According to the Farmer’s Almanac, late September to the end of October is peak-season for New England fall foliage. While thousands of tourists jump in their cars to take in the vibrant autumn colors, Crystal offers a chance to explore the season in an entirely different way. This September, Crystal Serenity embarks on its first voyage of the year to New England & Canada, with 13 new sailings ranging from 7-24 days. Besides stunning foliage, here are a few other reasons to discover New England aboard Crystal this fall:
1. A Season of Firsts – For the first time, itineraries will begin and end in French Canada’s picturesque Québec City. These itineraries include complimentary transfers to/from Québec and Montréal on embarkation and debarkation days, further expanding guests’ flight and sightseeing options in the region. Also, beginning with the fall 2014 sailings, free Wi-Fi will be available for Crystal Society members, the line’s “club” of repeat guests.
2. Run & Walk Your Way Through New England – For those who prefer to take in the sights and get some exercise in the process, Crystal offers multiple running and walking tours of ports of call, such as New York, Boston, Bar Harbor, Newport, and more. While walking tours have long been a part of the Crystal itinerary, this is the first time that running tours have been offered. Shore excursions on the “Crimson Capitals” sailing include a walking tour of Lower Manhattan and the 9/11 Memorial, exploring Newport’s Colonial History District by foot, and a 5k run along the scenic carriage roads of Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor.
3. Experience Serenity’s “Extreme Makeover” – This December, Crystal Serenity emerged from a $17 million dollar redesign with chic new Crystal Penthouses and dramatically transformed indoor/outdoor casual dining spaces. Cruise industry firsts include a chef’s herb garden as part of the “vertical walls” of greenery and 70 new PURE hypoallergenic staterooms.
4. Celebrate Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral’s 350thAnniversary – All Crystal Canada/New England cruises include an overnight in Québec City, renowned for its rich blend of northeastern beauty and European style and culture. 2014 marks the 350th anniversary of Notre-Dame de Québec, North America’s first cathedral. In addition to the many organized activities surrounding its 350th jubilee, Notre-Dame de Québec will be honored with the first Holy Door outside of Europe.
5. Sail & Learn – Sea days offer the chance to strengthen the body & mind, with activities such as the Walk-on-Water program, and the Crystal Visions Enrichment speaker series. Featured presenters on the “Historic Harbors” sailing include Ken Walsh, Chief White House Correspondent and author of the “Presidency” column for U.S. News & World Report. Guests aboard the “Colonial Collection” sailing will get a chance to learn from Clint Van Zandt, the FBI’s Chief Hostage Negotiator for 25 years and “profiler” in the FBI’s Behavioral Science or “Silence of the Lambs” Unit.
6. Give Thanks & Give Back – Many use the month of November to reflect on all the things they’re thankful for, as well as give back to the community. Both the “Historic Harbors” and “Autumn’s Palette” sailings feature complimentary voluntourism opportunities as a part of Crystal’s “You Care, We Care” program: feeding the hungry at Feed Nova Scotia in Halifax, and distributing clothes and books to low-income children in Boston.
7. Front-Row Seat to Fall Foliage – The “Autumn’s Palette” sailing from Boston to Québec City allows guests to view the stunning fauna up the East Coast. Walking, biking, and hiking excursions allow guests to get up-close with nature, while a boat tour of Bar Harbor gives a seaside perspective. Adventure-seekers can also get a bird’s-eye view of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and Bay of Fundy.