One of the best ways to enjoy the breathtaking hues of the changing of the seasons is on a fall foliage cruise across New England and Canada. Aside from the crisp air and the cozy sweater weather, the colorful transformation of the trees is one of the top reasons why fall is so magical.
Board either Celebrity Silhouette or Celebrity Eclipse in August or September when both cruise along the Northeast coast. You’ll be able to spot the vivid greens and, later in September, the stunning reds, brilliant oranges, and mustard yellows that decorate the landscape.
Aside from giving you a prime seat to enjoy the beautiful scenery (which is especially gorgeous when it’s reflected in the water below), our fall foliage cruises visit a number of fascinating destinations along the way.
Your fall foliage cruise kicks off in Boston, an exciting city packed with culture, famed for its world-class universities, colorful history, and diverse neighborhoods.
Spending one day in Boston is enough to explore America’s past by visiting Revolutionary War battlefields and learning about Paul Revere’s daring midnight ride.
Immerse yourself in American history by following the two-and-a-half-mile Freedom Trail, marked by a red line on the sidewalk. You’ll pass Boston Common, Bunker Hill Monument, and Paul Revere’s house. Head to the waterfront to see the old Boston Tea Party ships.
Shop for gifts at the legendary Quincy Market in downtown Boston and make time to explore the different neighborhoods, from swanky Beacon Hill to North End, famed for its Italian food scene.
Cross the Charles River and arrive in Cambridge, where the fall weather and the Ivy League students mingling in Harvard Square will make you nostalgic for your college days.
Pretty Rockland calls itself the “lobster capital of the world,” and justifiably so. You’ll find fresh lobster everywhere from fine dining restaurants to food trucks, and you can even join a local fishing boat to see how the tasty crustaceans are caught.
Or perhaps embark on a guided foodie walking tour on which you’ll sample artisanal cheeses and pastries, as well as seafood and locally brewed craft beer.
Rockland itself is a quintessential New England town set around a protected harbor that’s framed by rocky headlands and old-growth forest.
This is an especially artistic community, and there are some excellent galleries to check out. The Farnsworth Art Museum is one, showcasing the work of Maine-based artists.
There are plenty of things to do in Rockland to enjoy the great outdoors, too. The Rockland Harbor Trail traces the shoreline, with sweeping views of the coast and those vast Maine skies. Stroll along the almost mile-long granite breakwater to the old Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, which has stood here since 1902, looking out for seals.
Rockland is a great base from which to explore the wooded countryside and coastline. Take a trip to the exquisite little coastal town of Camden, packed with quaint shops and galleries, and head up to the summit of Mount Battie for spectacular views down over Penobscot Bay. When the trees are sporting their fall colors, this vista is even more magnificent.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
In Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, you’ll be surrounded by spectacular views of the changing leaves as fall sets in. But at any time of year, this is a fascinating port to visit, with a rich cultural scene.
There’s a strong Scottish influence here, as thousands of Scots emigrated to the New World, bringing their culture with them, including their brewing skills.
There are museums and galleries to explore; check out the fascinating and often moving Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and the Maritime Museum of The Atlantic.
This houses an important collection of Titanic artifacts and memorabilia; Halifax is where the survivors of the disaster were brought, and where several of the victims are buried.
Halifax has a buzzing culinary scene, too. Try crab cakes, fish and chips, and creamy East Coast Chowder, as well as poutine, Canada’s famous comfort food of fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.
Head for the Saturday farmer’s market on Lower Water Street to pick up authentic souvenirs, from sea glass jewelry to maple syrup, local art, and even lobster-shaped gummies.
If you’d like to explore the surrounding countryside, one of the best things to do in Halifax is to go on a drive through the city’s scenic lighthouse route towards Peggy’s Cove, a tiny fishing village that is the site of Canada’s most photographed lighthouse.
Sydney, Nova Scotia
The small port city of Sydney is full of beautiful coastal vistas, historic sites, and vibrant nature walks. Learn all about its famous landmarks and culture during a walking tour of Old Sydney.
Check out the Cape Breton Miners’ Museum to learn how coal mining shaped this community. You can even head down the old mine to gain a sense of what it was like to work there.
For an undeniably picturesque view of the city, drive through the countryside, where you’ll pass by Cabot Trail’s lush hills, the Louisbourg Lighthouse, and St. Ann’s Bay.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, head to the quaint town of Baddeck, the former summer home of Scottish scientist Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone.
From there, admire the serene view of the surrounding Bras d’Or Lake. You can learn more about Bell in the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, which is full of artifacts relating to his great invention.
Quebec City, Quebec
Brush up on your French skills in Quebec City, the captivating capital of Quebec, lying on the St. Lawrence River. Feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you walk through the cobbled lanes of Old Quebec and enjoy delectable French cuisine, from crepes to crusty baguettes.
One of the best things to do in Quebec City is to head up Cape Diamond to admire the iconic Chateau Frontenac. Built in 1893, it’s said to be the most photographed hotel in the world, thanks to its intricate beauty. Nearby is the massive Citadel, with wonderful views over the city.
Shop for souvenirs in the 400-year-old Place Royale and explore the Rue du Petit-Champlain for crafts and local fashions. Remember to pick up some maple syrup as a memento of your time in Canada.
To best experience the warm colors of Quebec City in the fall, journey down the St. Lawrence River and marvel at the scenery awash in autumn hues on your way to Canyon Sainte-Anne, a verdant gorge that really comes alive during the fall.
Check out the thundering Montmorency Falls, where you can tackle a via ferrata trail and a zipline.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Wander through the seaside cliffs and expansive green hills of Charlottetown. This small, picturesque town is located on Prince Edward Island amid a landscape of vast beaches, craggy cliffs, and rolling farmland.
On a panoramic drive through Charlottetown, you won’t be able to stop taking pictures of all the wonderful sights, including the town’s signature red and white lighthouses and the unspoiled beauty of Prince Edward Island National Park.
Look out for the adorable Anne of Green Gables House, the place that inspired the story of the red-haired heroine. A great way to do this city tour is by wagon, pulled by two majestic draft horses.
Stop to refuel on some of Prince Edward Island’s specialties, lobster and oysters. Because this is a rural farming community, you’ll find delicious farm-to-table cuisine wherever you go.
A fishing port since 1632, Portland, Maine has a rich history. The city perches on a peninsula with views of Casco Bay, dotted with rocky islands.
The famous Portland Head Light guards the shoreline from Fort Williams Park and has protected ships and their crews since 1791. Today, you can tour the old keepers’ quarters and learn about the vital role played by Maine’s lighthouses.
Portland’s downtown area is characterized by 19th-century warehouses and old brick buildings, many of them repurposed as cool restaurants and bars. Join a culinary walking tour to sample fresh lobster as well as cider and Maine wines.
Experience the rugged coastline of Portland on a biking shore excursion. Pedal along the Eastern Promenade Trail, a waterfront path with stunning harbor and ocean views.
Pass by Bug Light, a 26-foot-tall lighthouse, and Fort Gorges, a former military fort located on Casco Bay. End your journey at Mackworth Island, where you’ll get to admire Maine’s fall foliage and its beautiful views.
Can’t wait to see the stunning autumn scenery for yourself? Book your cruise to New England and Canada on one of our sleek, contemporary ships. Start planning your fall color cruise today.