As the calendar turns to the fall months, our senses are stoked by the wonderful, changing colors of the foliage.
Perhaps nowhere are those colors more vibrant than in New England and eastern Canada, and one of the best ways to experience them is by cruising. This region offers a tantalizing mixture of history, dynamic cultures, beautiful geography and inviting people. It truly is a hidden gem among cruise itineraries.
“I used to think this was the cruise you took when you had gone to all of the other more popular routes,” Acendas Travel Advisor JoAnne Weeks says. “Like, I might as well try it because I have been everywhere else. But I must say my experience cruising New England and Canada was amazing. The colors, the food, the cities, the people — you name it. You can see a definite European influence.”
Weeks points to fishing villages, restaurants nestled in historic sites, world-renowned museums, and metropolitan areas offering arts and activities as among her favorites. Ports of call include the quaint and charming town of Bar Harbor, Maine. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island offers the natural beauty of parks with white sand beaches and hiking/biking trails, and lighthouse and boat tours. Montreal, Quebec provides a contemporary metropolitan setting with the old-world French influence. Quebec City, Quebec is among the oldest sites in North America, featuring a large menu of historic sites. Sydney, Nova Scotia features a beautiful harbor with streets lined with galleries and shops.
Itineraries vary, but the longer ones often begin in Florida and move up the Atlantic coast before going around Nova Scotia and down the St. Lawrence River. Shorter trips start in Boston, New York or Montreal. Sailings generally begin in May and continue through the late fall.
“Another positive about this cruise is the region is readily accessible,” Weeks says. “You can take a relatively short flight or even drive to where you are starting. Plus, you can combine it with a stay on the front end or the back end in cities such as Montreal, Boston or New York. That is a popular option.”
Despite the relative proximity, Weeks suggest that people wanting to cruise the region not wait too long to plan. She said that with the shortened season, smaller ships and few vessels in the region, space fills up quickly.
This article is sponsored by Holland America Cruise Line