|Prince Edward Island// (c) 2011 Prince Edward Island|
Cruise companies are shining a brighter spotlight on Canada as the country’s maritime history and Celtic and French Acadian culture draw visitors from the south. While as recently as a few years ago cruise lines only featured itineraries to Canada for a few weeks in the fall, today, the cruise season in Canada stretches from May until the end of October and the country has become one of the top 10 cruise destinations for Americans.
Cruises typically depart from New York, New Jersey, or New England and visit ports of call along Canada’s Atlantic coast. Popular destinations include Saint John, New Brunswick, which features North America’s first UNESCO-designated Geopark at Stonehammer as well as North America’s oldest market. Many cruises also stop in St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, where visitors can experience the history of the oldest city in North America as well as the spectacle of whales and icebergs drifting off the coast. Charlottetown, on Prince Edward Island, is another popular destination for its 170 mile scenic bike trail as well as the “home” of Anne of Green Gables.
Carnival, Holland American, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean all offer more than 100 departures this season. Cruise lines such as Celebrity, Crystal, Cunard, Hapag Lloyd, MSC, Oceania, Peal Sea, P&O, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and Silversea have sailings in September and October. Even Disney Cruise Lines is joining in- starting in 2012, Disney will offer cruises from New York to Atlantic Canada. Cruises can start as low as $284 per person for four- and five-day itineraries on Carnival, all the way up to $3940 per person for 10- and 11-day itineraries on the luxurious Crystal Cruises.
More adventurous travelers can also sign on to an expedition ship. The Clipper Adventurer from Adventure Canada sails from Greenland to Labrador and Newfoundland from September 17 to 30, and a circumnavigation of Newfoundland is available from September 30 to October 10. Rates start at $3495. Polar Star Expeditions offers two cruises aboard the Polar Star, one sailing the coast of Labrador (September 15-October 2, starting at $64515) and another circumnavigating Newfoundland (October 2-10). From June through September Wanderbird Expedition Cruises offers a variety of six, 10- and 16-day itineraries around Newfoundland, Labrador and Nova Scotia. Travelers can also sign on as a crew member for a sailing from Greenland to Labrador and Nova Scotia on a “Tramp Steamer Cruise.”
With its natural beauty, proud history and vibrant culture Canada is a rapidly developing cruise destination for Americans.
For more information visit www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca, www.novascotia.com, www.newfoundlandlabrador.com, or www.tourismpei.com