Breathtaking Scenery Awaits on a Fall Foliage Cruise to Canada & New England

“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.”
— Victoria Erickson.

In September and October, Canada and New England’s famed foliage puts on a dazzling display of vibrant colors beckoning travelers from near and far. The charming cities and quaint coastal towns become magical during this time of year, making our Fall Foliage cruises a highly anticipated vacation experience.

During the upcoming fall season, Veendam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam offer seven-, 11- and 12-day sailings along North America’s Coast that explore enchanting and historic Canadian ports in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, along with U.S. ports in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. From Bar Harbor to Quebec City, Holland America Line offers an impressive array of shore excursions that showcase the outstanding natural beauty of these lovely locales. Read on for some our fall favorites!

Bar Harbor, Maine


Located on Mount Desert Island in Maine, Bar Harbor is the quintessential New England coastal town. Picturesque and charming, it is a scenic and walkable town with streets lined with restaurants and boutiques. However the town’s true treasure is the breathtaking Acadia National Park.

Featuring one of the most scenic drives on the east coast, Acadia is one of the most visited National Parks in the United States. Visitors can get an in-depth exploration of this spectacular natural wonder on our shore excursion, “An Intimate Look at Acadia National Park.”

Guests will enjoy the ultimate small-group excursion. With just 14 guests, this tour provides maximum interaction as you observe the wonders of this majestic park. Your drive will trace the ocean’s edge before stopping at Thunder Hole where under the right tidal conditions, ocean swells and converge with a thunderous roar against the granite coastline. You’ll pause high above the 107-foot Otter Cliffs before winding through lush pine and deciduous forests. Pass scenic glacial lakes, then continue up the famed summit road of Cadillac Mountain, the Atlantic coast’s highest peak. From the summit, you’ll get breathtaking, 360-degree views of Frenchman Bay (where your ship is anchored) and the Cranberry Isles. At every overlook, your guide will encourage questions from guests and provide personal insights into Acadia. This intimate tour will provide you with a unique look at this gorgeous corner of the United States.

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada


Sydney is the largest city on Cape Breton Island, and is linked by causeway to the rest of Nova Scotia. Visitors can shop for locally made crafts, see the world’s largest fiddle, explore historic houses that date back to the 1700s and 1800s, or enjoy one of the many restaurants that provide live music along with fresh-caught seafood from nearby waters.

Visitors can enjoy one of Cape Breton’s natural wonders with our Taste of The Cabot Trail tour. The Cabot Trail, deemed one of the most scenic drives in North America, will take you from the Atlantic shoreline and into Cape Breton’s Highland National Park.

A drive from the port of Sydney to the fishing village of Ingonish reveals the picturesque vistas that inspired Alexander Graham Bell to say, “I have travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps, and the Highlands of Scotland but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all.”

Drive over Kelly’s Mountain and the Cape Smokey Mountains toward the national park, pausing for a break at the Gaelic College. Visit Bell’s favorite beach and view the great granite cliffs of Middle Head Peninsula, then enjoy a buffet lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Sydney.

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada


Few places in North America are as steeped in history as Québec City, Canada. Older than Jamestown and founded before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, it is the only city north of Mexico whose original fortifications remain intact. The Québec City historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is still home to religious orders and hospitals that date back to the 17th century.

One of the city’s most spectacular sites, Montmorency Falls, sits along the Saint Lawrence River within minutes of the old walled city of Quebec. Guests can marvel at the impressive beauty of the falls — 1½ times the height of Niagara Falls — on our Bicycle Adventure to Montomorency Falls shore excursion.

Guests will meet their cycling guide for an eight-mile ride to Montmorency Falls, passing the Québec Yacht Harbor and the Industrial Grain Elevators before crossing the St Charles River. Enjoy spectacular views of the skyline of Québec and the Island of Orléans on the cycle path parallel to the St Lawrence River. Upon arriving at Montmorency Falls, board an aerial tram for the ride to the top of the falls. See the powerful forces of nature at work, as the water of the Montmorency River roars down the 270-foot cliff to eventually meet with the St Lawrence River. You will have time to walk the path along the falls.

Saguenay, Quebec, Canada


The quaint waterfront town of Saguenay is situated in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean—a stunning region named after two standout geographical features that were formed by glaciers: Lake (or Lac) Saint-Jean and the Saguenay River, which winds through one of the longest fjords in the world. These natural glories allow visitors to Saguenay access to a number of seasonal outdoor activities, from kayaking on Lac Saint-Jean and hiking and biking in Saguenay Fjord National Park to winter sports galore.

On our Discover the Fjord Secrets tour, cruisers can discover the best Saguenay has to offer, as it combines Saguenay National Park and the raw beauty of the fjord seen from the sea.

Boarding a boat at the pier, guests enjoy a truly memorable experience and discover the natural beauty of the fjord from the sea. Huge cliffs shaped by glaciers rise more than 1,150 feet above sea level and plunge 900 feet below the waterline.

This unforgettable cruise will also take you Cape Trinity — the most impressive cliff in the fjord. Learn about the geological, biological and morphological development of the fjord as you glide by the impressive landscapes of this natural wonder. You’ll pass along the shores of Ste Rose du Nord. One of the most beautiful villages in the province of Quebec, this charming little hamlet is nestled on the shores of the Saguenay River and surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

Your cruise will end at the rather charming village of L’Anse St-Jean, where you will have some free time to admire this sweet little town.

Continue discovering the fjord by motor coach, ¬with photo opportunities including an old covered bridge. Check your pocket book — this is the same bridge that is immortalized on the Canadian $1,000 bill.

Stop at the National Park Observation Point en route back to the ship.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Peggys' Cove

Located on a rocky inlet on the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax, Nova Scotia’s provincial capital, is defined by its maritime geography. It’s a spirited mix of world-class history and nautical-themed museums alongside bunkers and fortresses that guarded the harbor, plus striking public art and sights, funky shops and excellent pubs serving up folk music and good pints.

To truly experience the sheer majesty and power of the Atlantic Ocean you must travel along the winding coastal highway of the Lighthouse Route to the tiny fishing village and unspoiled beauty of Peggy’s Cove.

Peggy’s Cove is an authentic fishing village — little wonder it has been an inspiration for artists and an irresistible lure for budding and seasoned adventurers for generation after generation. The colorful houses and fishing shacks perched atop the solid stone rocky outcrop that overlooks the restless waters of the Atlantic exhibit the wear and tear of the ocean and its punishing storms. Yet they endure, much like the small population of approximately 40 year-round residents.

On our Peggy’s Cove shore excursion, take time to view the most photographed lighthouse in the whole world and see a famous piece of artwork inspired by this harsh yet breathtaking landscape — a granite carving by local resident William deGarthe that beautifully depicts the life and the people of the area.

You’ll have some free time to stroll along the rocks on your own, browse through the many souvenir shops, and see the unusual rock formations forged by glaciers during the last Ice Age.

It’s not too late to join a Holland America Line cruise to Canada & New England this fall! Take a look at the itineraries and make your booking today!


Join the Discussion


  1. John Phillips February 22, 2020 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Committed to Oct 2020 cruise Boston to quebec. Would like to set up shore excursions for 2. One person has impaired mobility.

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