Canada is a favorite destination for cruises, and there are several port stops that stand out along the many routes available around this fascinating and diverse coastline.
Montreal Montreal is one of those fantastic Canadian destinations that has retained its European roots so authentically you will feel as if you have walked straight into a charming Parisian suburb, rather than a sprawling North American city. From quaint cobblestone streets through to pavement caves and leafy sidewalks there is a certain continental vibe to many parts of the city, and this combined with the French streets signs, high fashion boutiques and laid back Gaelic attitude will charm many visitors. Montreal has had a turbulent history and although many Canadian settlements were first founded by the French, the British took over following the French and Indian War. Montreal clung stubbornly to its French beginnings though and this has caused quite a lot of tension over the years, but has meant that this city has retained a very strong and authentic French culture, in fact there were some serious attempts during the 20th Century to have Montreal declared an independent sovereign nation from the rest of Canada, but inhabitants narrowly voted in favor of continuing as a province.
Looks like Paris, but is Montreal Old City in Winter
Montreal has many attractions for visitors and aside from the wonderful relaxed café culture and excellent shopping facilities the city has some lovely art galleries, museums, theatres and concert venues, and there are plenty of parks and gardens to stroll around and get away from the busy streets of the main city center.
The language in Montreal is mostly French, but you will also find a diverse multicultural population here and most people speak a bit of English. The currency is the Canadian dollar and there are plenty of ATMS and banks throughout the city for you to take out and exchange money.
For cruise day trippers ships dock directly at the Iberville Passenger Terminal which is just a short walk away from some excellent dockside attractions and also the historic old town. From here you can visit attractions such as the science center, IMAX theatre and also take jet boat trips along the scenic St Lawrence River.
Quebec Another wonderful European city in the heart of Canada, Quebec is an enchanting place full of lovely plazas, graceful buildings and a relaxed café culture. Quebec celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2008, and a deep sense of history and culture pervades the city creating a very distinctive and charming atmosphere, and is an essential stop over point on any Canadian cruise.
The weather in Quebec can vary dramatically throughout the year, with summers being quite hot and the weather starting to cool rapidly towards the fall and winter months, so make sure you pack appropriate clothing. Quebec has some stunning fall foliage, but is at its most impressive during the early spring months when the parks and gardens are full of luscious green foliage and colourful spring flowers.
French is the main language of Quebec although some English is spoken in the main areas, and the currency is the Canadian dollar.