My grandmother loathes airplanes, is unbothered by speed, and prefers cruising. She lives in London, but regularly visits Toronto to see family and friends. She can happily take trains to other Canadian or English ports, if no cruise originates in Québec or London. This comment explains cruise ships' impracticality of cruising to Toronto.

Anything barring Queen Mary 2 (from NYC to Southampton), to shun the 13-hour train to NYC?

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    Of course it helps. Toronto and New York are not far apart. Also, cruise ships can't navigate to Toronto except through the St. Lawrence Seaway, which is too small for most cruise ships. Typically Quebec City or Montreal is as far as they go, which is about as far away as New York City is anyway. The Queen Mary 2 sails in both directions; she can take the ship round trip, but it will take significant time. Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 19:24
  • @skifans I now explained why.
    – user13759
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 19:42
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    Why did this question receive two downvotes? It's not a bad question.
    – gerrit
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 10:59
  • If you look carefully, you may find some cruises from England to Canada, but apart UK to NYC, the other cruises are "real cruises": you may have Norway, Iceland and a so many port of call and stops (so a lot slower, and possibly much more expensive). Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:43

2 Answers 2


No, there are no such cruises.

The RMS Queen Mary sails from Southampton to New York, however, and she can take the train from London to Southampton, and then from New York to Toronto. Of course, she can repeat the trip in reverse when she's done as the ship sails in both directions.

Note that it takes approximately seven days to make the voyage, so if she does this round trip, this will take fourteen calendar days for travel alone, not counting her train or bus trip between New York City and Toronto. In total, she'll spend sixteen days traveling.

There are slower, more involved cruises between the UK or Ireland and the Canadian east coast, but cruise ships do not get closer to Toronto than Montreal, 552 km away.

  • Thanks. I've changed the question to Québec. But what cruises are there between that and England?
    – user13759
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 19:45
  • @Canada-Area51Proposal They're pretty irregular and you're just going to have to do some searching. Also, they may not be viable for a return trip. I think the Southampton-New York-Southampton route is going to be the most viable option for you. She can take Via Rail/Amtrak between New York Penn station and Toronto Union Station. Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 23:17

Unfortunately, there isn't much demand for transatlantic sea travel, so there few options available.

The Queen Mary 2 is the only passenger ship that regularly crosses the Atlantic, and it usually goes to New York (you can find the occasional trip where it stops in Halifax, but that's not really an improvement for getting to Toronto or Quebec).

There are periodic crossings by cruise ships doing repositioning cruises between seasons, but these are sporadic, one-way, lengthy, expensive, and most do not stop anywhere near Quebec. For example, she could consider the Viking Sea trip from Norway to Montreal this fall, but she'd have to get herself to Norway first, and there's no equivalent trip by sea back. There are occasional repositioning cruises from New York to Quebec, so it's possible she could combine a QM2 trip with one of those, but such cruises run around 10 days, not competitive with the train. In short, there can be limited ways to get there if you don't care about dates or practicality, but the options are pretty limited.

Finally, some freighters do offer very limited passenger space. This is decidedly not a cruise, but it is travel by sea without the creature comforts (you won't find medical facilities on board either). You could try contacting an agency that deals with such bookings, such as Maris to see if any such trips exist. A Great Lakes trip could get her as close as Cleveland, though getting to Toronto from there is still a pain.

  • A stop in Halifax allows for a fun train journey to Toronto for someone with plenty of time and money, and avoids the bureaucratic hassle of a US visa (IIRC visa waiver is not applicable for travel on QM2). On your final paragraph, freighter travel tend to have passenger age limits. Since we're talking about the OPs grandmother here, that may be an objection.
    – gerrit
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 10:56

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