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Cruises to Quebec City

245 Reviews
Quebec City (Photo:mervas/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to 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.

  • More about Quebec City

  • Why Cruise to Quebec City?

  • Quebec City Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Sky
Norwegian Sky

10 Night
Canada & New England - Other

2,150 Reviews
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Norwegian Sky
Norwegian Sky

11 Night
Canada & New England - Other

2,150 Reviews
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Volendam
Volendam

13 Night
The Atlantic Coast

590 Reviews
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Volendam
Volendam

7 Night
Canada & New England Discovery

590 Reviews
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MSC Cruises

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Canada & New England Circle: Newfoundland & Montre...

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10 Night
Newfoundland & New England Discovery

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7 Night
Canada & New England - Other

490 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

11 Night
Boston, Maine & Canada Cruise

1,943 Reviews
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7 Night
Canada & New England Discovery

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10 Night
Canada & New England - Other

2,150 Reviews
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Canada & New England Discovery

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7 Night
Canada & New England - Other

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25 Night
World Cruise

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7 Night
Canada & New England Discovery

1,028 Reviews
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12 Night
Canada Cruise

396 Reviews
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More about Quebec City

Why Cruise 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.


Quebec City Cruise Reviews
Our ship had the best spot in port and Quebec is simply wonderful. We visited everything on foot, except for the falls (took public transport bus 800 for only 7.80$ per person for the whole trip) - and there's a lot Read More
Belgian cruiser1
Best of the cruise. Two good tours...one walking and one out to the country and Montmorency Falls. Quebec City is awesome but I suggest flying there and spending a lot of time. Read More
notstone53
There is never enough time to see everything there is to see in Quebec. I was sorry this cruise didn't feature an overnight in the City, but it was a great stop. Poutine is harder to find than you think in Upper TownRead More
ellieanne
Loved Quebec City. In addition to the included excursion, I walked around QC solo and discovered lots of old QC that were not included in the organized tour.Read More
J_T

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