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Exploring New England and Canada on Crystal Cruises this fall

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Rather than jumping in your car to take in the vibrant autumn colors this September or October, why not opt to explore the peak-season for New England fall foliage in an entirely different way - on board the elegant cruise ship, Crystal Serenity.

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This luxury ship will embark in September on its first voyage of the year to New England & Canada, with 13 new sailings ranging from 7-24 days. There are many itineraries to choose from and a plethora of reasons to discover New England aboard Crystal this fall. www.crystalcruises.com (The Crystal Symphony also has some itineraries that touch on a few of these North American ports).

Here’s a great way to peep at those Canadian Maple leaves: This year itineraries will begin and end in French Canada's picturesque Québec City. The cruises include complimentary transfers to/from Québec and Montréal on embarkation and debarkation days, further expanding guests’ flight and sightseeing options in the region. Also, beginning with the fall 2014 sailings, free Wi-Fi will be available for Crystal Society members, the line’s “club” for repeat guests.

For fitness buffs, Crystal offers multiple running and walking tours of ports of call, in New York, Boston, Bar Harbor and Newport. While walking tours have long been a part of the Crystal itinerary, this is the first time that running tours have been offered.

Shore excursions on the October 16 New York to Quebec Crystal Serenity sailing include a walking tour of lower Manhattan and the 9/11 Memorial, exploring Newport’s Colonial History District by foot, and a 5k run along the scenic carriage roads of Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor. Pack your running shoes – and a comfortable pair of walking trainers.

The Crystal Serenity just had a $17 million dollar facelift featuring new Crystal Penthouses and dramatically transformed indoor/outdoor casual dining spaces. Cruise industry firsts include a chef’s herb garden as part of the “vertical walls” of greenery and 70 new ‘PURE’ hypoallergenic staterooms. Book those quarters early and breathe easy.

All Crystal Canada/New England cruises include an overnight in the French grandeur of Québec City, with its classic French/Quebecoise food and culture. This year marks the 350th anniversary of Notre-Dame de Québec, North America’s first cathedral, an architectural masterpiece, and a National Historic Site of Canada. It’s located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Historic District of Old Quebec. If you love Paris, you’ll adore Canada’s most European city. Oo-la-la Quebec.

The September 19 ‘Autumn’s Palette’ sailing from Boston to Québec City is perfect timing to see the stunning fall foliage up the East Coast. Walking, biking, and hiking excursions allow guests to get up-close with nature, while a boat tour of Bar Harbor (pronounced Bah Haaabah in ‘Down-East” speak) gives a seaside perspective of this lovely seaside town and the fabled rocky coast of Maine. Adventure-seekers can also get a bird’s-eye view of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and Bay of Fundy.

For those non-adventurers, a New England/Canada cruise on Crystal is the perfect way to enjoy viewing the coast and the fall season in comfortable splendor on board a luxury ship. These mid-sized ships, with just over a 1000 passenger capacity, make staying on board to create your own ‘sea day’ a relaxing get-away-from-it-all holiday. Sleep late, have breakfast in your stateroom and then stroll, read or just sit and contemplate nature.
There isn’t a more stress-free way to enjoy autumn than on a Crystal cruise.

By Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Out and Travelin’

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