Call to book1-877-929-7245
Tour Search

Eastern Canada Rail & Cruise

4.4 stars(23 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.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
14 days From $3,013 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: CC-ECCW-23

About the tour

Your perfectly-planned rail-cruise combination tour takes you by sea from the historic city of Boston to Canada's cultural capital of Montreal, infusing your travels with unique sightseeing to historically significant landmarks along the way. Upon arrival in Montreal, begin your travels by rail with visits to Canada's capital of Ottawa and the great city of Toronto. This unique vacation combines the best of the Eastern U.S. and Canada with two exciting modes of transportation and optimal sightseeing to create what is truly the trip of a lifetime.

Arrive in the historic city of Boston, where you board your Holland America cruise ship. Your first port of call is Bar Harbor, Maine - a coastal town filled with beautiful nature and wildlife.

The next leg of your trip cruises north into the Canadian seas where you will visit the maritime province of Nova Scotia and the charming Prince Edward Island. You'll then take a daylong cruise down the St. Lawrence River where you can relax onboard and enjoy the many amenities of your ship.

Next, you'll visit French-speaking Quebec City, where the European influence of this historic city full of cobblestone streets awaits. Then it's time for the rail portion of your journey as you head toward Montreal, where you will disembark the ship for a 2-night stay. Travel to Ottawa by rail, and explore the beauty of the Canadian capital. Finally, you reach your destination of Toronto where you can explore the diverse city on your own.

Pre-Cruise Option: Many of our guests choose to arrive in Boston a day prior to the cruise embarkation. Vacations By Rail would be happy to make hotel and transfer arrangements for you. Please 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.

  • 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 - Sydney

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

Your cruise concludes in Montreal today. Your hotel is a short taxi ride away. Take the remainder of the day to get acquainted with this cosmopolitan city. 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

Moderate Accommodations
Hotels include the Delta Montreal, Lord Elgin Hotel, and Chelsea Hotel. VIA Rail accommodations are in Economy Class and include a seat with a picture window. Light meals, snacks, and beverages are available for purchase. Travel aboard the Holland America cruise ship in an Inside Stateroom including two lower beds convertible to one Queen-size bed and a shower

Superior Accommodations
Hotels include the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain, Westin Hotel Ottawa, and Hotel Le Germain Toronto. VIA Rail accommodations are in Business class and include a seat with picture window, access to the in-station Panorama Lounge (where available), priority boarding and complimentary newspapers, and a delicious meal with wine. Travel aboard the Holland America cruise ship in an Oceanview Stateroom including two lower beds convertible to one Queen-size bed, bathtub, and shower.

Deluxe Accommodations
Hotels include Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth, Fairmont Chateau Laurier, and Fairmont Royal York. VIA Rail accommodations are in Business class and include a seat with picture window, access to the in-station Panorama Lounge (where available), priority boarding and complimentary newspapers, and a delicious meal with wine. Travel aboard the Holland America cruise ship in a Vista Suite including two lower beds convertible to one Queen-size bed, bathtub, and shower.

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.


VIA Rail's Corridor Services


ms Zaandam

Enhance your holiday


Elevate Your Adventure
Extend your stay


4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 23 reviews

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


4 stars

Submitted 24 Oct 2022

Cruise was very good. Holland America a great partner to utilize in future tour packages. After cruise accommodations were wonderful (we upgraded). Our major disappointment was the total lack of tour guide/director after the cruise ended. We were completely on our own to navigate getting to train stations, etc. We didn't necessarily expect to be held by the hand, but even a person waiting for us after we disembarked to direct us to the hotel, or a meeting place at the train station to be helpful as we needed some assistance since we were tourists (foreigners) in a strange location. Very disappointed there wasn't some "point people" from Great Rails Journey to touch base with us along the way.

Collected by Trustpilot

Linda Tanaka

5 stars

Submitted 17 Oct 2022

Loved the cruise and rail experience. This was my first experience onboard an ocean cruise and I was a bit apprehensive not knowing what to expect. Holland America exceeded my expectations in service and cruise offerings. The rail experience on VIA Rail Canada was worth the extra cost of our upgrade to business. The facilities were top notched and the personal service we received will have me returning again and again. Want to add how comforting it was to be able to depend on Charles Warren throughout our journey. He was always just an email away. We are most appreciative for Charles' help in resolving our departure transfer mishap in Toronto. Charles handled the issue like a pro and had the issue resolved promptly. I am 71 and my companion is 70 so you can imagine how flustered we were to discover the mistake while we were well into our journey. Thank you Charles and Vacations by Rail for providing excellent and trustworthy service.

Collected by Trustpilot


2 stars

Submitted 15 Oct 2022

Didn’t have good communication Didn’t tell us we had drink pkg. on cruise. Didn’t tell us we needed a phone to use in Canada

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 01 Oct 2022

Great Eastern Canada itenary on a nice sized, classic cruise ship. The Canadian Rail portion was outstanding service on very comfortable trains.

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 01 Oct 2022

Very enjoyable.

Collected by Trustpilot


4 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2022

Cruise great, land excursions ok, travel company customer service spotty.

Collected by Trustpilot

Show 6 more reviews
Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2023 Global Rail Adventures

Download brochure
Related inspiration from our journey blog