Join Vantage on this luxurious small ship cruise along the eastern coast of Canada and New England.
Explore Nova Scotia, a region with a long and storied history dating back several centuries. Make landfall on the stunning Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, home to a classic coastal culture. And get to know the French-influenced cultural capitals of Québec and Montréal.
You’ll experience an engaging and illuminating journey, all while gaining insights via included features and Cultural Discoveries, and informative onboard lectures. Plus, the small size of our ship will allow for berthing in most port cities, with minimal tendering where you will be required to have the physical agility to maneuver getting on and off of tenders.
The luxurious amenities of the Ocean Explorer will bring unrivaled comfort to your journey. Traveling on your own? Enjoy one of the landmark 15 cabins designed for solo travelers. Indulge in a spa treatment. Watch the beauty unfold from the Observation Lounge or from the sun deck. All while enjoying the finest meals at sea and relying on our onboard Destination Manager to give your unforgettable voyage a distinctive touch.
Depart home for Montréal, Québec, Canada
Fly to Montréal, the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Dinner.
Enjoy Montréal at your leisure
You’ll be able to explore more of Montréal on your own today. The city’s eclectic mix of stunning heritage architecture and impressive skyscrapers make for captivating sightseeing. You can visit the award-winning Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) to gain insight into the city’s architecture and learn about its role in shaping contemporary society.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Enjoy a uniquely Canadian experience when you visit a traditional sugar shack. Learn more
Known for its delicious maple syrup, Canada’s sugar shacks are a long-held tradition that dates back to the earliest First Nations people. European settlers arriving in the northeast during the fur trading boom observed Indigenous peoples making high-calorie maple sugar every spring, which was used to sustain them through the tough winter months. The settlers used their technology to improve on the process of tapping maple trees and making crystallized maple sugar, which was then broken down into slices and melted or shaved directly over dishes. Today, sugar shack meals are a popular northeastern event for locals and visitors alike. A sugar shack meal is unlike anything else and you have to be fully prepared to indulge in a rich, delicious, maple-laden meal that will leave you completely satisfied. You’ll be able to celebrate the tradition yourself on this one-of-a-kind, full-day excursion that includes a sugar shack tour and, of course, a full meal!
Due to high call volume, we recommend you visit MyPortfolio to book this Destination Enhancement. Don’t wait — these optional experiences are limited to a select number of guests and are selling out fast!
Explore Montréal as you please and embark the Ocean Explorer
Enjoy the morning and early afternoon at leisure, exploring Montréal’s rich and engaging culture on your own. Perhaps you’ll visit the Museum of Contemporary Arts in the Place des Arts. Browse the shops in the historic Bonsecours Market. Or enjoy a relaxing stroll along the riverfront of Vieux Montréal. For lunch, you might sample a decadent plate of Québécois poutine, French fries doused with pork gravy and cheese curds.
This afternoon, you embark the Ocean Explorer. There’ll be time to settle in and perhaps have a drink on deck and give the breathtaking cityscape one final glimpse before you depart on your experience. In the dining room, savor a special Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Uncovering Québec City’s French heritage
Often called the most French city outside of France, Québec City is considered a loyal sentry that guards the province’s unique culture. You’ll set out today to discover its Upper and Lower Towns. From the Dufferin Terrace, in the shadow of the palatial Château Frontenac, enjoy sweeping views of the St. Lawrence and the surrounding Laurentian Mountains. You’ll also admire the 17th- and 18th-century stone architecture of the Place Royale in the Old Town, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to the oldest Catholic church in North America. See the Plains of Abraham, where the French surrendered to the British in 1759, and gaze upon more impressive vistas from Cap Diamant. Continue via the shop-lined Grande-Allée to Montmorency Falls, a roaring and scenic cascade that feeds the St. Lawrence, for a photo stop.
This afternoon is free to return to sites that interest you for further exploration. This evening, join your fellow travelers for an informative lecture on board.
Cruise the St. Lawrence and stop in Baie-Comeau
As we cruise, we’ll make a stop in Baie-Comeau, where our tour will give you an overview of its history, the grand nature of its landscape, and the living experience of lumberjacks! Your tour begins with a photo stop at the magnificent Havre St. Pancrace lookout (a fjord 600 meters high!) before continuing to a typical lumberjack village known as Village forestier d’Antan. Your discoveries continue with a tour of Baie-Comeau’s heritage area and its beautiful natural setting. Starting with Place La Salle, discover this quaint commercial artery, host to site of historical and social interest for the past 78 years. In this cultural hub, you’ll find souvenir stores, art galleries, fine restaurants and a microbrewery. Admire the magnificent scenery and Champlain Street where the former Premier of Canada, Brian Mulroney, spent his childhood.
The magnificent coastal beauty of Gaspé
Early this morning, you’ll round the Gaspé Peninsula as the St. Lawrence River opens up to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Arrive in Gaspé around breakfast time, where you have time to explore its charming streets before venturing out on a breathtakingly scenic coastal drive.
As you sail on to your next destination after lunch on board, gain more insight during a lecture from one of our onboard experts.
Culture, heritage, and beauty in the Magdalen Islands
Arrive this morning in the Magdalen Islands, les Îles de la Madeleine, a pristine archipelago of red cliffs and dunes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Learn about their culture and heritage, passing through Havre aux Maisons, Cap aux Meules, and other charming villages to view traditional, brightly colored houses and barns of French, Acadian, and New England influence. Stop by the Fumoir d’Antan, where you witness the enduring tradition of smoking herring. You can even have a sample if you wish. At the Dune du Sud, walk a scenic beach overlooked by dramatic red sandstone cliffs. Conclude your rewarding tour in La Grave, a picturesque fishing and yachting harbor. This haven for artists and craftspeople is dripping with maritime flavor. You’ll stop by the Atelier Côtier, where local sand from the beaches is transformed into remarkable sculptures.
After lunch, take advantage of your shipboard amenities, perhaps enjoying a cocktail on deck. Another onboard lecture today uncovers more of the region’s fascinating history and rich culture.
Rustic charms of Charlottetown, capital of Prince Edward Island province
Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada's tiniest and most charming province, is famous for its green fields, red earth, and white-sand beaches. In historic Charlottetown, you’ll follow a trail through the same historic streets the delegates walked when they gathered in 1864 for the conference that led to the Confederation of Canada. Then, drive along the North Shore to the lovely coastal village of North Rustico. Continue to Prince Edward Island National Park, home to Cavendish Bay and the farmstead that inspired L. M. Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables. In Rustico Harbor, learn about the PEI fishery and savor a bountiful lobster lunch with included beer and wine.
Stimulate your mind and your curiosity during an onboard lecture this afternoon. This evening, enjoy another memorable meal prepared by your chef.
Delve into the past of Pictou, Nova Scotia
This morning, your small ship moors in the tiny village of Pictou, an old industry town founded by Scottish immigrants in the 18th century. A visit to the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry reveals the area’s rich past. Do some hands-on learning at the museum’s interactive exhibits in the rigging shop and carpentry shop. Stop by the Hector Heritage Quay Interpretive Center to view a replica of the Hector ship, which brought 189 Scottish immigrants to Pictou in 1773. After, there’ll be free time to explore on your own; the Hector is just a three-minute walk from our mooring.
You'll be enthralled during an onboard lecture today. Then, get into the rhythm during an evening of local entertainment.
Visit historic Halifax and enjoy lunch in the iconic Peggy’s Cove
Our illuminating tour of Halifax begins with a visit to Peggy’s Cove, the beloved fishing village on St. Margaret’s Bay. Admire its pretty lighthouse set upon the rocky coast. Then, enjoy a lobster demonstration with a local fisherman.
After time to browse the shops and galleries, savor a lobster roll for lunch with lovely views of the cove. Later, visit the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, where you’ll hear the compelling tale of how 121 of the RMS Titanic victims were recovered and buried here. Return to Halifax to tour its picturesque Citadel, a star-shaped fortress constructed in 1856 to defend the city from invading forces. The unique building's current residents are the 87th Highlander Regiment, which regularly performs reenactments inside the square. We’ll also pay a visit to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Outside, admire the fine Italianate façade; inside, peruse a rich collection of regional, national, and international art. You'll have the afternoon free to explore the town’s colorful homes, eclectic waterfront district, and iconic lighthouse, or learn more with another fascinating lecture on board.
Explore the preserved British colony of Lunenburg
A historic gem of Nova Scotia, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lunenburg’s historic district boasts the layout and appearance of its original British colonial settlement. Today’s excursion begins in Mahone Bay, a charming waterfront town of shops and galleries known for the iconic Three Churches, whose images reflect in the bay. Then, return to Lunenburg for a walking tour, beginning with a stroll on the campus of Lunenburg Academy. In the Old Town, soak in its unique architectural character; 40 buildings here are on Canada’s Register of Historic Places, including St. John’s Anglican Church, a stunning example of Carpenter Gothic. Then, learn about the history of the cod industry at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
Behold the breathtaking beauty of Acadia National Park
Call on Bar Harbor this morning, situated on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. Long a seaside haven for the elite — from the Astors to Martha Stewart — it is more widely known as the gateway to the stunning Acadia National Park. After a drive past Bar Harbor’s Victorian mansions, you’ll follow Acadia’s 27-mile park loop, one of the most scenic routes in the eastern United States. Spectacular coastal, mountain, and forest views appear at every turn. As you pass stunning sights like Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, and the Highseas Estate mansion, built in 1912, keep watch for some of the park’s 50 species of mammals, including moose and white-tailed deer. Pause to admire Jordan Pond and the pair of distant rocky summits known as “The Bubbles.” This land was donated to the parks system by John D. Rockefeller and is still graced by romantic stone-cut bridges and lovely carriage trails built by his family. If weather permits, you’ll marvel at sweeping views from atop Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard.
Disembark the Ocean Explorer and discover Boston
Birthplace of a nation, Boston is steeped in American history. You’ll bid your ship farewell this morning and head out to see its major sites — Back Bay with its lovely Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library; Public Garden and Boston Common; and the historic brick-lined lanes of Beacon Hill. Afterward, browse the Italian North End and its renowned Old North Church from where Paul Revere hung the tell-tale lanterns, cross the Charles River to Cambridge for a stroll through Harvard Yard. At tour’s end, check into your hotel at the heart of the Back Bay neighborhood and enjoy the city at your leisure, perhaps browsing the many shops along Newbury Street.
Explore Boston at your leisure
Following breakfast at your hotel, you’ll have a full day at leisure to explore Boston at your own pace.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Discover Lexington and Concord, the battleground where the “shot heard round the world” officially triggered the American Revolution. Learn more
Discover Lexington and Concord, the battleground where the “shot heard round the world” officially triggered the American Revolution. Concord is also famous for its literary history, and was the home of the American Transcendentalist movement spearheaded by Ralph Waldo Emerson. You will stand where the opening shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired and travel along the Battle Road Trail that Paul Revere followed during his famous midnight ride. Walk on the Old North Bridge, a replica of the wooden bridge where militiamen beat back the British forces, and view the outsides of the gracious, historic homes where Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and others established one of America’s most formative, 19th-century intellectual circles.
Transfer to Logan International Airport today for your flight home.
Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.