Saga to Offer New cruise: “Canada in the Fall”, Departing Southampton in September 2017

The Saga Sapphire  (Photo Jim the Geordie at Jim's Tyneside photo blog)Saga Sapphire’s Canada in the Fall 31-night cruise takes guests across the Atlantic to enjoy the east coast’s warm autumnal colours during a voyage of discovery to learn how the identities of Quebec, Montreal and Halifax were forged by their founding fathers.

The cruise also includes a new port of call to the islands of St Pierre et Miquelon, which are among North America’s oldest European settlements. Basque fishermen were the first to land and over the centuries the islands changed hands between the French and the British until French sovereignty was agreed in 1815.

Saga Sapphire sails from Southampton on September 15, 2017 to Ponta Delgada, on Sâo Miguel island, in the Azores. Here guests can hike to the beautiful Fire Lake or travel to the extinct volcano of Sete Cidades.

The 720-passenger ship sails on to her first port of call in Canada, St John’s, the oldest city in North America. Guests can enjoy the pretty seafront, walk through the streets of quaint, colourful wooden houses or take a tour to Signal Hill, where Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi received the first Transatlantic wireless signal.

Corner Brook, at the mouth of the Humber River awaits the Saga Sapphire in this beautiful fjord-like Bay of Islands, 25 miles inland from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

From Havre-St-Pierre, guests can discover Minganie, a 225-mile coastline dotted with picturesque villages. The Mingan Archipelago National Park is a popular destination, jump aboard a boat trip to one of the many islands. Each island offers something unique: Discover a natural botanical garden as you walk on the Loop Trail and see the monoliths referred to ‘flower pots’ on Ile Quarry.

Sept-Îles, at the mouth of the Gulf of St Lawrence, is the cradle of the Innu community and has welcomed countless trappers and fishermen, as well as forestry and mining companies, over the centuries. This port of call is not a mainstream tourism destination and excursions are operated by yellow school buses.

Saguenay is surrounded by three National Parks and visitors can admire the majestic fjord, which is one of the longest in the world. Saguenay is also a centre for gastronomy and noted for its cafés, bars and exclusive shops. Take in La Fabuleuse Cultural Show, an exhilarating live stage show by approximately 120 local actors and a host of animals.

Saga Sapphire sails on to Quebec City, a destination that is rich in culture, heritage and atmosphere. Saga guests can admire historic architecture, museums and churches or simply soak up the lively ambience.

The next port of call is Trois-Rivières, a lovely city to discover by foot with a historic quarter featuring Parisian-style cafés, quaint boutiques, writers’ bars and artists’ workshops.

An overnight stay in Montreal allows plenty of time to discover the cosmopolitan city with contrasting French and British influences. Its cultural heart is awash with museums, theatres and galleries just waiting to be explored.

Baie-Commeau boasts hydroelectricity engineering masterpieces and a forestry industry of sawmills and papermills to fascinate visitors, while the next port, Gaspé, is a region of lush arboreal forests, glacier-burnished mountains and hundreds of crystal-clear rivers that teem with salmon and trout.

Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, is the last but not least port of call. It features picturesque 18th and 19th-century architecture, a rugged coast and the world’s second largest natural harbour. It is possible to reach out and touch the Titanic story while in Halifax. Visit the Fairview Lawn Cemetery where 121 of the victims are laid to rest and visit the Maritime Museum to see the largest collection of wooden Titanic artefacts in the world.

(Saga Cruises)