(Here is a helpful article on cruise ships that explore New England and Canada foliage. Tip: For peak times to see the best colors of autumn, visit the Yankee Foliage website - Jan N.)
One of Mother Nature's best shows takes place along the Eastern Seaboard in late September and October when colorful leaves are on full display. Cruises provide views of peak foliage in New England and Canada.
You can visit places including Acadia National Park in Maine and the St. Lawrence Seaway in Quebec, without the detraction of highways filled with other leaf-peepers. Bonus: From your ship you're also likely to spot migrating humpback whales.
There are also other places to see colorful foliage, including along the cruising routes in the Pacific Northwest, Hudson Valley and along the Tennessee River.
Here are the best cruises for viewing fall foliage.
Maasdam: This 1,258-passenger Holland America Line ship sails from both Boston and Montreal on seven- to 14-day itineraries, either round-trip or one-way. You visit Bar Harbor, Maine (for Acadia), cruise into the narrow channels of the St. Lawrence Seaway, with colorful leaves on both sides, and visit ports including Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Fares from $599.
Royal Princess: This beautiful year-old, 3,560-passenger Princess Cruises ship, with its expansive Piazza and fountain pool, cruises round-trip from New York (Brooklyn). The one-week itineraries include port calls in St. John, New Brunswick, tony Newport, Rhode Island, Boston, Bar Harbor and Halifax. From $999.
Regatta: Cruise on this 694-passenger Oceania Cruises ship between New York and Montreal on 10- to 12-day itineraries that visit Newport, Portland (Maine), Boston and Bar Harbor as well as ports in Atlantic Canada, with some cruises including Corner Brook, Newfoundland. An October 10 sailing gets you to Saguenay National Park, the great tree-lined fjord, which cuts through what may be the oldest rocks on the planet. From $2,949.
Brilliance of the Seas: Check out the views from the rock-climbing wall aboard this 2,112-passenger Royal Caribbean ship, as you cruise for a week, round-trip from Boston to Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John and Halifax, fares from $599.
Seabourn Quest: Enjoy suite accommodations onboard Seabourn's 450-passenger luxury ship as you cruise between Boston and Montreal, on one of four 10-day itineraries. You'll overnight in Quebec City, visit Charlottetown, Halifax, Bar Harbor and Saguenay, and also spend time in the scenic St. Lawrence River and the Quebec cities of Baie-Comeau and Gaspe. Fares from $3,999.
Norwegian Gem: Cruise from New York on a one-week itinerary that includes port calls in Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, St. John and Halifax. Fares are from $699. While onboard thisNorwegian Cruise Line ship, visit the bowling lanes in the retro-chic Bliss Ultra Lounge.
S.S. Legacy: See colorful leaves, deep gorges and waterfalls as you trace the route of Lewis & Clark on the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers. Un-Cruise has booked historians and Heritage guides are to provide guests with a narrative. The 88-passenger ship, a replica of a steamer, does one-week sailings from Portland, Oregon through November. Fares from $3,195.
American Queen: Red and gold leaves create beautiful landscapes on the Tennessee River. Cruise between Chattanooga and Memphis or Nashville in October on this 436-passengerAmerican Queen Steamboat Company paddlewheeler on nine-day itineraries, priced from $2,549. The October 24 departure is a Country Music-themed sailing.
American Star: This 100-passenger ship operated by American Cruise Lines has October sailings from New York through the Hudson Valley, getting you to places including Sleepy Hollow, Catskill and West Point. Fares from $3,810.
Crystal Serenity: Do a five- to 30-day cruise in luxurious surrounds onboard this 1,070-passenger Crystal Cruises ship. Most of the sailings are from Quebec City or New York, but there's also a five-day sailing from Halifax to New York, priced from $1,780, that visits Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport. A new feature is running tours in select ports of call – including an escorted 5k run on scenic carriage roads in Acadia National Park.
By Fran Golden (USA Today, "Falling for Foliage: The Best Cruises for Leaf Peeping")
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.
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Featured photo credit: USA Today