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Montreal (Photo: Alex Papp/Shutterstock.com)

About Cruising to Montreal

Canada might stamp your passport when you arrive in Montreal, but with your first glimpse of the city's cobblestone streets, sunny sidewalk cafes and wrought-iron balcony railings, you'll feel as though you've been whisked off to Europe. With French street signs, upscale boutiques and joyful elan of its people, Montreal feels more like Paris than a major North American metropolis. Canada's second-largest city is home not only to a French-speaking majority but also to native English speakers and immigrants from all over the world.

Montreal balances opposing forces gracefully, maintaining its historic old town area just across the St. Lawrence River from the innovative geometric architecture of Habitat 67, a modern housing development. The towering office buildings in Montreal's downtown core reach for the sky alongside Mount Royal, the gentle mountain whose acres of parkland provide quiet respite just a few blocks from the city's energetic commercial district.

Political and cultural differences between the French province of Quebec and the rest of English-speaking Canada have caused tension over the years. Montreal was founded by French Catholic settlers in 1642 as Ville-Marie and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The small colony survived years of harsh winter weather and bloody skirmishes with Iroquois tribes only to be taken over, along with the rest of French Canada, by the British following the French and Indian War. Despite the British occupation, the present-day province of Quebec has staunchly maintained its French language and culture, leading to 20th-century efforts to make the province a sovereign nation.

The city's influences -- French, English and many others -- are evident in the variety of languages spoken on the street and in the architectural marvels that include everything from old-world to modern structures in traditional to avant-garde styles. You'll find a mix of European chic, cutting-edge culture and a cool urban vibe.

  • More about Montreal

  • Why Cruise to Montreal?

  • Montreal Cruise Port Facilities?

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More about Montreal

Why Cruise to Montreal?


Cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafes and wrought-iron fences will make you feel like you're in Europe


English is less widely spoken in Montreal than in other North American ports

Bottom Line:

Montreal is charming, offering a lovely blend of parks, museums and shopping

Montreal Cruise Port Facilities?

The cruise terminal is within walking distance of Old Montreal, the city's charming historic district, where you can shop at the Marche Bonsecours, enjoy lunch along Place Jacques-Cartier or simply soak up the atmosphere as you wander the cobblestone streets. Or you can stick around the Old Port area; the vibrant neighborhood there includes the quays of Old Port and an urban beach. Other nearby attractions include a science center, an IMAX theater and a clock tower you can climb for great views of the city. If you're feeling more adventurous, take a jet boat ride along the St. Lawrence River.

Good to Know?

As you would in any foreign place, be careful when carrying cash, wallets and purses, and leave unnecessary valuables stowed in your cabin safe.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Once you get out of the immediate port area, Montreal is a very walkable city.

By Taxi: Line up at the dock. Major companies include Taxi Diamond (514-273-6331) and Taxi Coop (514-725-9885).

By Public Transportation: To get around the city like a resident, ride the sleek Metro, with its clearly marked signs. While you're waiting for your train, check out the colorful murals on the walls -- no two stations are alike. Both the metro and the public bus service are run by the Societe de Transport de Montreal (STM); the fares for either form of transport are very affordable, and packages are available. If you plan on traveling frequently, try a tourist pass, available for one day or three days.

By Car: Avis (800-879-2847), National (877-222-9058) and Alamo (514-875-9988) have agencies located downtown as well as at the airport.

By Bike: The city features nearly 400 miles of bike paths. Bikes can be rented from Montreal on Wheels, located a five-minute walk from the terminal.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The national currency is the Canadian dollar. Check www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for currency-conversion figures. ATMs are everywhere.


The official language is French, but most Montreal residents speak English and are generally helpful to visitors.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at the Montreal Cruise Terminal, just steps away from Old Port of Montreal and Old Montreal.

Montreal Cruise Reviews
Old Montreal by Foot - guide was pleasant and informative, but the material was dry. Montreal does have beautiful architecture, it was just too many facts to digest.Read More
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Went on the tour before boarding…we stayed at the Sheraton Le Centre…This pre-boarding excursion left from the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth. Easy, easy walk from our hotel to the Queen Elizabeth. We really enjoyed this Read More
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Let Me Travel!
So much to do. We spent three day pre-cruise and loved every day. Cruise terminal is OUTSTANDING! Easy embarkation, great place to overnight. Near the center of the old city.Read More
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Took the ebike ride along the canal. It was incredible! So much fun and lots to see. Julia was a great guide for us. Read More
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