costs and support themselves in Canada.
If any of these criteria are not met, you may be denied admission to Canada.

Can I bring my pets into Canada?
Dogs and cats accompanying their owners from the U.S must have current (within 36 months) rabies vaccination certificates. It is advisable that you carry a health certificate and medical records with you. An exception is made for puppies/kittens that are younger than 3 months old but appear in good health. Seeing Eye dogs are allowed into Canada without restriction.
Can I bring alcohol or tobacco products into Canada?
Visitors to Canada may bring certain goods as personal baggage, duty- and tax-free, provided all such items are declared to Customs on arrival and are not subject to restriction. Personal baggage may include up to 1.5 liters (52 oz.) of wine OR 1.14 liters (40 oz.) of liqueur OR 24 bottles/cans of beer or ale (355 ml each; 8.5 liters total). The legal age in most provinces, including Nova Scotia, is 19 years.
Visitors to Canada who are 18 years old and older can import, free of duties and taxes, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of manufactured tobacco or 200 tobacco sticks.

Visitors can import, free of duties and taxes, gifts for residents of Canada (excluding alcohol or tobacco products), to a maximum value of $60.00 (Canadian) per gift.
See more on Canada Customs regulations. http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/

Money Matters

Will I be able to pay my expenses in US dollars?
Most hotels, stores, restaurants will accept US$, but they will give you a lower rate than banks or airports. Large hotels will usually give you a rate that approaches those at the bank.

Will I have any problem exchanging my money for Canadian currency?
Although U.S. money is usually accepted at stores in Canada, you will be better off exchanging it for Canadian dollars at a financial institution. Financial institutions offer the daily exchange rate. Some currency exchangers are reluctant to exchange coinage, or will exchange it only at par value.

Will I have any problem exchanging my money for Canadian currency?
Although U.S. money is usually accepted at stores in Canada, you will be better off exchanging it for Canadian dollars at a financial institution. Financial institutions offer the daily exchange rate. Some currency exchangers are reluctant to exchange coinage, or will exchange it only at par value.

Bank of Canada Currency Converter - http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/rates/exchform.html

Will my ATM card (automated teller machine card) work in Canada?
Check with your bank branch and see what they say about your ATM card and about any special conditions any of your accounts may have. Most of the major Canadian banks and trust companies are on the Plus or Cirrus networks. You get Canadian dollars and generally the exchange rate is good. Your bank may make a service charge of $2 for each withdrawal. When you make a withdrawal, funds will come out in the form of Canadian currency.

If I can prove that I am an American citizen, do I still have to pay taxes?
Yes. Most goods and services you buy in Canada are subject to Goods and Services Tax and Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST). You are eligible for a tax refund if: you are not a resident of Canada, you purchased eligible goods and accommodations, you paid GST on these purchases, you have validated original receipts, each eligible receipt for eligible goods shows a minimum purchase amount (before taxes) of CAN$50; and your purchase amounts (before taxes) total at least CAN$200. Mail your original receipts along with your refund form to: Revenue Canada Customs, Excise and Taxation Visitor rebate Program Ottawa, ON K1A 1J5.
You can get the complete information and application forms at border-crossing points, most duty-free stores, most tourist information centers, and online at the Canada Revenue Agency web site. You may be able to get your GST back on the spot in cash at a duty-free store as you leave the country (but not if you leave at an airport).

What credit cards are accepted in Canada?
Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted everywhere (restaurants, hotels, stores, etc). While American Express is widely accepted you may find that many restaurants, stores and cafes will not accept it. Any charge to a credit card will reflect the currency exchange rate of the day of the purchase and will appear on your monthly statement as such.


Is my driver's license valid in Canada?
American driver’s licenses are valid for varying periods of time. The international Driving permit is also valid, but must be accompanied at all times by the visitor’s state or national license. Every car must carry evidence of its registration (vehicle permit). If you don't own the vehicle, carry a letter from the owner or a copy of the vehicle rental contract.

What are the differences between speeds given in Kilometers and those in miles?
Canadian speed limits are posted on road signs in kilometers (1.6km = 1 mile). Highway speed limits are usually between 80km/h – 100 km/h or 50mph to 65mph. On city streets, speed limits are typically 50km/h or 30-35 mph. To convert miles to kilometers multiply the number of miles by 1.6. To convert kilometers to miles multiply the number of kilometers by 0.6.

Where is the U.S. Consulate in Canada?
Because Canada is so large, most of the provinces have their own U.S. Consulate. To find the consulate nearest you call 1-800-529-4410. The US Consulate in Nova Scotia is located in Suite 910 Cogswell Tower, Scotia Sq. Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B3J 3K1 Telephone: (902) 429-2480 Fax (902) 423-6861 or visit www.immigration.com

Group Tour FAQ’S

Will the tour director speak English?
Yes, we operate English speaking tours; other languages are available on request for many of our tours.

Do you accept travelers who need special assistance?
Any disability requiring special attention should be reported by you at the time the reservation is made. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the special needs of disabled tour participants, but are not responsible in the event that we are unable to do so, nor are we responsible for any denial of services by carriers, hotels, restaurants, or other independent suppliers. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a tour member for walking, dining, and getting on and off motor coaches and other transportation vehicles, or other personal needs. A qualified companion must accompany travelers who need such assistance.

How old does a child have to be to travel on a group tour?
On some of the tours an adult must accompany travelers who are less than 18 years old on the tour departure date; the child receives a discount on the land tour price. We have many tours that are available to families and there children with no age restriction.

On our independent vacations, there is no minimum age requirement. Land arrangements for infants under two are free of charge, providing parents pay directly to the hotels for food, crib, etc. Infants sometimes fly free of charge if they do not occupy a seat, while some airlines charge 10%. An airline ticket is always required for the child. Please arrange for this ticket directly with the airline.

Is Smoking Allowed?
All motor coaches are smoke-free, most Hotel rooms in North America are now non-smoking and smoking rooms are on request only.

Are prices based on double occupancy?
Prices are per person, based on two persons sharing a room. Single room supplements and triple room reductions are listed where available.

How big can my suitcase be?
Porterage for one suitcase on tour is included in the tour price. Due to limited coach capacity, we strongly recommend that this single bag should have dimensions not exceeding 30"x18"x10" and weight not exceeding 60 lbs. (27 kg).

I'm leaving in 4 weeks, when will I get my travel documents?
Travel documents, including any air tickets, Travel Insurance Plan, tour itinerary, hotel lists, Tips for Touring and helpful hints and other information are sent three to four weeks prior to tour departure.

Are tips for the tour director included in the tour price?
Airport taxes and fees; tips to your tour director, tour drivers, and local guides; laundry, beverages and food not on the regular table d'hte menu (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel or restaurant); optional excursions; porterage at North American airports; all other items of a personal nature are not included in the tour price.

What is the Travel Insurance Plan?
The Travel Insurance Plan and emergency assistance is strongly recommended and will protect you if trip cancellation for tour arrangements and airfare accrue, trip interruption, delayed arrival and missed connection coverage, upgrade protection, subsistence allowance, accidental death and dismemberment, accidental medical expenses and dental, baggage coverage and baggage delay. Please ask your travel consultant for more information.

How can my family contact me while I am traveling?
In your travel documents you will receive a hotel list. This list will have an address and a telephone number for each hotel you will be staying on each day.

Can I purchase optional excursions in advance?
Your tour director will go through the optional excursions available for purchase during the welcome meeting. You may choose and purchase any optional excursions for your tour then.

Why is it so important that I provide names exactly as they appear on our passports?
Due to increased travel security around the world, it is now more important than ever that the passenger's airline ticket match the full title, first name, middle name / initial and last name exactly as it reads on his or her passport. It is best to provide that information at the time of booking so the air we confirm is not in jeopardy of being lost. Should any letter need to be changed or rearranged anywhere in the passenger’s name, the air will be cancelled and re-requested "from scratch." Please note that the booking will be revised to land-only or subject to increased cost if the original air is not available to rebook. There is no guarantee we will be able to confirm the original air schedule or any flights at all.

Vacation Planning Service FAQ’S

Our "Vacation Planning Service" takes the worry out of your trip. We take care of all the details based on our extensive knowledge of this area. We can organize a full itinerary including any activities you outline. Then we need a few extra details and we can design your program for you. The summer months are a busy time so we would recommend that you book early.

Our Vacation Service Includes:
•    Expert trip consulting based on your specific requirements.
•    Accommodations, Car and other reservations to match your requests and the lowest possible rates.
•    Comprehensive maps and guides.
•    Tax refund information for out of country clients.
•    Suggested itinerary with sightseeing and dining recommendations.
•    Our HOTLINE while you are traveling.
•    Itemized information, with confirmation numbers and cancellation policies (no surprises or hidden charges).

Sample Itineraries can be found at: http://novascotiatravel.ca/vplanning.html

Please note that we can organize a full itinerary including any activities you outline.


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