The Best Fall Foliage Cruises Across the US and Canada

The best cruise routes for soaking in the beautiful fall season.

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Brilliant changing leaves and the colors they cast over the city and country alike are one of the best parts of the fall season. It's a fleeting season, enjoyed for only briefly before the brittle cold of winter sets in and the trees go bare.

But, while fall foliage may only be around for a short few weeks, the stunning colors that blanket the rolling hills and mountains of New England and the craggy coastlines of the Pacific Northwest are absolutely spectacular while they last.

You can see fall foliage on a road trip or from a train window, but one of the best ways to experience autumn is by cruise.

From Rhode Island's historic Newport coastline to New England’s charming countryside and Alaska’s expansive landscapes, these are some of the best cruise routes you can take to soak up the beautiful, quickly changing, fall foliage.

Royal Caribbean's fall foliage northbound cruise; 11 nights

Royal Caribbean cruise
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Cruise shipJewel of the Seas 

Cost: Starting at $833/person

Capacity: 2,702 guests

Why you should go: This late September cruise leaves from New Jersey and heads north allowing you to take advantage of the seasonal foliage as you make your way toward Quebec City, a perfect historic setting in which to watch the leaves change.

On board, get a sky-high view of the multi-colored leaves by climbing to the top of the rock wall or embrace the cooler weather with a poolside movie.

Princess Cruises' Canada and New England sailing; 7 days

Ochre point Cliff walk Newport Rhode Island

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Cruise ship: Enchanted Princess

Cost: Starting at $507/person

Capacity: 3,660 guests

Why you should go: Take the scenic, 10-mile Ocean Drive through Newport, Rhode Island where you’ll be treated to panoramic views and golden leaves all around. Later, stop in Halifax, Canada, where you can check out the coast and, of course, dine on butter-soaked lobster.

On board, watch the world go by from the outdoor deck with a hot chocolate in hand on these September and October trips.

Carnival Cruise Line's Canada and New England journey from New York; 6 days

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Cruise shipCarnival Magic 

Cost: Starting at $519/person

Capacity: 3,690 guests

Why you should go: This September, enjoy the changing colors as you sail from the Big Apple toward Portland, Maine and Canada’s Saint John. Watch the leaves turn yellow, orange, and red as you meander around these quaint towns.

Cruisers certainly won’t be bored on the ship, either, with its ropes course and on-board water park.

Holland America's Atlantic Coast cruise; 9 days

Holland America cruise line
Courtesy of Holland America Line

Cruise ship: Zaandam

Cost: Starting at $449/person

Capacity: 1,432 guests

Why you should go: Go from the vibrant fall colors of Quebec to the warm, sunny shores of Florida with this cruise that will give you the best of the East Coast over nine days. Start in Montreal, Canada to soak up the city’s October atmosphere and feast on French specialties like macarons, before making your way down the coast and past the warm hues of the changing countryside. Disembark in Fort Lauderdale where the weather tends to be in the mid-to-high-80s in October and end the cruise with some quality beach time.

Cunard's transatlantic, New England, and Canada cruise; 14 Nights

Cunard cruise
Courtesy of Cunard Line

Cruise shipQueen Mary 2

Cost: Starting at $2,699/person

Capacity: 2,691 guests

Why you should go: This October cruise will take you from the fall foliage and crisp air of Canada to the storied shores of Southampton, England. Watch the maple trees change color in Halifax, Canada and New York before settling in for a relaxing transatlantic crossing.

On the ship, watch performances from the Royal Shakespeare Company and indulge in dishes like croquettes of suckling pig and Dover sole meunière.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises' flavors of the Pacific Northwest cruise; 12 nights

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Cruise shipSeven Seas Mariner

Cost: Starting at $8,899/person

Capacity: 700 guests

Why you should go: Watch the leaves turn golden-yellow as you sail from British Columbia up toward Alaska and then back to the warmer shores of Los Angeles. You can watch the changing scenery from your room’s private balcony and indulge in excursions like high tea at the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, Canada, and a wilderness sea kayaking adventure in Sitka, Alaska.

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