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Cruises to Quebec City

Quebec City (Photo:mervas/Shutterstock)
Quebec City (Photo:mervas/Shutterstock)

About Quebec City

Sidewalk cafes by the dozen, baguettes in bicycle baskets, the classic French shoulder shrug, charming pedestrian-friendly plazas and squares, and residents with a special Gallic grace and beauty. Am I in Avignon? Lyon? St. Tropez? Non, mon ami, just a bit north of the U.S.

Quebec City offers a savory taste of Europe right here in North America. Think of it as France without the attitude. Friendly locals convey that sense of romance and Old World charm found across the Atlantic, making Quebec City a wonderfully distinctive port of call on Canada/New England cruises.

The city is located within the St. Lawrence River Valley, framed to the north by the majestic Laurentian Mountains and to the south by the Appalachian foothills and mountains leading to New England. The St. Lawrence River, flowing beneath the cliffs of Upper Town (dominated by the regal Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, one of the world's great hotels) swirls into the Atlantic and explains the colonization of this part of the world.

Settlement occurred in four phases: Native Amerindians, the French, the British and finally, the Canadian Confederation in 1867. Chosen as a site for a permanent trading post in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec's name comes from an Algonquin word for "where the river narrows." The year 1608 marked the beginning of a continual French presence in the area. In the 17th and 18th centuries, several historic battles were fought there among the French, British, Americans and native peoples. Rusted cannon balls still can be seen lodged in trees and buildings in the Old City. It remains the only walled city in the U.S. and Canada.

Quebec City is delightful for fall foliage and impressive with its boughs of green and remarkable light in spring and summer -- all seasons that find cruise ships in town. Summer temperatures average in the 70s, but on spring and autumn cruises, a jacket will be a necessity.

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DAY 1: Boston

7 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Halifax ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Quebec City
Visiting:
Charlottetown, Sydney ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Montreal

11 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Montreal
Visiting:
St. John's, Saint-Pierre ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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DAY 1: Montreal

15 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Montreal
Visiting:
Quebec City, Sydney ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Newport, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Montreal
Visiting:
St. John's, Saint-Pierre ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Halifax ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Halifax ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Portland, Sydney ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Montreal
Visiting:
Quebec City, Saguenay Fjord ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Halifax ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Bayonne
Visiting:
Newport, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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7 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Montreal
Visiting:
Quebec City, Charlottetown ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Montreal
Visiting:
Quebec City, Saguenay Fjord ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Newport, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Charleston, Newport ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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28 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
New York, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
New York, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Boston, Sydney ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Newport, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Quebec City
Visiting:
Saguenay Fjord, Charlottetown ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Quebec City
Visiting:
Saguenay Fjord, Sept-Iles ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Quebec City
Visiting:
Halifax, Bar Harbor ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Portland, Bar Harbor ...
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Cruise Line:
Windstar Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Quebec City

Leaving:
Boston
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Halifax ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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Why go to Quebec City?

Pros:

The cafes, orchards and art-lined streets of Quebec City will charm your pants off

Cons:

If you're unsteady on your feet, cobblestones and curvy routes with stairs could be troublesome

Bottom Line:

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.

Getting Around?

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.

Language?

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.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated US & Canada Destinations
  • 2017 Top-Rated US & Canada Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated US & Canada Destinations

Quebec City Cruise Reviews

MSC Meraviglia
wknied
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Quebec City is a lovely city and the excursion was nice. Unfortunately the cruiseline cancelled our second day (half) at this port.... Read More
laqn
Sail Date: Oct 2019
We have visited Quebec City many years back so decided we could tour this alone. We walked a total of 7 miles and loved every minute of it!... Read More
Caribbean Princess
jamanko
Sail Date: Oct 2019
We went to Quebec City a day early, got our own maps, and did our own walking tour over 2 days. Great experience without large groups from the ship.... Read More
Caribbean Princess
bcnvcanada
Sail Date: Oct 2019
We took a taxi from the port to the nearby falls. Note you can also see the falls and the departure from Quebec City... Read More
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