Disclaimer: I was hosted as a guest of Seabourn on this cruise. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting Ready Set Jet Set!
For this adventure, we boarded the Seabourn Quest in Boston, Massachusetts, where we set a course for Montreal, Canada and an 11-day journey to get there. Our trip took us through ports across the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada, including Provincetown (Massachusetts), Bar Harbor (Maine), Halifax, Prince Edward Island, Cap-aux-Meules, Saguenay, and Québec City. Depending on the weather and your luck, you may even get some fall foliage on this itinerary! The 11-Day New England & Canada cruise on the Seabourn Quest is a great way to experience this area of both countries while traveling in luxury.
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Onboard the Seabourn Quest
Like my time cruising Alaska on the Seabourn Sojourn, the Seabourn Quest is the same class of ship, holding 450 passengers. Our Veranda Suite was exactly as I remembered it before, with a balcony, couch and table living area, walk-in closet, and large bathroom including a separate tub and shower. I have always felt like I’ve had a ton of space in my rooms on Seabourn, and I’ve enjoyed how it has never felt cramped to me. And how often can you say you get a walk-in closet on a cruise ship?!
There are several dining options onboard, including The Restaurant, The Colonnade, The Grill by Thomas Keller, and The Patio by the pool. You really cannot go wrong with any of the dining options available, and they always provide a menu for the next day on The Herald that you receive in your room each night, so you can plan ahead. The Grill always has the same menu, and you have to book in advance, usually before the cruise starts because it’s popular and books up. When you book your cruise, you can make reservations for The Grill inside your booking portal. Don’t miss out on the lobster thermidor there and their famous cookies! Another fun fact about Seabourn is that their room service is so amazing, you can order The Restaurant’s full menu during normal dining hours. We spent several nights of the cruise staying in, dining on dishes like salmon from room service, and watching movies.
One of my favorite things about Seabourn is that even when the ship is booked to full capacity, it never feels crowded. I never have to fight for a chair on the sun deck, or squish myself into a hot tub or pool, or wait in line for a table for dinner. They also always remember your preferences and needs - like how my plus one was allergic to alcohol, or that I liked my water at every meal served with ice and lemons. It’s the level of customer service that goes above and beyond, what truly makes the experience a luxury one.
The Quest has plenty of options for relaxation onboard, like the pool areas throughout the ship: there’s a hot tub at the bow of the ship (which is amazing for scenic cruising days), a main pool area on Deck 8 with a large pool and two hot tubs, and a small plunge pool and two hot tubs at the back of the ship on Deck 5 (also great during cruising times for watching the scenery go by). The hot tubs are probably my favorite way to spend sea days, especially this time of year on an itinerary like this, where it’s usually a bit on the chillier side.
There are also several lounges onboard, which are the places to go for being social with your fellow passengers. The main ones are The Club on Deck 5 (which is right next to the Casino and the pool and whirlpools out back), the cafe at Seabourn Square (where you can grab your daily coffee and snacks), and the Observation Bar on Deck 10. The Observation Bar is particularly great on sea days as it has panoramic windows all around showcasing the views off the front of the ship. At night, the Observation Bar and The Club are the places where you’ll find drinks and live music, and the best place to end your night if you don’t go straight back to your room after dinner (or to see the various shows onboard).
ARRIVAL 08:00 AM, DEPARTURE 05:00 PM
Provincetown was stop one on our grand tour of New England and Canada’s East Coast, and the perfect place to kick things off (not counting Boston, where we initially set sail from). There was one Cape Cod-themed excursion we could have booked, but we elected to wander the town, have clam chowder for lunch, and just take in the atmosphere. It was fun to walk through the neighborhoods, as the houses in this area are so cute, like the one below!
Bar Harbor, Maine
ARRIVAL 07:00 AM, DEPARTURE 04:00 PM
For our time in Bar Harbor, we chose the Acadia National Park: A Small Group Tour excursion in order to see as much as possible. Acadia National Park has been on my wishlist for a long time, so I knew I had to do an excursion that included it. On the tour, we were able to drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain for sweeping views over the harbor, the Cranberry Islands, and Frenchman Bay (including being able to spot the Seabourn Quest in the distance!), as well as see some of the stunning granite coastline. Afterwards, we had time to wander around the cute town of Bar Harbor. If you want to grab lobster, this is the place to do it! Our tour guide insisted that Bar Harbor has the best lobster in the world, and I’m inclined to believe her. Also, the area is known for blueberries, so don’t miss out on sampling some blueberry pie or even blueberry soft-serve ice cream.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
ARRIVAL 12:00 PM, DEPARTURE 11:00 PM
We only had one stop in Nova Scotia, so we decided to make the most of it with the From Cove to Bay: The Seaside Towns of Nova Scotia excursion to get out of Halifax and see as much of the area as possible. This 6 hour tour stopped at Mahone Bay, where we had a little over an hour to wander the town and had lunch at Oh My Cod! (which is a great place to grab some locally made fish and chips), and then onwards to the famous Peggy's Cove Lighthouse. Even though there was a lot of driving involved, we loved our guide, who talked through all of it and regaled us with stories and historical facts, like how his family hosted stranded plane passengers during 9/11 when US airspace closed off and thousands of passengers were stranded in Gander, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a fascinating story to hear about first hand, and I highly recommend seeing the Broadway show Come From Away if you ever get the chance, which talks about the 7000 stranded travelers over across the water in Gander. It’s an incredible story!
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
ARRIVAL 08:00 AM, DEPARTURE 08:00 PM
We decided to take a day off of excursions in Charlottetown, but if we had, we probably would have done one that visited spots on the island like Prince Edward Island National Park, the Anne of Green Gables House, Cavendish Beach, Red Sands Shore and Confederation Bridge. Since this is the land of Anne of Green Gables, that’s the biggest tourist attraction of the island, and what most visitors choose to focus on. With our free time, we wandered Charlottetown, stopped at Cows Creamery for ice cream (this is their original location!), and strolled along the wharf.
Cap-aux-Meules, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Canada
ARRIVAL 08:00 AM, DEPARTURE 05:00 PM
For our first stop in Québec, we docked at Cap-aux-Meules, an island in the Magdalen Islands (Îles-de-la-Madeleine in French). We booked an excursion for the day called the Landscape Photo Tour, which was a 4 hour journey driving around the isles looking for the most picturesque spots with local photographer Nigel Quinn. For those interested, he gave helpful tips and tricks for creating the best landscape photos, including long exposures, use of depth of field, use of a tripod, etc, so it’s a great tour with those with access to a professional quality DSLR, but maybe don’t know too much about photography yet. We used the time to explore the photo locations, including several locations with red cliffs, like Belle Anse and the Borgot Lighthouse at L’Étang-du-Nord, beaches and sand dunes, and wharfs with lobster boats. Overall, it was a fun photographic adventure that gave us a great little taste of the islands!
Saguenay, Québec, Canada
ARRIVAL 08:00 AM, DEPARTURE 05:00 PM
Saguenay was by far the most packed day of our trip, but we wanted to make the most out of the beautiful scenery of the fjord! We decided to do two back-to-back excursions here, in order to best experience Saguenay by sea and by air. First off, we started with the Zodiac Adventure in Saguenay Park. This involved an hour drive to Saguenay Fjord National Park, where a guide met us and took us on a zodiac for over an hour out on the water. We were very lucky that it was a sunny day and absolutely still water, making it very serene. We got up close to the fjord’s towering cliffs and a few majestic waterfalls, as well as seeing a bit of ocean life, like the fjord’s seals sunbathing on the rocks along the water.
After heading back to the ship and devouring a quick lunch, we hopped back off for our next excursion of the day, Saguenay Fjord by Helicopter. If you’ve never been in a helicopter before, in my opinion, it is the best way to see destinations like this. It’s such a unique perspective. The helicopter ride included a 35-minute flight to Cape Au Leste, flying over cliffs and lakes along the fjord, and even the famous Notre Dame de Saguenay statue. At Cape Au Leste, we had a short break to take in the view with hors d'oeuvres and champagne, before boarding once again for the 10-minute flight back to the ship. Definitely an incredible day!
Québec City, Québec, Canada
ARRIVAL 08:00 AM, OVERNIGHT, DEPARTURE 06:00 PM
Québec City was a bit different than any other port on our trip, as we stopped here overnight and had two full days to explore! For day one, we booked the Countryside of Quebec, the Sugar Shack & Montmorency Falls tour, which gave us a taste of things outside of the city. My favorite part was probably the Sugar Shack, as even though the visit was short, we got to try maple taffy. Maple taffy is made by made by boiling maple sap, pouring it onto snow, and then wrapping it up on a popsicle stick - basically pure sticky sugar on a stick. It’s amazing (I ate 4 of them, not going to lie). And of course, the highlight was Montmorency Falls, which is 1½ times as high as Niagara Falls. Did you know you can zipline here across the falls? Something I’ll have to do next time! We spent our time walking across the bridge over the falls for some gnarly views looking down, and then we took the cable car down. Definitely don’t miss out on the cable car, as it gives some fantastic angles of the falls for photos.
For day two in Québec City, since it was our last day onboard the Seabourn Quest, we decided to spend the day on the ship instead of exploring the city. We got Swedish massages at the spa in the morning, and hit the hot tubs for the afternoon, one of my personal favorite things to do onboard. If you do decide to get off and explore the city more, make sure to check out spots like Le Château Frontenac, Old Quebec, Quartier Petit Champlain, and La Citadelle de Québec. There’s also a really cute umbrella street within walking distance of the port!
Montréal, Québec, Canada
ARRIVAL 07:00 AM
And finally, we arrived at our final destination, Montreal! If you wish, you have the option of heading straight to the airport and flying out after disembarkation, but we decided to extend our trip and spend an extra two nights exploring the city. There are so many cute spots to see here, like the houses of Square Saint-Louis, the panoramic views of the city from Mont-Royal, and the stunning architecture of Basilique Notre-Dame. Also make sure you don’t miss out on the famous Montreal bagels at St-Viateur and Fairmount Bagel!
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