Some of us dream all year about going on a fall foliage cruise, and it's easy to understand why . . .
Imagine brilliant crimson, orange, and golden foliage splashed against the rugged New England and eastern Canadian coastlines, layered between brilliant blue sky and even bluer water.
You can choose from many wonderful foliage cruises during 2013, as more cruise lines than ever are offering cruises from Boston: Holland America's Maasdam and Veendam, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Dawn, Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas, Seabourn's Seabourn Sojuourn, and Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony.
Best of all, taking one of these fall foliage cruises couldn't be easier. You can book your cruise online, board your ship at Boston's centrally-located CruisePort, and then relax as you travel up the spectacular New England and Canadian coast during the most splendid season of the entire year.
So don't just dream . . . make it real!
All of the fall foliage cruises from Boston take you up the coast of Eastern North America. In addition to vibrant vistas of crimson and golden foliage, you'll see many lighthouses, quaint villages and ornate "summer cottages" along rocky coastlines, and even fjords and waterfalls.
At Ports of Call such as Portland and Bar Harbor in Maine and Saint John and Halifax in Canada, you can dine on the finest fresh lobster, visit maritime museums, and enjoy natural beauty along scenic walking trails. In Quebec City and Montreal, you can experience friendly French Canadian culture and dine in the best restaurants.
Several cruises even take you along the St Lawrence River and Gaspé Peninsula - surely some of the most spectacular scenery in the Northeast!
Choose any of these cruises departing from Boston, and you'll be happy!
Enjoy private verandas, Maasdam's famous art collection and antiques, and all around luxury as you cruise from Boston up to Bar Harbor, Halifax, Charlottetown, Quebec City, and Montreal.
A special treat will be spectacular foliage views along the Gaspé Peninsula (shown in photo) as you cruise along the St Lawrence River.
Veendam, sister ship to Maasdam, offers a similar itinerary and luxury experience.
Of course you'll see gorgeous foliage - plus wonderful shore visits let you explore beautiful Bar Harbor, stroll through Old Montreal's charming lanes (shown in photo), try your French in Quebec City, and visit boutiques in Halifax and Charlottetown.
Norwegian Dawn's fall foliage cruises include special scrapbooking and craft activities plus gorgeous scenery, fun, and Norwegian Cruise Line's signature freestyling.
You'll love exploring Bar Harbor, Halifax (location of lighthouse in photo), Charlottetown, Gaspesie, La Baie, and Quebec City along the route of the cruise.
Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas cruises combine lots of on-ship fun and activities with brilliant fall foliage vistas, charming New England and villages, and sparkling Canadian ports.
Port of Call visits in Portland, Bar Harbor, Saint John, and Halifax give you the perfect mix of opportunities to explore on shore and time to relax and enjoy your voyage.
If you've ever longed to cruise on a luxury yacht, Seabourn Sojourn's 10-day New England and Canadian Maritimes cruise provides the perfect blend of luxurious accommodations with fascinating scenery, including scenic cruising along the Saguenay River by fjords and waterfalls.
Other highlights include Charlottetown, Quebec City, and Montreal.
Crystal Symphony surrounds you with luxury - Frette linens, fine cuisine and wine, plush public areas for relaxing - while showing you spectacular foliage views.
You'll stop in Bar Harbor, Saint John, Quebec City, and Montreal, cross the Gulf of St Lawrence, and see some of the most gorgeous views along the Eastern North American coast.
Fall foliage cruises departing from Boston range from very affordable to pricy depending on which cruise line you choose - but you're still getting a huge bargain compared with what you'd pay for similar accommodations and meals on land if you stayed in hotels and dined in restaurants - and that's without the fun of the cruise and the spectacular scenery!
However, you can almost always find cruise discounts and deals. The links in the above sections show you best prices and specials for each ship - and you can also check Travelocity's Cruise Deals to get the big picture.
If you're not from New England or eastern Canada, you may be surprised by how chilly our autumn nights - and days - can get.
You'll likely encounter outdoor daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s during September, and as low as the 40s during October. Nighttime temperatures can be even cooler. Rain is always a possibility.
Pack clothing you can layer, including a warm sweater and scarf, comfortable walking shoes, thick socks, and even gloves and hats. Add an umbrella and a waterproof jacket - and you'll be all set!
What if you'd love to take a fall foliage cruise but simply can't free up a minimum of 7 days? Don't despair - opt for this wonderful 1-day lighthouse and foliage cruise:
Although this seasonal New England Lighthouse Cruise focuses on viewing the most special Lights between Boston and Maine (such as Graves Light, shown in the photo), the late September cruise date also includes views of gorgeous foliage along the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine coasts.
Don't miss this spectacular cruise from Boston!
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Boston in October