Frequently Asked Questions

Where will I go on a fall foliage cruise?

This depends on your itinerary. Most fall foliage cruises depart from major New England cities such as Boston, MA, New York, NY or Bayonne, NJ, and visit quaint fishing towns and colonial cities all along the east coast. Ports of call may include Bar Harbor, ME; Portland, ME; Newport, RI and Gloucester, MA. It’s also not uncommon to visit the Canadian towns of Halifax, NS, Charlottetown, PE and Saint John, NB.

When is the best time to take a fall foliage cruise?

The best time to see the fall foliage is from the middle of September through October.

How long do fall foliage cruises last?

These trips typically last five to 14 nights.

Will I need a passport or visa?

Passports are required for all international visitors. However, U.S. citizens on cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port and travel to destinations in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Bahamas and Bermuda are able to re-enter the U.S. with proof of citizenship other than a passport or passport card. For more information, click here.

What is the time difference?

New England is on Eastern Standard Time.

What should I wear?

On a fall foliage cruise you'll encounter a range of temperatures. From the cold temperatures on a whale watching tour to warm afternoons in quaint towns along the coast, you'll definitely want to layer your clothing for comfort. During the day, you'll want to bring casual sportswear, such as windbreakers, pants and jogging suits, as well as comfortable walking shoes with rubber soles or hiking boots. At night, you'll appreciate having a sweater or light jacket to keep you warm. Remember that the weather can be unpredictable, so don't forget your ponchos or rain gear and fleece jackets. We always recommend that you carry a light pair of gloves, a hat, and sunglasses, and don't forget your camera and binoculars!

Although the days are casual on a fall foliage cruise, most cruise lines observe at least one formal night on a 5-night cruise and two formal nights on a 7-night cruise. To participate in these special evenings, you'll want to bring formal attire with you. The rest of the evenings will be designated as resort casual or smart casual dress. For more information on dress codes, click here.

What should I pack?

Think about the kinds of activities you will want to try -- whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, ME, hiking in Acadia national park or shopping for rustic antiques for example – and pack accordingly. Sunscreen, sunglasses, protective hats, good walking shoes and windbreakers are advisable no matter when you travel. Also, remember to pack all of your medications, prescription or otherwise, in a bag you can keep with you as needed.

What can I do there?

Fall foliage cruises appeal to all sorts of travelers. In addition to seeing the beautiful foliage, activities range from hiking/biking excursions and whale watching expeditions to shopping trips and history tours. Popular excursions include a trip to scenic Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, ME, a traditional lobster bake in Rockland, ME, or a historic city tour of Boston, MA. Consider a scenic drive of 10-mile Ocean Drive while visiting Newport, RI or spend an afternoon touring sprawling estates owned by influential families such as the Vanderbilts, the Astors and the Belmonts.

When's the best time to see whales?

Whale watching is a favorite pastime for travelers visiting this region, and whales can be seen from April through the end of October. See all kinds of wildlife, including Finback, Minke and Humpback whales. Whale watching excursions are usually offered in the waters off of Bar Harbor, ME. Be sure to bring binoculars, cameras and warm clothes – it can get freezing cold on the water!

Can I extend my fall foliage cruise vacation?

Yes, you may have the option of booking a pre- or post-hotel package in New York, NY, Baltimore, MD or Boston, MA. Stay an additional one to three nights, allowing you extra time to explore local sights and relax before or after your cruise.

Do you have any photography tips for travelers to New England?

There's plenty of natural beauty to capture, so be sure to bring plenty of gear. Users of "point-and-shoot" digital cameras should pack rechargeable batteries, a charger, electric adaptors and high-capacity memory cards (1 gigabyte is recommended). If you're bringing a digital video camera, don't forget the long-life batteries, charger, adaptors and converter. 

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