Travel Guides to Canada


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WESTERN WONDERS Canada's signature cruise is undoubtedly the west coast one that traces the British Columbian shoreline from mid-April through mid-October. Since it covers a hefty portion of the so-called Alaska Route, stunning vistas are guaranteed—indeed few sea-going experiences can compare with threading the island-studded Inside Passage, where snow-crowned mountains, glacier-carved ords and abundant marine life vie for attention. Luckily, the ports you visit en route are as appealing as the sights you see from your deck chair. Take Vancouver. The nation's busiest home port drew 830,000-odd passengers in 2016 alone, most of them travelling north on big-name boats; however, this vibrant city isn't just a convenient embarkation point. It delivers a full slate of urban enticements —top-rated restaurants, theatres and oh- so-trendy shops among them—along with easy access to the area's parks and peaks. Victoria, meanwhile, mixes a "high tea" tradition with high adventure opportunities. If you really want to go wild, eco-oriented outfi ts like Maple Leaf Adventures, Bluewater Adventures, and Outer Shores Expeditions all have sailings that include Haida Gwaii, "The Galapagos of the North." THE ATLANTIC On the opposite side of the country, historic communities, towering tides and legendary Maritime hospitality make the Canada/New England Route another classic choice from late April to November. The scenery does not disappoint, especially in autumn when forests blaze with brilliant foliage; nor do the distinctive ports. Leading the list in passenger traffi c is Halifax (coincidentally, the birthplace of cruise pioneer Samuel Cunard). Notable for its deep harbour and charming waterfront attractions, Nova Scotia's capital received over 238,000 cruisers last year. Charlottetown (home to Anne of Green Gables and world-class golf ), Saint John and Sydney (gateways to the Bay of Fundy and Cabot Trail, respectively) are other top calls. Specialty sojourns that focus exclusively Taken together, the three oceans that lap this country's borders—the Atlantic, Pacifi c and Arctic—create the longest continuous coastline in the world: one that stretches a whopping 243,042 km (151,019 mi). As if that wasn't enough to satisfy cruisers' cravings, Canada is also laced with mighty rivers and punctuated by lakes that can rightly be called "great," so it is no surprise that this place holds lots of promise for passengers. CRUISING IN CANADA FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA BY SUSAN MACCALLUM-WHITCOMB TORONTO HARBOUR • SHUTTERSTOCK/JAMES WHEELER 26

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