For me, at least, an essential element of a cruise vacation is simply the anticipation of the adventure. I’ve been experiencing this thrill again in advance of my June cruise which begins in Quebec City, Canada.
My wife and I will be on board an old friend, Holland-America’s good ship Veendam. In 2012, I took the same vessel on a two-week cruise around the southern tip of South America, from Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, covering the odyssey for All Things Cruise.
This time, a new experience will begin for both of us at the narrow end of the St. Lawrence Seaway. After Quebec, Quebec (the ville so nice they named it twice?), we will explore the Seaway and then make calls on Prince Edward Island, then two ports on Nova Scotia (Sydney and Halifax), then again at Bar Harbor, Maine, and finally tie up in dear old Boston, Mass.
The French Canadian experience will be new for both of us. With the exception of brief visits to Niagara Falls and to Toronto years ago, Canada has almost always meant western Canada, which we visited many times by land and sea over the years. Now we will begin our new adventure for the first time in the allegedly aggressive French-speaking province of the country.
I’ve heard that even the stop signs in Quebec say in no uncertain terms “Arret!” While in visits to France, I’ve been intrigued to find they say, in English “Stop.”
We’ve scheduled two days in advance of the cruise in the city which some have described as being more European than Europe.
Allons-y, mes enfants!