Why go to Quebec City?
The cafes, orchards and art-lined streets of Quebec City will charm your pants off
If you're unsteady on your feet, cobblestones and curvy routes with stairs could be troublesome
Old Quebec transports you to a picturesque version of France-meets-North America
Quebec City Cruise Port Facilities?
Le Vieux Port offers easy access to shopping. Just a few blocks away is Place Royale -- the 400-year-old plaza regarded as the birthplace of French civilization in Canada where Samuel de Champlain chose to build his Habitation when he arrived in the New World in 1608. The replica buildings house restaurants, galleries, shops and museums. Head north on Rue Notre Dame to find bustling Rue du Petit-Champlain, considered the oldest commercial street in North America. Art galleries, clothing stores, souvenir shops and quite a few cafes line the pedestrian street.
For a touch of culture, head to the Musee de la Civilisation just across the street from the port. Here you'll find a mixed bag of exhibits, including a model of Champlain's early dwelling on the shores of the St. Lawrence; a longboat, the transportation of choice by the early Amerindians; and the Olympic Torch.
Don't want to tour? Go right next door to Le Cafe du Monde (418-692-4455) for mussels you won't soon forget, then climb back aboard ship. Diners get a delightful taste of Paris, lunching on a terrace overlooking the St. Lawrence.
Good to Know?
Leave high heels on the ship when headed for the historic parts of town crisscrossed by stairways and cobblestone streets. The suggested route to Upper Town is via the Old Quebec Funicular; a ride is $2.25.
On Foot: It's one of the easiest cities to negotiate. So much is within walking distance of the port. Unless you really want a workout, use the Old Quebec Funicular to get to Upper Town.
By Bus: A "green" way to get around the city - other than walking -- is via Ecolobus, small, non-polluting electric buses that stop every 20 minutes at or near almost all Old City attractions and neighborhoods. Cost is $2 each time you board. It's a great way to get an overview of the city by hopping on at the port and traveling the entire route, a 35-minute ride. Then, return to the places of most interest.
By Taxi: Quebec City has many cabs and reasonable fares between the port and the Old Quebec neighborhood. Negotiate with drivers for tours around the city; rates vary depending on the number of passengers.
By Car: Major car rental agencies can be found in the city and some (including Enterprise) will pick up and drop off at the port.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The Canadian dollar is the currency of the country. Most stores take American dollars but return Canadian bills and coins in change. ATMs and banks are located throughout the city. For updated currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.
French is the official language. While English is spoken at almost all visitor destinations including restaurants and shops, some taxi drivers know only fragments.
Where You're Docked?
Ships dock at Le Vieux Port or La Basse-Ville (the Old Port or the Old City), where the Saint Charles River enters the St. Lawrence. The Old City is situated on two levels, Lower Town, at the Port, and Upper Town, both a quick walk from the terminal (although Upper Town is obviously uphill). On some days, when four or five cruise ships enter the port, some will be docked farther down river making for a long hike to the city center. Often those ships offer shuttles to the old port and into town. In the terminal, cruisers will find free Wi-Fi and a visitor's information booth staffed every day a ship is in port.