YOU'LL FALL IN LOVE WITH THE EASTERN SEABOARD AS YOU CRUISE UP THE ATLANTIC SHORES FROM BOSTON AND DOWN THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER, THEN TRAVEL BY TRAIN TO VISIT THE MOST POPULAR CITIES OF THE AREA.
Your perfectly-planned rail-cruise combination tour takes you by sea from the historic city of Boston to Canada's cultural capital of Montreal, infusing your travels with unique sightseeing to historically significant landmarks along the way. Upon arrival in Montreal, begin your travels by rail with visits to Canada's capital of Ottawa and the great city of Toronto. This unique vacation combines the best of the Eastern U.S. and Canada with two exciting modes of transportation and optimal sightseeing to create what is truly the trip of a lifetime.
Arrive in the historic city of Boston, where you board your Holland America cruise ship. Your first port of call is Bar Harbor, Maine - a coastal town filled with beautiful nature and wildlife.
The next leg of your trip cruises north into the Canadian seas where you will visit the maritime province of Nova Scotia and the charming Prince Edward Island. You'll then take a daylong cruise down the St. Lawrence River where you can relax onboard and enjoy the many amenities of your ship.
Then it's time for the rail portion of your journey as you head toward Montreal, where you will disembark for a Hop On/Hop Off tour to see the city's best landmarks. Next, you'll visit French-speaking Quebec City, where the European influence of this historic city full of cobblestone streets awaits. Finally, you reach your destination of Toronto where you can explore the diverse city on your own.
Pre-Cruise Option: Many of our guests choose to arrive in Boston a day prior to the cruise embarkation. Vacations By Rail would be happy to make hotel and transfer arrangements for you. Please contact a rail specialist for details.
Ports of call include:
* Rail travel on VIA Rail Canada
* 7-nights aboard Holland America Line cruise ship
* Hotel accommodations for 6 nights
* 20 meals
* Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto Sightseeing
Ports of call include:
* Bar Harbor
* Quebec City
Day 1 - Embarkation
Arrive in Boston and make your way to the cruise terminal before setting sail at 4:00 pm today. Once on board, settle into your accommodations and begin to explore the ship's many amenities as your relaxing getaway at sea begins. Overnight ship. (D)
Day 2 - Bar Harbor
Located at the gateway to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine, is a port of call that takes you to the heart of northeastern nature. You may elect to hike the Park's trails in search of whitetail deer and other animals indigenous to the area. This New England coastal town has been a renowned summer escape since the 1880's. There are historic summer homes along Mount Desert Street that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and currently operate as inns. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Halifax
Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and today's port of call. It is recognized as the largest urban area in Atlantic Canada, a major cultural center for the region, and has the largest population east of Quebec City. The city has a number of art galleries, boutiques, museums, sidewalk cafes, and lively pubs. Seek out its historical landmarks including Citadel Hill and its Town Clock and Victorian houses along the South End. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Sydney
Your port of call today is Sydney, the largest urban area on Cape Breton Island. The town is a showcase for many historic buildings dating back to its founding in 1785. You won't want to miss the recently constructed oceanfront boardwalk and marina - or the world's largest fiddle, which is out on display. Nearby attractions include the scenic Cabot Trail and the Fortress of Louisbourg, which looks just as it did in 1744. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Charlottetown
Today finds you in Canada's smallest province, Prince Edward Island. Despite its size, it's big in history. This is, after all, the location where Canada's confederacy was created. The island also inspired the story of Anne of Green Gables, which was set in Prince Edward Island. The harbor area offers several boutiques worth browsing, and the downtown area includes beautiful Victorian houses and buildings. Popular attractions include Province House, which hosted the Charlottetown Confederation in 1864, and the Confederation Centre of the Arts, which is not only home to live theater and an art gallery but also the Charlottetown Festival during the summer months. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 6 -Scenic Cruising along the St. Lawrence River
You're surrounded by beautiful scenery and have all day to enjoy it from the comfort of the ship. Take advantage of onboard activities including the Culinary Arts Center with its gourmet cooking demonstrations, tasting events, and cooking classes, or massage and spa treatments in Greenhouse Salon and Spa. Relax on deck but keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife including whales! Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Quebec City
Today's port of call is historic Quebec City, one of the oldest European settlements in North America. Spend the day strolling the city's cobblestone streets, admiring the 17th-century architecture, and browsing the unique shops. Take time to seek out some of the city's most impressive landmarks including the Plains of Abraham, a historic area famous as the site of an important battle between the British and French during the Seven Years' War and now a park often used for festivals, outdoor concerts, and pure relaxation; the Ramparts surrounding Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and significant as the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in the Americas north of Mexico, and the Latin Quarter. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Montreal
Your cruise concludes in Montreal today. Your hotel is a short taxi ride away. Take the remainder of the day to get acquainted with this cosmopolitan city. Overnight Montreal. (B)
Day 9 - Montreal Sightseeing
Montreal is bursting with activities. The best way to get the lay of the land and visit the city's most popular attractions is through your Hop On/Hop Off city tour. Don't waste any time! Start early as there are so many impressive landmarks on this tour including Notre Dame Basilica, the Old Port of Montreal, Montreal Science Center, St. Joseph's Oratory, Mount Royal Park, and Dorchester Square. Overnight Montreal.
Day 10 - Montreal to Ottawa by Train
Depart Montreal today for the capital of Canada's government, Ottawa. The trip is just under 2 hours--the perfect amount of time for a quick nap, a bit of reading, or a light bite to eat. Upon arrival, drop off your luggage, grab a map, and set off to discover the city's unique shops and delicious restaurants. Overnight Ottawa.
Day 11 - Ottawa City Sightseeing
Located near the border of Ontario and Quebec, Canada's capital city is brimming with things to see and do. Take advantage of today's Hop On/Hop Off city tour to orient yourself with the city and visit its popular attractions and prominent landmarks. Highlights along your route include the National Archives, Rideau Hall, the Royal Canadian Mint, and Byward Market. Enjoy dinner tonight at one of the outstanding restaurants on Elgin Street. Overnight Ottawa.
Day 12 - Ottawa to Toronto by Train
Today embark on the 4 ½ hour journey by train to Toronto. Settle into your seat with a good book, grab a snack or light meal, and get to know your fellow travelers. Overnight Toronto.
Day 13 - Toronto Sightseeing
Take the day to explore Toronto at your leisure. The city's famed attractions are yours to explore on your Hop On/ Hop Off tour. Popular stops include CN Tower, Toronto's Harborfront, St. Lawrence Market, the Royal Ontario Museum, Maple Leaf Gardens, and Eaton Centre among other stops. Overnight Toronto.
Day 14 - Toronto
Your vacation through Eastern Canada and Ontario comes to a close this morning. A transfer is available to Toronto Pearson Airport.