With October slowly giving way to November, it’s prime-time right now for cruises to Canada’s Maritimes and New England. The fall colours are out, and the historic streets of Eastern Canada are filled with leaves and shoppers warming themselves with hot cups of coffee as they stroll through some of the oldest neighbourhoods in this country.
Tomorrow, we’ll fly to Quebec City, Quebec. It’s a journey that, from my homebase in Western Canada, will take almost an entire day – demonstrating the vastness of this country. Tucked in at the historic Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, we’ll watch the sun set over the Plains of Abraham and Quebec’s historic Citadel, which dates back to 1673. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to Quebec City, and I am excited for the journey – and for a domestic flight with no passport controls for a change!
The real purpose for our journey, however, is to tour Silversea’s ultra-luxurious Silver Whisper when she arrives in Quebec City on Friday morning, on the starting leg of one of her Canada & New England voyages.
Capable of carrying just 382 guests, Silver Whisper is the sister-ship to Silver Shadow, which typically makes her home in Alaska and other Pacific Ocean destinations. But Silver Whisper has something of a loyal following – so much so that Silversea sees no reason to pull her off of some of her most lucrative runs.
Typically, Silver Whisper begins her year by sailing Silversea’s yearly World Cruise itineraries – a voyage of epic proportions that, when fully booked, lasts nearly four months and circumnavigates the globe.
Following that, Silver Whisper repositions to the Baltics, where she sails a wide variety of itineraries from Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden.
But it is after a port-filled Transatlantic Crossing that Silver Whisper begins her brief but memorable Canada & New England sailings. And unlike many big-ship itineraries, Silver Whisper’s nimble size means that she can run voyages that sail between Montreal, Canada and New York City. No doubt some of the ports you’ve heard of before, like Boston or Halifax, but have you heard of Gaspe, Quebec? How about Sept-Illes or Trois Rivieres? Silver Whisper sails to them all.
This will be the first time I’ve set foot aboard Silver Whisper, and I’m there for one purpose: to document her interiors, deck by deck, and to see the kind of product she offers to cruisers who want to explore some of Canada’s most historic ports of call – and the world.
Serving as my homebase for the three nights I’ll be in Vieux Quebec is the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, perhaps better known as one of the most-photographed hotels in the world.
With its commanding views of the St. Lawrence River and its ideal location in the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Old Quebec, the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac originally began life in 1893 as one of Canadian Pacific’s grand hotels that were intended for passengers travelling on CP trains across Canada. If you’ve been to Calgary, Banff, or Victoria before, you’ll instantly recognize the opulent, turn-of-the-century chateau style that Canadian Pacific’s architects were going for.
Designed by architect Bruce Price, the Chateau Frontenac held the emergency World War II conference known as the Quebec Conference, with Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William McKenzie Lyon King in attendance. In 1953, it was used as a filming location for the 1953 Alfred Hitchcock film, I Confess.
Fairmont has operated the hotel since 2001, when it was spun off from Canadian Pacific into its own entity in order to make the brand more global.
In many respects, the Fairmont is a fantastic pairing for our afternoon aboard the elegant and graceful Silver Whisper. Much like you’d pair an excellent meal with fine wine, I believe in pairing great cruise ships with likeminded hotels so that the experience is consistent across the board.
My only regret: I won’t be sailing with the Silver Whisper!
So join us over the next three days as we showcase one of Silversea’s most-beloved luxury cruise ships, and one of Canada’s most historic cities!
Our Live Report from Silversea’s Silver Whisper will continue tomorrow from Quebec City and the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac!