For information on Royal Viking cruises along the New England and Canadian coasts, call 800-422-8000. Other cruise lines that will be sending ships on the same route include Cunard (800-221-4770)7 Princess (213-553-1770), Bermuda Star (800-237-5361 ), Regency (212-972-4499), and American Canadian Caribbean (800-556-7450). There will be some variety in the ports selected and, perhaps more important, in the time allotted for each port.
In Quebec save a few hours for a visit to the Musée de la Civilisation, opened in 1989 on Rue Dalhousie, just across from where the ships dock. If there were an Academy Award for museums, this one would win—year after year. The permanent exhibit called Mémoires offers a beautifully expressed, historically grounded view of the Quebecois—how they lived in centuries past and where they stand today. Exhibits are in French only, but English-speaking docents stand by to help.
If I had a little more time to spare, I’d head for the Plains of Abraham (take a taxi there and walk back down the cliffside stairs to the heart of Upper Town). Here, in 1759, occurred the battle that in twenty minutes tore Canada from the French and handed it to the British. Markers along the field tell the course of battle, but beyond its significance as a military flash point, the place is eloquent simply as a peaceful, tree-shaded park that overlooks the broad waters of the St. Lawrence.