Holland America Line is stepping up the 2016 Canada and New England program and adding five incredible 10-day cruise options. These cruises allow for the perfect amount of time to see the region’s best destinations. From the chic French culture of Montreal and Quebec City to storybook lighthouses dotted throughout Halifax and Charlottetown, guests can take in stunning scenery, charming cobblestone streets and plenty of European charm.
These 10-day cruises on ms Rotterdam and ms Zuiderdam are highlighted by a combination of the 13 ports listed below. Here’s what makes each unique and worth a visit. We’re sure by the end of the list you’ll be ready to plan your 2016 Canada/New England cruise vacation.
Quebec City, Quebec
The singular image of the city is a hotel surrounded by cannons. Built to evoke a mountain castle, Chateau Frontenac sits atop a cape above the St. Lawrence River. The hotel is part of the city’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with all the stone buildings and winding streets, you’ll love its European charm and can take the funicular or the steps down to the Lower Town.
The cultural capital of Canada, Montreal always seems to show up on “most livable city” lists and has been named a UNESCO City of Design. You can enjoy a stroll along the historical streets of Old Montreal, Parc Jean-Drapeau and the cubist residential welter of Habitat 67. French is the first language of most residents, but the shopping and dining are international.
Gorgeous, green and Gallic, Saguenay is a charming village that is the gateway to some of North America’s most stunning scenery. Majestic fjords, dramatic rocky capes and picturesque hamlets all await. Here you can enjoy seeing the work of the village’s many artisans — from glassblowers to angora goat farmers — or take in its beautiful nature with hiking and kayaking tours.
Nestled in a rugged coastline dotted with tiny fishing villages and lighthouses, Gaspé lies in the shadow of the Chic-Choc Mountains. With more than 800 square miles of preserved parks, its natural beauty and abundant wildlife is astounding. Herds of caribou and elk roam freely; eagles and puffins share quiet coves. You can visit Percé Rock, take in Forillon National Park or walk through the city.
St. John’s, New Brunswick
St. John’s historic area, made up of old churches and buildings with ornate carvings and exquisite stained-glass windows, features nearly 400 years of history. And, this is one of the friendliest cities you will ever visit. Enjoy the beauty of the Bay of Fundy and its reversing rapids from Fort Howe and take in the Victorian architecture of the city.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown is the largest city in Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, as well as its capital. Its Victorian architecture, abundance of parks and harborside location make it one of the most popular ports in the region. Walk the cobblestones of Victoria Row, see the house that inspired “Anne of Green Gables” or explore the wild shore of Prince Edward Island National Park.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia, is big enough to be the economic and cultural capital of eastern Canada, but small enough to be easygoing and hospitable. It is located on one of the planet’s great natural harbors and adorned with landmarks like the Citadel fortress, Pier 21 and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Outside the city, you can see craggy coastlines, the bouldered topography of Peggy’s Cove and the German village of Lunenburg.
Sydney, Nova Scotia
At the northeast end of Nova Scotia, Latin for “New Scotland,” sits Cape Breton Island, whose wild and lovely topography includes Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Bras d’Or Lake and miles of rugged coastline. There are highland villages for you to see, the scenic Cabot Trail to explore, golden inland seas to sail and the Fortress of Louisbourg to inspect.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is one of America’s oldest cities and retains more original colonial-period buildings than any other. You can stroll through the heart of the town and hear the story about how this neighborhood became a model for historic preservation. The Vanderbilts, Astors and Morgans had their summer homes here. They called them “cottages,” but a stroll along Cliff Walk reveals some of the grandest mansions in America.
Portland, Maine, is historic and quixotic, featuring restaurants with some of the most luscious Maine lobster you can find. Take in the beautiful Old Port with old red brick buildings that have been transformed into charming restaurants, pubs, boutiques and galleries. Kennebunkport, summer home of President George H.W. Bush, is a charming coastal village located just 45 minutes south.
Bar Harbor, Maine
For much of the year, sunlight touches the United States first at Cadillac Mountain on the Maine Coast. From the granite-slabbed summit, light tiptoes down across the rest of Mount Desert Isle, Acadia National Park, the town of Bar Harbor and then the rest of the country. At Bar Harbor, you can walk the streets of town, relax on the Village Green or climb Cadillac Mountain.
There is no better way to get a sense of the Revolutionary struggle that changed our nation’s destiny than with a stroll along Boston’s Freedom Trail. Along the way: Paul Revere House, Old North Church, the Old State House and Faneuil Hall, gathering place of the early revolutionaries. Farther afield: Lexington Green, where the minutemen and redcoats first skirmished and bewitching Salem.
Since 1623, Gloucester, Massachusetts’ rugged coastline and sandy coves have enticed visitors to its shores. Nature lovers will revel in its whale-watching and hiking trail opportunities.
New York, New York
If you closed your eyes, you would still know you were in New York. You can visit a museum — like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Guggenheim or the American Museum of Natural History — or take a walk through Times Square or Central Park. And don’t forget about shopping along 5th Avenue, going to the top of the Empire State Building or sailing over to the iconic Statue of Liberty. No matter how many times you visit, there will always be something new to do!
Rotterdam’s and Zuiderdam’s 10-Day Canada and New England Itineraries
Rotterdam’s 10-day Canada and New England Discovery cruise departs Aug. 24 and includes calls at Boston, Portland, St. John, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, Gaspe, Saguenay, scenic cruising in Saguenay Fjord, Quebec City and Montreal.
Zuiderdam’s 10-day Colors of Canada and New England cruises depart Sept. 7 and 27 and call at New York, Gloucester, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, scenic cruising in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Saguenay, scenic cruising in Saguenay Fjord and Quebec City (overnight).
Guests also can take this cruise from Quebec City to New York, departing Sept. 17. This itinerary includes the same ports of call minus Saguenay and scenic cruising Saguenay Fjord, but adds a call at Newport.
Rotterdam’s 10-day Canada and New England Discovery departs on Oct. 15 and visits Montreal, scenic cruising the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City, scenic cruising the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport and New York
If you booked one of these 10-day cruises, which of these cities would you look forward to seeing the most? Tell us in the comments below.
We want to make your dream cruise even dreamier with our new View & Verandah promotion. We’re offering stateroom upgrades, up to 10 percent off shore excursions and up to 25 percent off Collectors’ Voyages on 2016-2017 sailings when booked by Feb. 29, 2016. Canada & New England cruises are included! Check out the offer to see if your date is available and book now!