THE HILLS…AND COASTLINES, BAYS AND COVES… ARE ALIVE WITH COLOR ON CANADA/NEW ENGLAND CRUISES
From Baltimore, New York, Boston, even Southampton, England, thousands of “leaf peepers” this year will go in search of a natural phenomenon found nowhere else in the world, at least in such a magnificent display. But, unlike many others, they will travel by cruise ship, taking in the unique spectacle of fall foliage in ideal comfort, sailing from one extraordinary color display to another along the New England coast and through the Canadian Maritimes.
Though leaves change the world over, most changes of season are only a pale imitation of that in New England and Eastern Canada. This is primarily because of the significant presence of maple trees in the area and between the months of September and November, their leaves to burst into vivid reds, oranges and golds.
Cruises offer an alternative to driving hundreds of miles through hills, mountains and valleys in search of the perfect leaf. Instead, passengers on cruises as short as four days and as long as three weeks can journey through Mother Nature’s most impressive wardrobe change while also enjoying comfortable accommodations, a wide variety of dining experiences, onboard sports and enrichment programs, nightly entertainment and diverse shore excursions to some of the continent’s most picturesque, and in the fall, colorful destinations.
The following are our picks for the best cruises to Canada and New England this fall:
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
Carnival Victory will offer a variety of four-, five- and seven-day cruises to Canada and New England from New York through September. The shorter voyages feature Halifax, Nova Scotia and/or Saint John, New Brunswick, while the week-long itineraries add Boston and Portland, Maine to the trip. The last sailing is September 29.
On September 27, October 10 and October 23, Celebrity’s Constellation departs on 13-day Canada/New England roundtrip cruises from Cape Liberty, New Jersey. Ports along the way include Newport, Bar Harbor, Quebec City, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Portland, Maine and Boston. The timing should be ideal for peak fall foliage throughout the entire trip.
Crystal Symphony offers four New England cruises this year. A seven-day “New England Celebration” roundtrip voyage from New York features Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, and Newport, while three one-way, 11-day trips between Montreal and New York include such ports as Quebec City, Montreal, Saint John and Newport. Departure dates are September 14 and 21; October 2 and 13. Crystal Symphony also will sail on an 11-day repositioning cruise from Montreal to Miami on October 24.
Cunard Line’s two “Queens” will be in New England and Canada almost simultaneously this year. Queen Elizabeth 2 makes a 19-day roundtrip from Southampton, England departing September 23 that includes Quebec City, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York and Saint John, between two transatlantic crossings. Queen Mary 2 offers a nine-day voyage, departing September 28, roundtrip from New York featuring Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax and Quebec City.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
ms Maasdam makes a series of seven-day cruises to Canada/New England throughout August and September. Operating between Montreal and Boston or roundtrip from Boston, the itineraries feature such ports as Bar Harbor, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Halifax and Quebec City. On September 9, 19 and 29, ms Veendam will offer ten-day “Colors of Canada & New England” voyages between New York and Montreal at the peak of fall foliage season. ms Veendam also sails from Montreal to Tampa on a 12-day voyage departing October 9.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
Norwegian Spirit embarks on a series of nine six-day Canada and New England sailings starting Sept. 2 through Oct. 28, roundtrip from New York with stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston and Martha's Vineyard. Norwegian Dawn features longer 10- and 11-day sailings roundtrip from New York on Sept. 2, 13, 23 and Oct. 4; along with one 12-day sailing on Oct. 14. Ports of call include Boston; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Quebec City and La Baie, Quebec; and Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John and Halifax are the featured attractions in Canada and New England on several Princess ships this year. Crown Princess makes seven-day roundtrips from New York departing September 15, 22, 29 and October 6 and 13; Grand Princess sails from New York on September 18, 28 and October 8 on ten-day roundtrip itineraries. On October 18, Grand Princess sails from Quebec to Fort Lauderdale on a 16-day repositioning voyage.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
Explorer of the Seas will offer nine-day Canada/New England voyages sailing roundtrip from Cape Liberty, New Jersey. Departing August 31, September 14 and 28 and October 12, the ship will call on New London, Portland, Halifax, Saint John, Bar Harbor and Boston. Grandeur of the Seas will also make nine-day voyages to New England and Canada from its home port in Baltimore. The roundtrips will include Bar Harbor, Halifax, Saint John, Portland and Boston and depart August 24 and September 7 and 21.
SEABOURN CRUISE LINE
Seabourn Pride travels to some of Canada's and New England's less visited ports on two, ten-day voyages between Gloucester (Boston), Massachusetts and Montreal. Sailing September 29, the ship will visit Saint John; Lunenburg and Baddeck, Nova Scotia and stop in Summerside, Prince Edward Island; Port Saguenay and Quebec City, Quebec. The reverse itinerary leaves Montreal on October 9 and visits Quebec and Gaspe, Quebec; St. Pierre & Miquelon, France; Louisbourg and Halifax, Nova Scotia, arriving back in Gloucester October 19, then continues to Nassau, The Bahamas on a 12-day repositioning voyage.
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