Cruise the St. Lawrence (Quebec City-Kingston) – 9 Days / 8 Nights


This is an independent tour and cruise on a replica steamship.

Cruising aboard the MV Canadian Empress is an ideal way to experience the beauty of the St Lawrence River. As soon as you board, you settle into an easy lifestyle created by an excellent staff. As a small group, you quickly come to know your fellow travelers. Every day offers excellent meals, wonderful sightseeing excursions, shipboard activities, nightly entertainment and the pleasures that come with meeting new people. This combined with sightseeing in Kingston, first class rail travel and stays in two of Canada’s favorite cities, Quebec City and Toronto – a travel experience not to be missed.

Quebec City, St. Lawrence Cruise Lines (Quebec City-Kingston), Toronto
Departs on select dates


Day 1 – Arrive Quebec City
Welcome to Quebec City! The city is an authentic piece of Europe. Old Quebec abounds with architectural treasures, and the Quartier Petit Champlain is right out of a fairy tale. The city invites you to stroll the streets and visit the many shops and boutiques, just steps away from the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac.
Overnight – Fairmont Chateau Frontenac

Day 2 – Quebec City/Late Afternoon Boarding – (St. Lawrence Cruise Lines)
Today you might consider a Quebec City sightseeing tour. This tour visits the Plaines of Abraham, the Grand-Allee, the Parliament building, the old Military Drill Hall, The Place d’Armes, the Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica and Cathedral, City Hall, the Fortifications, St. John Street and Place Royal. The hotel concierge can assist you with booking a tour. Your cruise boarding point is a short taxi ride from the Chateau Frontenac. Boarding starts at 5:30PM. This evening join the Captain’s Welcome reception & crew for a short introduction, followed by a Prime Rib dinner buffet. A harbour cruise will show you Montmorency Falls & Quebec City at night!
Overnight – Canadian Empress

Day 3 – Cruising; Quebec City to Trois Rivieres
This morning we’ll depart Quebec City early bound for Trois Rivieres. The departure from Quebec City is awesome. Initially the bluffs culminate at the Plains of Abraham, site of the famous battle of Quebec between the British and the French. Upon arrival in Trois Rivieres you will have a guided walking tour of the old city. This evening enjoy the ships night time activities or relax while listening to the soft piano music.
Overnight – Canadian Empress

Day 4 – Cruising; Trois Rivieres to Montreal
Today is a great day to meet with your new acquaintances and participate (if you wish) in the ship’s many scheduled activities. As we approach our berth in Old Montreal, you’ll be surprised at the capacity of the Port facilities. You have time to walk around & enjoy Montreal on your own. There is plenty to do in this city of sophistication, style & history! Be sure to stroll the streets of Old Montreal, visit the Notre-Dame Basilica or use the underground to find one of the many underground shopping malls.
Overnight – Canadian Empress

Day 5 – Cruising; Montreal to Upper Canada Village
En route to Upper Canada Village we will pass through a series of 4 International Seaway locks and you’re sure to encounter some large lakers and ocean-going “salties” who are always ready and willing to greet you with a blast of those great ship’s horns. There are seven locks in the St. Lawrence River; five in Canada and two in the United States.
Overnight – Canadian Empress

Day 6 – Cruising; Upper Canada Village to Brockville, Ontario
Upper Canada Village, rated “Top Attraction Award Nation-wide” year after year, is a world-class living museum community recreating the life, work and development of the early settlements along the river. Passengers are taken to the village by horse and carriage and as you pass through the 1850 gate into the village, sounds and smells of a past era are immediately evident; the woolen mill, grist mill and sawmill, all powered by water. You’ll see wool become blankets and wheat become flour. Make sure the Cruise Director returns to the ship with some of that freshly baked bread from the village. Horse-drawn wagons will return from Upper Canada Village to the ship for lunch and your departure bound for Prescott, Ontario where you’ll tour historic Fort Wellington, originally built during the war of 1812 and later reconstructed as a result of the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837-8.
Overnight – Canadian Empress

Day 7 – Cruising; Brockville – Rockport (1000 Island Village)
Make sure you have your cameras and binoculars in hand because you will be departing Brockville to wander leisurely through the famous and beautiful 1000 Islands en route to Rockport, Ontario. Upon arriving a bus will be waiting for a transfer to the 1000 Islands Skydeck for a panoramic view of the Islands from 350′. This evening, back on the ship, you dance the night away to live Big Band Dancing!
Overnight – Canadian Empress

Day 8– Cruising; Rockport to Gananaqu, Ontario
The Captain is going to take you on a waterfront tour before berthing in front of Kingston’s majestic City Hall. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end, but not before the Closing Ceremonies in the Grand Saloon. After you have disembarked the ship, you will be met and taken on a tour of Kingston before going to the VIA Rail station for your train to Toronto. Once aboard you will be served a wonderful dinner, as you sample the pleasures of business class service. The Fairmont Royal York is located just across the street from the rail station. The hotel staff will assist you with your check-in.
Overnight – Fairmont Royal York

Day 9 – Toronto/Home
Although people tend to think of Toronto as a commercial city, they are surprised to find that it loaded with “people pleasing” features. A beautiful lakefront, a castle, sightseeing attractions that are both fun and interesting. As air service in and out of Toronto is excellent, try to spend as much time as possible enjoying this lovely city.

Tour Highlights:

  • Arrival or Departure transfer – Quebec City
  • 1 night – Fairmont Chateau Frontenac – Quebec City
  • 6 nights – MV Canadian Empress Cruise
  • Captain’s Welcome Reception
  • All meals aboard the cruise
  • Onboard Activities
  • Nightly entertainment
  • Ports of Call include: Trois Rivieres, Montreal Area/Lachine, Upper Canada Village, Brockville, Rockport
  • Sightseeing highlights included: Quebec City Harbor Cruise, Notre Dame du Cap Shrine,The International Seaway and locks, Upper Canada Village, Fort Wellington, Fulford Mansion, 1,000 Islands Skydeck, 1,000 Islands Heritage Center
  • Meet and assistance at the pier in Kingston
  • Kingston area sightseeing and transfer to the rail station
  • Entrance fees to all included sightseeing features
  • VIA Rail business class from Kingston to Toronto providing a delicious meal and beverage service aboard the train
  • 1 night – Fairmont Royal York – Toronto
  • Maps and destination information
  • Hotel and cruise taxes, port charges and GST as applicable

Dates & Rates – 9 Days / 8 Nights

  • Begins on select dates
  • Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy

Starting in Quebec City, cruise to Kingston, rail to Toronto:

Dates Land Only
June 10 & 26, 2018 on request
July 22, 2018 on request
August 23, 2018 on request
September 8 & 27, 2018 on request

Starting in Toronto, rail to Kingston, cruise to Quebec City:

Dates Land Only
June 4 & 20, 2018 on request
July 16, 2018 on request
August 17, 2018 on request
September 2 & 21, 2018 on request

COMING SOON:  This section will include detailed information about the hotels in this tour, along with a PDF of the hotel brochure.

You clear Canadian Customs and immigration at your first point of entry into Canada. Customs and Immigration clearance is generally a quick and simple process. Please note that Non-citizens should carry a valid passport and check with their local Canadian Council for visa requirements.

If transfers are included in your tour package, vouchers have been provided. Present your vouchers to the bus driver.

Be casual and comfortable. Comfortable shoes are a must. We suggest flat shoes with rubber soles on the train, as this makes getting around easier and safer.

We are pleased to pass your requests to our hotels, but we cannot guarantee that the hotels will be able to accommodate these requests. Please keep in mind, that often hotels are filled to capacity.

Electricity is on the same current in Canada as in the states – 110 volts. If you are traveling on VIA Rail, bedrooms have a small sink and outlet for small appliance use like razors.

When planning your daily activities, please keep in mind that your hotels are generally not available for check in until mid afternoon. If you arrive and cannot check in, we suggest you leave your bags with the hotel bell desk and go off to explore the city!

Based on your tour service selections, Cartan has reserved and paid for these tour services. Services, which you elect not to use, are not refundable. In the event a service cannot be used for reasons beyond your control, a refund will be issued provided the service supplier has agreed that they will refund or credit Cartan Tours. Based on the service suppliers’ refund to Cartan Tours, requests for qualifying refunds must be made in writing and will be processed less a $35.00 handling fee.

Incidental charges such as valet, telephone calls, beverages, and room service must be cleared before leaving the hotel. If you have made calls with a credit card or called collect, you may still have charges to clear. The hotels will appreciate your clearing them before you leave.

Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Canada. To avoid carrying large amounts of cash, we suggest you use your credit cards. Change the amount of money you feel you will need for general day-to-day activities. We find you get the best rate of exchange when you exchange money at a bank. Most people find it convenient to change money at the airport bank when they arrive.

Cartan Tours pays GST on all taxable inclusions; however, we are not required to pay GST on hotel stays for non-Canadian visitors. Thus, there is no GST rebate due on hotel rooms reserved and paid by Cartan Tours.

Tipping percentages and policies are as in the States. A very acceptable tip for a meal is 15%. When dining, always check to ensure the service charge has not been added to your bill. You will see a tax charge that averages 12 – 17%. Service, if charged, should also be listed. Although menus frequently specify their policy on tipping, if unsure, feel free to ask.

It is customary in Canada to leave a small tip for the chambermaid. We suggest $1.00 per room per night. Baggage handling we suggest $1.00 – $2.00 per bag.