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A Taste of Montreal with Canada & New England Cruise

Reference CTS9851
10 nights from
£1549 pp
May - September 2019
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Begin your adventure with a few days in the beautiful, cosmopolitan city of Montreal. A city that is known for its festivals, it also has history, arts and great food.  A Montreal bagel, poutine and a smoked meat sandwich are just a few of the things you need to try during your visit.   Your cruise will stop off in Quebec City, a world heritage UNESCO site is the only walled city north of Mexico.  Next, a visit to the red-sand beaches of Charlottetown, then Sydney for some Celtic music and culture; last in your visit to Canada’s Maritime provinces is Halifax, where there is a thriving art, theatre and culinary scene.  Last but not least, a stop off in Bar Harbor, Maine.  The cruise ends in Boston, where you can add on some additional nights before heading home. 

Price based on June departure, other dates available May to Sept.

Return flights from the UK
3 nights in Montreal
7-night cruise onboard Holland America’s Zaandam
Hop on/off tour of Montreal
ABTA and ATOL protection

Itinerary

Arrive from UK to Montreal – transfer on your own to your hotel.

Explore the city by using your hop on/off bus ticket.  Montréal, Canada is a city of contrasts, one that defies a simple description or a catchy tagline. It sits on the New World’s St. Lawrence River, yet it has an undeniable Old-World French flair. The city hosts festivals that feature the best international films, musicians and performers, many of its restaurants serve traditional specialties—poutine, bagels and smoked meats; others are helmed by some of the continent’s most innovative chefs.

Head to the port and embark on your Canada & New England Cruise.

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. Its Place-Royale would look familiar to the explorer Samuel de Champlain, even with its modern attractions of gift shops and cafés. On the Plains of Abraham, you can walk the battlefield where, in 1759, the French forces under General Montcalm were decisively trounced by the British, led by General Wolfe.

The British took control of all of New France within a year of that 1759 battle, but even so French culture still lives on here in Québec City. More than 95 percent of Québec City's population speaks French as its first language, though it's easy to sightsee and navigate the city in English. As you tour the museums and historic sights of Québec City that celebrate Québecois history and dine at restaurants that serve its distinctive cuisine, you'll discover a remarkable culture that has survived and thrived into the 21st century.

A lighthouse on little St. Paul’s Island is a stark reminder of days gone by as you sail past this infamous old shipwreck site, known as the graveyard of the gulf, on your way through the Cabot Strait and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. So huge is the gulf that half of Canada’s 10 provinces have a coastal connection to it. Perhaps that’s not surprising, considering that it’s the world’s largest estuary and fed all the way from the Great Lakes 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) away.

A mere 19,000 years ago, it was covered under a mile-thick sheet of ice. Every Canadian schoolkid knows that in 1534, Jacques Cartier was the first European known to enter the gulf waters and encounter Maritime Algonquian peoples. In short order, the French kept arriving, as did Portuguese and Basque, who established whaling operations and shipped unimaginable amounts of cod to the Old World. Today, visitors come to explore massive islands, colourful towns and national parks that straddle the surrounding mainland, as well as thousands of tiny islets around which whales now thrive.

Charlottetown is the capital of Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, as well as its largest city, though it has fewer than 35,000 residents. Despite its modest size, the city has an impressive number of Victorian houses and buildings and great parks waiting to be explored. For Canadians, it is perhaps most famous as the Birthplace of Confederation. It was here, mostly at Province House, that an 1864 conference led to the creation of the Dominion of Canada.

Prince Edward Island is linked to New Brunswick on the mainland of Canada by the 13-kilometer (eight-mile) Confederation Bridge that soars over the Northumberland Strait. A remarkable feat of engineering, the bridge opened in 1997 and is the longest in the world over icy waters.

Sites within downtown Charlottetown include the lovely Victoria Row, which becomes a pedestrian mall each summer, and other historic building, some of which are now museums. Nearby Prince Edward Island National Park is home to white-sand beaches and hiking and biking trails—plus fans can see the house and farm that inspired the beloved book Anne of Green Gables. During your visit, you can also learn about the daily lives, past and present, of residents on lighthouse and boat tours.

Sydney is the largest city on Cape Breton Island, which is linked by causeway to the rest of Nova Scotia. Sydney’s attractions start at the harbour, where visitors can shop for locally made crafts and see the world’s largest fiddle, which towers beside the port’s cruise pavilion. Some of the city’s historic houses and churches date back to the 1700s and 1800s and are open for tours. Restaurants often provide live music (expect fiddles and sea chanteys) along with meals of seafood fresh-caught in nearby waters. Sydney’s galleries give visitors a chance to meet local artists and purchase their work.

Cape Breton's natural wonders include the spectacular scenic drive known as the Cabot Trail. Hikers in Cape Breton Highlands National Park will find stunning vistas around every turn, while a boat ride on massive Bras d’Or Lake, which is ringed by wild hills, offers a different perspective on the province. Explore the region’s past with a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, and learn about the area’s First Nations communities at Membertou Heritage Park. If you decide to go deep underground at the Cape Breton Miners Museum, your tour guide is likely to be a man who toiled for years in the island's coal mines and has many stories to tell. Another must-see: The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, where the famous inventor made his summer home.

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 harbour, plus striking public art and sights, funky shops and excellent pubs serving up folk music (and good pints).

Explore the Halifax waterfront where steamships once anchored to drop off arriving immigrants at Pier 21. Savour the low-key but classy culinary scene for fresh seafood and Nova Scotia specialties—the city has both street vendors and casual joints catering to university students and upscale eateries with elegant settings. Along Nova Scotia's southern shores, the city is surrounded by lush greenery and charming villages that are worth the trip from downtown proper. Snap photos of attractions in the charming fishing village, Peggy's Cove, with its picturesque lighthouse on a rocky outcropping. Or wander the streets of Lunenburg, whose colourful Old Town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also soak in the charms and sights of Mahone Bay, home to artists' studios and a trio of steepled churches.

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. Dining on lobster is a must, as is a scoop or two at one of the town’s homemade ice cream shops. Boat tours explore the waters and islands that surround Bar Harbor, with seasonal opportunities to see wildlife—including whales—and lighthouses along the way.

Bar Harbor is surrounded by the magnificent Acadia National Park, making the area an adventurer’s playground. The park, which is celebrating its centennial in 2016, is home to sites such as Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain along the eastern coast of the United States and the first place in the country to see the sun rise. Guests can hike, bike or take a horse-and-carriage ride to explore Acadia’s lakes and striking coastline. Take advantage of the best bargain in Bar Harbor during your visit: The free Island Explorer buses take guests to Acadia’s major sites and to other nearby destinations.

Sydney is the largest city on Cape Breton Island, which is linked by causeway to the rest of Nova Scotia. Sydney’s attractions start at the harbour, where visitors can shop for locally made crafts and see the world’s largest fiddle, which towers beside the port’s cruise pavilion. Some of the city’s historic houses and churches date back to the 1700s and 1800s and are open for tours. Restaurants often provide live music (expect fiddles and sea chanteys) along with meals of seafood fresh-caught in nearby waters. Sydney’s galleries give visitors a chance to meet local artists and purchase their work.

Cape Breton's natural wonders include the spectacular scenic drive known as the Cabot Trail. Hikers in Cape Breton Highlands National Park will find stunning vistas around every turn, while a boat ride on massive Bras d’Or Lake, which is ringed by wild hills, offers a different perspective on the province. Explore the region’s past with a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, and learn about the area’s First Nations communities at Membertou Heritage Park. If you decide to go deep underground at the Cape Breton Miners Museum, your tour guide is likely to be a man who toiled for years in the island's coal mines and has many stories to tell. Another must-see: The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, where the famous inventor made his summer home.