From historic Boston to magnificent Montmorency falls, a Canada and New England Cruise is filled with beautiful sights and incredible experiences. If you’re keen to visit the land of maple syrup and ice hockey, we’ve got all the info on when to go, how to pack, how to plan, as well as the best ships and the best ports.

What cruise lines sail to Canada and New England?

There are a fantastic range of vessels which cruise Canada and New England. Whether you’re planning a holiday for the whole family or a trip of a lifetime, there are a range of cruise lines and cruise ships that go to Canada and New England.

When should you cruise to Canada and New England?

The Canada and New England cruise season lasts from May until October. For warmer weather, we recommend visiting in July and August. But for the quintessential autumn leaves and maple syrup that Canada is so famous for, cruise in September or October. Whilst not many cruises head to Canada and New England in winter, it’s worth finding one that does if you’re a fan of skiing.

What ports will I visit on a Canada and New England cruise?

Whilst a brilliant ship can really help to make a cruising holiday shine, it’s the fascinating and varied ports that are the true stars of a Canada and New England cruise.


This common embarkation port for Canada and New England Cruises is rich in revolutionary history. See the restored tea ships at the Boston Tea Party ships and museum with live actors and interactive exhibits. Walk the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail to see some of the most significant locations of the American Revolution, including the Concord Bridge where minutemen fired “the shot heard around the world”.  

For more recent history, visit the John F. Kennedy Museum, honouring one of the USA’s most iconic presidents.  

For families, Boston has its very own Children’s Museum which makes learning exciting and fun for your youngsters.

Sports lovers can’t miss Fenton Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. TV buffs, on the other hand, can visit the actual bar from the classic sitcom Cheers!

Newport, Rhode Island

To see the most extravagant and over-the-top mansions in the world, pick a cruise that stops in Newport. Here, wealthy heirs and heiresses built some of the flashiest holiday homes imaginable. The magnificent manors here include:

–  The Italian Renaissance style palazzo “The Breakers”.

–  The French inspired “The Elms”.

–  The shingle style Isaac Bell house.

– The Georgian colonial style Hunter House.

– The gothic revival style Kingscote.

– Rosecliff, modelled after the Grand Tianon at Versailles.

Or, if you can’t decide on a particular house to visit, why not take a wander along the 3.5 mile cliff walk to catch a glimpse of them all.

Bar Harbour, Maine

Lovers of the great outdoors will be in their element visiting Bar Harbour. The key attraction here is the stunning Acadia National Park, home to spectacular mountains and lakes as well as incredible Wabanaki indigenous history.

To learn more about the Wabanaki people, head to the nearby Abbe Museum.

New York City

Meet Lady Liberty herself, stare in awe at the Empire State Building, stroll around Central Park, and take in some culture at the Met. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

Montreal, Quebec

The old port of Montreal is filled with fabulous activities and sights. Get your geek on at the science centre, get lost in the labyrinth, or relax at the Bota Bota floating spa.

For remarkable architecture, visit the exquisite Notre Dame Basilica. Afterwards, watch the street artists perform at Place Jacques Cartier.

Shopaholics can head to Le Plateau District or explore the sprawling Underground City.

Montreal also boasts some brilliant outdoor spaces. At Parc Jean-Drapeau you can build sandcastles on the man-made beach, enjoy a spot of gambling at the Montreal Casino, and car fanatics can’t miss the Giles Villeneuve racetrack. At the Montreal Botanical Gardens you can view gorgeous plant life in the 16 themed areas or check out the creepy crawlies of the insectarium. Or for sensational views of the city, visit the Parc du Mont-Royal.

For a zoo and aquarium with Olympic History, pay a call to the Montreal Biodome.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

A heaven for history buffs, Halifax is home to some brilliant museums and National Historic Sites. Make your way to the Halifax Citadel, a 17th century military fortress, before midday to hear the firing of the noon gun.

For some spookier history, head to the UNESCO world heritage town of Lunenburg to take a guided tour complete with nautical ghost stories.

You will also find the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax, where you can learn the fascinating stories of Canada’s settlers.

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Are you a fan of the telephone? Visit the museum and burial site of its inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, in Sydney.

Or perhaps you’d rather spend a day in the life of an 18th century Canadian with candle making and butter churning at the Cossit House living museum.

In nearby Cape Breton, visit the Centre for Heritage and Science, complete with a discovery corner for children. Or if you’re keen to secure some one-of-a-kind souvenirs, follow the Artisan Trail.

However, the thing that makes Sydney truly unique is that it is home to Fidheal Mhor A’ Ceilidh- the world’s largest fiddle at fifty foot tall!

Saint John, New Brunswick

Visitors to the port of Saint John have the opportunity to witness the incredible natural phenomena of the Reversing Falls Rapids, where the powerful waters reverse the direction of the river. You can jetboat through it or zipline over it for a thrilling way to take in the spectacle.

If Mother Nature hasn’t impressed you enough, you can also head to the Irving Nature Park and explore its six different ecosystems or pay a visit to the UNESCO listed Stonehammer Geopark.

In the town itself, wander down Prince William Street to admire the Victorian architecture or take a trip to St. John’s Anglican Church.

Saguenay, Quebec

Sail along the glorious Saguenay Fjord and hike the beautiful Saguenay Fjord National Park.

Or if you’d rather immerse yourself in Canada’s riveting past, head to the 1920’s historical village of Val Jalbert.

Are you a plane geek? You’ll have a wonderful time the Bagotville air defence museum.

Or if you’d like to learn about the natural history of the area, head to Centre De Decouverte le Fjord de Saguenay.

Quebec City

Step into the gorgeous walled city of Quebec and discover its many gems.

The French Colonial La Citadelle Fortress is a must visit for those interested in Canadian history. As is the Plains of Abraham urban park, site of the Battle of Quebec. The St Louis Forts and Chateau is a great spot for history buff families, as the hands-on activities are a big hit with kids

Shopaholics, on the other hand, will adore the boutiques of Le Petit Champlain quarter and the antique shops and galleries of Rue St. Paul.

For those keener on arts and culture, wander around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Quebec and visit the fabulous Palace Royale Plaza. Here you’ll see the excellent Trompe-L’Oeil murals of the Soumande House.

If you’re planning to get some great shots for the gram on your trip, swing by the Chateau Frontenac- the most photographed hotel in the world.

For breath-taking natural beauty, however, you’ll find the 275-foot Montmorency Falls just outside the city.

Sept-Iles, Quebec

Sept-Iles is bound to be a favourite port for wildlife lovers. Go whale watching at the Gulf of St. Lawrence or visit the razorbills, puffins and auks at the Isle du Corossol bird sanctuary.

Active cruisers will love hiking on Grand Basque Island, making sure to take pauses to admire the marvellous scenery.

To learn about the culture and history of the indigenous Innu people, visit the Musee Shaputan.

What to Eat When Cruising Canada and New England

It’s practically illegal to visit Quebec without indulging in its signature dish, Poutine. La Banquise in Montreal is a superb place to find this cheesy, gravy-covered treat.

Quebec isn’t only known for poutine though- Quebec’s cheese is absolutely delicious, and you can sample some at the 1608 wine and cheese bar in Quebec City.

For a cute and cosy place to dine, head to Boston’s Urban Hearth. Just make sure to book well in advance.

What to Pack When Cruising Canada and New England

  • Layers: Even in summer, the temperature in Canada and New England is very changeable. We advise wearing multiple layers that you can add and remove as needed.
  • Raincoat: Much like in the UK, rain showers are always a possibility in Canada and New England.
  • Walking boots/shoes: Don’t miss out on exploring Canada’s fabulous landscape for lack of the correct footwear.
  • Rucksack: Whether you’re hiking over hills or exploring incredible cities, a rucksack is the perfect way to carry everything you need with you.

Preparing for a Cruise to Canada and New England

When preparing for a Canada and New England Cruise you will need to ensure you have the correct documents- your passport and an Electronic Travel Authorisation.

Unless you are exempt, you will also need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and also follow the additional Covid precautions Canada has in place.

We also advise that once you have booked your cruise, you book any excursions, activities and restaurant reservations in advance to avoid disappointment. With a range of fantastic options for cruising to Canada 2022 and 2023, the only hard part is deciding which sensational sailing to pick.

Charlotte Richards

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