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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Canada &
New England: the Northeast Passage
Sights to see & things to do

Québec City, Québec - Canada

From downriver the sight of Québec City is nothing short of magical. Crowned by Château Frontenac, the city resembles a scene from a fairy tale. 

The only fortified city in North America, in 1985 UNESCO designated the old quarter a world heritage site.


Coming ashore, passengers find themselves at the foot of the city’s old quarter. Crossing the street, stairs lead up through narrow winding streets that meander between old stone homes and churches. The architecture brings to mind Québec City’s French heritage and the best way to really examine it is on foot.

Why not start by making your way up to Château Frontenac, the complicated architectural mix of medieval-looking gables and turrets, and work your way down? Ascending the Escalier Casse-cou (Breakneck Stairs) is an exhilarating experience but riding the funicular, built in 1879, from Place-Royale can save a lot of climbing. Pass Château Frontenac and stroll along the boardwalk of Terrasse Dufferin, with its incomparable view of the St. Lawrence, until you reach the Citadelle, the eastern flank of Québec's fortifications.

Circling back to the Place d’Armes, you’ll find the main square of old Québec City. In addition to the imposing Château Frontenac, on this square is Maison Maillou, housing the chamber of commerce, the Ancien Palais de Justice, a Renaissance-style courthouse, and the Musee du Fort where a thirty-minute sound and light show re-enacts the city’s six major battles and the sole exhibit is a model of the city circa 1750. 

Make your way down into the Lower Town to Place-Royale dating back to the earliest days of the colony. The cobbled streets of this area, as well as the adjacent Petit-Champlain quarter, are lined with unique stone houses, churches, lovely squares, and numerous boutiques, restaurant, and bistros.

Ships’ excursions include highlights of the city and, particularly during fall foliage season, the beautiful countryside surrounding Québec City. A slow-paced way to see the city on your own is in a hired horse drawn carriage.


Named for the building where French settlers paid their dues to the Royal Treasury, Rue du Trésor is a picturesque alley where numerous artists display original watercolors, paintings, and prints.

Narrow Rue du Petit-Champlain, the oldest street in the city, is located in Quartier du Petit-Champlain, the oldest commercial district in America. The quarter’s quaint buildings house a wide variety of shops selling everything from clothing by local couturiers to maple syrup products and berry-based liqueurs. Locally made crafts, jewelry, glassware, ceramics, and woodcarvings are special souvenirs and gifts.

Nearby, in the Old Port area, Rue St. Paul is known for its antique shops.

Port Review: Queen of the St. Lawrence Pat Woods explores Québec City during a Canada/New England cruise.

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