New England Fall Foliage Cruises and Boat Tours

Climb Aboard a Boat For a Peak Leaf Peeping Experience

Blackstone Valley Explorer Fall River Cruises

© 2015 Kim Knox Beckius

Cruise lines and boat tours companies offer a relaxing and scenic way to see the changing leave colors during New England's fall foliage season. There are a number of fall foliage cruises and boat tours in the region for you to consider.

Cruise Lines With New England Itineraries

Several major cruise lines offer New England and Canada itineraries to coincide with fall foliage peak times—all of the cruise lines have similar itineraries with differing duration from six to 14 days in length.

These cruises hug the Atlantic coastline, some visit the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, and other cruises travel to or from Quebec ports via the St. Lawrence River.

  • Celebrity Cruises: Visit New England ports of call like Bar Harbor and Boston and spots in Canada like Halifax and Quebec City.
  • Holland America: Cruise the historic points of New England like Boston and Bar Harbor and Canadian cities like Quebec City and Montreal.
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines: NCL offers nine and 10-day cruises to New England and Canada to view the fall foliage including Boston, Portland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and ports in Quebec.
  • Princess Cruises: Fabulous fall foliage sights from New England to Canada will be yours from the deck of your Princess ship as you choose a seven to 12-day cruise into ports like Quebec City, Halifax, Bar Harbor, and Newport.
  • Royal Caribbean: Royal Caribbean offers a vast variety of Canada and New England cruise itineraries. Ports of departure include Baltimore, New Jersey, Boston, and Quebec City. Ports of call include Bar Harbor, Portland, New Brunswick, Halifax, and Prince Edward Island.

    Boat Tours in New York

    Cruise the Hudson River in New York State in the fall aboard American Cruise Lines' American Star, American Constellation, or Independence. More than a dozen fall departure dates are available, and the itinerary features Hudson River ports of call including West Point, Catskill, Albany, Poughkeepsie, and New York City during the beautiful fall foliage season.

    Boat Tours in Connecticut

    You can travel along the Connecticut River or along the Atlantic coast for some outstanding fall color displays.

    • Cross Sound Ferry Lighthouse (and Leaf Peeping) CruisesSet out from New London, Connecticut, or Orient Point, New York, this fall aboard the Sea Jet for a narrated tour of nine lighthouses. You'll see bright fall colors beaming along the Connecticut shore and the Long Island Sound. Stay warm and enjoy a snack inside the catamaran, or venture up on deck for phenomenal photo-taking opportunities.
    • Essex Steam Train & RiverboatRide the rails to the riverboat. Your voyage aboard the Becky Thatcher may be the most memorable piece of your Connecticut fall outing when you book a trip with this nostalgic transportation company. For bird watching enthusiasts, September is an ideal time of year for a sunset "Swallow Cruise," as these birds cloud the sky, swirling in a choreographed aerial ballet until, all at once, they descend to a Connecticut River island for the night.
    • Lady Katharine Sunday Brunch CruisesCruise the Connecticut River aboard the Mystique this fall and enjoy a Sunday brunch buffet and live entertainment with the leaves. Cruises depart from Haddam or Middletown, Connecticut. Check the schedule for dates and departure times and locations, and call ahead for reservations. Special events, such as Goodspeed lunch or dinner cruises, are also on the fall schedule.

      Boat Tour in Rhode Island

      Blackstone Valley Explorer Riverboat Tours offers boat trips along Rhode Island's Blackstone River, the river that powered America's Industrial Revolution. Trips are offered Sunday afternoons through late October, and you may spy birds and other wildlife in addition to lovely leaves.

      Boat Tours in New Hampshire

      Board the M/S Mount Washington for a graceful cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee this fall. Whether you opt for a scenic voyage with departures from New Hampshire's Weirs Beach, Wolfeboro, or Alton Bay, or a Sunday champagne brunch cruise, you'll never forget the experience. Leaf lovers can also book passage for evening foliage dinner cruises or leaf peep by the light of October's full moon.

      Boat Tours in Maine

      Watch the leaves and the seals go by on a Hardy Boat coastal fall excursion from New Harbor, Maine.

      Or, travel in a historic ship. There are nine historic sailing ships that are members of the Maine Windjammer Association that offer two- to six-day fall foliage cruises in September and early October.