Independent Fall Colour Tour
I love the trees in the fall. Our beautiful Elk Valley has wonderful colours leaning towards the yellow of cottonwoods, aspens and poplar and the golden needles of the tamaracks.
Some of the most stunning fall colours are found in Eastern Canada and the New England states. The Laurentians with its hardwood trees turning brilliant reds and oranges mixing with the yellow and green make it a breathtaking experience. At the bottom of the Laurentians is Montreal.
Montreal is a perfect starting point for a multi-week, full fall colours, independent travel tour of Eastern Canada and New England states. The best place to view the colours is in Mont Royal Park, they reflect off Beaver Lake and from the Mont Royal Chalet you can see all of Montreal and its forests.
Starting at the end of September, a one-way non-stop flight from Calgary to Montreal is $110 on Flair. A very nice 3.5 Star boutique hotel room for four nights is $600. Food is another $150 per day
for a total of $1200 for a couple. If you only have five days, this trip will be under $1000 a person.
Carrying on from Montreal you can take the three-hour train ride up to Quebec City for three nights. The train ticket is $31 and 4 and 5 star hotels can be had for $200 a night and another $200 for food and attractions per day bringing the total to $600 per person for the three nights.
On the eighth day, board the Norwegian Sky in Quebec City for a 11-day Fall Colour Tour of Eastern Canada and New England States. The fare per person is $900 plus gratuities of $100 for a window cabin. The ports include Sydney, Charlottetown, Halifax, St. John’s, Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, New York City, and Baltimore.
Choose a window cabin on Deck 7 and make sure to pick a starboard cabin facing the land side and not the ocean side. Sitting at the table in front of the picturesque window you will be able to watch the forests in their colourful foliage slide by as the ship slices through the cold water in the warmth of the cabin.
Disembarking in the Port of Baltimore you can catch a plane at the airport to Calgary for $360. That would bring the cost of an 18-day full fall colour, independent tour to$2700 or $150 per person per day. That is budget slow travel.
Or, you could catch a train at the port to New York Penn Station right in the heart of Manhattan. The train fare is $81 for a direct train that takes two hours and forty-five minutes or you can pay $251 for a direct train that takes two hours and twenty minutes. The entire corridor is through forests of fantastic colours.
Four nights is the minimum for New York City. Budget $400 a night for accommodation and another $150 each for meals and attractions. For a couple that comes to $1400 each or $350 per day per person.
Flights back to Calgary are $196 on Westjet non-stop. The 21-day full fall colour, independent travel tour will cost $4400 per person for flights, hotels, meals, and cruise with taxes and gratuities. At about $200 a day per person, this is affordable travel and I am sure that the tour checks off a lot boxes for many people.