Canada and New England in the Fall & St Lawrence River Cruise

Tour departs: 23 Sept 2021
Tour length: 32 Days

For well over 30 years now, we have been operating tours focusing on the spectacular scenery of Eastern Canada and New England during “The Fall” season.


Tour Departs: 23 September 2021

Tour Length:   32 Days 

For well over 30 years now, we have been operating tours focusing on the spectacular scenery of Eastern Canada and New England during “The Fall” season. The itinerary for the past few years has reflected some changes and these enhancements have delighted our travellers and continued the tradition of relaxed touring, wonderful scenery and great company. Add in a magical 11 night cruise down the St Lawrence Seaway, through the Canadian Maritime provinces and down the Atlantic coast and you have a great tour.

Seeing Eastern Canada and New England in The Fall is seeing nature at its best and most colourful. Our relaxed coach touring programme commences in Toronto and we then travel to the magnificent Niagara Falls before crossing the border and heading off through New York State to Massachusetts and historic Boston. In New Hampshire, the grandeur of the White Mountains and Mt Washington contrast with the gentility of the small villages and towns that dot the landscape.  Enjoy the country roads, red barns and covered bridges of Vermont before we cross back over into Canada for a special treat with an overnight stay at the wonderful Chateau Montebello. Then on to the nation’s capital, Ottawa,  across into Quebec and Montreal before we reach Quebec City where our coach touring finishes.  But it’s not over yet …


The “icing on the cake” is the 11 night cruise which takes us down the St Lawrence River and into the Gulf of St Lawrence, visiting the Maritime Provinces of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Then down the Eastern seaboard of the USA to Boston, New York City before disembarking at Fort Lauderdale in Florida.


Tour Highlights:

  • Vancouver for a 2 night stay
  • Toronto
  • Niagara Falls for a 2 night stay
  • Boston for a 3 night stay
  • Touring Vermont & New Hampshire
  • A night at the magnificent Chateau Montebello
  • Ottawa for a 2 night stay
  • Montreal for 2 night stay and Quebec City
  • 11 nights aboard the Holland America “Zuiderdam” cruising the Gulf of St Lawrence and Maritime Provinces
  • Houston for an overnight stay


Sunday 22 September

Home – Vancouver (D)

We depart this evening for Vancouver. The flight crosses the international dateline en route and arrives Vancouver early afternoon. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel for a 2 night stay. This evening, let’s get together for dinner.


Monday 23 September         

Vancouver (B)

This morning, we enjoy a relaxing sightseeing tour of Vancouver, rated the world’s most liveable city. Highlights include the lovely Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Bay and Park, English Bay, Gas Town, Granville Island  and the downtown area. The afternoon and evening are free.


Tuesday 24 September:                    

Vancouver – Toronto (B)

This morning, we are transferred back to Vancouver Airport in time to join our flight to Toronto. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel.


Wednesday 25 September:              

Toronto – Niagara Falls (B, D)

This morning, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of this cosmopolitan city. Toronto is a city of towers and spires where the old blends in with the new. Cultural institutions, theatres, parks, restaurants, fine stores and an intriguing variety and mix of peoples are making this city one of the great cities of the world.  After lunch, a short drive from Toronto takes us to Niagara Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. En route, we stop at St Catherine’s Dock Number 4 on the Welland Canal which connects Lake Erie and the Great Lakes with the St Lawrence River and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean. At the visitor centre, learn about the history of the canal and the engineering feats involved in its construction. Maybe a ship will transit the lock before we continue on to Niagara Falls for a two night stay at our hotel overlooking the falls.


Thursday 26 September:

Niagara Falls (B,D)

We enjoy a tour of the Niagara Falls area including the famous floral clock and the “Hornblower” cruise that takes us right up to the falls. We also visit the nearby town of Niagara-on-The-Lake often regarded as the prettiest town in Canada. Some free time this afternoon for you to enjoy this spectacular environment.  Tonight, we enjoy dinner together with the illuminated falls as a backdrop.


Friday 27 September

Niagara Falls – Albany (B,D)

We cross the border into the USA and enjoy a day on the road, travelling through rural farmlands and fruit growing areas skirting the Erie Canal. Our overnight stop is in Albany, capital of New York State. There is time to see the Empire State Centre with a diverse range of architecture exhibited in the government buildings before we check-in to our hotel.


Saturday 28 September:                   

Albany – Mohawk Trail – Boston (B,D)

A lovely drive today as we sit back on our coach and enjoy the autumn colours of the Mohawk Trail. We travel through many small towns and colonial villages including Williamstown, known as the prettiest village in America and snugly nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Berkshire Mountains. At Shelbourne Falls visit the only Bridge of Flowers in America.  Later this afternoon, we arrive into the great city of Boston for a 3-night stay.


Sunday 29 September:                      

Boston – Freedom Trail (B)

Our morning tour shows us Boston City, the capital of Massachusetts and the most liveable large city in the USA. It is the cradle of independence, rich in history and culture, and it still retains much of the charm from an earlier age. We visit North Church, associated with the immortal Paul Revere and the Freedom Trail, and visit areas that in the past we have only read and heard about – “The Boston Tea Party”, Bunker Hill, Boston Pops Symphony Hall, Boston Common, and Beacon Hill.


Monday 30 September:                    

Boston – Cape Cod (B)

Our tour today takes us down to Cape Cod – “Kennedy Country” and home to the rich and famous – along the rugged coastline through fishing villages and coastal estates. During the morning we visit Plimoth Plantation, a recreated village depicting life at the time of the Pilgrim Fathers. After lunch, we see Plymouth Rock at the harbour’s edge, commonly regarded as the stone on to which the “Mayflower” passengers first stepped ashore when they disembarked and we visit a full scale replica of the “Mayflower”. Then it’s down to Cape Cod and Hyannis and the JFK Memorial before we return to Boston late afternoon. Keep an eye out for the cranberry bogs which are a common sight in the area.


Tuesday 01 October: 

Boston – White Mountain National Park (B,D)

After a good breakfast to start us on our way, we continue our journey with a stop at the historic town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s only seaport. This is a delightful town with many vintage Georgian mansions and colonial structures dating back to the 1690s and the time of the original English settlers. Our lunch stop is Concord and we have time for a visit to the State House, which at almost 200 years old is the oldest in the country where the state legislature still meets in the original chambers. We continue on to our overnight stay in the town of Lincoln, a major ski resort in the winter.


Wednesday 02 October:                   

Lincoln – Burlington, Vermont (B,D)

Our journey today takes us through White Mountain National Park. Spreading across New Hampshire into Maine, the White Mountains are the biggest in New England, noted for their spectacular scenery and many natural attractions – especially in the autumn. Dominating the rest is Mount Washington at nearly 7000ft. Then it’s across the border into Vermont where a “must do” is a stop at a maple syrup factory shop. We spend the night at Burlington located on the shores of Lake Champlain.


Thursday 03 October:

Burlington – Montebello (B,D)

From Burlington, we travel up the shores of Lake Champlain stretching for 125 miles and cradled in the broad valley between the Adirondacks and the Green mountains. Before long, we reach the border and cross back into Canada and drive to the wonderland of Montebello where the fall colours paint the woodlands scarlet and gold. Our overnight stay is at the legendary Chateau Montebello set in 6500 acres of ground and built in the log cabin. This evening, enjoy dinner in the lovely hotel restaurant.


Friday 04 October:                

Montebello – Ottawa (B,L)

Breakfast at your leisure this morning and we have the morning free to enjoy the grounds of this magnificent resort located on the banks of the Ottawa River. Before departure, loosen the belts to make room for a wonderful buffet luncheon before we take the short drive to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, for a 2 night stay.


Saturday 05 October

Ottawa (B)

We enjoy a sightseeing tour of Ottawa. The wonderful autumn colours in the parks and gardens, the grounds of the Prime Minister and Governor General’s residences, the Houses of Parliament and the embassies make a wonderful display. At the end of the tour, why not enjoy a lunch break at the Fruit Markets with a wide range of restaurants and coffee shops. The remainder of the day is free to explore this beautiful city.


Sunday 06 October:              

Ottawa – Montreal (B,L)

We leave Ottawa this morning and drive to Mont Rigaud and the “Sucerie de la Montagne”, an authentic “sugar shack” located in the heart of a 120 acre forest of century old maple trees. Hosts Pierre Faulcher and his son Stefan provide a glimpse of life as it truly was for Quebec and Canadian pioneers. We enjoy lunch in the rustic dining room before we continue our journey through to the second largest French-speaking city in the world, Montreal, for a 2 night stay.


Monday 07 October

Montreal (B,D)

Founded in 1642, Montreal is decidedly “French” yet it is also very cosmopolitan with many immigrants from all over the world who have made the city their home. This morning, we start our sightseeing at the magnificent Notre Dame Basilica with its magnificent wood interior and stained glass windows illustrating biblical scenes as well as the city’s history. The Old Town area offers a range of buildings covering the centuries since the foundation of the city and our drive up Mont Royal provides  panoramic views over the city and the St Lawrence River Valley. The afternoon is at leisure, a chance to explore the underground city which protects the locals from the harsh conditions of the northern winters.


Tuesday 08 October

Montreal – Quebec (B,D)

From Montreal, its just a 3 hour drive through to Quebec City, the capital and “soul” of this French Canadian province. The city is one of the oldest and most historic in North America with its preserved walls and Old Town that is so reminiscent of 17th century Europe. The city is dominated by Chateau Frontenac which sits atop the cape overlooking the St Lawrence River. This afternoon, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of both the Upper and Lower Old Town before checking into our hotel for an overnight stay.


Wednesday 09 October


Commence Gulf of St Lawrence Atlantic Coast Cruise

After check-out from our hotel this morning, we venture out of the city to visit Isle d’Orleans. The island located in the middle of the St Lawrence River offers beautiful pastoral landscapes of traditional rural Quebec and during the fall seasons, wonderful autumn colours. Back on the mainland, we continue up the Beaupre coast and visit the magnificent Basilica of Ste Anne-de-Beaupre, the second most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in North America and credited with many miraculous cures. On our return to the city, we stop to view the Montmorency Falls, at 270 feet height, over twice the height of Niagara Falls. Then, this afternoon, it’s time to join our home for the next 11 nights, the Holland America ship MS Zuiderdam and embark on our cruise down the St Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic Coast.

Depart 5.00pm


Thursday 10 October:

Cruising Gulf of St Lawrence (B,L,D)

The largest estuary in the world, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence fringes the shores of half the provinces of Canada and is a gateway to the interior of the entire North American continent. Geographically, the Gulf is defined by stunning coast line and beautiful islands, including Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands. Thousands of migratory birds make this area their home during the spring and fall migration period.


Friday 11 October:

Charlottetown PEI (B,L,D)

Canada’s smallest province is an island that seems to be tethered to New Brunswick by the 8-mile-long Confederation Bridge lest it drift into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Leave the mainland, cross the bridge, and make a right for Charlottetown. The largest city on Prince Edward Island as well as its capital, its Victorian architecture, abundance of parks, and harbourside location make it an idyllic stop for cruise visitors. Walk the cobblestones of Victoria Row, see the house that inspired “Anne of Green Gables,” or explore the wild shore of Prince Edward Island National Park. Arrive 8.00am Depart 5.00pm


Saturday 12 October:

Sydney, Nova Scotia (B,L,D)

A hundred thousand Gaelic welcomes await you in Nova Scotia, Latin for “New Scotland.” At the northeast end of the province sits Cape Breton Island, whose wild and lovely topography includes Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Bras d’Or Lake, and miles of rugged coastline. Sydney is the gateway to it all. There are highland villages for visitors to see, the scenic Cabot Trail to explore, golden inland seas to sail, and the Fortress of Louisburg to inspect – where every barn, barracks and pipe and drum corps appears just as it did when King Louis’ troops occupied the site in 1744. Arrive 8.00am Depart 5.00pm


Sunday 13 October   

Halifax, Nova Scotia (B,L,D)

It’s big enough to be the economic and cultural capital of eastern Canada, but small enough to be easy-going and hospitable. Halifax residents have it good, the city is located on one of the planet’s great natural harbours and adorned with landmarks like the Citadel fortress, Pier 21 (Canada’s Ellis Island), and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Outside the city, cruise visitors can discover the weather-beaten landscape of Nova Scotia’s south shore. See craggy coastlines, the bouldered topography of Peggy’s Cove, and the German village of Lunenburg, so meticulously restored it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive 8.00am Depart 5.00pm


Monday 14 October

Portland, Maine (B,L,D)

First settled in 1633, the restored brick buildings and warehouses of the Old Port and the fine upright houses of prosperous captains, merchants and shipbuilders make Portland’s past a living part of its present. And the waterfront is a going concern, not a museum: Fishing boats chug into and out of their berths, buoys clang, harbor seals bark. Don’t limit your visit to the Old Port, though. Wander through the terrific art museum or take a tour of one of the city’s historic homes. Jump on a ferry or whale-watching boat and get out into the busy harbor. Head to the coast—craggy, windswept, dramatic—a glorious and undeniably New England panorama. Arrive 11.00am Depart 10.00pm


Tuesday 15 October              

Boston (B,L,D)

Today sees us back in one of America’s favourite cities. There is something nice about Boston, a big city but with a sense of small-town parochialism that is never more evident than when their sports teams like the Red Sox, Patriots or the Celtics are playing at home. There is a lot more to see that you may have missed in our first visit. Maybe enjoy a leisurely lunch at Quincy Markets, get lost in the Prudential Shopping Centre or again stroll the grounds of Harvard with the “freshmen”. Arrive 8.00am Depart 5.00pm


Wednesday 16 October

Newport, Rhode Island (B,L,D)

Founded in 1639, Newport, Rhode Island is considered to be the shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. A haven for religious dissenters, a critical colonial era port city, a thriving artists colony, a summer playground for America’s barons of industry during the Gilded Age, home to the US Naval War College and known as America’s First resort, Newport is a destination like none other. Arrive 11.00am Depart 8.00pm


Thursday 17 October

New York (B,L,D)

Ponder the thoughts of the immigrants of the last century as early this morning we sail under the Verrazano Bridge and enter New York Harbour sailing past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island up the Hudson River. A full day to enjoy the wonders of “The Big Apple” – so much to see and do – Times Square, Central Park, Harlem, lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village, Wall Street, Empire State Building, United Nations, Central Park.

Arrive 8.00am Depart 6.00pm


Friday 18 October                                          At Sea (B,L,D)

Saturday 19 October                                      At Sea (B,L,D)


Two days at sea to relax and unwind as we travel down the East Coast and near journey’s end.


Sunday 20 October

Cruise Ends

Fort Lauderdale – Houston (B.D)

Our cruise comes to an end in Fort Lauderdale this morning. As thoughts turn towards home, we transfer to the airport and join the flight to Houston where we are met and transferred to our hotel for an overnight stay. Lets enjoy a final dinner together this evening.


Monday 21 October

Houston – Auckland (B)

We check-out from our hotel this morning and enjoy a final tour highlight. We see the sights of Houston passing landmarks like Hermann Park, City Hall and the renowned Museum District. We then travel to Space Centre Houston to learn all about space travel. A tram will take us on a tour of the Johnson Space Centre and we will see the old and new Mission Control Centre and the Saturn V rocket while watching NASA staff at work. There is time to explore the exhibits including Apollo 17 and a full-size replica of a space shuttle. Later, its time for farewells as we are transferred to the airport to join our overnight flight to Auckland. Cross International Dateline en route.


Wednesday 23 October


Arrival time is early morning.




Our tour was perfect in every way. Gorgeous colours of the maple trees, fabulous cities with wonderful guides and a restful cruise, makes this our most memorable tour.

– Lenore & Leo M

Top itinerary covering extensive area and distance, with incredible variety. Kerry was able to include a couple of extras that added to the variety of the content. Maher Tours put together itineraries that accommodate the needs and interests of a wide range of ages and interests.

– Tony & Bets S

A top notch trip by a well organised, professional company who care about their clients.

– Denise & John R

Plenty of variety. Great to travel in the company of others. Travelling on your own can be rather lonely and you have to organise and decide what to do. An organised tour smooths the way.

– V.W

Good value for money and a once in a lifetime trip for an oldie like me. Don’t hesitate to go even if you are an “oldie” and are on your own. You will be looked after well.

– S.W

More than met our expectations! It was phenomenal!

– Basil & Jeanette McAllister

Such a mix of towns and country. Loved it. Hassle free, with a great group of people.

– Jean & Peter L

It was lovely to feel that we were being taken care of for the tour.

– Dawn N

We recently had the pleasure of a couple of Maher Tours and we are happy to recommend that organisation to everyone who enjoys travel.

Our first tour was a fortnight in Tasmania. We came across this by chance in a magazine and it sounded like a good one so we joined that tour. It was better than expected – it was excellent! One comment was what would you do for two weeks in Tasmania. Well in that time we saw lots of places that we would never have found by ourselves, (we had self-driven previously) and every day was a highlight.

After the Tasmanian experience we had no hesitation in joining a month long tour of Canada and New England in the Autumn. Again very enjoyable. The “Fall Colours” were amazing, the places where we stayed were extremely interesting.

Both tours were very well organised, first class accommodation, varied and beautiful places to visit, and with very enjoyable company.

We had the added pleasure on both tours of having part of the Maher Family Company as tour leaders. This added an extra dimension of personal attention and family atmosphere to the tours, which made the tours all the more enjoyable.

We judge the experiences that we had as first class. We are happy to recommend Maher Tours, in fact we are now looking forward to our next Maher Tour. – Happy Traveller

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By Phone: 0800 500 518 | By Email: tours@mahertours.co.nz