I just returned from a 10-night Canada/New England cruise on Holland America Line’s ms Eurodam. The cruise originated in New York City and terminated in Quebec City, while we did overnight in the port, an overnight in Quebec City is just not enough.
Here are 8 things I discovered in my recent post-cruise experience in Quebec City:
1. Use the ecolobus. Just outside the cruise pier is a little bus, a micro version of a city bus. These buses run a loop throughout Quebec City and only cost $1 each time you board. My suggestion is to get on the bus, ride the full loop to get a layout of the land and then hop off where you want to go. I took advantage of this from the cruise pier to my hotel. A cab would have cost me $15, the ecolobus was only $1. See the route map here. The best part is it stops right next to cruise pier and anyone in the pier could help you.
2. Rent a bike. Quebec City is not only very walkable, but also very bike-able. There are dedicated bike paths all through the city and even on the outskirts where you won’t have to worry about your safety and dodging cars.
3. Free wifi at cruise terminal. If you’re sailing in or out of Quebec City, you will be happy to know that you can get your first or last wifi fix at the cruise terminal. The connection speed is pretty quick. I was able to upload a Facebook album on the outside of the cruise terminal.
4. Take a ferry ride to nowhere. Next to the cruise ship you’ll see a ferryboat that goes back and forth every 30-minutes. For $6 you can ride it across to the South Shore. Without getting off the ferry you can get some great photos of Quebec City. Your friends will be wondering how you took such amazing photos without being in a helicopter!
5. Observatory is worth it. View Quebec City from high atop the 31st floor of the capitol building downtown. From 663 feet above the city you’ll take in spectacular views of the cruise piers, the Chateau Frontenac, the Citadelle, Island of Orleans and the South Shore. $10 for adults and children 12 and under is free. Info on the observatory here.
6. Island of Orleans. This island is a secret to a lot of people that come to Quebec City, but yet it’s only 10-minutes from the city center. If you’ve ever been to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts – it’s a lot like that – divided into six very distinct municipalities. Famous for its local produce, you’ll find sugar shacks, fruit stands, vineyards, local dining, markets and spectacular views all over the island.
7. 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.
8. Extend your stay. After spending a total of three days in Quebec City, I can say with confidence that if you go there for a day you’ll only scratch the surface. Extending your stay in Quebec City will give you plenty of time to take in the major tourism hot spots along with experiencing a couple of great meals. If flying in and out of Quebec City is a little more than your budget, consider Montreal. The cruise lines do transfers from both airports or your can take the scenic three-hour VIA Rail train that drops your off practically at the cruise ship. I recently stayed at the Hotel Chateau Laurier in Quebec City for two nights and loved the location.
Sure, you can hit all the tourist hotspots like visit the old city, ride the funicular and visit Hotel Frontenac; but with the depth and history of Quebec City, you’re only depriving yourself of some amazing sites.
More info on Quebec City tourism can be found on their official website.
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