Experience French Canadian culture in Quebec City: charming and safe, with residents that will welcome you with open arms as you walk the cobblestone streets to see the Château Frontenac, a landmark hotel that is the most photographed in the world; visit the bistros and galleries on Petit-Champlain; or take in history at the Citadelle de Québec fortress. Quebec City is also a foodie's Nirvana, with an experience in cuisine that will take you from traditional dishes such as tourtière and poutine to avant-garde cooking. Parks, historical sites, and museums as well as an aquarium are all not-to-be-missed attractions in this spectacular city.
Best Time To Visit Quebec City is a place you can visit year-round, depending on your own interests; winter in Quebec is most charming, but fall with its abundance of colors and summer with festivals, fireworks, and lots of other outdoor events are equally enthralling and enjoyable.
You Should Know You might want to brush up on your French; by law, all signs in city are in French. Biking is a great way to get around the city, and the Parliament building can be toured for free.
Saint John, New Brunswick
As the oldest settlement in Canada, you'll find plenty of history in Saint John. If museums and historical sites and tours are up your alley, then Saint John should excite you. The Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site (Lieu Historique national de la Tour-Martello-de-Carleton), a fort built during the War of 1812 that features interactive exhibits in the museum and a tour of the interior of the tower. Natural wonders abound in Saint John, too, punctuated by the must-see Reversing Falls Rapids, with whirlpools, rapids, and waterfalls. Whether you want indoor or outdoor adventures, Saint John is sure to have enough to satisfy your interests.
Best Time To Visit For the mildest, comfortable weather and affordable room rates, the best times to visit Saint John, New Brunswick are April to May and September to October.
You Should Know Saint John is the only city on the Bay of Fundy. Fundy National Park is one of the last wilderness areas in New Brunswick. Guided and custom tours are available at Rockwood Park.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The port city of Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia. This waterfront city has it all: from galleries and museums to lighthouses to natural landscapes, you will never run out of things to do as a visitor to Halifax. One of the city's most notable facts is its link to the sinking of the Titanic, as recovered bodies from the disaster were taken to Halifax. You can peruse a collection of relics from the Titanic in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Other things among so many that you might do is walk along the waterfront, take a brewery tour, shop the Seaport Farmers' Market or Spring Garden Road, or witness the beauty of Halifax Public Gardens.
Best Time To Visit Spring, summer, and fall are the best times to visit Halifax, though the city welcomes cruise tourists year-round.
You Should Know Halifax is best known for its seafood, so be sure to sample lobster, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and all types of fish offered at the city's many fine restaurants. Tours include Taste Tours Halifax and an amphibious tour called the Harbour Hopper. Halifax Free Walking Tours includes a tour through historic downtown.
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Another Canadian port city marked by historic and cultural landmarks, Sydney, Nova Scotia offers many waterfront attractions. From beaches and hiking trails to lighthouses and coastal views on the Cabot Trail, you'll find plenty to do while enjoying the breath-taking views of the ocean. Walk, shop, canoe, kayak, or take a whale watching tour—if you're bored in Sydney, it's entirely your fault!
Best Time To Visit May through October is the suggested time to visit Nova Scotia.
You Should Know With a six-month tourist season, prices could be somewhat high though still reasonable as part of your Canada cruise. Sydney is the largest urban area on Cape Breton Island.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
The historic waterfront city of Charlottetown might not be the #1 stop for some Canada cruises, but it is definitely worth a visit if this port is available on your cruise. Small but filled with lots of adventures, Charlottetown is a picturesque city that lets you live the island life while experiencing culture and history as well. The city's Victorian architecture and heritage can be seen in the design of St. Dunstan's Basilica and the Beaconsfield Historic House; some of the city's history can be discovered at the Port-la-Joye/Fort Amherst National Historic Site; and the beautiful outdoors can be enjoyed in the boat tours, waterfront lunch cafes, and live music events at Peakes Wharf.
Best Time To Visit As an island spot, it's best to visit Charlottetown during the summer months, when you can best experience the many outdoor attractions and events offered at this cruise destination.
You Should Know Some attractions do not open until July, and others close up before the end of August. You can still visit lighthouses and wineries, walk the city, and even take in the beautiful foliage if you choose to visit Charlottetown in the fall.