Canada and New England are beautiful year round, but are a striking adventure when ablaze with fall colors. When seen from the deck of a cruise ship, the coastal splendor also reveals picturesque fishing villages, historic harbors, and cities with cobbled streets and the most historic architecture in Northern America.
While Mother Nature makes seasonal changes on her own schedule, the normal peak times for Fall Colors are from mid-September to mid-October. The coastal colors peak a little later than inland, so be sure to include an excursion inland when possible.
Attractions for a New England and Canada include rugged cliffs, mouth watering seafood, colonial history, whale watching, and quaint harbors. Imagine yourself a citizen of the early colonies, or living the sea faring life in rugged Nova Scotia.
What city is on your bucket list? Canada New England cruises depart from many of the key destinations on the East Coast. Start with a stay in vibrant New York City and depart from the Cape Liberty, New Jersey (Celebrity) or New York (Princess, Holland America). Enjoy the history and cuisine of Boston or imagine yourself in France by starting or ending in colorful French speaking Quebec. Spend a few days enjoying the history and food in Baltimore and depart on Royal Caribbean. Whatever the starting or ending point, be sure to spend a few days exploring before and or after your cruise.
Holland America’s medium sized ships are ideal venues for this itinerary and Veendam and Maasdam sail he area from May through October. Sailings vary from 7-15 days offering round trips from Boston and one ways from Boston to Quebec City, Montreal (on the AARP bucket list) and Boston, and repositioning (always a good deal) between Ft. Lauderdale in May and Montreal and Quebec City and Fort Lauderdale at the end of Fall Color season. From Sep 12-Oct 2, the Eurodam joins the others for 10 day one way fall color sailings between New York and Quebec.
Princess’ balcony rich Caribbean and Emerald Princess visit from Sept 14- Oct 16, offering 7 and 10 day sailings from New York and Quebec City. On Oct 26, Emerald repositions from Quebec City to Ft Lauderdale. Princess also offers land tours on both the US and Canadian ends of voyages.
Royal Caribbean’s active style Brilliance of the Seas sails out of Boston from September through October. Grandeur of the Seas makes round trips out of Baltimore. These sailings focus on the coastal harbors and do not enter the Saint Lawrence Seaway. As with all the cruise lines, shore excursions are offered to enhance your enjoyment of each stop.
Celebrity, focusing on cuisine and service has 14 day round trips on Sept 7,21 and Oct 5 from Cape Liberty. Be sure to enjoy the specialty dining venue QSINE any time you are on a Celebrity vessel. It is a unique dining experience, sure to make the list of your favorite restaurants.
Norwegian Cruise Line, home of freestyle cruising, has 7 day one way sailings from Boston to Quebec, 10 day round trips from New York, 7 day round trips from New York, and a repositioning from Quebec to Ft Lauderdale. Norwegian has great specialty (extra charge) restaurants, so save some budget to enjoy them whenever on board a Norwegian ship.
So many choices, how to decide? Start with your bucket list for East Coast ports. Which ones haven’t you visited? If the peak colors are not important, Holland America has ships in the area for the longest period. If the colors are important, match your travel style to the cruise lines. Norwegian is the least formal, and shares the value end of the spectrum with Royal Caribbean. Holland America has medium size ships and tends to have more traditional ship interiors. Princess and Celebrity have more contemporary styling. Celebrity brags about food and service and has more inclusive drink packages. Princess sets the bar for being the perfect vacation host.