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In The Path Of Cartier

Much like the fearless 16th-century explorer Jacques Cartier, you’ll be awestruck by the autumnal beauty of Atlantic Canada and the St. Lawrence River, where cosy harbours such as Sydney and Saguenay star beside regal Halifax and Quebec City.

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11 nights from £4251pp

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Quebec City
Montreal
Saguenay Fjord in Quebec

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In The Path Of Cartier Itinerary

Day 1 - Boston (USA)

There’s history and culture around every bend in Boston—skyscrapers nestle next to historic hotels while modern marketplaces line the antique cobblestone streets. But to Bostonians, living in a city that blends yesterday and today is just another day in beloved Beantown.

Day 2 - Bar Harbor

A resort town since the 19th century, Bar Harbor is the artistic, culinary, and social center of Mount Desert Island. It also serves visitors to Acadia National Park with inns, motels, and restaurants. Around the turn of the last century the island was known as the summer haven of the very rich because of its cool breezes. The wealthy built lavish mansions throughout the island, many of which were destroyed in a huge fire that devastated the island in 1947, but many of those that survived have been converted into businesses. Shops are clustered along Main, Mount Desert, and Cottage streets. Take a stroll down West Street, a National Historic District, where you can see some fine old houses.The island and the surrounding Gulf of Maine are home to a great variety of wildlife: whales, seals, eagles, falcons, ospreys, and puffins (though not right offshore here), and forest dwellers such as deer, foxes, coyotes, and beavers.

Day 3 - Saint-John (New Brunswick, Canada)

Like any seaport worth its salt, Saint John is a welcoming place but, more than that, it is fast transforming into a sophisticated urban destination worthy of the increasing number of cruise ships that dock at its revitalized waterfront. Such is the demand that a second cruise terminal opened in 2012, just two years after the first one, and 2013 will see the two-millionth cruise passenger disembark. All the comings and goings over the centuries have exposed Saint Johners to a wide variety of cultures and ideas, creating a characterful Maritime city with a vibrant artistic community. Visitors will discover rich and diverse cultural products in its urban core, including a plethora of art galleries and antiques shops in uptown.Industry and salt air have combined to give parts of Saint John a weather-beaten quality, but you'll also find lovingly restored 19th-century wooden and redbrick homes as well as modern office buildings, hotels, and shops.The natives welcomed the French explorers Samuel de Champlain and Sieur de Monts when they landed here on St. John the Baptist Day in 1604. Then, nearly two centuries later, in May 1783, 3,000 British Loyalists fleeing the aftermath of the American Revolutionary War poured off a fleet of ships to make a home amid the rocks and forests. Two years later the city of Saint John became the first in Canada to be incorporated.Although most of the Loyalists were English, there were some Irish among them. After the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, thousands more Irish workers found their way to Saint John.

It was the Irish potato famine of 1845 to 1852, though, that spawned the largest influx of Irish immigrants, and today a 20-foot Celtic cross on Partridge Island at the entrance to St. John Harbour stands as a reminder of the hardships and suffering they endured. Their descendants make Saint John Canada's most Irish city, a fact that's celebrated in grand style each March with a weeklong St. Patrick's celebration.The St. John River, its Reversing Rapids, and Saint John Harbour divide the city into eastern and western districts. The historic downtown area (locally known as "uptown") is on the east side, where an ambitious urban-renewal program started in the early 1980s has transformed the downtown waterfront. Older properties have been converted into trendy restaurants and shops, while glittering new apartment and condo buildings will take full advantage of the spectacular view across the bay. Harbour Passage, a redbrick walking and cycling path with benches and lots of interpretive information, begins downtown at Market Square and winds along the waterfront all the way to the Reversing Rapids. A shuttle boat between Market Square and the falls means you have to walk only one way. On the lower west side, painted-wood homes with flat roofs—characteristic of Atlantic Canadian seaports—slope to the harbor. Industrial activity is prominent on the west side, which has stately older homes on huge lots.Regardless of the weather, Saint John is a delightful city to explore, as so many of its key downtown attractions are linked by enclosed overhead pedways known as the "Inside Connection."

Day 4 - Halifax (Nova Scotia)

Surrounded by natural treasures and glorious seascapes, Halifax is an attractive and vibrant hub with noteworthy historic and modern architecture, great dining and shopping, and a lively nightlife and festival scene. The old city manages to feel both hip and historic. Previous generations had the foresight to preserve the cultural and architectural integrity of the city, yet students from five local universities keep it lively and current. It's a perfect starting point to any tour of the Atlantic provinces, but even if you don't venture beyond its boundaries, you will get a real taste of the region.It was Halifax’s natural harbor—the second largest in the world after Sydney, Australia’s—that first drew the British here in 1749, and today most major sites are conveniently located either along it or on the Citadel-crowned hill overlooking it. That’s good news for visitors because this city actually covers quite a bit of ground.Since amalgamating with Dartmouth (directly across the harbor) and several suburbs in 1996, Halifax has been absorbed into the Halifax Regional Municipality, and the HRM, as it is known, has around 415,000 residents. That may not sound like a lot by U.S. standards, but it makes Nova Scotia’s capital the most significant Canadian urban center east of Montréal.There's easy access to the water, and despite being the focal point of a busy commercial port, Halifax Harbour doubles as a playground, with one of the world's longest downtown boardwalks. It's a place where container ships, commuter ferries, cruise ships, and tour boats compete for space, and where workaday tugs and fishing vessels tie up beside glitzy yachts. Like Halifax as a whole, the harbor represents a blend of the traditional and the contemporary.

Day 5 - Sydney

If you come directly to Cape Breton via plane, ferry, or cruise ship, Sydney is where you’ll land. If you’re seeking anything resembling an urban experience, it’s also where you’ll want to stay: after all, this is the island’s sole city. Admittedly, it is not the booming center it was a century ago when the continent’s largest steel plant was located here (that era is evoked in Fall on Your Knees, an Oprah Book Club pick penned by Cape Bretoner Anne-Marie MacDonald). However, Sydney has a revitalized waterfront and smattering of Loyalist-era buildings that appeal to visitors. Moreover, it offers convenient access to popular attractions in the region—like the Miner’s Museum in nearby Glace Bay (named for the glace, or ice, that filled its harbor in winter), the Fortress at Louisbourg, and beautiful Bras d'Or Lake.

Day 6 - Corner Brook (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Newfoundland's fourth-largest city, Corner Brook is the hub of the island's west coast. Hills fringe three sides of the city, which has dramatic views of the harbor and the Bay of Islands. The town is also home to a large paper mill and a branch of Memorial University. Captain James Cook, the British explorer, charted the coast in the 1760s, and a memorial to him overlooks the bay.The town enjoys more clearly defined seasons than most of the rest of the island, and in summer it has many pretty gardens. The nearby Humber River is the best-known salmon river in the province, and there are many kilometers of well-maintained walking trails in the community.

Day 7 - Havre-Saint-Pierre (Québec)

Havre St. Pierre is a tiny seaside port on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec. It was settled in 1857 by Acadians from the Magdalen Island, and still today locals speak a dialect more similar to Acadian French than to Quebec French. It was originally called Saint-Pierre-de-la-Pointe-aux-Esquimaux until 1927, when it was officially shortened to Havre St Pierre. Until recently the local economy relied mainly on fishing and lumbering, today it is mainly a titanium ore-transhipment port. Nearby is one of the world’s most amazing natural phenomena – the Mingan Archipelago. They are the largest group of erosional monoliths in Canada, and were declared a Nation Park in 1984. These limestone monoliths have formed over thousands of years by wave action, strong winds and seasonal freezing and thawing. The result is a unique set of large limestone sculptures.

Day 8 - Sept-Iles

Viewing the workings of this major Canadian port from a waterfront boardwalk, no one would guess this was once a quiet fishing village. The place boomed after World War II, when large companies decided Sept-Îles would make a good base for expanding northern Québec’s iron-mining industry. But all of the massive infrastructure can’t trump Mother Nature. Beautiful beaches line the coast, and the islands of an archipelago park sit just offshore. Campers and bird-watchers flock here, in part to spot the colorful beaks of the puffins.

Day 9 - Baie-Comeau

Quaint Baie-Comeau is one of the mellower destinations you’ll visit on your cruise, offering a chance to experience small-town life on the north shore of Canada’s St. Lawrence River. Founded around a mill that supplied paper to the Chicago Tribune in the 1930s, the town maintains an unpretentious, working-class feel that invites you to slow down and savor the little things that make life sweet, like a pretty park or a magnificent view. You’ll have easy access to natural beauty, as the entire region is part of UNESCO’s Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve, and Le Boisé de la Pointe-Saint-Gilles nature reserve is in the heart of town.

Day 10 - Saguenay

Just after visiting Saguenay, the wonderful Saguenay River pours into the massive St. Lawrence River. Before then, however, it slices through one of the world's most southerly fjords and dense forests of towering pine trees. The nature watching here is nothing short of sublime, with outdoor spots like the Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay offering panoramic vistas and sandy river-beaches. Island-sized blue whales cruise through the waters of the mighty rivers, and flick gallons of water into the air effortlessly with a single swish of their colossal tails. With hiking, kayaking and cycling opportunities inviting you to explore the spectacular scenery - you'll find endless ways to fall in love with this majestic outdoor escape. In fall, gorgeous colours ripple through the foliage, and in doing so, they provide one of nature's greatest performances.

Day 11 - Quebec City

Québec City's alluring setting atop Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant) evokes a past of high adventure, military history, and exploration. This French-speaking capital city is the only walled city north of Mexico. Visitors come for the delicious and inventive cuisine, the remarkable historical continuity, and to share in the seasonal exuberance of the largest Francophone population outside France.The historic heart of this community is the Old City (Vieux-Québec), comprising the part of Upper Town (Haute-Ville) surrounded by walls and Lower Town (Basse-Ville), which spreads out at the base of the hill from Place Royale. Many sets of staircases and the popular funicular link the top of the hill with the bottom. Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and elaborate cathedrals here are charming in all seasons. The Old City earned recognition as an official UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985, thanks largely to city planners who managed to update and preserve the 400-year-old buildings and attractions without destroying what made them worth preserving. The most familiar icon of the city, Fairmont Château Frontenac, is set on the highest point in Upper Town, where it holds court over the entire city.Sitting proudly above the confluence of the St. Lawrence and St. Charles rivers, the city's famous military fortification, La Citadelle, built in the early 19th century, remains the largest of its kind in North America. In summer, visitors should try to catch the Changing of the Guard, held every morning at 10 am; you can get much closer to the guards here than at Buckingham Palace in London.Enchanting as it is, the Old City is just a small part of the true Québec City experience. Think outside the walls and explore St-Roch, a downtown hot spot, which has artsy galleries, foodie haunts, and a bustling square. Cruise the Grande-Allée and avenue Cartier to find a livelier part of town dotted with nightclubs and fun eateries. Or while away the hours in St-Jean-Baptiste, a neighborhood with trendy shops and hipster hangouts.

Day 12 - Montréal

Canada's most diverse metropolis, Montréal, is an island city that favors style and elegance over order or even prosperity, a city where past and present intrude on each other daily. In some ways it resembles Vienna—well past its peak of power and glory, perhaps, yet still vibrant and grand.But don't get the wrong idea. Montréal has always had a bit of an edge. During Prohibition, thirsty Americans headed north to the city on the St. Lawrence for booze, music, and a good time, and people still come for the same things. Summer festivals celebrate everything from comedy and French music and culture to beer and fireworks, and, of course, jazz. And on those rare weeks when there isn't a planned event, the party continues. Clubs and sidewalk cafés are abuzz from late afternoon to the early hours of the morning. And Montréal is a city that knows how to mix it up even when it's 20 below zero. Rue St-Denis is almost as lively on a Saturday night in January as it is in July, and the festival Montréal en Lumière, or Montréal Highlights, enlivens the dreary days of February with concerts, balls, and fine food.Montréal takes its name from Parc du Mont-Royal, a stubby plug of tree-covered igneous rock that rises 764 feet above the surrounding cityscape. Although its height is unimpressive, "the Mountain" forms one of Canada's finest urban parks, and views from the Chalet du Mont-Royal atop the hill provide an excellent orientation to the city's layout and major landmarks.Old Montréal is home to museums, the municipal government, and the magnificent Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal within its network of narrow, cobblestone streets. Although Montréal's centre-ville, or Downtown, bustles like many other major cities on the surface, it's active below street level as well, in the so-called Underground City–-the underground levels of shopping malls and food courts connected by pedestrian tunnels and the city's subway system, or métro. Residential Plateau Mont-Royal and trendy neighborhoods are abuzz with restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, and cafés. The greener areas of town are composed of the Parc du Mont-Royal and the Jardin Botanique.

OC803 Operated by Oceania

Price Includes

  • Top-class cuisine
  • Choice of open-seat dining options
  • Entertainment and enrichment programme
  • Elegant casual wear on board
  • 24-hour room service
  • Butler service in suites
  • Port-intensive itineraries worldwide
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2024 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • September
    • Sep 25th - Boston, Massachusetts to Montréal, Québec - Sailing on: Nautica From: £5399
      G Inside Stateroom F Inside Stateroom D Ocean View Stateroom C2 Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom C1 Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom B2 Veranda Stateroom B1 Veranda Stateroom A3 Concierge Level Veranda A2 Concierge Level Veranda A1 Concierge Level Veranda PH3 Penthouse Suite PH2 Penthouse Suite PH1 Penthouse Suite VS Vista Suite OS Owners Suite
      Blue Water Price from: £5399 Blue Water Price from: £5519 Blue Water Price from: £5679 Blue Water Price from: £5889 Blue Water Price from: £6009 Blue Water Price from: £7419 Blue Water Price from: £7539 Blue Water Price from: £7699 Blue Water Price from: £7859 Blue Water Price from: £8019 Blue Water Price from: £9649 Blue Water Price from: £9849 Blue Water Price from: £10049 Blue Water Price from: £13519 Blue Water Price from: £15859
  • October
    • Oct 6th - Montréal, Québec to Boston, Massachusetts - Sailing on: Nautica From: £4412
      G Inside Stateroom F Inside Stateroom D Ocean View Stateroom C2 Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom C1 Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom B2 Veranda Stateroom B1 Veranda Stateroom A3 Concierge Level Veranda A2 Concierge Level Veranda A1 Concierge Level Veranda PH3 Penthouse Suite PH2 Penthouse Suite PH1 Penthouse Suite VS Vista Suite OS Owners Suite
      Blue Water Price from: £4412 Blue Water Price from: £4572 Blue Water Price from: £4652 Blue Water Price from: £4812 Blue Water Price from: £4932 Blue Water Price from: £6022 Blue Water Price from: £6142 Blue Water Price from: £6302 Blue Water Price from: £6382 Blue Water Price from: £6542 Blue Water Price from: £9549 Blue Water Price from: £9749 Blue Water Price from: £9949 Blue Water Price from: £13419 Blue Water Price from: £15759
    • Oct 17th - Boston, Massachusetts to Montréal, Québec - Sailing on: Nautica From: £4251
      G Inside Stateroom F Inside Stateroom D Ocean View Stateroom C2 Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom C1 Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom B2 Veranda Stateroom B1 Veranda Stateroom A3 Concierge Level Veranda A2 Concierge Level Veranda A1 Concierge Level Veranda PH3 Penthouse Suite PH2 Penthouse Suite PH1 Penthouse Suite VS Vista Suite OS Owners Suite
      Blue Water Price from: £4251 Blue Water Price from: £4371 Blue Water Price from: £4451 Blue Water Price from: £4571 Blue Water Price from: £4691 Blue Water Price from: £5861 Blue Water Price from: £5981 Blue Water Price from: £6061 Blue Water Price from: £6181 Blue Water Price from: £6301 Blue Water Price from: £9299 Blue Water Price from: £9509 Blue Water Price from: £9709 Blue Water Price from: £13089 Blue Water Price from: £15109

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