“All of the communities we visit along the river, from small hamlets to the international Port of Montréal, were built up due to their place on the river, and that relationship will become clear as the journey unfolds,” says Daniel Beals, marketing coordinator for the Kingston, Ontario-based cruise company that turns 40 this year. “The river is absolutely breathtaking, and guests will be able to see the culture change from French to English along its length—all while enjoying the comfort and hospitality of the Canadian Empress and her crew.”
The company’s river cruises connect Kingston to Montréal, Québec City, Ottawa, and Ontario’s 1000 Islands region. Itineraries range from four to seven nights and are offered during the May-to-October season.
True to its name, Canada’s Capital Cruise highlights the nation’s political center, Ottawa. The five-night journey requires a smaller vessel, since it transitions through the locks from the St. Lawrence to the Ottawa River. As they follow the river toward the capital city, passengers can get a feel for French and English cultures, with Québec being on the northern banks and Ontario on the southern shores.
Another of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines’ most requested itineraries is the four-night Upper River Expedition that showcases the 1000 Islands region. The area, shared between Canada and the United States, was a playground for the rich and famous in the 1800s and 1900s. Passengers can see historical estates and cottages as they go past the charming port towns.
“This year we are introducing a brand-new itinerary called the Seaway Discovery Cruise,” says Beals. “The focus of this unique trip is the engineering marvels of the lock system and the history of trade and cooperation that is shared by Canada and the United States.”
The five-night cruise goes from Kingston to Cornwall, Ontario, and back, with departures on June 6 and June 11.
Top photo: Upper River Expedition through the 1000 Islands area
Photo by St. Lawrence Cruise Lines