Like most of the more off-piste cruising areas, this one has seen a recent surge as other destinations have become more expensive. The most popular type of Canada and New England cruise occurs in the autumn when the trees lining the Eastern Seaboard erupt in all the reds and golds of the season. These cruises generally take over seven days, and will call at ports such as Boston and Halifax as well as, less commonly, Quebec City and then many far smaller ports such as Martha’s Vineyard and St John’s, Newfoundland. They generally embark from any number of ports on the Eastern Coast of the US and Canada but two of the more popular choices are New York and Boston.
Increasingly, however, there are other options for cruises in the area with 3 to 4 day cruises gaining market share every year. Whilst the longer 10 day autumn trips typically attract a crowd that are, so to speak, more advanced in years there are now cruises running year round which cater to a younger clientele. These cruises also tend to have more adventurous shore excursions with nature hikes and bicycle rides and white water rafting common options. Particularly popular is the opportunity to take a speed boat ride in the Bay of Fundy with its unique rock formations and large tidal range.
Like Alaska it provides the opportunity to spot many types of wildlife that you might otherwise never see, from humpback whales to moose as well as to see a sub-Arctic environment depending on how northerly your tour goes. Moreover, the high season for Canada/New England lasts longer than for Alaska lasting from May to October.
What kind of cruise ships visit Canada & New England?
A good mix of large and small vessels visit Canada/New England every year. Large ocean-liner companies Princess, Carnival and Royal Caribbean bring some of their biggest boats to the area. However, many people prefer to go with mid-size or even small boats to tour the Eastern Seaboard. Although the boats themselves may have fewer facilities, their size allows them to dock at a wider range of ports. The operators offering mid-size ships in the region are Holland America, Crystal and Celebrity and there are many options for smaller vessels including American Cruise Lines (who embark from Providence, Rhode Island) and St Lawrence Cruise Lines (Quebec City).
Canada / New England Factfile
- Canada is larger than the United States of America in terms of size but has a population a tenth the size, 90% of whom live within 160km of the US border.
- The Eastern Seaboard was home to 12 of the 13 original colonies of the United Kingdom which formed the backbone of what was later to become the United States of America. As a result, most of the oldest buildings in the country are situated in this area.
- Montreal’s jazz and film festivals are both well known around the world for the prestige and quality of entrants and performers.
- Worcester, Massachusetts has the world’s only Toilet Museum as well as preserving Old Salem, famous for the witch trials.