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A hot topic that always comes up flying in and out of Canada after your cruise is: what Canadian city is the most affordable to fly in and out of, Quebec City or Montreal? The good thing is, you have options.
A lot of the cruise lines terminate or start service in Quebec City because of height restrictions and getting the difficulty of getting larger cruise vessels into Montreal. You’ll find the smaller ships like Seabourn, Regent and Holland America’s Veendam an Maasdam will go all the way to Montreal, others just can’t. The larger cruise ships will do their turns in Quebec City.
First and foremost you should know that coming from the United States, Montreal is generally the most economical. When I was looking at one-way flights from Quebec City/Montreal to Jacksonville, Florida, Montreal won by $150.
While US drivers can drive in Canada with a US drivers license, sometimes the French road signs maybe a little difficult to read.
Here are the three most economical options when it comes to transfers between Montreal and Quebec City (or vice versa):
This is a lot like the US equivalent to Amtrak and gives affordable rail transportation between Quebec City and Montreal. VIA Rail also offers wifi and plug outlets so if you want to pass the time with gadgets you’ll have that option. If you buy your VIA Rail ticket more than seven days in advance you can get it for next to nothing. Depending on the class of service, you can get a train ticket for as low as $49 each way.
The best part, the train station is located right next to the cruise pier in Quebec City and there is an airport terminal in Montreal.
Bus. If you don’t want to be restricted by the train schedule, there’s an hourly bus line that runs between Montreal and Quebec City. The bus system is a little more relaxed and they do not offer reserved seating, so make sure you get to the bus terminal at least an hour before departure. A bus from Montreal to Quebec City will run around $57 each way. Again, not the best way but they do have numerous buses that leave per day. You can see the schedule here.
Cruise line transfer. If you want to get to point A to point B with no time on either side of city then you can opt for the cruise line transfer. This transfer will guarantee that you make it to your airport with no issues in between. This transfer is an extra fee that costs somewhere in the $39 range (depending on the cruise line).
Either way, both cities are unique and both worth an extra night stay. If you don’t spend any time in the city then you’re depriving yourself of a lot of rich culture and history.
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