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5 Things to do in Quebec City

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Holland America's Eurodam docked in Quebec City.

Holland America’s Eurodam docked in Quebec City.

Cruising in Europe is definitely a bucket list item. But, in the meantime – and for a lot less money – book a cruise to Quebec City in the Canadian province of Quebec. Found on Canada/New England cruises offered by most cruise lines, this port offers European old world charm without price tag.

Because there’s so much to do here, we recommend visiting the official site of the city to help you plan your trip: www.quebecregion.com/en/.

In the meantime, here are 5 things to do in Quebec City:

1. Historic Quebec City. There have been books written on everything to see and do in just Historic Quebec City. Because this is just a Top 5 list, we’ll cover some of the biggest highlights you’d find on a sightseeing tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • The Fortified City Walls – Quebec City is the only fortified city in North America north of Mexico. Today, you’ll find almost 3 miles of walls with charming gates to explore. As you take your tour, you’ll find out how the city’s defenses changed through the years as you discover cannons, loopholes and fortresses.
  • Château Frontenac – the world’s most photographed hotel and a designated National Historic Site of Canada, this hotel sits prominently in the Quebec City skyline. Don’t forget to ride the funicular down to the city streets.
  • Old Québec – centuries-old architecture, cobblestone streets, grand plazas, historic sites, open-air art gallery, shops, entertainers, even horse-drawn carriages are just part of the draw of the charm and treasure you’ll find here
Château Frontenac

Château Frontenac

2. Plains of Abraham. New York City has Central Park, London has Hyde Park and Quebec City has the Plains of Abraham. It’s one of the world’s largest urban parks where you can find an assortment of activities: walking, cycling, cross-country skiing and more. Before it became the famous urban green space it is today, it was originally battlegrounds, including the 1759 Conquest in the battles between French and English Empires. The park was created to honor the memory of these combatants. Even famous musicians know a good thing: Paul McCartney and Celine Dion joined the 400th Anniversary celebration for the city and rocked out with hundreds of thousands of fans here.

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Montmorency Falls Park

Montmorency Falls Park

3. Montmorency Falls Park. Standing 272 feet tall – higher than Niagara Falls – Montmorency Falls is a don’t miss site in Quebec City. For the best views, you’ll want to visit Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. You’ll be able to take a Gondola ride or walk the trails to the top of the falls. For a closer view, take the suspension bridge over the crest of the falls. Based on the season you’re visiting, you’ll find even more attractions. In winter, the spray of the falls freezes at the foot and forms a huge ‘sugar loaf.’ In summer, the water’s illuminated and there’s even an international fireworks competition in July and August.

Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré

Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré

4. Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica. Known as a ‘place of miracles’ for over 350 years – especially when it comes to curing the sick – it was originally built as a shrine to Sainte-Anne. Over a million visitors make the journey every year to the site, North America’s oldest pilgrimage site. The Basilica has hundreds of stained glass windows, the nave and works of art. You’ll also find churches outside the front entrance left by those who’ve been healed or cured by Sainte-Anne (the patron saint of Quebec City). To visit, you’ll leave the city and head to the countryside of the Côte-de-Beaupré region.

5. Ghost Tours of Quebec. Looking for a different way to see a different side of Quebec City? As the sun sets on this charming town, you can be on your way to a ghost tour, or evening lantern walking tour of Old Quebec City. You’ll hear stories that showcase the darker side of the city. This tour is something you’d book on an overnight port stay here – it’s not usually offered by your cruise line. For more details, check out ghosttoursofquebec.com/.

Tips

  • Download the app. Quebec City Tourism developed an official app that shows you reviews, maps, places to stay, eat and shop. It’s pretty much everything you need to know about Quebec City in the palm of your hand.
  • If you have kids who love Disney’s Frozen, be sure to visit Hôtel de Glace, an ice hotel that actually had a room inspired by characters from the movie.

Have you been to Quebec City yet? What’s your favorite excursion in this charming city?

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Québec, Canada Wants Wintertime Cruise Guests

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With the increased demand for cruises to Canada and New England, and the growing trend of cold weather cruises, Québec tourism and port officials recently invited representatives from Adventure Canada, Huerten-Groten and Ponant cruise lines to partake in the first-ever winter familiarization trip to the region.

A ship docked in Québec City – photo: Flickr/Visavis

The group visited Québec from February 8-14, and explored Montréal, Trois-Rivères, Québec, and Saguenay. Activities in Québec included a tour of the port, a taste of the winter Carnaval, a visit to the city’s famed ice hotel “Hotel de Glace,” and urban discovery tours. There was also a trip to Montmorency Falls and the Valcartier Vacation Village, the largest winter playground in America. It has over 35 snow slides, skating paths, snow rafting, 5,000 inner tubes and 17 mechanical lifts, plus ice skating, tobogganing, dog sledding, ski-dooing, and ice fishing.

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Other wintery activities were shown to the group in presentations and discussions. Hôtel 71 in Old Québec City hosted the group during their stay and Chlorophylle, a local manufacturer of upmarket outdoor gear outfitted them in warm year.

For information on activities in Québec City, click here.

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CANADA

Port Saint John Predicts a Great Season Ahead

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The 30th season at Port Saint John, New Brunswick starts this year with the May 1 arrival of Oceania Cruises’ Marina. It will conclude on November 2, when Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Navigator comes to town.

By the time the last ship casts its lines, 75 vessels will have visited, bringing approximately 176,000 guests and 70,000 crew along. This represents a 19 percent increase in passengers over the 2017 season, and a 13 percent increase in the number of cruise ship calls. Cruise activity provides an annual $49.9 million boost to New Brunswick’s economy. The total impact included direct spending by cruise lines, passengers, and crew in New Brunswick of $21.5 million, 298 direct jobs in the province, and $12.5 million in personal income.

Highlights for the upcoming 2018 season include:

  • 14 double cruise ship days
  • 2 triple cruise ship days
  • 5 inaugural calls (Adventure of the Seas, Asuka II, Hebridean Sky, AIDAvita, and Norwegian Escape)
  • New cruise lines to call in Saint John (NYK Cruises, AIDA Cruises, and expedition-class cruise line Noble Caledonia and Pearl Seas)
  • Notable ship visit: Queen Mary 2 on July 3, 2018

Port Saint John is Canada’s third largest port by tonnage and has a diverse cargo base, including dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise.

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CANADA

Port Saint John Seeing More Cruise Passengers

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The 2017 season at Port Saint John, Canada provided a 3 percent increase in cruise passengers over the same 2016 time frame, with 208,818 visitors. The port also received one extra port of call from a cruise ship this year; 64 compared to 63 last year.

Highlights of 2017 for the port included:

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  • 12 double cruise ship days and 5 triple cruise ship days in September and October
  • 2 inaugural calls: Vision of the Seas and TUI’s Mein Schiff 6
  • Introduction of German-based TUI Cruises to Port Saint John
  • 2 calls by Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic
  • Anthem of the Seas, the largest cruise ship to call in Port Saint John to date, stopped there 4 times

Earlier this year, the port released updated economic impact figures from the cruise sector in New Brunswick. Total annual impact from the cruise industry in New Brunswick has risen from $41.5 million per year to $49.9 million per year, an increase of 20 percent. The total impact included direct spending by cruise lines, guests, and crew in New Brunswick, 298 direct jobs in the Province, and $12.5 million in personal income.

Port Saint John is Canada’s third largest port by tonnage, the country’s fourth busiest cruise port, and has a diverse cargo base.

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