Cruise to New England

Top deck with chairs around pool area

New England Cruises: Your guide to cruising this unique region

  • Autumn coloured trees by the lake
  • Lighthouse and small house on a hill
  • Drone shot of autumn coloured trees along lake

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Frequently asked questions

Most New England cruises sail between New York City and Montréal or Québec City, with ports of call along the way in states such as Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Sailing along the scenic Atlantic coastline, cruisers discover quaint whaling towns, major cities and natural beauty from picturesque mountain ranges to shady forests and pebbly coves.  

New England was one of the first areas to be settled by the British, so history enthusiasts can expect plenty of museums, monuments and stories about early American colonies. New England is also famous for historic lighthouses, which dot the coastline and guide ships to safety. Many of these iconic structures can be seen on a cruise, such as the Portland Head Light in Maine or the Boston Light in Massachusetts.  

Another spectacular sight on a New England cruise is the fall foliage. Come autumn, the forests transform into a vibrant palette of red, orange, and yellow. 


The warmer summer months of July and August are perfect for hiking, biking and wildlife spotting. In September and October, the fiery hues of fall foliage are in full flight and travellers can enjoy pleasant days and cool nights.


Of course! Many cruises offer kids' clubs, family activities, and excursions suitable for all ages. Book a family stateroom and enjoy dining together with plenty of kid-friendly menu options on several cruise lines. Most cruise lines have kids’ clubs with programs suitable for littlies, along with specialised teen programs. Discover incredible onboard experiences and attractions such as water parks, rock-climbing walls and movie theatres. The fun doesn’t stop onboard either, with plenty of thrilling shore excursions perfect for families along the New England coast. In Québec, try one of the famed sugar shack tours for a taste of maple syrup-laden treats and tales about the fascinating maple-syrup making process.


Most cruises include all meals and you’ll be able to dine at a variety of restaurants onboard without paying any extra. Some specialty restaurants may attract an additional charge. Some cruise lines will tailor their menus to regional specialties for New England itineraries. Seafood is a major component of New England cuisine, so dishes like clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fried clams are staples. Other local favourites on cruise ship menus might include apple cider donuts, New England pot roast and Boston baked beans.


Major New England cruise departure ports include Boston, New York, Halifax, Montreal and Quebec City. These cities are all well-connected by air and road, and your travel expert can arrange transfers to the ship. Boston’s largest airport, Logan International Airport, is just 10 minutes from the cruise terminal. If your cruise departs from New York, you have several airports to choose from, including John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Halifax Stanfield International Airport is around 30 minutes from Halifax Seaport. Both Montreal and Quebec City have international airports that are under 30 minutes from the cruise port.


New England cruises range from around five to 14 days, though popular itineraries of seven to 10 days will give you a good taste of the region. Travellers can choose from round-trip itineraries starting and ending in the same city, or one-way itineraries departing from ports such as Montréal or Québec City in Canada, Boston in Massachusetts, or New York city. 

Princess Cruises has a two-week cruise departing from Québec City and finishing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with stops in Halifax, Boston, Rhode Island, New York and more. For a shorter seven-night cruise, Holland America Line navigates from Québec City to Boston, via ports of call including Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, Sydney in Nova Scotia and Portland in Maine. For a classic loop over 11 nights, American Cruise Lines New England Explorer round-trip cruise departs and ends in Boston with stops including Portland, Bar Harbor, Martha’s Vineyard and more.


Plenty of onboard musical entertainment reflects the local culture. Folk traditions are an important part of New England's cultural heritage, along with fiddle music and dances of colonial America, such as minuets, reels, and jigs. To learn more about New England’s past, American Cruise Lines provides epic journeys that tell the story of American history and feature a culinary program showcasing regional dishes and ingredients from ports along the expedition.


Take along easily layerable clothing like t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, leggings, long pants, jumpers, and a light rain jacket. A hat and sturdy walking shoes are essentials. Don’t forget to pack a dressy outfit or two for formal nights onboard, and remember your swimsuit for pool or ocean dips. Even in summer, the weather can be cool and change quickly, so be prepared for all temperatures.


Yes, themed cruises in New England can focus on autumn foliage, history, seafood or lighthouse tours. Cruises during autumn are popular to view the burnished colours of the fall forests. Pearl Seas Cruises' Canada and New England Fall Foliage Cruise sets off in peak foliage season for a 10-night journey between Québec City and Boston. Princess Cruises has historical colonial heritage routes in their Canada & New England summer season, and on Viking, you can explore Canada and New England's Native American roots, whaling history, colonial past, witch hysteria, and more. Many New England itineraries also highlight the region's famous lighthouses. On American Cruise Lines' Maine Coast & Harbors Cruise, guests can see several iconic Maine lighthouses.


Yes, several cruise lines offer upscale experiences with opulent amenities and services, including all-inclusive packages, pampering spa treatments, exquisite dining experiences, and deluxe staterooms.  

Silversea has all-inclusive cruises to Canada and New England and their luxury inclusions comprise gourmet dining, beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, butler service, and gratuities. Oceania Cruises navigate to seaside favourites such as Bar Harbor and Newport, as well as French-Canadian beauties lining the St. Lawrence River, like Montréal. Their Owner's Suites are truly opulent, spanning nearly 1,000 square feet and featuring a large living room, king-size bed, two walk-in closets, indoor and outdoor whirlpool spas, and a dramatic entry foyer with a music room.


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