Rich in maritime history, hockey culture, seafood selections and stunning fall foliage, Canada's coastal provinces are worth a visit, particularly for travellers who aren't sure where to begin touring, given the country's massive size.
The best way to see several Canadian highlights in one trip is on a cruise, where you unpack once, your accommodations travel with you and dinner awaits at the end of a fun day in port.
You'll typically see a sailing to Canada billed as a Canada/New England cruise, as most voyages include a mix of ports from both regions.
There's lots to see on a Canada cruise, and options abound. In Halifax, you might hop on a bus tour that touches on the port's maritime ties and hits several highlights, such as Citadel Hill and Fairlawn Cemetery, where more than 100 Titanic victims are buried.
In Charlottetown, you won't want to miss a visit to the "Anne of Green Gables" house, and if you're in Montreal at night, the Notre Dame Basilica's AURA light show is an absolute must.
Although Canada sailings are generally offered from May through October, autumn is the best time to go. Temperatures are cooler, and if you time it right, you can take in the breathtaking fall foliage with its fiery red, orange and yellow hues.
The most popular ports include Halifax, Saint John, Quebec City, Prince Edward Island's Charlottetown and Sydney. A handful of American ports -- such as Bar Harbour and Portland, Maine -- are also offered on some Canada itineraries.
Canadian ports along the west coast can also be found on Alaska itineraries, whether it's Dawson or Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory or Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia. The Canadian Rockies, including Banff National Park, make an excellent pre- or post-Alaska cruise tour on the Rocky Mountaineer train line.
Most Canada cruises actually begin and end in the United States, often sailing roundtrip from Boston. Other departure ports for Canada itineraries include Baltimore, New York, Bayonne and Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades in the U.S., as well as Montreal and Quebec City in Canada.
Here are our best tips for finding a cheap cruise or cruise deal to Canada. If you book a “guaranteed cabin” (they select for you), a cabin on a lower deck or sail on an older ship from a brand you like, then you can get the best price for a specific cruise to Canada. Last minute cruises deals to Canada appear as you get closer to the sail date, usually 1-2 weeks in advance. Taking a cruise to Canada in the shoulder season (before or after the peak season) can also be a great way to find a cruise deal.