With two striking coastlines and a landscape filled with some of Mother Nature’s finest creations, it’s no wonder Canada has become a popular cruise destination. Both the western and eastern shorelines are dotted with scenic cruise ports ranging from cosmopolitan cities to charming seaside hubs. Here’s just a quick snapshot of the delightful ports awaiting you.
Vancouver is an amazing destination in its own right, but it’s also a great base for exploring multiple areas of Canada. It’s where a lot of Alaskan cruise itineraries set off from (unless they are travelling up from the USA, but even then they still tend to stop in Vancouver) and offers the opportunity to add-on a Rocky Mountaineer excursion or hop on board the VIA Canadian route (that takes you all the way to Toronto!).
Fun fact: the capital of Alaska can only be reached by air or boat with no external roads entering the city so it’s only natural that it has become a popular cruise port. A scenic mountain town, it is an outdoor adventurer’s nirvana that is also rich in history, art, music and Native heritage.
Anchorage is no doubt the gateway to the Last Frontier, aka Alaska. While wandering the streets of this traditional city, you’ll be able to stand wide-eyed at glaciers, pass a moose on the sidewalk, and hear Native Alaskan languages dancing off your ears. Bigger than Alaska’s capital, spend your time in port taking part in a wide range of activities such as kayaking, hiking, dog sledging and river rafting.
Heading over to Atlantic Canada we have Charlottetown in the easternmost province of Prince Edward Island. Home to several natural harbours, cruise lines love treating their passengers to the fresh crisp air that fills this charming isle. Also nicknamed Garden of the Gulf, the island is home to organics forests, an untouched coastline, red-hued cliffs and only two urban hubs.
Considered to be North America’s oldest city, St John’s is the capital of Newfoundland and has a history stretching back to roughly 1630. The streets are lined with colourful architecture, charming seafood restaurants and one of Canada’s largest urban parks.
Like all other coastal cities in Atlantic Canada, Halifax is a city that delights the senses with charismatic streets and friendly locals. Aside from its lovely scenery, visitors will also be pleased with the availability of whale watching, golf and tidal bore rafting.
Quebec City and Montreal
Perched on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City and Montreal have enough water slipping in from the Atlantic to allow cruise ships to journey into their ports. Both beautiful Francophone cities, they perfectly blend European and North American cultures into one hub for an eclectic fusion not found elsewhere. Well worth the extended cruise itinerary.
We’re not looking at a map from an alternative universe – hybrid USA/Canada itineraries are popular and San Francisco is a common starting point. Walk along the Victorian style streets and admire the Golden Gate Bridge from the coastline of this delightfully off-beat city.
Over on the east coast, USA/Canada cruises are also popular with most itineraries stopping by various ports in New England before crossing the border. New York City, Boston and Maine regularly feature in an East Coast Canada cruise.