Experience French Canadian culture in Quebec City: charming and safe, with residents that will welcome you with open arms as you walk the cobblestone streets to see the Château Frontenac, a landmark hotel that is the most photographed in the world; visit the bistros and galleries on Petit-Champlain; or take in history at the Citadelle de Québec fortress. Quebec City is also a foodie's Nirvana, with an experience in cuisine that will take you from traditional dishes such as tourtière and poutine to avant-garde cooking. Parks, historical sites, and museums as well as an aquarium are all not-to-be-missed attractions in this spectacular city.
Best Time To Visit Quebec City is a place you can visit year-round, depending on your own interests; winter in Quebec is most charming, but fall with its abundance of colors and summer with festivals, fireworks, and lots of other outdoor events are equally enthralling and enjoyable.
You Should Know You might want to brush up on your French; by law, all signs in city are in French. Biking is a great way to get around the city, and the Parliament building can be toured for free.
Saint John, New Brunswick
As the oldest settlement in Canada, you'll find plenty of history in Saint John. If museums and historical sites and tours are up your alley, then Saint John should excite you. The Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site (Lieu Historique national de la Tour-Martello-de-Carleton), a fort built during the War of 1812 that features interactive exhibits in the museum and a tour of the interior of the tower. Natural wonders abound in Saint John, too, punctuated by the must-see Reversing Falls Rapids, with whirlpools, rapids, and waterfalls. Whether you want indoor or outdoor adventures, Saint John is sure to have enough to satisfy your interests.
Best Time To Visit For the mildest, comfortable weather and affordable room rates, the best times to visit Saint John, New Brunswick are April to May and September to October.
You Should Know Saint John is the only city on the Bay of Fundy. Fundy National Park is one of the last wilderness areas in New Brunswick. Guided and custom tours are available at Rockwood Park.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The port city of Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia. This waterfront city has it all: from galleries and museums to lighthouses to natural landscapes, you will never run out of things to do as a visitor to Halifax. One of the city's most notable facts is its link to the sinking of the Titanic, as recovered bodies from the disaster were taken to Halifax. You can peruse a collection of relics from the Titanic in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Other things among so many that you might do is walk along the waterfront, take a brewery tour, shop the Seaport Farmers' Market or Spring Garden Road, or witness the beauty of Halifax Public Gardens.
Best Time To Visit Spring, summer, and fall are the best times to visit Halifax, though the city welcomes cruise tourists year-round.
You Should Know Halifax is best known for its seafood, so be sure to sample lobster, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and all types of fish offered at the city's many fine restaurants. Tours include Taste Tours Halifax and an amphibious tour called the Harbour Hopper. Halifax Free Walking Tours includes a tour through historic downtown.
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Another Canadian port city marked by historic and cultural landmarks, Sydney, Nova Scotia offers many waterfront attractions. From beaches and hiking trails to lighthouses and coastal views on the Cabot Trail, you'll find plenty to do while enjoying the breath-taking views of the ocean. Walk, shop, canoe, kayak, or take a whale watching tour—if you're bored in Sydney, it's entirely your fault!
Best Time To Visit May through October is the suggested time to visit Nova Scotia.
You Should Know With a six-month tourist season, prices could be somewhat high though still reasonable as part of your Canada cruise. Sydney is the largest urban area on Cape Breton Island.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
The historic waterfront city of Charlottetown might not be the #1 stop for some Canada cruises, but it is definitely worth a visit if this port is available on your cruise. Small but filled with lots of adventures, Charlottetown is a picturesque city that lets you live the island life while experiencing culture and history as well. The city's Victorian architecture and heritage can be seen in the design of St. Dunstan's Basilica and the Beaconsfield Historic House; some of the city's history can be discovered at the Port-la-Joye/Fort Amherst National Historic Site; and the beautiful outdoors can be enjoyed in the boat tours, waterfront lunch cafes, and live music events at Peakes Wharf.
Best Time To Visit As an island spot, it's best to visit Charlottetown during the summer months, when you can best experience the many outdoor attractions and events offered at this cruise destination.
You Should Know Some attractions do not open until July, and others close up before the end of August. You can still visit lighthouses and wineries, walk the city, and even take in the beautiful foliage if you choose to visit Charlottetown in the fall.
Canada's vastness is matched only by the grandeur of its scenic coastlines, making it a spectacular destination for cruisers worldwide. The country's prime cruising spots stretch from the historic ports of the east coast to the wild, rugged western shores.
Most Canada-bound cruises set sail from major U.S. cities like Boston, New York, and Seattle, offering a seamless journey northward. As your ship makes its way to Canadian waters, you'll be greeted by welcoming ports like Vancouver, known for its picturesque harbor, or Halifax, with its rich maritime history. Each port serves as a gateway to Canada's diverse landscapes and cultural highlights, providing easy access for ships and a smooth start to your exploration.
The Perfect Time for a Canadian Cruise
Sailing on a Canadian cruise offers an opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes and unique experiences of this vast country, and selecting the right time for your cruise is crucial for maximizing your enjoyment.
Summer cruising, from June to August, is the most popular season in Canada. The weather is pleasantly warm, typically around 15-25°C (59-77°F), making it ideal for a range of outdoor activities. Cruising along Canada's coast during this time allows you to explore charming coastal towns and witness majestic whales off the Atlantic coast. The summer months are perfect for cruisers who want to experience everything from hiking in the Rockies to enjoying vibrant city festivals.
However, cruising in autumn, particularly from September to October, offers a unique and mesmerizing experience. The fall foliage in Canada is a spectacular sight, with red and gold landscapes especially prominent in the eastern regions. This season sees fewer tourists, providing a more peaceful cruising experience and unobstructed views of the stunning autumn scenery. The cooler temperatures during this time are perfect for comfortable sightseeing on your cruise.
While winter cruises in Canada are rare due to the cold and ice, spring cruising, from April to early June, presents a beautiful time to see the country in bloom. The spring season offers mild weather, ideal for cruisers who want to experience Canada's natural beauty as it awakens from winter. However, cruisers should be prepared for occasional rain during this season.
Each season offers its unique charm and attractions, so when planning your Canadian cruise, consider what experiences you're looking to have. Whether it's the warmth and vibrancy of summer, the tranquility and colors of autumn, or the fresh, blossoming scenery of spring, a cruise in Canada promises to be an unforgettable journey.
Why Book a Cruise to Canada?
Have you ever thought about exploring Canada by sea? Well, booking a cruise to Canada is one of the best travel decisions you could make, and here's why. First off, it's fantastic value for money. One upfront cost covers your accommodation, meals, and transportation, letting you avoid the hassle of constant bookings and payments.
Then there's the unbeatable luxury of sightseeing from your deck chair. Canada's coastlines are nothing short of spectacular, and witnessing the rugged cliffs, sweeping forests, and quaint coastal towns from the water is a unique perspective you don't want to miss.
More so, cruises often offer exclusive shore excursions. Ever wanted a guided tour of Old Quebec or private access to renowned Canadian museums? A cruise has you covered, providing experiences not always available to regular tourists.
And let's not forget the convenience. Unpack once, and that's it! No checking in and out of hotels, no catching trains or buses, just smooth sailing from one incredible destination to the next.
Experience the Flavors of Canada
One can't truly say they've experienced Canada without talking about its diverse and delicious food! Canada's cuisine, much like its people, is a melting pot of cultures, and your taste buds are in for a treat.
Let's start with the not-to-be-missed "poutine." Originating from Quebec, this comfort dish is a hearty mix of fries, cheese curds, and gravy. You'll find variations of it almost everywhere, but for the authentic experience, try it in its hometown!
Seafood lovers rejoice on the coasts where you can savor the world-renowned Canadian salmon, especially delicious in British Columbia. And while you're near the water, don't skip the Atlantic lobster!
Are you craving something sweet? "Butter tarts" are quintessentially Canadian. These delightful pastries are a sugary treat that melts in your mouth.
For drinks, Canada's Icewine is globally celebrated. Made from grapes frozen while still on the vine, this dessert wine is a unique Canadian specialty. Wherever your Canadian cruise takes you, there's a gastronomic adventure waiting.
Local eateries near the ports usually serve the freshest catch and regional specialties. Remember, part of travel is tasting, so don't be afraid to try something new!
Immerse Yourself in Canadian Culture
Canada, a country known for its diversity, offers a cultural mosaic like no other. Each region is a unique blend, reflecting a heritage influenced by Indigenous peoples, French, British, and numerous other cultures. On your cruise, you're not just on a vacation; you're embarking on a cultural expedition!
One of the first things you'll notice is Canadians' politeness and inclusive nature, making you feel welcomed wherever you dock. Festivals abound year-round, with celebrations like the Quebec Winter Carnival or Vancouver's cultural festival 'Celebration of Light.' These events are a fantastic combination of traditions, music, and flavors.
Don't miss experiencing an authentic Indigenous Pow-wow, a powerful celebration of Indigenous culture and heritage through singing, drumming, and dancing. And, of course, Canada's love for hockey is contagious! If you're cruising during the season, catching a local game is an unforgettable dive into the quintessential Canadian spirit.
So, get ready! Your journey through Canada by sea isn't just scenic; it's an immersion into a rich, diverse, and vibrant cultural landscape.
Ready to Book Your Canadian Cruise?
Has the allure of Canada's scenic coastlines, diverse cultures, and adventurous landscapes caught your imagination? If so, it's a sign you're ready to embark on a spectacular Canadian cruise journey. From witnessing majestic whales in the ocean to absorbing the historical richness of each port, a cruise in Canada presents a perfect collage of experiences.
Imagine the convenience of unpacking once and waking up each day to a new, stunning horizon. Cruises offer unparalleled comfort and views, top-notch entertainment, and dining that showcases the best of Canadian flavors. Plus, the shore excursions promise deep dives into local cultures and natural wonders.
Don't just keep it on your wishlist—make it your next travel story! Embrace the charm of Canada's seasons, the warmth of its people, and the thrill of discovery. Book your Canadian cruise today and set sail towards unforgettable memories!