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Canada and New England cruise lines

Experience the Great White North’s picturesque Atlantic coast from the deck of a ship.

Updated

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada

Cruise ships may bring to mind tropical islands and warm climates. But Canada’s Maritime provinces can make you quickly forget about fruity beach cocktails.

Quaint seaside villages with backdrops of brilliant fall foliage await cruisegoers to Canada. While scenery and itineraries across cruise lines can be similar, we help you pinpoint the best fit for your upcoming Canadian adventure.

Best cruises to Canada and New England

Best for the classic cruise experience: Holland America

Sail with a cruise line Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure rate consistently among the world's best at sea. With more than 145 years in the industry, Holland America has had decades to perfect the art of cruising. Its midsize ships offer a wide range of amenities and dining options, but with fewer passengers onboard for a more intimate cruising experience. Sailing from Boston or Fort Lauderdale, it's crafted a range of Canadian itineraries that take in the best of the Maritime Provinces.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
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Best for cruising on a budget: Carnival

Visit some of Canada's east coast ports, like Halifax and Saint John, while sailing aboard one of Carnival's latest ships, the Radiance, offering affordable fares and financing options through Uplift. Carnival's Fun Ships include dining at select celebrity-endorsed restaurants and family-friendly productions like Suess at Sea. These complimentary extras keep onboard costs down, helping you to save toward shore excursions and make the most of your trip
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
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Best for range of choice: Norwegian

Dine when you want, cruise where you want and do what you want with ease. Norwegian Cruise Line offers one of the widest ranges of itineraries to Canada and New England, with more than 20 to choose from. Varied dining options onboard — from buffets to fine dining and specialty restaurants — Cirque du Soleil performances and Broadway-style musicals like Rock of Ages and Priscilla Queen of the Desert only sweeten the deal.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for land-and-cruise packages: Princess

Experience the best of Canada by bundling a land tour with your cruise. Princess packages can take you to inland to bucket-list sites like Niagara Falls and Ottawa before cruising along the Atlantic coastline. Food & Wine calls Princess the Best Cruises for Food Lovers, allowing the chance to taste the best of the Eastern Seaboard.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for luxury, small-ship cruises: Seabourn

Take in the coast aboard ships that boast an ocean view with every cabin. Seabourn's fleet — among the youngest at sea — is designed to offer an atmosphere of a private club, with complimentary premium spirits available to all passengers and a ratio of nearly one staff member for every guest. Emphasizing sustainability, it's also the official cruise partner of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with some shore excursions providing donations to the UNESCO World Heritage Fund.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises to Canada

We understand everyone’s cruise experience will be different, and have recommended the above companies based on a combination of factors including online reviews, awards from industry bodies and publications. We compared prices and the range of itineraries available to present the best selection of cruise to canada we can for different types of travelers.

We considered each cruise line’s itineraries, prioritizing well-paced voyages with port stops at key destinations around the region.

We also considered onboard dining options, weighing the number, variety, availability and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. And we weighed cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.

Finally, we analyzed customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation. We also looked for awards and accolades by reputable travel publications and organizations.

When is the best time to cruise to Canada?

September and October are the best months for fall leaf peeping along Canada’s Atlantic Coast. Depending on your cruise’s itinerary, places like Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia and the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec are particularly picturesque.

July and August offer the warmest weather. Midsummer temperatures in Quebec City range from 75 to 80 degrees, while Atlantic Coastal cities, like Halifax, are a cooler 70 to 75 degrees. The days are also longer, allowing more time to take in the scenery each day.

Cruises to Canada aren’t generally available during the winter months.

What are must-do cruise excursions in Eastern Canada?

Ports of call tend to be major cities in Eastern Canada, many with rich histories, like the fortified Quebec City. But natural wonders and quaint villages are within reach:

  • Bay of Fundy. Experience some of the highest tidal changes in the world, and walk on the “ocean floor” at low tide. Drives from Saint John, New Brunswick.
  • Cape Breton Island. Take a road trip around the scenic Cabot Trail, a coastal drive with panoramic views of the island and the Atlantic Ocean. Drives from Sydney, Nova Scotia.
  • Peggy’s Cove. Visit this historic seaside village and its famous lighthouse. Drives from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

With limited ports available in Eastern Canada for large ships, many cruise lines visit the same destinations — it’s about finding the right combination of ports, length of sailing and line that best matches your lifestyle and budget. Comparet available deals and discounts on cruises before booking.

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