Canadian cruises grow in pop­u­lar­ity

The Delhi News-Record - - TRAVEL - JIM AND BARB FOX out­tosea50@hot­mail.com

Canada has a lot of of­fer when it comes to cruises, from Bri­tish Columbia sail­ings and the In­side Pas­sage, Gulf Is­lands and rain­forests to the cul­ture, his­tory and scenic back­drops of Que­bec and the At­lantic prov­inces.

Both ends of the coun­try are notic­ing a wave of in­ter­est in cruises.

Records have been set in At­lantic Canada and espe­cially now, with the fall colour cruises start­ing that of­ten in­clude the New Eng­land states.

The peo­ple-pleas­ing port of Hal­i­fax is part of that boom wel­com­ing 200 ves­sels and 300,000 pas­sen­gers this sea­son from April to Novem­ber.

Most cruises start or end in Mon­treal or Que­bec City as well as Bos­ton or New York City, with some round-trips.

Que­be­cers turn out in large num­bers on the piers to wel­come cruise ship vis­i­tors.

Not re­call­ing there are tides on the St. Lawrence River, I looked out our bal­cony win­dow while get­ting dressed for “for­mal night” to dis­cover a group of peo­ple look­ing in.

When we ar­rived, we were high above the pier but the ship had then dropped at low tide that evening.

In Que­bec City, “tourists are won over by the charm and at­trac­tions of the city,” said Marie-An­dree Blanchet of the Que­bec Port Author­ity. portque­bec.ca/en/cruises

Just a short walk from the Ross Gau­drault Cruise Ter­mi­nal, vis­i­tors can dis­cover Que­bec through its al­leys, for­ti­fi­ca­tions - the only ones north of Mex­ico - ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage “and, of course, its smiling peo­ple,” she said.

The wel­com­ing port is the most-pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for cruise pas­sen­gers among the 400 des­ti­na­tions served by Hol­land Amer­ica Line, said pub­lic re­la­tions direc­tor Erik Elve­jord.

It was again named one of the Top Three cruise des­ti­na­tions in the world and the top des­ti­na­tion in the U.S. and Canada by the on­line Cruise Critic web­site.

More than 200,000 cruis­ers will visit Que­bec City this sea­son on about 130 ships, in­clud­ing Celebrity, Crys­tal, Cu­nard, Dis­ney, Hol­land Amer­ica, Nor­we­gian, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Se­abourn.

A big party will wel­come the Dis­ney Magic on its in­au­gu­ral visit, Sept. 26 to 28, with a rous­ing wel­come on the pier.

Place des Can­otiers will have lo­cals dressed up as their favourite Dis­ney char­ac­ters along with en­ter­tain­ment, mu­sic and a “pyro-mu­si­cal” fire­works show.

At the con­flu­ence of the St. Charles and St. Lawrence rivers, Que­bec is known as the most Euro­pean city in North Amer­ica and is a UNESCO World Her­itage site.

See­ing Canada, eh?

A spe­cial 12-day Canadian au­tumn themed sail­ing on the up­scale Se­abourn Quest would be of in­ter­est to those want­ing to va­ca­tion in Canada.

This cruise, leav­ing roundtrip from Mon­treal on Sept. 19, stays solely within Canada along the St. Lawrence and gulf.

It does, how­ever, in­clude a visit to France - the is­lands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, “self-gov­ern­ing ter­ri­to­rial over­seas col­lec­tiv­i­ties” of that coun­try off the coast of New­found­land.

The itin­er­ary also in­cludes stops at Havre- Saint-Pierre; L’Anse aux Mead­ows; St. Johns for two nights; Cap-aux-Meules; Que­bec City; and Trois-Rivieres.

There also are sin­gle days sail­ing the St. Lawrence in­clud­ing the Sague­nay Fjord and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

To find out more about Que­bec City cruises: portque­bec.ca/en/cruises and for cruise line in­for­ma­tion and links: cruis­ing.org

JIM FOX/ SPE­CIAL TO POSTMEDIA NEWS

Hol­land Amer­ica’s Euro­dam is tied up at the pier in Que­bec City.

BARB FOX/ SPE­CIAL TO POSTMEDIA NEWS

A fid­dler en­ter­tains on the cob­ble­stone streets of old Que­bec City.

BARB FOX/ SPE­CIAL TO POSTMEDIA NEWS

Scenic cruis­ing of the Sague­nay Fjord in Que­bec in­cludes a vi­brant sun­set.

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