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Eastern Canada Rail & Cruise

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
14 days From $3,486 $3,286 per person
4.3 stars(28 reviews)

You'll fall in love with the Eastern Seaboard as you cruise up the Atlantic shores from Boston and down the St. Lawrence River, then travel by train to visit the most popular cities of the area.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary
Save up to $300

Save up to $300 per person on select Independent Canada Vacations, offer varies by tour. Prices as marked online.

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Special Offer

$200 off any 2024 or 2025 River Cruise. Plus enjoy a free cabin upgrade on any 2024 River Cruise. Offer only available by phone.

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2024 Tour code: CC-ECCW-24

About the tour

A marriage of classic travel options, this perfectly planned rail and cruise voyage presents the highlights of the United States and Canada's Eastern Seaboards. Each port of call infuses your travels with sightseeing opportunities and elements of cultural heritage unique to the region through which you are traveling. Join the ship in Boston, MA, hugging the Atlantic coast as the ship travels north to Bar Harbor Main, a city where nature and wildlife are always within reach. From here, the journey continues to Canada, stopping in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney on Cape Breton Island; and Charlottetown on charming Prince Edward Island. After exploring these delightful Maritime locales, your ship ventures inland, following the course of the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City or Montreal, depending on your departure date. August and October departures disembark in Quebec City, continuing to Montreal by train. All others continue sailing to Montreal after pausing in old European-inspired Quebec City as the last port.

The rail portion of this journey is just as impressive and gives you access to Eastern Canada's most illustrious cities. Sightsee in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto to discover the distinctions of each destination, from Montreal's impressive cultural elements to Toronto's powerful presence. Beauty and heritage, land and sea: This Eastern Canadian adventure captures the best of it all.

Pre-Cruise Option: Many guests choose to arrive in Boston a day prior to cruise embarkation. Vacations By Rail would happily make hotel and transfer arrangements for you. Contact a Rail Specialist for details.


What’s included


Day 1 - Embarkation

Arrive in Boston and make your way to the cruise terminal before setting sail at 4:00 pm today. Once on board, settle into your accommodations and begin to explore the ship's many amenities as your relaxing getaway at sea begins. Overnight ship. 

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Bar Harbor

Located at the gateway to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine, is a port of call that takes you to the heart of northeastern nature. You may elect to hike the Park's trails in search of whitetail deer and other animals indigenous to the area. This New England coastal town has been a renowned summer escape since the 1880's. There are historic summer homes along Mount Desert Street that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and currently operate as inns. Overnight ship.

**Please Note: October 5th departure will stop at Eastport instead of Bar Harbor.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Halifax

Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and today's port of call. It is recognized as the largest urban area in Atlantic Canada, a major cultural center for the region, and has the largest population east of Quebec City. The city has a number of art galleries, boutiques, museums, sidewalk cafes, and lively pubs. Seek out its historical landmarks including Citadel Hill and its Town Clock and Victorian houses along the South End. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Cape Breton Island

Your port of call today is Sydney, the largest urban area on Cape Breton Island. The town is a showcase for many historic buildings dating back to its founding in 1785. You won't want to miss the recently constructed oceanfront boardwalk and marina - or the world's largest fiddle, which is out on display. Nearby attractions include the scenic Cabot Trail and the Fortress of Louisbourg, which looks just as it did in 1744. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Charlottetown

Today finds you in Canada's smallest province, Prince Edward Island. Despite its size, it's big in history. This is, after all, the location where Canada's confederacy was created. The island also inspired the story of Anne of Green Gables, which was set in Prince Edward Island. The harbor area offers several boutiques worth browsing, and the downtown area includes beautiful Victorian houses and buildings. Popular attractions include Province House, which hosted the Charlottetown Confederation in 1864, and the Confederation Centre of the Arts, which is not only home to live theater and an art gallery but also the Charlottetown Festival during the summer months. Overnight ship. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Scenic Cruising along the St. Lawrence River

You're surrounded by beautiful scenery and have all day to enjoy it from the comfort of the ship. Take advantage of onboard activities including the Culinary Arts Center with its gourmet cooking demonstrations, tasting events, and cooking classes, or massage and spa treatments in Greenhouse Salon and Spa. Relax on deck but keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife including whales! Overnight ship. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Quebec City

Today's port of call is historic Quebec City, one of the oldest European settlements in North America. Spend the day strolling the city's cobblestone streets, admiring the 17th-century architecture, and browsing the unique shops. Take time to seek out some of the city's most impressive landmarks including the Plains of Abraham, a historic area famous as the site of an important battle between the British and French during the Seven Years' War and now a park often used for festivals, outdoor concerts, and pure relaxation; the Ramparts surrounding Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and significant as the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in the Americas north of Mexico, and the Latin Quarter. Overnight ship. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Montreal

Upon mooring in Montreal, your cruise along the Eastern Seaboard and St. Lawrence River concludes this morning. Disembark the ship, and make your way to your downtown Hotel, located minutes from the docks. You have the remainder of the day to get acquainted with this cosmopolitan city at your leisure. Canada's cultural capital is chock-full of attractions and amenities, so whether you crave a day of history, cuisine, or art, there are plenty of places to explore your interests.

August and October travelers will instead disembark the ship in Quebec City this morning. Transfer through this historic city to the train station on your own, then join VIA Rail's Corridor Service on its route to Montreal. On arrival, the rest of the day is yours to begin exploring Montreal's famous landmarks and hidden gems. Overnight Montreal.

  • Breakfast
Day 9 - Montreal Sightseeing

Montreal is bursting with activities. The best way to get the lay of the land and visit the city's most popular attractions is through your Hop On/Hop Off city tour. Don't waste any time! Start early as there are so many impressive landmarks on this tour including Notre Dame Basilica, the Old Port of Montreal, Montreal Science Center, St. Joseph's Oratory, Mount Royal Park, and Dorchester Square. Overnight Montreal.

Day 10 - Montreal to Ottawa by Train

Depart Montreal today for the capital of Canada's government, Ottawa. The trip is just under 2 hours--the perfect amount of time for a quick nap, a bit of reading, or a light bite to eat. Upon arrival, drop off your luggage, grab a map, and set off to discover the city's unique shops and delicious restaurants. Overnight Ottawa.

Day 11 - Ottawa City Sightseeing

Located near the border of Ontario and Quebec, Canada's capital city is brimming with things to see and do. Take advantage of today's Hop On/Hop Off city tour to orient yourself with the city and visit its popular attractions and prominent landmarks. Highlights along your route include the National Archives, Rideau Hall, the Royal Canadian Mint, and Byward Market. Enjoy dinner tonight at one of the outstanding restaurants on Elgin Street. Overnight Ottawa.

Day 12 - Ottawa to Toronto by Train

Today embark on the 4 ½ hour journey by train to Toronto. Settle into your seat with a good book, grab a snack or light meal, and get to know your fellow travelers. Overnight Toronto.

Day 13 - Toronto Sightseeing

Take the day to explore Toronto at your leisure. The city's famed attractions are yours to explore on your Hop On/ Hop Off tour. Popular stops include CN Tower, Toronto's Harborfront, St. Lawrence Market, the Royal Ontario Museum, Maple Leaf Gardens, and Eaton Centre among other stops. Overnight Toronto.

Day 14 - Toronto

Your vacation through Eastern Canada and Ontario comes to a close this morning. A transfer is available to Toronto Pearson Airport. 

Additional information

Pricing Plans

• Hotels include Delta Hotels by Marriott Montreal, Lord Elgin Hotel, Chelsea Hotel, or similar; subject to availability at the time of confirmation.
• VIA Rail accommodations are in economy class.
• Holland America accommodations are in an inside stateroom including two lower beds convertible to one Queen-size bed and shower.
• Snacks and beverages are available for purchase on the Corridor service. Meals are included onboard the ship.

• Hotels include the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain, Westin Hotel Ottawa, Le Germain Toronto Mercer or similar; subject to availability at the time of confirmation.
• VIA Rail accommodations are in business class.
• Holland America accommodations are in an Oceanview stateroom including two lower beds convertible to one Queen-size bed, bathtub, and shower.
• Meals are included onboard the Corridor service at your seat and onboard the Holland America Cruise.

• Hotels include Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel (Hotel Birks Montreal included for July & August), Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Fairmont Royal York or similar; subject to availability at the time of confirmation.
• VIA Rail accommodations are in business class.
• Holland America accommodations are in a Vista Suite including two beds convertible to one Queen-size bed, shower, sitting area, private verandah, mini-bar, refrigerator, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
• Meals are included onboard the Corridor service at your seat and onboard the Holland America Cruise.

Please Note

Port taxes are not included in the price. These fees are subject to change.
Pricing is based on standard level cabin category on Holland America Ship and may be subject to change at time of booking.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


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4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 28 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Marlene Lee

5 stars

Submitted 20 Aug 2023

Holland American always has an excellent cruise. Our surprise was our cruise was 11 days and our Rail trips, two of them didn’t last 11 hours. We would like more Rail.

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3 stars

Submitted 08 Aug 2023

We enjoyed the trip for the most part. We were disappointed that the Toronto boat tour that was on our itinerary was not available for us. There were also some issues and confusion with some of the hotel and hop on/hop off bus tour reservations that we had to resolve.

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5 stars

Submitted 29 Jul 2023

Fun trip. Need better follow up on accommodations to ensure they match itinerary.

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5 stars

Submitted 29 Jul 2023

Very comfortable accommodations. Great service by staff. Good food. Beautiful sights to see.

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Victoria F

4 stars

Submitted 26 Jul 2023

We liked having our trip to Nova Scotia and Canada planned and all the details taken care of. We went into Boston early and did a pre-cruise on our own. Holland America was a nice cruise, though we found their beverage packages and individual drinks expensive. Having to purchase "canned" water for excursions was over the top. Water should always be provided free of charge. We did upgrade the package, so our hotels were very nice. At two of the three hotels, however, breakfast was not part of the package. We had to purchase separately and seemed very expensive for what they provided. The business class rail travel was great. I believe a little more information would have been helpful. A small example is we found out our business class rail tickets gave us access to the business lounge at the rail station. We had to do some digging on our own to obtain our transfers to/from the trains and also for trying to find out where we had to go to use our vouchers for the hop on hop off. We didn't utilize the Toronto one because we would have to walk over a mile to get to the only place they would take our paper voucher. We are seasoned travelers so were able to figure things out, but more assistant would have been helpful. All in all, though, we enjoyed the trip and the package Vacations by Rail put together for us.

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3 stars

Submitted 30 Jun 2023

Probably better to organise the cruise and rail youself

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