May 1, 2012
Fabulous cruises from Montréal or Québec
Cruiseship departures and arrivals from Montréal or Québec are increasingly diversified, mirroring the booming popularity of cruises in regions around the world, including Destination Saint Lawrence. Although the term "cruise" often evokes the warm waters of the Caribbean or discovery tours along the Mediterranean coastline, Québec’s Saint Lawrence River is piquing the curiosity of growing numbers of cruiseshippers with its picturesque shoreside villages, diversity of flora and fauna, landscapes carved by glaciers, First Nations influence, French culture and cities bustling with activity.
The 2012 cruiseship season is shaping up to be extremely promising with a program of some thirty international departures/arrivals from Montréal and a dozen from Québec, all in addition to the numerous scheduled calls into ports located along the Saint Lawrence. Passengers thus enjoy a broad selection of dates and itineraries designed to meet their expectations. Whether it be a Canada/New England itinerary from Montréal or Québec to Boston or New York, or an ocean voyage from Québec to Florida, cruiseshippers are certain to find something to their liking. Travellers from abroad are also scheduled to visit our shores after traversing the Atlantic from England or elsewhere in Europe.
A number of cruise lines have added the Saint Lawrence to their 2012 cruise offering, notably Phoenix Reisen’s Artenia, Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Gem, Saga Cruises' Quest for Adventure, Blount Small Ship Adventure’s Grand Caribe and Grand Mariner, Holland America Line’s Veendam, and Great Lakes Cruises Company’s Yorktown.
An item of note, and new for 2012, is the Crystal Cruises seven-day return cruise from Montréal. The Crystal Symphony will feature stops at Sept-Îles, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, as well as the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Readers will be interested to learn that renowned Condé Nast Traveler magazine features this new Crystal Cruises itinerary among its top Dream Cruise Itineraries for 2012.
From May 7th to October 27th, cruise ships will be sailing the waters of the Saint Lawrence, stopping in at one or more of our nine ports of call, and embarking or disembarking passengers.
Cruiseshippers would be well advised to allow a few extra days prior to setting sail to take in the sights and sounds of their port of departure. They may wish to do likewise upon their return, if only to ease themselves back into day-to-day routine, while extending the pleasures of discovery. Numerous urban escapes are on offer by both cruise lines and travel agents.
Whether theme-based—gastronomy and art come to mind!—to attend a festival or simply to discover a destination at your own pace, a two- or three-night stay will enable you to gently acclimatize yourself to the destination prior to your cruise departure or allow you to maximize your trip by taking a few days at the end of your voyage to discover Montréal or Québec close up.
When planning your Saint Lawrence cruise, don’t forget to check out the list of must see events in Montréal or Québec. This way, you will be certain that your trip is consistent with your interests and aspirations.