canada & new england

Colonial history and rugged coastlines, craggy seaside villages and opulent mansions -- these are just a few of the things that make a Canada & New England cruise so appealing. Each northern Atlantic port offers a glimpse into the past, as well as present-day natural beauty. In Atlantic Canada, Halifax and Saint John offer a glimpse into a different kind of city life, one where voices are quieter, the pace is slower,

Cruising Canada and New England is not only about what you can see and learn, though. These itineraries offer a plethora of opportunities to peddle, paddle and hike in national parks, along coastal roads and through color-filled forests. Speedboat rides in the Bay of Fundy, whale-watching excursions, and white-water rafting are all available, too.

best time for canada cruises

The Canada/New England cruise season runs from May to October, with the greatest number of ships sailing in August and September. The summer months are ideal for families on break, whereas autumn is perfect for leaf-peeping and ships that are mostly kid-free. Peak foliage times run from late September to mid-October.

May, June and October can be quite chilly in Canada, especially at night when lows dip to high 40's/low 50's in Halifax. July and August are the warmest months, with highs in the low to mid-70's in Atlantic Canada and upper 70's in Montreal. Still, even summer nights are cool, and it's not unusual to find lows in the mid-50's.

The best time to see whales off the Atlantic coast of eastern Canada varies by location. June through early August is the best time to spot these magnificent creatures off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. And the best time to see whales in the Bay of Fundy is between July and September. Seals can also be spotted off the coast of Prince Edward Island during the summer months.

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Quebec City, Canada - In Quebec City, you can get a taste of France without the Atlantic crossing. Visit historic sites that include Place Royale, a picturesque plaza that's considered the birthplace of French civilization in North America, and the star-shaped La Citadelle, a sprawling fortress and active military garrison that is a national historic site. Another highlight outside the city is Montmorency Falls, which -- at 275 feet -- is higher than Niagara.

Strolling the streets of Old Québec is like journeying back in time. The eminently walkable walled city has a unique European feel and is extraordinarily well preserved after 400 years. Whether you have a few hours or a few days, you’ll love the look and charm of Québec City’s lovely historic neighborhoods.

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Boston, MA - History comes to life in this city, rich in museums, galleries, parks and historic sights. Follow the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail that includes the route of Paul Revere's ride, view restored tea ships at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, or take a short trip to Concord to see the bridge where Minutemen fired "the shot heard 'round the world." Or, for more modern pursuits, stroll through Boston's Public Gardens, take a swan boat ride, and exit at the beginning of Newbury Street, home to boutique shops, cafes and great restaurants.

Boston is a big city, but it doesn't feel that way when you're walking around -- and make no mistake, this is one of those cities perfect to explore on foot. In 20 minutes, you can stroll from the Common (Boston's Central Park) down to the waterfront and pass major historical attractions, shops and food purveyors along the way.

Boston is, perhaps, America's most glamorous historic city, dating back more than 350 years. The city was founded in 1630 by colonists led by John Winthrop, and it gets its name from an English village. The events that led to the American Revolution, including the infamous arguments over the tax on tea that led to the Boston Tea Party in 1773, started in Boston.

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Newport, RI - This former summer playground of the famously rich is home to opulent mansions from the Gilded Age. Tour at least one. Grandest of all is The Breakers, Cornelius Vanderbilt II's Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with a lower loggia that features a mosaic of dolphins made from thousands of pieces of marble. Stroll Newport's famous Cliff Walk, a picturesque 3.5-mile path along rocky coastline that offers great "backyard" views of many of Newport's famous mansions.