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HomeDisneyExtra MagicOctober 2023 Inspiring Itinerary: The Perfect Fall Foliage Cruise through New England 

October 2023 Inspiring Itinerary: The Perfect Fall Foliage Cruise through New England 

Maine lighthouse

Why New England?

New England is rich in tradition and alive with history no matter what time of year you visit; from the mansions of Newport, to the forests of Acadia, to the rocky coasts of Canada, there’s something for everyone to enjoy whether it’s walking barefoot on the beach in summer or cozying up by a fire while the snow swirls outside in winter. There is nothing that quite compares, though, to Fall in New England.

Fall is when Mother Nature shows off the most with her gorgeous spectacle of colors, and nowhere are the reds, oranges and yellows as brilliant as they are in New England. Leaf Peepers from across the country, and even across the world, choose to visit New England in the Fall to experience the autumnal magic for themselves. Add to that the craft beers, local lobsters and cozy decor New England is famous for, and you have the perfect Fall Foliage Vacation! 

Maine Cruise Ship

Why a Cruise?

And just when you think a Fall escape to New England couldn’t get any more perfect, imagine experiencing those brilliant colors of the rugged coastline from the water! Although many of us think of warm-weather destinations when we think of cruising, some of the most popular cruise destinations are actually to cooler-weather locations (Hello, Alaska!). Cruising through New England and Canada offers incredible views of the iconic coastline, which become even more majestic when the colors of the Fall season are layered onto the experience. 

Plus, as always, cruising is a great way to cover a lot of ground without having to drive it yourself (if you’re not into road trips), and without having to pack up every other day and hop from hotel to hotel (unless you like to bop around, which many people do). A cruise ship conveniently takes you from port to port to port, while you get to return to the same cabin each night, not to mention enjoying all of the amenities that come along with sailing on a cruise ship. 

So, are you ready to experience the beauty of the New England coastline during its most impressive season?

Let’s Go!

New York

Day 1 

Although New York is not technically New England, the Big Apple is where you’ll be starting your journey! New York is a super convenient location to begin and end your cruise, since so many places have direct flights into New York, and if you’ve never flown into New York City before, you’re in for a treat! Views of the City’s most iconic buildings are unparalleled as you land in either of New York’s major airports. 

From the airport, you’ll transfer to your New York City hotel, not far from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. Depending on your arrival, you’ll have some time to explore the City, maybe with a walk through Central Park or up 5th Avenue for some window shopping, before heading to dinner at one of NYC’s fabulous restaurants, and back to the hotel for the night.

Statue of Liberty

Day 2 

Spend the morning soaking up a few hours of Autumn in New York, perhaps with an early walk along the famous High Line or though Union Square before checking out of your hotel and embarking on your ship at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on the West Side. As you pull out of the harbor, you’ll have the MOST incredible views of downtown Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower and Battery Park, as well as the Statue of Liberty, so have your camera ready! 

Once you sail out of the harbor, you can take some time exploring the ship and settling into your cabin before your first night’s dinner! 


Day 3 

Today, you’ll arrive early in the morning to your first port of Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is famous for the yachts that dot the blue waters of the Atlantic, and the expansive mansions that line the coast. Since many of the mansions have now been turned into museums, Newport has become a popular destination for anyone who wants an inside view of the lives of the rich and famous “celebrities” of the 19th century. 

Newport mansion

Touring these mansions is exactly what’s in store for you today, as you head off on your excursion along “Mansion Row,” with an inside tour of a select few. Of course, each of the mansions will look all the more beautiful with the color-changing trees surrounding them. Round out the day with a walk through town for some souvenirs and al fresco lunch before making your way back to the ship for dinner and the evening’s activities.

Maine lighthouse

Day 4 

Welcome to Vacationland! Also known as Maine, home of lighthouses, lobsters, and more recently, a thriving culinary and craft beer scene. As you pull into the harbor, you’ll notice the incredible Fall foliage lining the coast. Your excursion today will take you to one of the most famous and most photographed lighthouses in the country, Portlandhead Light. Perched on the coast of Fort Williams Park, there are historic fort structures, rocky beaches and trails to explore in addition to the lighthouse itself, all surrounded by the warm colors of the changing trees.

Portland Maine

Don’t venture too far though, because you’ll want to save some time to walk around Portland itself, especially through the picturesque cobblestone streets of the Old Port, and along the working waterfront of Commercial Street. Pop into one of the breweries, restaurants and ice cream shops before returning to the ship for the evening.


Day 5 

You’ve made it Down East, or in other words, to the midcoast of Maine where you’ll dock in Bar Harbor. That’s right, as you sail North UP the coast of Maine, Mainers and especially sailors, consider this “heading Down East” (a saying based on sailing downwind more than the direction you’re sailing). Surrounding Bar Harbor is the famed Acadia National Park, which you’ll explore by driving along the scenic 27 miles of Loop Road, where each overlook is more breathtaking than the next, and amplified by the technicolor trees as far as the eye can see.


After your National Park expedition, you’ll stroll the streets of Bar Harbor, perusing the shops and stopping for a quintessentially-Maine lobster roll for lunch, followed by some Maine fudge or ice cream (or both) for dessert! 

Canada Bay of Fundy

Day 6 

Welcome to Canada! Today’s adventure will take place in New Brunswick, where you’ll explore historic Saint John and the Bay of Fundy. Your excursion off the ship will start with the excitement of witnessing the Reversing Falls Rapids (don’t worry, you won’t get splashed…probably); from there you’ll head to Fort Howe National Historic Site, and continue on to Carleton Martello Tower. 

Saint John

Then, for the bulk of your tour, you’ll get to experience everything the Bay of Fundy has to offer, including the Sea Caves, Lighthouse, Covered Bridges, Fundy Trail, Lobster Cove and Scenic Way, and all leveled up by the Fall foliage surrounding you at every turn. You’ll make a final stop at Saint John City Market before boarding the ship again for the evening. 

Peggy's Cove

Day 7 

Your next stop in Canada will be in Halifax, Nova Scotia, one of the most rugged and picturesque harbor cities, enhanced, as all of the ports have been, by the vibrant colors of the trees in Nature’s most beautiful season. A stop in Halifax wouldn’t be complete without visiting Peggy’s Cove, where you’ll find one of the most photographed lighthouses in Canada. 

Peggy's Cove

And you can pair your Peggy’s Cove excursion with another visit of your choice, depending on your interests. Maybe you’re all in for an al fresco lobster bake lunch, or maybe you’re a Titanic fan, and want to visit the Fairview Lawn Cemetery where 121 passengers from the ship rest, or if neither are your cup of tea, who can say no to a Maple Syrup Tour and Tasting? Whatever you choose, your last port adventure will be the perfect cap to your back to back days of exploration in New England and Canada!

Trees from the Water

Day 8

While you may not have any more ports to explore, your cruise thus far has been so full of gorgeous scenery and adventures that you may want to spend today, your day at sea, exploring parts of the ship you may have missed before returning to New York tomorrow morning. Of course, since you’ll be at sea sailing, at points you’ll be close enough to the coast to continue viewing those Fall colors, too. But a whole day at sea at the end of a cruise is one of the best ways to relax and reflect on your vacation experience, or even just to sit out on a sundeck, celebrating cozy season with a blanket and that book you brought and meant to read all along. 

Statue of Liberty

Day 9

On the last day of a cruise, everyone has to be up early to disembark anyway, so take advantage of being up and ‘at ‘em by taking in your return through New York Harbor as you pass the Statue of Liberty, the Freedom Tower and Downtown Manhattan once more. Even if you had a great vantage point on your way out of the Harbor, the views of New York never get old, so take them in while you can. Once you disembark, you’ll head to the airport and continue home to share all of your gorgeous pictures of the iconic New England Fall Foliage with family and friends.

Ready to Plan?

New England Coast

If you are ready to experience the brilliant Fall colors of New England and Canada, and plan The Perfect Fall Foliage Cruise Through New England, contact your Love of the Magic Travel Agent today, or email  And of course, whether you want to adventure to New England and Canada, or experience the colors of Fall somewhere totally different, your LOTMV Travel Advisor will work with you to create the unique experience you’re looking for. 

Looking for more of our Inspiring Itinerary series?

You can find links to all of 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries in this Blog: A Year of Inspired Travel: 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries, Month by Month

Just like last year, a new Inspiring Itinerary will come out each month!

So far, we have:

January 2023: The Perfect Themed Vacation, by Land and by Sea

February 2023: The Perfect Romantic Escape to Jamaica

March 2023: The Perfect Foodie-Inspired Vacation to Portugal

April 2023: The Perfect Parisian Vacation: Paris and Disneyland Paris

May 2023: The Perfect California Road Trip

June 2023: The Perfect Alaskan Adventure By Land

July 2023: The Perfect Holiday Vacation to the California Theme Parks

August 2023: The Perfect Halloween-Themed Vacation By Land and By Sea

September 2023: The Perfect Adventure in Iceland

And don’t forget to check out our Friday Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world! You can find links to all of Jamie’s 2022 Travel Tips at this Blog: Jamie’s 2022 Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s: A Recap

Ready to plan The Perfect Fall Foliage Cruise Through New England? Contact your Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor today or email 

Fall Foliage Cruise Through New England



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