Avid Cruiser Voyages: Extended Canada & New England

In last week’s installment of our Avid Cruiser Voyages feature, we told you about the classic Canada & New England run – typically operated roundtrip from New York and its surrounding ports and including a handful of stops in both the United States and Canada. But fans of fall foliage, great seafood and some of the oldest history in North America have reason to rejoice: there’s another, far more extensive run available to them: the Extended Canada & New England run.

Quebec City is a frequent starting point for these extended Canada & New England voyages.

Typically operated only in the fall months (though Holland America is an exception to this rule, offering sailings aboard Maasdam from May until October), these voyages usually begin in Montreal or Quebec City and terminate in Boston or New York. A few select voyages are also offered as repositioning cruises, beginning in Montreal and cruising on down the Atlantic seaboard to Fort Lauderdale or Miami.

So what are the advantages over the classic Canada & New England run?  Well, more Canada: these voyages sail into the heart of the mighty St. Lawrence River, stopping at Quebec cities like Montreal and Quebec City. Fiercely proud of their French heritage, you’ll think you stepped back into an old French town when you visit Quebec City and gaze upon one of its most recognizable landmarks, the mighty Fairmont Chateau Frontenac.

Exploring Newfoundland & Labrador, included on many extended Canada & New England runs.

Other stops along the way can include the lighthearted-sounding Baie des Ha! Ha! (yes, there are exclamation marks in the  name!); beautiful Sydney, Nova Scotia, and the picturesque beauty of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, perhaps more familiar to the world as the setting for Anne of Green Gables, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908. Fun fact: Montgomery was inspired by a photograph of Evelyn Nesbit, an artist’s model and chorus girl made infamous when her lover, New York Architect Stanford White was killed by Nesbit’s first husband, the remarkably-unstable Harry Kendall Thaw.

In the United States, these voyages typically stop in the New England mainstays of Bar Harbor before arriving in Boston or New York.

Holland America’s Maasdam is a staunch favorite among passengers, and frequently cruises Canada & New England. Photo courtesy of Holland America Line.

Another advantage to this particular run is its longevity: Holland America, for example, offers these sailings as seven-day voyages or as a 14-day “back-to-back” run, departing from either Montreal or Boston roundtrip. Other lines, like Princess Cruises, feature 10-day runs that are great for travellers looking to be gone more than a week, but less than two weeks. Their itineraries aboard Emerald Princess depart from either New York (Manhattan or Brooklyn), or Quebec City.

Finally, voyages near mid-to-late October typically begin in Montreal or Quebec City and wind their way down the Atlantic, making them a great choice for cruisers with the time to experience the East coast in a single go. These “Colonial America” cruises typically add port calls in places like Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina and even Orlando, Florida before terminating in one of the many ports of embarkation in Florida.

Celebrity Summit in Bar Harbor, Maine. Photo © Aaron Saunders

With all that choice, you could safely cruise this beautiful region of North America once a year and still not see everything that Eastern Canada & New England have to offer!

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